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Discussion Starter #1
It’s been a long time since Rick and I managed to escape Florida for a vacation. Between jobs and family health problems we have just not been able to get away.
I decided to try something different and so on Saturday October 31 we are taking both bikes on the Auto Train from Sanford FL to Lorton VA. I wish we could do this earlier but this is the soonest we can make it work and spring 2010 is not looking good either.
I’m looking for insight on what to expect, what to be sure to pack and what roads and sights not to miss. I’m thinking a week to ride back to Gainesville taking in as much fun as possible and using motels (we are NOT camping) and friends along the way.
 

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Hi Winnie!
I haven't logged on here in a while, and when I did this morning I saw this request, so I thought I would offer my 2 cents.

When you get off the train be prepared for heavy traffic and congestion. Be ready for cold weather also, as that time of year the weather is unpredictable, It could be pleasant or really cold. Keep in mind, the higher the elevation, the colder it will be.

If you have never ridden Skyline Drive, head west to Front Royal and get on at the north end, follow it to it's south end (at Waynesboro) and then get on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can't go wrong with this road, unless it is snowing, of course.

Along the way you might want to stop at Natural Bridge (VA) to see the bridge and maybe the caverns. Roughly 5 miles north of there on US11 is one of my all time favorite restaurants, the Pink Cadillac Diner. It is a fun 50's theme place with great food, especially the onion rings. As you go north from Natural Bridge on US11 look for Foamhenge on the west side of the road.

Take your time through Virginia, see the sights and meet the people.

I hope you and Rick are doing well and have a great trip!
 

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It’s been a long time since Rick and I managed to escape Florida for a vacation. Between jobs and family health problems we have just not been able to get away.
I decided to try something different and so on Saturday October 31 we are taking both bikes on the Auto Train from Sanford FL to Lorton VA. I wish we could do this earlier but this is the soonest we can make it work and spring 2010 is not looking good either.
I’m looking for insight on what to expect, what to be sure to pack and what roads and sights not to miss. I’m thinking a week to ride back to Gainesville taking in as much fun as possible and using motels (we are NOT camping) and friends along the way.
Let me know if you plan to head towards the Asheville area.
 

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Hi everyone!

It's been a long time. I miss my big bad Vee and all of the grat FLA troopers but $$ is hard to come by this year. Nearly bought a Triumph ST a few months ago but I shook myself and decided I really can't afford that right now.

Anyway, every year I go up to Virginia and ride bicycles for a week. Normally in the southwestern part of the state. They have tons of roads they call "byways". Lots to see. Probably too much to see if you are a history buff.

Yes the Natural Bridge/Goshen Pass/Lexington area is great. Charlottesville is a real neat town. Sort of like Gainesville with a lot of history, Order these maps:

http://virginiadot.org/programs/prog-byways.asp

Maybe this fall I can rent a Harley or a Gold Wing and have a ride with you folks. I really have been craving one of those fish sammiches in Crescent City

Be well

Rod
 

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Well good Ole' readytoride gave you all the good advice first!

I still have a brother living in Maryland and since I'm from the DC, Maryland area I go up as much as I can to see him. But yeah, what readytoride said about the weather. Late October Skyline Drive should be neat. Should be some color changing going on, but also it will def be cool to cold in the evenings. I just drove Skyline from the north side down to Waynesboro, staid the night, then rode back north. Great ride. Our first day though was cloudy, very foggy, etc. The second day was clear and just beautiful. Neat little restaurant in the middle of Skyline, but I forget the name.

My ride day 1 http://public.fotki.com/FLjim/2008-shenandoah-adv/
Day 2 http://public.fotki.com/FLjim/2008-shenadoah-adve/

Have Fun!!!!
 

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.....so on Saturday October 31 we are taking both bikes on the Auto Train from Sanford FL to Lorton VA. .....I’m looking for insight on what to expect
Hey Winnie, I don't remember if you know Streits well or not but if you do, and you know long long long time parts guy Fred.... he's used the car train for bikes a lot and could give you the 'what to expect' on that issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You guys are GREAT!

Thank you everyone for your advice. I'm making notes on all of this. I know we need to be flexible since weather can be a factor but it's still nice to have some tentative plans with lots of room for adjustments.

John's (Oldstorm), wife (Melodie) sent me a list of her favorite spots in VA also. She is a traveling gal, what I aspire to be if I ever make it to retirement :)

Mike, Jim and Rod, AWESOME!

Norman, Sure hope we meet you and your wife on this trip. Before we leave I'll get your contact info.

Roy,
Great to hear form you. I do know Fred and I will give him a call.

Hopefully as the weather here improves we can plan some rides together!
 

