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Topic: WV road near 55-28 Petersburg question?????  (Read 6254 times)

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tankead

« on: December 12, 2006, 09:52:31 am »

On google maps there is a road off of 55/28 west of Petersburg named Smoke Hole Rd and then it turns into Public Road 74.  Is this a paved road? I am thinking off touring out of Southern New Jersey by 6 am Saturday morning and getting to Front Royal VA by 11:00am then checking out Eastern WV Petersburg area.  Anyone going to be riding out that area let me know?  I hope to finish a 100 plus mile loop and get back up near Petersburg or Front royal to bed for the night after a huge day of riding and then heading back Sunday.  Any info for this minitrip would be great.  tanks
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 10:02:26 am by tankead » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2006, 10:03:23 am »

Yes, Smoke Hole Rd is paved the whole way. The north end is on route 28 in Cabins, WV and the southern end is on 220 just north of Upper Tract. It's a very scenic, narrow and remote road. Good pavement, a little dirty in spots. Another "cowpath" type road worth considering in the area is Jordan Run Rd which connect route 42 in Maysville to 28, between Cabins and Seneca Rocks. And while in the area, be sure to enjoy the wonderful twisties between Mt Storm and Schell (the part where 42 and 93 run together). Awesome stuff.
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tankead

« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2006, 10:48:44 am »

Garry,
tanks alot for the info I will check it out on google now.  I hope I can get everything in in such a short time.  Any other info from you and other members would be appreciated.  Anyone riding Saturday in that area I will be out there ready to enjoy and explore the area let me know.
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2006, 11:13:31 am »

If you're heading west on 50, you can hit the good stuff I mentioned by:

In Mt Storm on route 50:

L on 42 south to Maysville
R on Jordan Run Rd to jct 28
L on 28 east? (toward Petersburg) to jct Smoke Hole Rd in Cabins
R on Smoke Hold Rd. Follow to end at 220 (requires a left, then right, jog about 2/3 way in)
R on 220 south to Franklin
L on 33 east over the mtns into VA (great twisties over the mtn)
Turn around and run 33 west back over the mtn thru Franklin, past Seneca Rocks, to jct 32 in Harmon
R on  32 north past Canaan Valley to jct 93 near Davis
R on 93 back to Mt Storm

So that a nice loop to/from Mt Storm (about 175 miles) with a little spur on it. Great mix of country roads, twisties, sweepers and scenery.
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tankead

« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 10:05:21 am »

Gary,
What exactly did you mean by this  "(requires a left, then right, jog about 2/3 way in)"
tanks,
Chris
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2006, 10:19:28 am »


Gary,
What exactly did you mean by this  "(requires a left, then right, jog about 2/3 way in)"
tanks,
Chris



When riding south on Smoke Hole Rd, it  comes to a "T" after about 12 miles. There may or may not be an obvious sign on which way to go. Go left. It then comes to another "T" near a few buildings a little ways down the road. May or may not be a sign there. Make a right. I usually ride it northbound and there are a couple signs that point the way to route 28. Not positive about southbound with signs for 220. You're pretty much just following the path of least resistance. Stay on paved road and it's near impossible to get lost.
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2006, 07:19:15 pm »

Be sure to take a camera, those two roads have some incredible scenery.

Since we're in the area, I've always wondered about Rt. 72 south of Parsons which connects to 32 just south of Canaan.  Has anyone been on it?
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2006, 10:11:46 pm »


Be sure to take a camera, those two roads have some incredible scenery.

Since we're in the area, I've always wondered about Rt. 72 south of Parsons which connects to 32 just south of Canaan.  Has anyone been on it?


