The Road to Damascus

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June 28th 2020
Published: June 30th 2020
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There are many routes from Arlington to Damascus VA, the starting point of the Mid Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR). Most of them require using I 81, a truck filled artery linking the gritty underbellies of the Mid Atlantic states. This freeway strikes fear into the hearts of ordinary four wheeled motorists -- and panic into two wheelers like myself. So Beth and I chose the most round about option, and started for Highland County, Virginia, where we spent Saturday night (June 27). Sunday I started South, following small roads winding through the valleys of West Virginia. It was a perfect day, and with no one on the roads, the motorcycle was in its element. I eventually came up against the huge I 77 which carves its way through West Virginia, and took that through two huge tunnels to I 81 for the final lap to Abingdon.

There seems to be a consistent belt of rain running East West across SW Virginia, from Bland to Roanoke. Whenever I go through that part of the world I get wet, and today was no exception. The summer storm drenched us all, and proved a good test for my recently waterproofed suit and boots (some leaks, what can you expect).

Checked into the Covid aware hotel -- masks and distancing required -- no restaurant service -- and met up with two more bikers headed for the BDR, from Indiana no less. Big new bikes. Bad tires. I'm not sure they will get far. Running back in the rain with my takeout dinner I realized how different, and lonely, this trip was going to be.


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