#5 Crozier, VA

2005 July 31
150 miles
There are so many interesting little towns to be found on the back roads of Virginia.
Just down the road from Mineral is the community of Cuckoo. I was hoping to get a photo of something like "Cuckoo Rescue Department" - but no such luck. My mind filled with all kinds of possibilities, but had to settle for the city limit sign. Small place...not many Cuckonian residents...
This is Apple Grove, a wide place in the road south of Cuckoo. I like the old painted signs on the brick buildings.
Continued south past Interstate 64 near Gum Spring. Past Goochland and Maidens, but just before Crozier we passed a large Virginia State Corrections Facility -- Saw no hitchhikers though.

Note the price of gasoline…before Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast.

#4 Stonewall Jackson Shrine

2005 July 30
59 miles

We left Fredericksburg and headed southwest on 208 to Spotsylvania. Made it through Fredericksburg, but a few miles down 208 coming into Spotsylvania---we hit RAIN. We pulled into Spotsy and took cover at the SunTrust Bank drive-thru teller window. We wait…nothing but gray clouds and a steady drizzle. We decide to walk across the street and down a half a block to the Courthouse Café and take in a burger – hoping the time might allow the rain to move on past. After about an hour we emerge from the café – glad to see that it is not raining, but the sky is still gray all around, allowing no blue sky to break through anywhere.
We decide to continue, hoping that we can ride past it and have a dry ride the rest of the afternoon. No such luck. Less than 5 miles out of town, we started getting wet all over again. Still no break in the sky. We choose to cut our loses and head home. We decide to take 606 to Thornburg, catch route 1 to drive north back to Fredericksburg. We really need to get some raingear...

However, when we reached Thornburg the sun was making an effort to shine on our afternoon so we make a quick stop at the grocery store in Thornburg and give the weather a chance to decide what it’s doing…rain or sun?! The rain let up and we saw a sign … “Jackson Shrine” ahead 5 miles. Talked us into it. Maybe the day wouldn’t be a total loss despite the wet beginnings. So we continue east on 606 approximately 5 miles to visit the place of Stonewall Jackson’s death known as the Jackson Shrine –The Chandler Plantation.
While at the Shrine, a large group of Boy Scouts arrived. The Boy Scout Jamboree is currently in full gear just a few miles away at Fort AP Hill. Leaving the Jackson Shrine, we took east 606 to Hwy 2 (bordering Fort AP Hill) to come back into Fredericksburg.

#2,#3 Northern Neck, Hampton Roads & the Eastern Shore

2005 July 16-18
585 miles

We rode southeast of Fredericksburg through King George County and into Westmoreland County entering into Virginia's Northern Neck Peninsula. The Northern Neck is bordered by the Potomac River to the northeast and the Rappahannock River to the southwest and is the birthplace of President George Washington and General Robert E. Lee. Rain kept us from traveling to the end of the Northern Neck, so we crossed the Rappahannock River at Tappahannock and continued southeast to Cobb's Creek in the tip of Virginia's Middle Peninsula. From Cobb's Creek, we headed through Gloucester County to cross over the York River into Yorktown, then took the Colonial Parkway northwest into Williamsburg where we spent the night. The next day we continued on the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown where we rode the ferry across the James River into Surry County. We continued our way into the Hampton Roads area of Virginia by way of Smithfield, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. At Virginia Beach, we crossed the Chesapeake Bay using the CBBT and landed on the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula known as Virginia's Eastern Shore. We traveled about halfway up the Eastern Shore before we reversed our travel to head home. It was Sunday about 6pm and we were running out of weekend. We spent the night in Gloucester and rode the last 100 miles back to Fredericksburg the next morning.

Our first side trip...
...took us to the Birthplace of George Washington.
I swear I saw a Keebler elf run into this tree.
Back to the main road we continue further down the Northern Neck.

In Montross, Virginia.

...we saw this cool old Coca-Cola bottling plant.

The nice weather didn't hold out. Rain threatening for a while, then came a real thunder boomer! Luckily, we spotted an abandoned old service station with a small portico. We quickly took shelter. Even though we had cover, the storm blew with such force that we still got a bit damp.
After about 30 minutes, the rain let up enough for us to continue our way with a slight change of route. We head across the Rappahannock River into Tappahannock in the hopes of avoiding more rain in the area. About 25 miles down the road at Church View, we found more threat of rain.