Narrow, dirty, rotten pavement. On the plus side, it's twisty, remote and scenic. A perfect road for a dual-sport or "all roads" type bike. Not much fun, but passable, on a sporty bike.
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tankead

« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2006, 01:54:02 pm »

I left the house at 6:30 am Sat. morn. I drove west to Rt 40 in Southern New Jersey. It was dark outside and had my clear visor on my Vemar helmet. I thought I saw leaves falling on the ground but right when I couldn't see them anymore and figured that it wasn't leaves, a big owl was headed towards my helmet. It's wings grazed my helmet and I ducked without even a wobble on the bike. Scared sh!tless and feeling my heart in my throat, I continued west. Went over the Delaware Memorial Bridge. As I started on Rt 95, near the watershed area, a large raptor like bird was about twenty feet over head. As I looked up I saw a huge white head and orange beak. I quickly looked at the rear end of the bird and unmistakeably saw the white tail. I screamed in my helmet "Holy Sh!t!!!!!. A freakin' Bald Eagle. That was the second time I have seen one while on the bike. I continued to the Maryland House and stopped and got hot coffee, warmed up, changed my clear visor out for the smoke visor, and ate breakfast at the Big Boy. Continued west to 695 Baltimore area then picked up 70W. Went up to Harpers Ferry. Ate at some burger joint. Took out the "Motorcycling Guide Through the Appalachians". Noticed a route that the Author encourages. 671 to Harpers Ferry road. It was a pretty good route that dumped me about four miles back from where I started on 340. I got more gas and asked someone how long to Petersburg WV? He responded about at least three hours. I thought long and hard about getting a hotel in Harpers Ferry right then and there. Almost about 1:00 pm I decided to push it. I continued on 340 SW to 55 in Strasburg. This is where the fun began. I instantly had a great feeling when I got on 55. Tight rolling corners, beautiful scenery, cow pastures. Then it opens up to a huge VERY SCENIC Highway 55 (the new not the old). When I got into WV 55 new section the mountains where EVERYWHERE!!!!! I loved it and could only imagine what it would be like to see this during the fall folliage peak. It was starting to get tired and needed to rest and get a hotel. I stopped in Baker just to check the atlas and get some information about lodging in the area. I talked to a heavy dude in a military issued type HUMMER. He told me that Petersburg is about an hour away and Moorefield is about 20 minutes away. So I headed to Moorefield. Got a room at an Inn on the east side of town. Across the way was a restaraunt called Stray Cats Mexican food and Cantina. BINGO. Took a shower, got suited up in the armor to check out the town and drove through town to a road called Morgantown Rd. I have never been on such a hell of a good time road on a motorcycle before. I really thought it couln't get any better than that (little did I know what I was in store for the next day). I had to eventually turn back becausee it was getting dark and I didn't want to eat bambi with my City-x. I stopped at the Cantina and ordered a couple of coranas and a chimichanga, next thing you know about three other guys and I are yucking it up and just really having a great time. I made sure that I waited awhile before I got back on the bike. I was told that the officers in WV don't take to kindly to people in bars. I literally had about 100 yards to the hotel, most of that was the parking lot at the hotel, so I gatherd myself together and crossed the street, parked under the front exit and walked inside for the night with my trunk bag. Slept well. Little did I know that the next day would be the best motorcycle experience I have ridden to date since getting my license in April.
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2006, 05:04:20 pm »

Now where's that eating popcorn smiley? Waiting for the next installment...
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2006, 06:08:28 pm »


Now where's that eating popcorn smiley? Waiting for the next installment...


Here, I stole one...



I can't wait for the rest of it either.
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2006, 07:57:02 am »

I love this area to ride! I am lookin to retire around Clarsburg WV in several years. Hope I still can swing a leg over the bike still then!.......lol
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tankead

« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2006, 08:08:51 am »

I will write the second installment later today.  I don't have the time this morning.  Gary I do want to thank you for your insight to the area it did help me quite a bit.  What a wonderful trip it was.  I saw a few sport-tourers on 33 at about 1:00 pm Sunday, I waved and wondered if it was anyone here.  I will be back later today. Also Gary, I did see signs for Jordan Run Road and thought to myself "wow that looked like a great road!"  
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 08:14:21 am by tankhead » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2006, 11:48:31 am »


I love this area to ride! I am lookin to retire around Clarsburg WV in several years. Hope I still can swing a leg over the bike still then!.......lol


I grew up in Claksburg.  It's a nice place, but when I retire, I'm going to look at somewhere near Kingwood, WV.  It's a nice little town and is located on the edge of all these great roads.  My only problem w/ this plan is my wife wants to retire and move to Maine.  

