Luray, Virginia…What a Gem!

September 26-28, 2016

Before I get started…VIRGINIA HAS A HELMET LAW!

We only stayed 2 days (at Jellystone RV Park http://campluray.com/rv-tent-campsites/#RVSITES, just outside of town).

We unloaded the Harley’s & decided to take a little ride through town.  This is definitely a 1 stop light town.

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As we’re cruising through town at 25 mph we passed a cop sitting in a parking lot off to the left.  We didn’t think anything about it.

We were almost to the end of town, which took less than 5 minutes, and Georgie noticed he was behind us.  No worries. 

We get to the end of town, pull in a parking lot to turn around, and the cop follows us.

We stop, turn off the bikes and get off.  He stops and gets out of his SUV.  Georgie asks, “Can I help you?”  The cop is smiling and says, “I saw you ride by me and I noticed you didn’t have helmets on.  I was sure Virginia still had a helmet law but thought maybe I was wrong.  I called the station to double check.  Yep, we still had a helmet law.”

Our faces drop, mouths wide open!  SHIT!  We had been so good about checking each state.  We had only been riding in states that didn’t have any helmet laws. (We don’t own any helmets any more)

The cop asked us if we can call someone to bring us helmets.  We explain that we were just visiting.  We didn’t know anyone here plus we didn’t own any helmets, that we were staying at Jellystone RV Park.

The 3 of us kind of chuckle.  He asked the same thing again.

Georgie asks him if he can just give us a warning. 

He takes our drivers licenses back to his car.  He comes back in a couple minutes.  He asks us the same thing…again.  Nope.  Nothing changed in the last few minutes.  We hadn’t met anybody in the last 3 minutes.  We still didn’t have any helmets.

He hands us our licenses and says, “I’m going to the station…this way (pointing to his right).  You go to your campground that way (pointing to his left).  I’ll leave 1st.”

Talk about luck!  We were damn lucky we got stopped by a really nice cop!

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We rode straight back to the campground and immediately loaded the bikes in the rig.  Done riding in Virginia.

And now…the reason we stopped in this little town. 

This is the little town of Luray, VA. (population 4,895)

http://www.townofluray.com/visitor-information.html

It sits in the Shenandoah Valley at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 90 miles west of Washington, DC, 10 miles east of I-81.

We traveled I-81 coming & going to Pennsylvania more times than I can count.  We never even heard of Luray or their famous caverns.  Guess we were always in a hurry.  Now that we are retired we have all the time in the world to pay more attention to all the sites…both well known and hidden gems…like Luray Caverns http://luraycaverns.com.

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It took us about 1 1/2 hours to go through the caverns.  It was hard to pick just a few pictures so I didn’t even try.  This is a MUST SEE if you are in the area.

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They also had this really nice antique car museum.  These aren’t all the cars by any stretch of the imagination, just some we thought were pretty cool!

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These are just a few of about 50+. 

 

NOW we’re headed to Florida…but this was a stop worth making!

Our Adventures in South Dakota…

August 26 – September 5, 2016

Left Cheyenne, WY and got to the Black Hills the same day.  We stayed in Keystone, SD (pop. 347) Pictures of Keystone, SD 2016 and camped at Holy Smoke RV Park.
Holy Smoke RV Park.
This was really a nice little park about 5 miles from Mt. Rushmore, National Park Service Mount Rushmore.  We took some really cool rides while we were here.

More Pictures of Mt. Rushmore, SD
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We rode to Sturgis, SD (pop. 6,883) & Deadwood, SD (pop. 1,270).

Sturgis, Sturgis Website, was just a dinky little town.  Maybe 1 stop light at the most.  I think the biggest business there was the Harley dealership.  We were there the week after the rally (thank God!)  The population in this little 2 horse town grows to over 1/2 million people for this one week!  I don’t even like a crowded elevator!  We’ve been to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, several times.  This is a much, much larger city (pop. 61,000) and they get around 1/2 million people for this!  There’s a lot more room to put that many people!

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Deadwood, Deadwood Website, on the other hand was an old, national historic landmark.  The cemetery, Mount Moriah Cemetery, is where Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, as well as other notable wild west outlaws are buried.
There’s a museum, plenty of gaming halls & casino’s, a gold mine and quite a few places to eat & shop.  20160828_130500
The HBO series, Deadwood, was based on this little town.  When talking to some of the local’s, they said that HBO spent quite a bit of time there doing research on the true history as well as the original saloon where Wild Bill was shot.  The series buildings were modeled after the buildings in town.  Pretty cool.

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We took a ride through Custer State Park, South Dakota Custer State Park.  Beautiful!  We came across a herd of about 200 wild bison.  We had to stop as they walked across the rode…coming very, very close to my bike.  I think I might have shit a little in my jeans.  I didn’t move!  They just meandered by in no hurry at all!
Georgie took a ride the next day by himself (I didn’t mind a little “alone time”).  He called after being gone an hour or so and could hardly speak.  He had been almost trapped by 1000 or so bison!  He said one stopped right in front of his bike and just gave him the hairy eyeball!  He wasn’t sure what to do.  It finally walked off but left him a little nervous.

