There is nothing quite like being able to stand on your front porch the 1st day of May and feel the real heat if the sun. The kind of heat that radiates on your skin just like a mid-July ride when the wind cools the sting. Blasted tease, it was! Left my bottom lip all puckered and pouting when the sun disappeared behind the trees. I chuckled at myself when I whined “Oh..come..on…really”. Ah! but it is close and time to plans some rides.
I like to travel the back roads. Being able to slow down and enjoy the open scenery that the bike allows. Unsheltered and free to the ride. Taking in all the sun, sights and smells. May is by far the best smelling month on the calendar. The buds, blossoms and blooms coming out of their slumber circulating sweet natural scents of their nectar. Mmm… Yes! I’m in love with Mother Nature’s perfume. I’m also in love with the hidden beauty of Mother Nature too. The kind that you can only find off the beatin’ path. The roads less traveled. The secondary, sometimes even unmarked roads. There is no telling what is hidden nestled in the mountains of this great state that is yet to be seen or found. But for this post, its just where the motorcycle can go.
If it weren’t for getting off the beatin’ path I would not have found that Hidden Valley Road is right here in WV, (can I get some carrots with that), and that Big Toe was actually named after a guy while mining, hit his big toe with a hammer…..did you get a mental picture? lol I did. And like this time on a state-route-back-road I came across an old barn that reminded me of a time in my childhood I had long forgot about. When my baby sister and her girl friend, one Sunday, were playing with matches in Grandma’s barn. Betcha can’t guess what happened. They got out, the horse was saved but the chicken was fried. She was teased for years “…fried chicken on Sunday at Grandma’s.”.
Man, how I appreciate being able to hop on Clyde my Peanut (my motorcycles name), and freely roam around this beautiful country, as I choose; to parts unknown. It just speaks to my soul. I have to thank a Veteran for that! And I do, every chance I get. Especially a WWII Vet. That very war was the definitive turn to our free society that we have known for the past 70 years. AND the reason I can venture out, explore and ride free. On May 2, I had an exceptional chance to thank a Veteran. We were invited by our friends Hogs and Heroes, Chapter 1, to ride up to Clarksburg to pay tribute to the Veterans coming home from visiting their memorials in Washington, D.C..
Honor Flight Huntington (http://www.honorflighthuntington.org/ ) provides a day of honor and recognition to our Veterans for all of their sacrifices during the wars. Several organizations around the area, Boy & Girl Scouts, ROTC, Patriot Guard, and Hog and Heroes just to name a few that were there to Welcome Home our military Veterans. The look of surprise on their faces and the heart felt gratitude was awesome. Just the ambiance of the party, of both the Welcome Home and the Arriving, was moving all together. Thank you! …my Veteran, my Hero, and my Friend.
So after all the visiting, the stories and tears, we decided to take the back roads home. Many to choose from and it was getting a bit late; so Route 19 was the way we went. As I was enjoying my ride, thinking to myself…This soul food! Beautiful! Peaceful! …it hit me ‘Sometimes everybody just needs to get out a hit the back roads less traveled’. Get back to the right of things. Do a little Sunday driving. Pick a road, a destination, a place you’ve not been…yet. You don’t have to plan it. Just go. And enjoy it!
Now let me introduce you to Route 19 South, from Clarksburg to Flatwoods. It offers beautiful scenic views with just the right amount of twists and turns, stop offs for refueling your tanks and stomachs, for the adventuring motorcyclist in us all. For those of you that like an ice cold draft, on down the road a few miles from the city limits, Maurice’s can serve you right up. Make sure to tell’em we said Hi! If ice cold draft is not what you like; how about some ice cream? We all scream for Ice Cream! Poling’s Dairy King is open for the season.
