Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pfafftown to Columbus, Indiana-536 miles

A good day of riding. Great scenery along the way, especially in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. Interstate 77 through West Virginia is one of the best rides on an Interstate anywhere I've been. Gentle curves, with elevation changes at 70mph is fun! And it was cool riding through most of the state.

Day 1; June 24, 2008. We got underway just a little behind schedule. Last-minute things, like seeing if everything would fit on the bikes, finding last-minute things that we knew we needed but somehow forgot until the last minute, got us a few minutes behind schedule.

Schedule—why do we have a “schedule”??? This is supposed to be a ride with no boundaries. In truth, it is, but we had made plans to meet our third rider about 10 miles from Gary's house at 9:15am, and didn't want to keep Dick waiting in the parking lot of the Burger King we'd agreed upon. Otherwise, there's no schedule except to make the ferry in Haines, AK, on July 21 at 7pm.

We got to the Burger King a few minutes late, to find Dick by his bike, patiently waiting. After a few minutes of chatter, we got underway at 9:30am. Not a bad or late start, everything considered.

Headed north on Hwy 52, then I-77 for a long time. Stopped for a bathroom break at one of the welcome centers in WV, ate a couple of cookies for breakfast, and hit the road again. Up to Beckley WV, it was cool, and at one point, I was considering stopping to put on the bumblebee. For those who don't know what the bumblebee is, it's my Hi-Viz Yellow Roadcrafter riding suit. It almost glows in the dark, it's that yellow. But you want high visability when you're so exposed to everything.

But it warmed up quickly after passing Beckley and we began descending from the higher elevations and the sun climbed higher into the sky. Speaking of sky, it was BLUE, almost dark blue all day. Beautiful.

As we continued north and west, we got onto I-81 and quickly onto I-64, where we rode a long time. West through Kentucky on I-64 and turned north onto I-65 into Indiana. As the day evolved, the temperatures, which had gotten warm, began cooling a bit.

As we approached Indianapolis, we knew we needed to find a campground somewhere south of the big city. The Garmin did not let us down. It located Columbus Woods and Waters Campground, where we spent the night. I'm writing this on posting from the laundry room, where they have a wireless connection. A good thing!

We got off the bikes, and immediately started putting up the tents. What a zoo! I was the worst—first trying to put up the rainfly without the tent! Hadn't used the tent since March, so I had not remembered the sequence. But I eventually got it put together. Next was the cot. A High-Tech cot from Aerostich; a good invention. Of course, nothing wanted to work quite right initially, but with help from Dick to hold one side of it, I got it together and in the tent. Not too bad; no injuries and only soaked with sweat from head to toe!

A few minutes of rest and then off to find some food for supper. Went into the town, Columbus, and, after some searching, found a sports bar where we could get a good, cold beer and a burger. Not great grub, but it was fine. And, except for the loud music, a decent place for a meal.

Back to the campground for a shower. It was GOOD! Clean shower stalls, good warm water, and the world was suddenly better. It was now about 10:30pm, and we were three tired puppies.

After a few minutes of chat, we headed to bed. Discovered for the first time that we were close to the Interstate, so the rumble of traffic, cars, etc, was pretty loud, masking the sounds normally heard when camping. No crickets; only traffic! Slept okay, but not good. Woke up a lot, which is normal for me, so no complaints.

Woke up this morning at 5:45, got up, found the computer, and am now writing this at 6:35am.

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