Fleeter Log #140
Old Buildings with Something Still To Say
Day 1 - Saturday
May 23, 2009
The holiday weekend is deep underway by the time we join the travelers on the road this afternoon. A late start doesn't bother us much since we have no ambitious plans for high miles today . . . or any day of this long weekend outing. We just want to get into southwestern Virginia and set ourselves up to ride into the mountains along the West Virginia and Virginia state lines tomorrow.
We find that we have time to get off the freeway once past Roanoke. South of Blacksburg, we take a smaller road to Snowville and spy some kids taking a holiday of their own.
The late afternoon sun shines on the Snowville Masonic Lodge #159, chartered in 1865.
We stop for the night in Wytheville, Virginia. This will leave us a brisk ride west on I77 in the morning, putting us into the hills of West Virginia.
Day 2 - Sunday
May 24, 2009
Just before crossing the state line into West Virginia, we rounded a turn and found this ghost of days past.
Even though the building has seen better days and is apparently in the winter of its existence, it still serves a purpose.
The rock walls have something to say...
"Live for today . . . because there is no tomorrow."
Most motorcyclists should be able to relate to this message.
Bramwell, West Virginia is a small town that most people won't just happen to pass through on their way to other destinations. Yet when fleetering, the roads less traveled are more appealing and I find myself drawn to them. That said, I have found myself in Bramwell three times over the past three years. In the late 1800s, Bramwell was known as the Town of Millionaires since more of them lived here than any other place of its size. The millionaires acquired their riches from the mining business. Some came from nearby states and some came from a faraway place known as England. One of the first to arrive was Joseph H. Bramwell, a civil engineer from New York. He ran the town's post office and bestowed his name upon the growing community. Many of those that made their fortunes in the late 1880s, found their fortunes slipping away when the coal fields starting faltering, then lost what was left during the Great Depression, but not Joseph H. Bramwell. He was not so attached to his namesake to feel obliged to stick around. He packed up his fortune and moved to Switzerland. Bramwell is built on a horseshoe loop of the Bluestone River; therefore, it has many bridges for such a small town.
Day 3 - Monday
May 25, 2009
We overnight in Danville, Virginia in mid-southern Virginia and then follow along just north of the Virginia state line. We stop for fuel and a soda where we meet Brenda, the store operator. She was taken with the motorcycles and the idea of just saddling up and riding. She agreed to sidle up next to the GS for a photo.
Another small town, White Plains is not much more than a General Store with a post office attached.