We rode Needles Highway, Black Hills Needles Highway, part of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, Highway 87.  This road was way too cool!  Only motorcycles or small cars could fit through some of the tunnels…like threading a needle.

More Needles Highway…

Also on our list of rides there was Iron Mountain Road (16A), http://www.allblackhills.com/scenic_drives/iron_mountain_road.php.  It was part of Custer State Park.

 

 

A Little “Ditty” We Kept Passing Between Cortez, CO & Durango, CO…

20160721_110747Abandon Sinclair Gas Station

37001 US 160          Mancos, Colorado 81328

 

 

You can’t miss this huge “toxic site” on the drive along Highway 160 in between Mesa Verde and Mancos/Durango.
The signs warning about toxic contamination and blaming the state of Colorado for a massive fuel spill are pretty jarring.
Located on Highway 160 in between Mesa Verde National Park and the town of Mancos, CO is a former Sinclair gas station and “Wild Wild Rest” general store. All that remains, however, is a shell of the station and store and a contaminated plot of land after residual fuels flowed from gasoline storage tanks into the ground during a tank removal process in 2006.
Frustrated by the perceived inaction of both the gas station’s operator and the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety, land owner Ray McCarty placed signs–bracketed by skull-and-cross bone flags and graphics–declaring the area a “Massive Petroleum Spill, Toxic Site,” a “State-Chemical Landfill,” and warning “Benzene, Cancer Hazard” in 2013.  

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Getting the Harley’s Strapped Down…

Well…we must be just plain stupid!  We had strapped our bikes in the garage several times.  Each time George’s bike would tilt even though it was tied down tight each time…or so we thought!

As you know, it’s possible to find anything & everything on YouTube.  I watched tons of video’s on “How to load & tie down a bike”.  They were all basically the same and appeared to be the same way we were loading & tying down.

Then I started watching video’s on “How to use ratchet straps”.  (George wouldn’t watch them.  He said, “you watch them & tell me what they said”)  We could get them tight but when it came time to loosen them…that was a whole different story.  We just couldn’t!

I found DirtFarmerJay’s video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r16xOkVJZQ.  He shows how to use ratchet straps & how to loosen them.  Viola!  We did EXACTLY what he said to do.  Those bikes aren’t going anywhere!

We put 2 strips of ETrack  down for George’s bike.  It weighs about 875 lbs.  This would give us more options to secure his bike.  Mine only weighs about 525 lbs so the D Rings on the floor worked fine.

Live and learn…again!

Oh No! The Harley’s.

The bikes...

The bikes…

We’ve been in the same place for 7 months.  We’re getting ready to head out to Colorado in a few days then on to Pennsylvania to visit our daughter & 2 granddaughters for a few weeks.

We will be gone for 3 months.

Anyway on to the Harley’s.

We had the garage ready to put the bikes in.  Ramp was down.  George was on my bike.  The ramp looked like it was on a somewhat steep angle but not too steep.  Boy were we wrong!

George got up the ramp but as soon as he got to the top the bike caught on the ramp floor & stopped dead.  He started to roll back with me chasing him.  I didn’t want him to fall over…on MY bike!

When he got to the end of the ramp..over he went!  Bike was racing…on it’s left side!  George was on the ground.  Unfortunately for him I was more concerned about my bike at the moment.

He was fine..just a little blood where he ripped his hand open but I knew he would live.

Lesson learned!  We decided we’ll have to wait until we pull out & are on level ground before we load the bikes from now on.

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The ramp…

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The dip…the BIG problem!

Getting the Rig Ready for Full Time Living!

Well…the house is sold.  Suppose to close Nov 4, 2015.  We had an estate sale last weekend and sold almost everything we owned.  The house is bare & echo’s.  Our dogs, Tori & Daisy, don’t know what to think.  The cat, Alley, just wanders around looking for a place to lay.  Our 2 boys, ages 35 & 37, came over from Orlando a few days ago to help clean out the garages.  We had a 10 yard dumpster delivered last week for this very purpose.  We filled that one in a few hours & had to have another one delivered Friday afternoon.  These things aren’t cheap, $200 for the dumpster, $60 per ton dump fee.  They gave us a discount on the 2nd one, $150 + dump fees.  Doesn’t seem like much but $50 is $50.  If the boys couldn’t have come over it would have either taken us weeks to do what they did in a matter of hours or we would have had to hire someone to do it.

We took our 5th wheel to Camping World last Wednesday for tires, wheel bearings/brakes check, 45 point inspection & generator check.  We should be able to pick it up Monday.  So far nothing major in the 45 point inspection.  Roof is fine.  May need an overlay in another year.  They found an LP leak that will be repaired.

We are moving the rig Nov 1, 2015 to a nice campground in Bradenton, FL, http://timberlanervpark.com.  We won’t be traveling until my husband gets his business sold.  He owns a Martin’s Famous Potato Roll bread route.  He’s had a lot of inquires.