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Hi Winnie, I have made this trip (AutoTrain) a dozen times (with motorcycles)
Its a real time saver to say the least,,,its great fun as well,,,in fact
I have a reservation for Oct 6th...if you would like to call me let
me know and I will give you my number.

Keep in mind on the weekends during "leaf peeping" season the
Skyline Drive and a lot of BRPW are often bumper to bumper. Travel
during the week if possible.

P.S. go to WallyWorld and get one of those 5 dollar pillows
and just leave it on the train when you arrive at Lorton...

Mike

RuralRider
New Smyrna Beach
 

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Keep in mind on the weekends during "leaf peeping" season the
Skyline Drive and a lot of BRPW are often bumper to bumper.
The Peepers are usually mostly gone by Halloween, as are the subjects of their worship.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Peepers are usually mostly gone by Halloween, as are the subjects of their worship.
I'm hoping for a late fall. Early November was the soonest we could get away. It all Rick's fault. He volunteered for a combined driving (horses not cars) event in early October that will keep him busy for two weeks. If we get stuck in snow and ice it is all his fault.
 

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I'm hoping for a late fall. Early November was the soonest we could get away. It all Rick's fault. He volunteered for a combined driving (horses not cars) event in early October that will keep him busy for two weeks. If we get stuck in snow and ice it is all his fault.
No real risk of snow or ice in WNC, except maybe on the BRP, which is quite unlikely as well. Count on chilly mornings in the 40's and highs in the 50's to an occasional 70.

The colors usually peak the third week of October around here, probably a little earlier in Virginia.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We're BACK!!!

What a great vacation we had.
Rick’s sportster all ready to go:

The autotrain was a blast. Our bikes were quickly loaded and strapped down:




They place them on dollies and use a small tractor to place them in the auto cars.


Our compartment was comfortable, the food was great and the staff was friendly and attentive. What a way to travel. We left Sanford FL at 4 pm and by 9 am the next morning we were in Lorton VA just west of D.C. It was raining lightly as we retrieved the bikes and headed to the northern end of the Skyline Drive, Front Royal. It rained pretty heavily most of the 2 hour route but the rain ended and the sky turned blue just as we arrived at the motel. We opted for an early stop to dry out.
The weather turned cool the next day and cooler each day but it was dry and beautiful.

One morning we had a good thick fog and a little ice on the bikes:


The next morning our bikes looked like this!:jawdrop:




Fall colors were past peak but there were still some lovely things to look at.

Somewhere underneath all that gear is a really cute guy :yesnod:

Deer, turkey and even a bear were plentiful and we rode cautiously. There was practically no traffic on either the BRP or the Skyline. I know we sometimes went a half hour without seeing another vehicle.

When we arrived in Asheville we met Stromin'Nroman, his wife and daughter and Norman showed us some lovely places to ride. I really envy anyone living so close to these beautiful roads.


Eight days after leaving FLA we arrived back. Total miles riding was a bit over 1400. I’ve got to say it was one of the best vacations ever.
 

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Great pictures Winnie!!!! Glad you folks had such a great trip. Beautiful area and superb riding.
When are we going to get together again??????
 

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Winnie,

It was great meeting you and Rick.

I hope you enjoyed the mini-tour, even the leaf-strewn NC151.

Here are a few shots I took:

Here we are at the overlook on the BRP. My house is somewhere down there.

[/IMG]

This is the Floridians headed down US276 from the BRP to Brevard.

[/IMG]

Winnie and Rick aren't the only V-Strom/Harley couple on this forum

[/IMG]

Another shot on US276

[/IMG]

Here's a panarama from the BRP

[/IMG]

Thanks again for dropping by, you got me out of the house for some much needed R&R (riding and relaxation).

[/IMG]
 

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Winnie:

I'm glad you enjoyed your ride. I rode from Front Royal to Asheville on the Sky Line/ BRP as well in early Oct. after picking up my BMW K1300GT in NJ. What a ride it was! I will more than likely put my beloved Wee Strom up for sale. I don't need 2 bikes.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Winnie:

I'm glad you enjoyed your ride. I rode from Front Royal to Asheville on the Sky Line/ BRP as well in early Oct. after picking up my BMW K1300GT in NJ. What a ride it was! I will more than likely put my beloved Wee Strom up for sale. I don't need 2 bikes.

Tim
Tim,

No one NEEDS two bikes. Let's not make any rash decisions.

Please do not tell your wife I siad that.

:angel_17:
 

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Hey, I just found a video my daughter show while we were headed down US276 to Caesar's Head. That's Winnie out front with Rick following on his 1200 Sporty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8j_YJAN94g

Had a great time, hope you're enjoying your return to work, I certainly am.


* italicized for irony
 

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Winnie,

So glad the weather gods smiled on you and rick. It's trips like this that make riding seem like the best thing in the world to do. Days that you wish you could do over and over.

mel and john
 
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