Shenandoah - 2021
3 day ride to Shenandoah. Ride all back roads to a cabin in Shenandoah. Brother bonding .. tour WV-VA on Saturday and back Sunday
Riders : Guri | Arvind | Sanjay | Deepak | Mahesh N | Praveen | Ketan | KG | Behram
Days : 3
This was a trip planned out some time ago but due to logistics and date constraints from riders, this trip almost didn’t happen. But the reluctance to lose the deposit paid for the cabin made us push the trip forward. More riders joined in the group and then we had 9 riders. Amazing turnout.
Friday morning, we met early at 9:30am at a gas station in North Raleigh. Everyone was on time for a 10am KSU. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we filled our tanks and headed north on local roads towards Virginia.
A couple of hours later had a stopover at the border of Virginia and had some hot upma and tea, courtesy of Deepak’s mom. After feeling refreshed we headed further into Virginia. We had a minor incident with the police when one of the riders continued in group formation at an intersection when there was an unmarked cop car driving by and we did not stop to let him through. We got an earful from the cop who seemed genuinely interested in our safety and let us go with just a warning.
The rest of the ride was uneventful; we took a few breaks every couple of hours. Entering Skyline drive, Behram got a chance to use his drone to get some beautiful shots of the group. Continuing further, the large group split into 2 groups. We had been expecting a long gravel driveway leading to the house and we were eager to get there before sundown.
However, both the groups reached close to darkness and we got a call from the riders in the earlier group who informed that the gravel driveway is rather tricky and just do it slowly. The driveway turned out to be a gravel road, about a mile long that went up a mountain to the cabin. Since it was dark, we were not able to see how challenging the road was ahead and started ascending the hill. Eventually the road became too much for a couple of the riders and they dropped their bikes. The other riders who had reached walked down and helped them ride the bikes up to the cabin. Enough excitement for the day. Luckily, we had gotten supplies already on the way there and would not have to ride down the gravel road that night. The rest of the night, we enjoyed amazing food, made by Praveen and KG. Everyone marveled at Mahesh for doing so well in the ride as it was his first long distance ride.
Saturday morning, we got up and Praveen was back in the kitchen making amazing breakfast for us. Riding the gravel road downhill was terrifying as we could now see the hill descent. Who needed coffee after that! After we regrouped at the main gas station, we took off towards BlackWater Falls State Park. Located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, Blackwater Falls State Park is named for the amber waters of Blackwater Falls, a 57-foot cascade tinted by the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. Sanjay had stopped earlier to get some coffee for the group that we enjoyed at the base of the falls.
After that, we headed to Seneca Rocks. No one seemed that interested in hiking up towards the monumental rock formation, instead choosing to wisely sit on their motorcycles and head towards the next stop, Spruce Knob. The road to Spruce Knob is twisty and uphill and has several hairpin turns that added to the exciting ride up. At the top, the drone came in handy again to show the beauty of the mountain. Returning from the mountain was an equally fun ride and we stopped at a restaurant at the base of Spruce Knob where everyone got a hot dinner. Heading back home, a few riders decided to leave the bikes in a parking lot and would prefer to walk up the gravel road. We looked at a nearby church, before knocking at a lady’s house asking if we could leave our bikes in her backyard for the night. She was very happy to do that and so were the riders.
Our last night at the cabin, Behram setup a fire going on the firepit outside; Praveen insisted on making some egg burji and maggi noodles for us which we loved. The fire was great, and the stars were brightly lit in the dark sky.
The next day, Arvind wanted to get to ride some more curves before heading home and he and Guri left earlier than the rest of the group. Praveen managed to make some rice biryani with the leftover items, and we packed that up and headed home. On the way home Sanjay had a near mishap with a car that suddenly made a left turn in front of him. His quick braking made him avoid a major accident. The car continued on, oblivious to what had just happened.
Stopped at a couple of rest-stops and gas stations on the way home. It was very hot and wetting our t-shirts helped keeping us cool for some time. Eventually everyone reached home around 7pm; a total of over 800 amazing miles and wonderful memories.