But you prefer to rest and refresh at a state park, hop off 19 toward West Milford to Watter’s Smith State Park. The 1700’s farm of Watters Smith was bequeathed to the state for preservation. The farm offers a museum, tours, hiking, swimming, bird-watching and cabins. Check the website out for calendar of events and things to do. http://www.watterssmithstatepark.com/
After enjoying 19’s fluid twists and turns for about 9 miles, in the quaint little community of Good Hope is Frankie G’s. To the left, hugging a curve in the road, is a big pull off parking lot. You can top the tanks off while recharging with a hamburger and fries, pizza, hot dogs or pick from the numerous other items on their menu. As your leaving Good Hope, a picturesque canopy of trees hugs you goodbye; bidding you a warm farewell…comeback again feeling.
Don’t forget to smell the air of the country. Clean and filtered by the green plush trees of the countryside.The next 6 miles offers rolling green landscapes of the working farms and the narrow winding pavement, bordered by ageless oak and maple trees and blossoming red-buds and honey-suckle and our native rhododendron, beautiful beyond belief.
Not hard to just get lost in the country but if you do, stop by at junction of 19 and Mcwhorter Rd, you can wet your whistle and take a tinkle at the Jane Lew Junction Bar & Grill. Jane Lew has several options for gas and food and even has an Inn. Flying Hot dogs, a truck stop, 7-11, Dollar General and several other amenities in and around this beautiful tiny town.
Lively farms are of plenty on this next stretch just short of Weston. A few turns to kick up the G’s in the seat and put a smile on your face. But careful now, if BBQ is what you fancy, don’t pass up The Hickory House.
Now Weston is not just your average dot on the map. Weston has some fine, deep history with in its confines. Some known, some unknown. The TALA, The Military Museum, the 1st Chapter of Hogs and Heroes Foundation, 1376 Riders Group and many, many more places and organizations.
One of my favorite watering holes is Bryan’s and Brent’s Place, 229 N. River Ave. Check’em out. They feature all your favorite whistle-wetters (alcohol) and tunes like the Davisson Brothers Band (http://davissonbrothersband.com/).
Also check out the list below of websites to visit for more info on Weston.
Continuing on 19 south the Stonewall Jackson Resort is open to the public with it’s 4-Star accommodations and its breathe taking views of the Stonewall Jackson Lake, the trees and mountains. It really is beautiful.
About 8 miles on down the road stop by and say Hi to the good folks at Linda’s Restaurant in Walkersville. And if you need a fill up Tri-lakes is where you’d be. While your filling up, check out their made-to-order menu. Between you and me…they have the best homemade pepperoni rolls next to Grandma’s! sshh…
When your back in the saddle, hold on, sit back and enjoy the curvy pavement hugging the foothills of the mountains. Twist and turns that’s sure to delight. Winding river, waterfalls, camping swimming and more, their all up next. BUT most important….enjoy!
Falls Mill, one of my favorites, has a hand-drawn water well with fresh, clean well water, waterfalls, fishing, restrooms and even an overlook. Hop off the beast for a minute, stretch your legs some and take some pics. Just an awesome place to check out. Just ask Lissy, my daughter. She went over the falls at the age of 7. Scared then, loves the place now. I found an interesting website about the place that a local property owner has. Here’s the link: http://www.thomassmith.us/FISHING/
Just up the hill on the other side is Historic Civil War Bulltown and Burnsville Lake. Bulltown offers camping, fishing, museum tours, re-enactments, boating and much more. This is just one of the many place we go to cool off in the summer. http://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/projects/lakes/bus/
Now here’s a cooler thought, coming into Heaters there is a Christmas Tree farm. Every year, the 1st of December; we make a day trip to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Yeah…making memories right there!
Well we are about to the end of my Route 19 introduction. Flatwoods is just up ahead. Where you can shop at the outlet stores, eat at the many restaurants, check out the antique store, roll a bowling ball down a lane or venture to Wally-world. Yep, they have a Wal-mart. http://www.flatwoods.com/
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the journey so far. Imagine doing it on a motorcycle. Oh, hell just do it! Get out and ride. Make a destination, known or unknown and explore the open road. Check out the small towns hidden in the Wild Wonderful West Virginia mountains. Smell the air, capture some pictures, get lost in the ride, and feed your soul.
~Riding Amy~ Next Destination Unknown