This time it looked like an even bigger storm. We decided to pull over when we had the chance and wait it out. A very nice woman named Sue was just leaving her house, but offered her porch to us for shelter.

Now this beats the old rundown station! Turns out it's the Dragon Run Inn Bed and Breakfast.
(http://www.dragon-run-inn.com/)

When the rainbow came out, we took it as a sign to get on the road and try again.

This time we took a slight detour to swing around the storm and rode the rest of the way to Cobbs Creek in the drizzle. Maybe we should look for some raingear to carry with us, ya think?!After having their famous BBQ sandwiches for supper, we left Cobbs Creek headed for the mouth of the York River. We spent the night in Williamsburg and rode back to the Colonial Parkway along the York River the next morning. It is believed that Pocahontas was born near the banks of the York River.

Colonial Parkway has some cool brick overpasses.

We weren't the only motorcycles taking advantage of the drive.

Near Jamestown we took the ferry across the James River into Surry County.

You can tell we are in Pocahontas territory. We cruised southeast through the southern Hampton Road area (Suffolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and into Virginia Beach). Virginia Beach is where the Chesapeake Bay opens up into the Atlantic Ocean. The only way to transverse the 17+ miles of the Chesapeake Bay is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) ... toll fee $12, even for a motorcycle! Ouch! At that price, this was not to be treated as a mere roadway, but as an adventure to be experienced! After all, it is one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World.
At the first manmade island, the road tunnels under water. This provides a clear channel for ships to enter into the Chesapeake Bay. This island even has a restaurant and gift shop! However, we didn't have time to waste shopping, another storm was brewing...fast!

...and it was coming our way...we better go if want to try to out run it. Looking back to where we just left...so far so good...we're still ahead of it.

We made it to the other side. Looks like we stayed ahead of it this time.

We are now officially on Virginia's Eastern Shore with the Chesapeake Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side.

This is at Hog Island Bay on the Atlantic side.There are still a lot of small Mom & Pop stores scattered all over the back roads.
Amazing what life is like when you get off the interstates.
This one is at Harborton on the Chesapeake Bay side.

This ends our ride on the Eastern Shore. On our way back across the CBBT ($5 for a return trip within 24 hours) we stopped for a cheeseburger at the restaurant. It was 9:30 that night before we came back across the Chesapeake Bay to the mainland. We stopped in Gloucester about 11pm for the night. Then the next morning rode the last 100 miles home.

#1 Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains

2005 July 9
185 miles


We took the bikes on a ride to Front Royal in Northern Virginia, drove down the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley to Luray and came back across the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail / Skyline Drive at Sperryville and on to Culpeper and back home again.

We took a shortcut near Opal, Virginia.

On the map, it looked like a good (at least paved) road all the way though to the highway on the other side. Here, the road looks fairly good. A few miles later, the surface went "rustic" in the way that makes you wish for a dual sport bike. Being on heavy cruiser bikes, we were a bit nervous when the bad asphalt turned to pea gravel. But we hung in there and hoped to see better surface around each corner we turned. Finally, after about 3-4 miles of gravel, we reached what would qualify as asphalt again. We were relieved to be back on a surface that the cruisers were happier on.

This is a little cafe & grocery store in Orlean, Virginia.

In Orlean, they still get the kind of transportation that needs to be hitched up.

Up from Opal, we came across the beautiful Oasis Vineyards.

I borrowed this aerial photo from the Oasis Vineyard's website. http://www.oasiswine.com/

Hume Road, that we were traveling, enters the picture at the bottom left and transverses the corner to the right - between the two ponds. You can see the entrance of Oasis Vineyards where the picture above was taken. That's the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

While there, we met Georgia, the Great Dane, and her people.

After driving through Front Royal, we followed along a stream…
...and arrived at our next stop at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Browntown, Virginia.
At Rudacille's General Merchandise in Browntown, we enjoyed a small bottle coke while the owner snapped our photo.
This is the inside looking out of the grocery store. It reminds me of a small grocery store I knew as a child located in Mullin, Texas. (Thanks for the memories Dimples & Dew!)




We left Browntown headed into the Shenandoah Valley.










In Culpeper, we stopped for a cheeseburger at Frost Cafe.
It was a good meal, at the end of a good day.