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Four Corners - Day 16

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Start Location: Fairfield, PA
Ending Location: Roanoke, VA
Miles Today: 324
Trip Miles: 4770
States Visited: 19
Provinces Visited: 3
Low Temp: 65 degrees
High Temp: 84 degrees
Min Elevation: 398'
Max Elevation: 3678'

Route Map:

We wake to a beautiful morning in Fairfield and are tempted tokick back and drink coffee on the deck and enjoy the sun coming up. But, after two days of destination riding, we have journey riding planned today. We say goodbye to Mary Anne and Roger and thank them again for their hospitality. Of course the first task is getting both of us and an 800 pound motorcycle up the gravel drive. It seemed intimidating last night but was actually uneventful.

We are on the road for a short time and cross over into Maryland and then, a short time later, into West Virginia and finally into Virginia. We are planning on visiting the Shenandoah National Park today and driving Skyline Drive. This is a 105 mile drive through incredible scenery. It is also a very twisty road which motorcycles tend to favor. I blew up a section of the map for today that gives you an idea of what the route looked like. The speed limit is 35 but, in fact, it is difficult to average that speed with all of the tight turns and incredible scenery. The route runs along a ridge line and reaches a maximum of 3680'. Along the ridge there are a series of dozens of overlooks that look out into the valleys on either side of the ridge. Here are some typical overlooks along the route 1, 2, 3, 4, and finally here's one taken while we are moving.

Like other places we have been, there are signs telling us that there are deer to be seen. There are and we a get a picture of this one, but not this one. We see another animal crossing the road a ways in front of us but are unable to identify it although it looks like it may be a bobcat. We also have to stop when a car in front of us suddenly stops to avoid hitting a snake crossing the road.

At the end of Skyline Drive, you immediately enter the Blue Ridge Parkway. This road is similar to Skyline Drive except it is 469 miles long and is not a national park although it is part of the National Park System. We travel the Parkway for 30 miles but then have to get off and head to Roanoke where we will stay tonight. We will be driving a good deal of this road tomorrow and should have lots more pictures tomorrow.

It looks like we will hit 5000 miles for the trip tomorrow and have an appointment to get the oil changed Saturday morning at a dealer in Asheville where we will be staying tomorrow night. We also need to get the headlight bulbs replaced since they are both burned out. The bike has been running great and everything seems fine. We had quite a bit of trouble getting reservations in Asheville tomorrow night, don't know if there is something special going on or if it's just a weekend thing. Glad we called around tonight.