Highway 50 2017

Day 04

June 19

  With daylight on us, we load the bikes and we're on the road again.  
  The way out of town is a nice tree-lined avenue.  
  But that pesky cloud of Andy's keeps a close eye on us, just waiting to dump a load of water at the most inappropriate time.  
  As we near West Virginia, we get into some lovely twisties.  
  There's a neat old iron bridge across the Cacapon River in West Virginia.  
  Then we are force to ride some more nice twisties. It is a tough job, but we are the men for it.  
  At regular intervals, I see the sign of the Mother Road.  
  Sprinkled along the highway we often see beautiful old church buildings like this one.  
  And in Romney, I catch a view of what appears to be an old Coca-Cola plant.  
  Romney, West Virginia is like so many other small towns I will pass through on this journey of over 3,000 miles. It gives you a feel for what the real America is like - not the tabloid, Hollywooded version people see so often.  
  Soon we arrive at area where they have put down brand new pavement just for us. In fact it is so new, they don't even have the lines painted as of yet.  
  We pass another interesting old house that appears to have been built to last and withstand attacks from enemies and the weather.  
  As I look out over the hillsides, I see mushrooms of a different sort. I understand their purpose and their function, but they sure are ugly in my eyes.  
  But soon we are back to even more delightful twisties as we head across West Virginia.  
  We arrive in Maryland but it only lasts for less than 10 miles.  
  But up ahead is not the sort of news you want to see.  
  Fortunately, there is a detour and it happens to take us right by this pretty old church and parsonage.  
  And at least the detour signs are good and my GPS 'agrees' with the detour.  
  On the way we pass another interesting old house that makes you wonder if it was a road house in the old days.  
  Soon we are back on the Mother Road but it is a wet Mother Road.  
  And as I learned from previous trips, the painted lines can be really slick when they are wet, so we've got to be careful.  

It's pouring down rain now and it's time for gas and breakfast anyway. This place looks sort of interesting. A lady comes out to pump our gas since it's full service. I tell her -

"I appreciate it, but I can just do myself. By the way, is there a restaurant inside a feller could get some breakfast?"

She says -

"I have to come out anyway cause of the boss lady. But yes we serve breakfast all day."

  It's quite a place - a restaurant, a general store and a hardware store all rolled into one.  
  You name it and you could probably find it on one of the shelves.  
  And the breakfast is a real winner with some of the best local sausage and gravy I've had in a while.  
  And not wanting to seem unthankful, I make sure I clean my plate real well.  
  We look outside, and it is still raining buckets. So we get our rain suits back on and saddle up.  
  With the rain comes the fog so it's kick back a bit and keep your eyes open for 4 wheeled assassins and 4 legged assassins.  
  But a good day riding in the rain is still better than a good day at work so we soldier on.  
  On a hillside sits another interesting old house with a stately turret on the end.  
  Finally, up ahead we see a ray of hope - or is that a ray of sunshine?  
  And as quick as you can say 'What Happened?" we pop out under some lovely blue skies again.  
  As we cross this bridge, I'm kind of taken by the unusual bridge structure. I guess to goes back to my intentions of being an engineer one day.  
  When I see this sign, I ponder just how a feller could be going west and south at the same time ...  
  We're in the heart of Ohio farm country now as I see this old farm house surrounded by tin roofed outbuildings.  
  Thankfully, we're back on the two lane version of Highway 50 instead of the four lane one.  
  I see another old country house, but this one appears to date back to the 1800's from what I can tell.  
  Further down, there's one that has the need for a wee bit of carpentry skills. But this could be a real 'fixer upper' with a little imagination ...  

In McArthur, Ohio it's time for a de-fuel and refuel break for us. I notice some more riders that have pulled up. As I usually do, I walk over to see where they're from and where they're headed. They have just started on their trip and are really looking forward to it. It's just a habit of mine to glance at the rear tires. When I look down at the rear tire of the cruiser I'm standing beside, I say -

"Fellers, do you see those white stripes? This rear is down to the threads. I sure wouldn't plan on getting too far down the road on it."

I can see and feel their hearts sink as this is there first day out. I suggest a couple of places in the area that might have tires and they get busy on their phones. I wish them well and head back to our bikes. I hope that maybe I've saved them from some real heartbreak on down the road.

  When I pass this house, I'm thinking that roof needs a little paint if it's going to last much longer.  
  Highway 50 takes us right through the middle of Chillicothe, Ohio and right by the recently restored Carlisle Building, built in 1885. It has a very interesting history as it was almost demolished before the restoration.  
  But soon after we're out of town, we're into a major construction zone.  
  The scenes are constantly changing before us from open farm land and rolling hills ...  
  to all American small towns.  
  And in most small towns, they have an interesting bit of history like the old Highland House in Hillsboro, Ohio. It's a former tavern and stagecoach stop that now houses the Highland County Historical Society.  
  As we pass by this building in Hillsboro, I have to wonder is this real gold or not?  
  Back out in the country, we hit another detour off of Highway 50.  
  It takes us by another field that makes me wonder - wheat straw or wheat?  
  I've seen some interesting trimmed trees in my day, but this really catches my eye.  
  When we enter Owensville, I notice that they have pictures of those who gave all during the various wars.  
  These men were fathers, brothers, and sons to someone and it is wonderful that the town does them honor.  
  Soon we leave the town behind for some more twisties to explore.  
  As we approach Cincinnati, I am bit concerned that it is near rush hour, near the end of the day, and that we will spend several hours to get through it. But the big surprise is that Highway 50 is a tree lined sanctuary through the southern edge of the city.  
  It flows through an art district as it meanders along the river.  
  Traffic is really light and this part of the ride turns into a very pleasant surprise.  
  Soon we leave Ohio behind and cross over into Indiana. From here I know it is just a short hop to the motel.  
  The remaining few miles are lined by various pretty wildflowers ...  
  and interesting old houses.  
  Pretty soon we are at our abode for the evening.  
  One of the reasons I booked this motel was because there was a Cracker Barrel right next door. I figured after a 500+ mile ride we'd be ready for an easy, predictable supper.  

During and after supper Andy and I talk about tomorrow and the rides going forward. From here, the next two days are going to close to 600 miles each and he is about exhausted from the 500 mile ride today. I tell him -

"Well, you've got to do what is best for you physically. Now is the place to head back if that's what you need to do. The next stop is past Kansas City and that would be a long ride back. Here you can just jump on I65 or maybe take 31 or 41 back home."

He decides that is the smart thing to do at this point for him. I will miss him on the rest of the trip, but I'm fine with my own company. Riding long distances solo is something I've done a lot and and I enjoy it. Since I've got miles to do tomorrow, I decide I'll get out early and catch breakfast somewhere on the road. With that knitting tended to, I'm gone faster than a burnt out light bulb.