|This article tells the tale of Thomas's first real roadtrip on his new-to-him Nighthawk 750. The trip sounds like a great time for any biker!|
Thomas Wolfe's first big Nighthawk roadtrip.
I've had my '91 NH750 for about 2 1/2 months, but the farthest I've been is 3 hours away in the mountains.
This past week, I took it on vacation from Huntington, WV to Cape Charles, VA on the Eastern Shore of Va.
The bike did very well and had no problems except I had to put about 1/8 qt of oil in before heading home.
Starting from Huntington, I went on I-64 to Charleston, WV and got off the interstate (I hate interstates). From there I caught Route 60E to Gauley Bridge. Nice area with a small set of waterfalls in the Kanawha River.
Met a guy on a Goldwing that told me he bought a Nighthawk for his wife, but she couldn't handle it that well in curves.
From there, I took Route 39 from Gauley Bridge all the way to Lexington, VA, going on the Highland Scenic Highway near Richwood, WV.
If you are ever in the mountains of West Virginia, the Highland Scenic Highway (part of Rt 39 and all of Rt 150) is a must-see. It's a 43 mile road that snakes its way through the Monongahela National Forest. The two main attractions on the road are Cranberry Glades, which is a mountain wetland area with plant life that's usually only found in Canada, and the Falls of Hills Creek, which is a series of three waterfalls with the longest at 65 feet. After the falls, the highway turns north onto Rt 150 and climbs a couple mountains with spectacular views.
I then left Rt 150 and traced Rt 219 back down to Rt 39 and continued east to Virginia. Rt 39 in Virginia is a nice ride with gentle rolling hills with lots of horse farms.
At Lexington, VA, I got onto I-81S and ended up in Lynchburg where I stayed at my grandmother's house for the night.
The rest of the trip was your general boring ride on heavily populated interstate road to Virginia Beach. There, I turned north and crossed the Cheasapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It's a $10.00 toll no matter if you are on a motorcycle or in a cage.
Oh well...the destination was about 8 miles north of where the Bridge-Tunnel ends. Cape Charles is a small town with a beach out on Chesapeake Bay. I took along some of my snorkeling gear, but the water was dark with sand and silt and I could only see about 2 feet in front of me. Enough to poke at some blue crabs that were resting under water on the rocks. [:)]
After a week, I basically re-traced my route back to Huntington.
I decided to ride about 20 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Lynchburg to Buena Vista. I'm going to have to go back there and ride the whole thing soon. I passed a trio of other NH riders.
I joined a convoy of about 10 Goldwings on Rt 39 through Goshen Pass. I watched them get close to scraping the bottom of their hard luggage on some of the curves. They are basically huge RV's on 2 wheels.
Back in WV, I watched a trio of sportbike riders rocket past me doing about 100 mph in the curvy mountain roads. I hope they didn't meet any loose gravel going that fast.
I stopped at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, which is a ski resort that I go to in the winter and had lunch at the Foxfire Grille on the top of the mountain. If you are ever there, try the Hunka-Hunka Barbecue Burger. Very good. The ski mountain is upside-down, meaning that you ride up a road that takes you to the summit and all of the condos, restaurants and shops are at the top and you ski down from there.
From there, I rode Rt 219N to Rt 15W. Lots of twisties. In my opinion, one of the best riding/driving roads in WV. After fun in the twisties, I rode the interstate back to Huntington.
One thing, though. Virginia Beach traffic sucks. I was stuck in 0-15 mph traffic on I-64 from Va. Beach to halfway to Richmond.
Well, I hope I haven't bored you with this trip report, but I figured some of you may like to know what West Virginia country roads are like.