Blue Ridge Parkway/My favorite road Jarmans Blog #6


0 of 0 votes

Blue Ridge Parkway/My favorite road Jarmans Blog #6

469 miles, from Waynesboro to Cherokee North Carolina, the BRP is one of the most scenic and peaceful roads in the United States. It travels thru several National Parks with views and attractions all the way. Starting at the beginning at Afton Mountain the road gains in elevation with overlooks looking to the east. You won’t be long before you get to an attraction and trails for every member of the family. Humpback rocks is an exciting hike and the views from the top are awesome. Travel a bit further south and stop in at Ravens Roost. Panoramic views of the valley to stop and ponder a while. You’ll find the 45 mph speed limit comfortable as you progress south. Sometimes the rangers will set up radar so don’t be a hero.

As you get further south there is a section of about 15 miles before Roanoke where the scenery comes at you from both sides. Could be the most scenic section in Virginia. Also, when you get close to Roanoke be sure to take the side trip up to Roanoke Mountain. This is a very winding side road but the views at the top are well worth the effort.

As you travel further south a great lunch spot is Peaks of Otter Lodge. The twin peaks are perfectly visible from the restaurant. The lodge is also a great overnight spot with great rooms, a gift shop and a travel store. The trail up to Sharpe Top Mountain is also a “must do” if you have the time. About a 1 hour hike up very steep terrain but it pays for the effort with a top view that is 360 degrees. Be sure to take water and snacks, you’ll need it. This is one of my favorite overnight spots.

Further south the long climbs and passes give way to many exciting overlooks. Getting closer to the NC line you can get gas and take a cool stop at Meadows of Dan and a great eatery at Maybrey Mill. Breakfast all day and some of the best pancakes ever. A great little store/restaurant with friendly folks. Lots of local things to buy and great snacks and sandwiches. Meadows of Dan is the crossroads for Rt. 58 which if you head east is Martinsville and west is Hillsville. Both are historic and make great places to side visit.

Just a little further towards NC is the exit for Mt. Airey. This is a great little town for tourist. Great hotels and a main street that is right out of Andy of Mayberry. Lots of shops to browse thru and sights to see. Candy stores, music stores, fountain shops, and everything in between. If you have the time this is a good place to spend some time.

Heading south are many more attractions as you get closer to Boone. Just before is the Northeast Trading Post. Stop for restrooms, awesome snacks, a lot of homemade baked goods, jewelry, and friendly southern folks. It is a favorite stop for bikers with shade trees and soft green grass just made for taking a quick nap. I will always stop here. Try the homemade mini Loaf cakes. Yummmm!

Next time I’ll get us further down the road, but as for now I’ll say good day. Until next time,

Detour in life/ stuff happens


5 of 1 votes

Detour in life/ stuff happens
Man, just when you think things are looking up, you get hit with the big flyswatter in the sky. Here I am telling everyone how to enjoy motorcycling and I have to take a personal detour. This year I started having Syncope or black out spells. They come from out of nowhere, with no warning and “BANG” you’re on the ground or face down on the concrete. The final straw came 2 weeks ago while riding to watch my sons at a practice track when the next thing I know I’m waking up laying flat on my back in the middle of Rt. 460. There was a lady trying to get my helmet off when I woke up. When I came to, I actually stood up and there was a fire engine, a ranger, a nurse and I could hear sirens heading our way. A police officer asked what had happened and I reluctantly said I didn’t know but that I thought I was alright. I wasn’t going to tell him I blacked out. That was scary. I got the bike up, thanked everyone and rode on to my destination. I was a little dizzy but alright. When I go to the track my sons knew something was wrong as my helmet was all scratched up and the bike had scrapes and damage down one side.

So somehow I was going to have to get my bike home because my sons were afraid for me to ride. Eventually I convinced them I could make it, so I made the 65 mile trek home with one of them following me the whole way. Great young men! Now I was going to have to tell the wife what had happened. She wasn’t going to take it well as this had never happened while riding or driving. This time it was different.
So we call the cardiologist and make an appointment to have an EP study done. This is where they run wires up in to your heart to test how it is firing. Much like a diagnostic for your car. The doc says there is a possibility he will have to install a pacemaker, to which I reply, “no way”. They are for old people. So he puts it to me this way, say you have a spell while driving and hurt or injure a child or so. Man, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself so I sign the paper.

I wake up from the test with a lump in my left chest knowing that he has installed the hardware that I will have for the rest of my life. After a while the doc comes in to tell me what he found. He explains that one of my chambers was not firing properly. While the upper chamber was firing at 140 bpm, the bottom was only firing at 30. So there would be times when my brain was not getting enough blood and I would black out. Would it happen again? Yep, but now with the pacemaker probably not. So, modern medicine strikes down another malady.

Recovery would not be so bad. Could drive in 2 days, couldn’t lift anything over 10 lbs. for a week, but he says no motorcycling for 6 weeks. No way! How much different is it from driving a car? Not much, except for the exposure thing. We’ll see about this.
Some things I learned when I crashed:
1.Wear a full faced helmet. Too many people think it is cool to wear the lids or open helmets. If I hadn’t had on a good full faced helmet, I would not have a face right now. Proof is in the putting.
2. Wear a good jacket with shoulder and elbow protection. I had no injury to arms or torso. I had on a good jacket.
3.Wear good gloves. I had no damage to my hands. I had great leather gloves on.
4. Wear pants with knee protection. I had on jeans. I scraped all the skin off of my knees. This has been very painful. I will never ride without these, ever!
5.Listen to your doctor. The first sign of dizziness or black out, get it checked out, do not hesitate.
6.Do not be a hero or have such an ego that you are infallible. We are all human.
7.Don’t be afraid to know that God watches over us and keeps us safe. It’s OK to believe. He saved me that day.
Until next time,

It's Time To Take A Trip.


5 of 1 votes

It’s time to take a trip. Let’s start with one of my favorite day rides. Whatever your starting place you need to end up on Rt. 250 west across Afton Mountain and thru Waynesboro and Staunton. In Waynesboro you need to take 340 west to Staunton and pick up 250w again. Here the fun and scenery begin. As you progress on 250 at about 15 miles out of Staunton there is an overlook on the right side that you don’t want to miss. From there keep west to Monterey. There is a store and gas there so it’s a welcome stop. After the break, head south on Rt. 220 South towards Warm Springs. This 35 mile section of road travels thru the valley with great mountain views on either side along with some well-kept, scenic farms. (There are restaurants in Warm Spring for lunch, I suggest Cucci’s) Once you get to Warm Springs you’ll turn left on to Rt. 39 towards Goshen. This road is one of the most scenic in Virginia.
At the top of the 1st climb is the most beautiful overlook in Virginia. Spend some time and take pictures. It’s a great memory, with the ability to see almost 80 miles. Leaving there and coming down the mountain towards Goshen, be really careful because it is one of Va. State Police’s favorite places to set up radar. Watch for sudden speed signs as they will hide almost anywhere. There are a couple of places of interest along this stretch so be on the lookout for awesome photo opportunities. The river runs beside the road for many miles. There are lots of picnic areas and fishing spots. 39 ends up at Lexington and runs in to Rt. 11, so take that north for 15 miles and turn right on Rt. 56 which takes you to the Blue Ridge Parkway. (my favorite road) 56 is extremely curvey so keep your wits about you. Here you can decide to take the Parkway north to Afton or continue on 56 thru Crabtree Falls to Wintergreen and 6 to Rt. 29 and on home. Keep in mind this is an all day ride. Take your time and enjoy the views. Stay hydrated and take lots of pictures.
Next time we’ll go down the Parkway. See ya then. AC



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