Despite the fact that every weather report called for extensive rain, I was ready to ride! My goal for this ride, my first trip on the bike since the wreck 10 months ago, was to take my time, enjoy the adventure, and have a completely different outcome from the last one. To say the least, I was excited!
The destination for this, the first day, was Breaks Interstate Park, a park shared by the states of Virginia and Kentucky.
I took a chance and kept my rain gear packed in the saddle bags and hit the road. The day was overcast and just a little cool … in essence, a perfect day to ride. As I got closer to the park the roads became curvier and the traffic became more sparse. About four hours later and just a few miles before entering the park, I stopped at Mill Rock Point Overlook. A short 65 yard hike, and I was taking my first photos of the trip!
Shortly after that, I entered what is known as the “Grand Canyon of the South”. 200 million years ago the area was covered by a vast inland sea. Once the sea receded, the river that is now known as Russell Fork began the work of carving out an immense gorge, renowned as the largest east of the Mississippi.
I rode straight to the Visitors Center, and was immediately distracted by this historic log cabin.
It was while chatting with the woman at the Visitors Center, and hoping to quench my thirst, that I realized my first error in planning. There would be no traditional end of the day beer as there areNO ALCOHOL sales in the park! Ah well, at least I was able to enjoy a cold ice cream cone!
The park has several trails and I set off to hike a few of them. Most were less than a mile and all of them led to various views of the 5 mile gorge.
These images look similar but the clouds kept changing and I could not stop shooting!
It was 6 oclock in the evening and I met no one else on the trails and saw no one at the overlooks. Perfect!
From this vantage point, I was standing in Virginia and looking at both Kentucky and Virginia.
All I could hear was the sound of the river, the train, and hawks flying around overhead.
I had to chuckle as I came upon this sign and of course, ventured beyond.
After several hours of riding and a few hours of hiking, it was time to head to the lodge for supper. While I had to settle for unsweet iced tea, I thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant’s specialty of brown beans and cornbread. Time on the deck was the only dessert that I needed.
With the bike parked right outside my room, I settled in for the night. I managed to escape the rain this day, but I knew that there was a good chance I’d be riding in the rain soon.
Next Post: Onward into Kentucky