Thank you to Dave Schlee, of Fredericksburg, VA, for daring me.
Not having ever spent much time in West Virginia I was curious about it and wanted to continue the remainder of my trip on my original planned route.
I had shaved off many parts of my trip through the Midwest to cut out and make up some time since the trip had extended way beyond my original plans. However, I maintained one of my main agendas by hitting at least all 49 continental United States.
Early in my trip I did hit the very north tip of West Virginia so I actually did not even need to take this leg of the trip at all. But after looking at the map I realized that I wanted to come in from the north so I could go through Washington D.C. again. In coming up from the south I might be tempted to land in Fredericksburg and not go through D.C. again.
Before I started my trip, my buddy, Dave Schlee was looking at my route and noticed that I was going out of the way to cut through West Virginia and come back in to Virginia from the north. Along the route to West Virginia I cut through a part of Virginia and was only a few hours from home. He told me that I would be so tempted to just end it there and head home that I took it as a dare and decided to still go through with my original plan. Thanks Dave. I hope you're happy. It was cold.
Here in this next picture I was surprised when I noticed that the road seemed to be heading straight towards the side of a hill. Around the corner I then saw the entrance to the tunnel. There were two of these tunnels along the interstate there. They went right through the mountain and out the other side. I love tunnels on a motorcycle. Its a really weird feeling.
However, interstate 77, heading up to Charleston, WV, is a toll way which is a pain on a motorcycle. With both hands busy with the clutch and throttle, it is impossible to get your money out and ready before you get to the toll booth. You then have to stop, take off your gloves, reach in your pocket and get out the money and then put the gloves back on. I know that the people behind me must have been very annoyed.
It didn't take much longer before it got dark and I knew I had to come back and visit this state. The drive up to Charleston was pretty neat as the freeway winded around and through the hills. I stopped off to see this huge complex close to Charleston. I'm not sure what this factory's product was but it was all lit up and there was plumes of smoke and steam and gas coming from the stacks. It made me think of garbled lyrics from the song, "Many Miles Away" by the Police. "Another industrial day has ended. The factory belches filth into the sky."
Of course, true Police fans, and now I know that I did mix up a few words there from the song.
I rode on and to Charleston where I was trying to find a place to eat. I ended up downtown and found a Chili's but couldn't find a place to park that was within sight of the bike so I rode on and up interstate 79 to the northeast. It didn't take long before I was out of town an there wasn't any places to eat. I kept riding and eventually found an all night place about 20 miles out. I had dinner and got warmed up and headed out.
The cold continued on through the night, as did I. I thought about stopping somewhere to get some rest but I wasn't really tired, just cold. I began to stress about my fuel situation and was having some issues finding a place to get some gas. I stopped in some small town and all the stations were closed. I was getting a little worried until I found an all night gas station a little further down the freeway. The temperature was way below freezing that night. I took out a bunch of my clothing and went to the rest room where I added layers upon layers of clothing. It all worked and for the rest of the trip I remained quite comfortable. Other than a cold chill in my hands I managed to stay warm as I crossed over into Maryland and then back into D.C. and Virginia.
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