West Virginia Wrap Up

First State HOG 2008 Summer Trip

It would be hard to top Day 3 of our trip, so the trip winds down a little on days 4 and 5. On Saturday morning the crew from First State left New River Gorge Quality Inn at 9:00am. Our mission was to make it to Triple S Harley Davidson in Morgantown before they closed at 5:00pm. It would be tight.

We rode some more fantastic roads heading back to Snow Shoe. As we started getting closer to Snow Shoe where Freedomfest was now in full swing we ran into groups of bikes everywhere. They were in front of us, behind us, going the opposite way, at intersections… my arm was getting tired of waving. I almost stopped waving I got so sick of it, but I didn’t. At one point I think we had a group in front of us and one behind so that we had a parade of 3 groups of bikes riding through the twisties. We stopped at the gas station at the base of the mountain for a quick lunch. It was mobbed with a few hundred bikes. Then we were off again.

We got out to the country and rode hard. We stopped at a scenic overlook near a windmill farm but the bathrooms were out of order. The guys used the woods. The girls were not happy. We moved on looking for the first available facility but we were deep in the country going through one horse towns. Finally we came to an old elementary school that was converted into an antique store and flea market. They had bathrooms and cold drinks for $.75 as well as really neat junk to take pictures of. Everyone had to pose with the bear!

Diana & The Bear

Gordy, Dolly & The Bear

Nic & The Bear

It was getting closer and closer to 5:00pm and it was looking like we wouldn’t make it on time. Darlene called and asked the folks at Triple S to stay open late. They said they would try. We moved on. Then things got a tiny bit worse as one of our members started having a technical problem with his bike. Again Darlene called Triple S and told them we needed to buy t-shirts very badly and our friend needed a tech to stay and look at the new Screaming Eagle Ultra Classic that was having an issue. They said they would accomodate us no matter what. If we didn’t get to Morgantown by 6:00pm they would come in early on Sunday just for us. The manager gave Darlene his cell phone number.

We got to Triple S at 5:30pm! They were waiting for us with a tech. We really owe these guys and gals at Triple S in Morgantown. They fixed our friends bike and let us buy all the t-shirts we needed. It’s a good thing because we have a member who absolutely must have a new Harley Davidson dealer t-shirt for every 500 miles traveled (I’m just joking). Unfortunately we did not get to meet the famous Triple S hotties who I think are usually there to sign t-shirts and pose for pictures.

Sunday morning we hit the final leg at 9:00am. This time we took the highway. We were cruising at the posted speed limit of 70 mph and my 6 speed Lowrider was running like it was built specifically to run in this gear at this RPM on this road at this exact moment in time. I was the eighth bike in formation. The 7 bikes in front of me were riding in perfect harmony. Each motorcycle was the same exact distance apart. We changed lanes and passed slower vehicles in perfect form. Everything was right in the world! I hope I never forget that feeling.

Eventually we crossed Maryland, made our way across the Bay Bridge and were back in Delaware. We were home before dusk. It was an amazing trip full of great roads, amazing scenery, great memories and valuable lessons.

That was one week ago today and I have had time to reflect on the experience. Because the trip covered 3 business days in addition to the weekend most people didn’t take the time off from work and we had a number of members of retirement age with us. At some time or other during the trip I spent quality time with each of the senior guys and they were generous with their wisdom, stories and experiences.

We are all aging. Today we can ride; but eventually physical limitations will set in and we will no longer be able to. As my friends get closer to that point they enjoy every moment of riding they can. They don’t pass up opportunities to take trips like this. Sometimes they push themselves harder than they should. They don’t take experiences like this for granted. No one should. Everyday above ground is a good one, but everday on your Harley is a great one! Someday I will be retired like my friends Bob, Jon, Darryl and Gordy. When that day comes will all the day to day bullcrap I usually stress about really matter? No! So why should I let it bother me as much as I do? Why should I waste my time worrying about things outside my control? Twenty or so years from now it won’t matter! I’ll be cruising cross country on my bagger wondering why I ever wasted my time with work related stress and other distractions that suck the enjoyment out of life.

The blessings of being physically able to enjoy this sport, the financial means to own a Harley Davidson and the good fortune to have found a soal mate that shares my passion should be all that matter.

Yes, it was a fantastic trip with unbelievable roads and scenery! But the life lessons learned from Bob, Jon, Darryl and Gordy were the best part of the experience. Thanks for helping me put things in perspective. I owe you guys!

9 Responses to “West Virginia Wrap Up”

  1. This was the trip that didn’t want to end. Riding on Sunday morning was like poetry in motion. Even with a relaxing break at the Sideling Road Cut, we made such good time that we arrived at Frederick HD (only 2 hrs from home) by lunchtime. Several of us decided to stop at Holly’s for an early dinner, and Steve & Kathy rode down and joined us. They hadn’t been able to make the trip, but this way they were the first to hear all of the stories.

    As if dinner wasn’t enough, and 5 days/1200+ miles wasn’t enough, we then rode to DQ in Middletown for dessert and more stories before we finally broke off and went our separate ways.

    These were good times shared with great friends. The kind of times you never want to end.

  2. Yup! I think this trip may have been “the one”. There’s always one that give you the road bug. Anyone can ride but when the ride takes on a soul of it’s own, there is no going back. I recognize something in this post that I don’t see alot of. Glad you guys had the ride. It’s an awesome feeling. I really don’t think alot of people really ever get in touch with what you describe here.

    thanks for sharing. Oh, what the heck is that bear doing to Mrs RC! We are going to have to put and advisory sticker on this site now!

  3. You have a great perspective on life. We truly shouldn’t let the little things stress us out, but it’s so much easier said than done. We’re fortunate that we’re able to take off on the Harley when things do get stressful, to get our ‘ride therapy’. I don’t know what I would do without it!

  4. Amen for ride therapy!

  5. I turned 21 in a dried out rice paddie with a M16 in my hands wondering if I would see my 22 birthday, Now only weeks away from my 60 I can only say thanks for the great ride and outstanding fellowship on this ride. Thanks, Bob Megonigal

  6. Bob,
    When you put things in that perspective, it makes all of our everyday stresses and worries seem lilliputian by comparison. And reminds us of the importance of making the most out of every day that we have on this earth. Thank you for good times, stellar rides, and great leadership. 😀

  7. I’m glad you had such a good time together and that everyone made it home safe.

    Your 3rd to last paragraph was great. That’s how I try to do it. I wasn’t supposed to do Milwaukee, but I asked that question. “How many times will I get the chance to do this?” I stopped stressing about it and said screw it, I’m going. Granted, there was some help and encouragement from my Blackstone family that also played a part. Funny how since then things have all fallen neatly into place and the shuffling around of things in my life I had to do in order to go weren’t so bad after all. Does that really mean everything happens for a reason? I don’t know, but I’ll take it.

  8. Wow! What a trip! I am late catching up on all the posting, but I’m glad I did. I’m with Dave, Mrs. RC is the only one that REALLY looks happy with the bear! LOL! I leave tomorrow for Deals Gap and I’ll be glad if we have even a percent of the good time ya’ll did. Thanks for taking us on such a wonderful journey.

  9. Good luck on the Dragon Lady R! Watch out for the photographers who jump out in the road.
    Joker, your gonna have have to condition your butt for such a long trip. I’m glad you have that Mustang seat!

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