Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Reach a High Point

Back in late-August, we enjoyed one of those picture-perfect days for motorcycling. Those are the kind of days one daydreams about on days like today when it's like 20 degrees and snowing.

We left the WV place around 11:00 and rode just over 190 miles from north through West Virginia, into Maryland and then into Pennsylvania. We then headed west back into West Virginia and south, skirting the far western edge of Maryland. We stopped briefly in Rowlesburg, West Virginia before heading east again into Maryland and then back into West Virginia.

Confused? This map should make it easier, depending who you are. Map-reading is one of those skills technology (GPS) seems to be making obsolete.

Overview of the ride.

I love maps. Planning our rides is fun for me. Once I have the ride all mapped out, I write the route on a piece of paper and stick it in my tank bag, which has a special, see-through spot for that exact purpose.

It really was a great ride. Temperatures in the mountains were near-perfect. There were some repeat roads, but there were a few new ones, too. Some of the roads were a bit rough, but the scenery was so pretty, it was worth it. At one point, I was 95% sure I’d turned onto the wrong road and gotten us lost. But the road we were on was so pretty, I just didn’t care. One is never REALLY lost as long as one has a map.

We got to Rowlesburg via CR-51 Salt Lick Road from Terra Alta. We’d been to Rowlesburg before, but had never arrived by this route. CR-51 is a pretty narrow, winding road. It may not be the quickest or most picturesque way to get from point A to point B, but it’s fun putting along roads like this seeing how folks live. The picturesque route would have been to take SR-7 west from Terra Alta then SR-72 south at Kingwood. This route, which we’ve ridden a couple of times previously, parallels the Cheat River.

Rowlesburg is a cute little town in a very pretty location, but it has seen better days. It’s one of those railroad towns of which there are plenty in the Appalachian Mountains that thrived in a different era, but struggles to hang on today. It’s doing better than most, however, so if you are in the area, be sure to stop by for a visit.

Hubby waiting for me to finish documenting the trip. He's a great sport.

Here’s a bit of Rowlesburg’s history if you are interested. Nice place, but still not aforementioned the high point.

After that, we continued to US-50 and headed east. I’d always wanted to visit Cathedral State Park, which is where we stopped for lunch.

Hubby posed with our little picnic spread of bread, cheeses, pepperoni and olives. YUM.

We found a nice little shady spot to eat our lunch, which we’d picked up much earlier in the day at the huge Martin’s grocery store in Lavale, MD.

The trail through the hemlock forest.

I want to go back to Cathedral State Park one day for a hike. Doesn’t it look like a nice place for a stroll?

Hubby waiting patiently. Again.

The picnic was awesome. But it’s still not the high point. Want to know what the high point was?

At 3,213 feet, Mt. Davis is the highest point of elevation in Pennsylvania.

It was a literal high point. If you’d like, you can check out this map of state high points.


Shybiker said...

Great post! Looks like a terrific trip.

I like these areas of the country and will add your roads to my list of places to ride. And I agree with you about maps -- they make travel fun!

ToadMama said...

That was definitely a trip to remember. It's fun reliving it as I go through old pics to assemble information. One of the things I'd also like to do here is post the actual Streets & Trips map files for people to download. I'll have a long list of roads for you, Ralph. Thanks for stopping by. And for becoming a follower. :-)

Michael said...

I was passed along a link from a friend on Twitter. I really enjoyed this. I am sitting here in Albany, NY with a fresh 10 plus inches of snow on top of the 8 or so that fell over the weekend. I am sitting here looking out the window dreaming of a summer day as you mentioned.

This looks like a great loop. I love loops! Especially when you find that one amazing road. I really enjoyed this read and will be back for more!

ToadMama said...

Michael, thanks for stopping by! It was a great loop. I'm so glad you popped in for a visit.