Monday, May 15, 2017

Fairmont West Virginia to Maggie Vally North Carolina

We woke up about 7:00 AM and had the hot hotel breakfast. I had eggs, ham and sausage as we talked to a couple. He had hunted bear up near Chapleau and owned a camp near Marquette, Michigan.

I asked about the unusual building with the round tower across the way. The told me it was the NASA building. Some research revealed it was NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility. The whole area here has many new and shiny developments, leading me to believe the economy is doing well.

NASA building

We were rolling south on the I-79 High Tech Corridor by 8:00 AM. Approaching Clarksburg, the southbound side was reduced to one lane because the state had decided to rebuild a number of bridges at the same time. Once out of there, there were quite a few places where the road was either one lane or the pylons were out to reduce it to one lane in the near future. With the excellent road surface, I have no idea what they were planning on doing.

One lane through Clarksburg

Glad we aren't going the other way

Nice landscaping touch

More road work

We left I-79 and took US 19 (the Mountaineer Expressway), stopping for coffee in Summersville. Then we moved on to I-77 in Beckley and south to Virginia.

Another single lane...

...over the New River Gorge Bridge

Three mile downgrade with sharp curve at the bottom

Counting down

Almost there

I call it the Camp Creek Hill

East River Mountain Tunnel

Welcome to Virginia

We usually exit I-79 at Wytheville and follow I-81 southwest. Today, for a change, we were going to stay on I-77 to Statesville and then take I-40 to Asheville and beyond. They had gas for sale just outside Wytheville for $1.99, but I wasn't able to get near a pump so we pushed on. The big six mile drop after Fancy Gap was interesting. Temperatures continued to climb, reaching 85F when we turned onto I-40 and 90 soon after that.

Beautiful countryside

I had considered trading the motorcycle for one of these

I love the scenery

Big Walker Mountain Tunnel

Water does not pool in the tunnel

Blue and green - a favourite colour combination


We appear to be going north and south at the same time

Can't beat the price but can't get near a pump

Long load

The load is the only thing holding the back wheels on

This is one long hill - police want to be sure people are safe

First runaway ramp

One solitary mountain

Second runaway ramp

Another state line

Catawba River North Carolina

We climbed the two big grades on I-40 before exiting on US 19 towards Maggie Valley. There was more road construction there but I ran a rolling road block to the merge. We arrived at A Holiday Motel in MV at 4:50 PM (this seems to be a common arrival time for us). Gabi had our keys ready. It didn't take long to unload the gear and motorcycle and get the trailer parked and unhooked. Then I wiped the bike down a bit. But just a bit.

US 19 near Waynesville

Lake Junaluska

We'll be here for supper on Friday

We are here

No fight to find parking

We were the only VROC folks in residence so far. There are some coming tomorrow and a lot more arriving on Wednesday. Sandy and I went out to Subway and brought back a ham sandwich to share. I talked to a fellow on a BMW 1600 who was spending the night. His name was Bob and he owned a Honda car dealership in Ohio. We compared notes on where we had been and I got a few pointers on some interesting spots for future trips.

Sandy was cold despite the heat. She turned in early while I sorted and posted more photos. But I was two days behind on the stories for the blog. I get the pictures up first so that people who can't be here can see what is going on, but the rest takes a major concerted effort. Photos posted, voice recorder notes transcribed and receipts entered into Quickbooks, I declared myself tired and went to bed.

Today's Route (449 Equinox miles):

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