If you're ever in the area, we can sport-tour some of the nice retirement locations.   Bigsmile
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tankead

« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2006, 01:22:36 pm »

Chapter II
I woke up the next morning fully rested at about 6:00. Checked the weather channel..32 degrees.  Huh!?!
High to be at about 67 degrees. YES!!  Jumped in the shower at about 7:00.  Started packing up the trunk bag, attached it to the saddlebags. Went back in the lobby and ate a couple bagels with cream cheese and coffee.  Now I started to remember talking to one of the local guys the night before about Morgantown road and how incredible it was.  He said that the road I was on before I turned on to Morgantown rd would take me to Petersburg also and it would be a much more enjoyable ride.  As I started the bike and let it warm up a tad I got out the BUELL atlas and started to refresh my memory about the route I planned to take.  The same guy made mention of "Upper Tract" and told me to make sure I take that rt and to go down that way get on Smoke Hole Rd back up and then go back down on 55 to Seneca Rocks.  I went and got gas at the SHEETZ and noticed that my dark visor kept fogging up because it was so cold.  I rode out of town and passed the right turn to take the local guys suggestion and at the last minute decided to stick with what I knew.  I had a feeling that this guy might not be right.
As I passed the road I noticed that within ten minutes of riding in 25 mph to 40 mph I was bone chilled.  I thougt that I would have to get warm in Petersburg.  I ended up getting to a bridge that joined with another road that skirtted a mountain.  It was the road that the guy had told me about.  I suddenly felt great that the guy was right about the road getting me to Petersburg and at the same time felt bad because I didn't trust him. I began the rolling sweepers, the banked turns, but soon noticied the tiny ponds in some of the properties close to the mountain were frozen and I began to think that I a breaking one of my rules.  Never ride when it is below freezing.  Although the roads seemed dry I frankly do not have enough experience to know if the roads have black ice and don't want to find out the hard way.  So even though the terrain, the landscape, and the road was awesome I decided that when I got to Petersburg that I would stop and get warm and wait for the temp to increase.  I stopped at the 7-11 and got a small coffee and just hung out. Called my mom, called the real estate place across the street to have them contact me about any properies for sale in area.   About a half hour later I decided that it had warmed up quite a bit and it was after 9:00 am.  I had alot of mileage to cover and it was getting late.  I made a right on to 220 and started what was the best day on a motorcycle.  I noticed the beautiful cow pastures with the hint of forests intermixed with a spit of rock formations here and there and the roads were constant turns. It was great for me to travel on the roads and thinking of the motrcycle books I have at my house about taking turns.  Slow entering; roll on the throttle out of the turn.  Get to the outside of the lane until you get to the apex and then turn.  I really "practiced" this on the first parts of 220 and then I noticed that it was just never ending.  A little ways down the road I saw a road and it had a "for sale' sign at the corner of a cow pasture and an arrow point towards the mountain range that was on my right.  I turned and follwed this road around some serious switchbacks.  All of a sudden I am on a single lane elevator.  It was climbing steeply and it was coated with fine pebbles that lined the sides of the pavement.  The road was simply amazing.  My speed was 40 max and around the turns sometimes as slow as ten-15 mph.  Around a few more switchbacks of forested excitement I saw the for sale sign.  It was a lower lot to the right and there was an old trailer (mobile home) on the property.  I continued up the mountain slowly and noticed a rather new cabin like house with the door open (no screen door) and then I noticed a man come to the door.  When he appeared, I had just stopped the bike and was going to turn around and get back on course.  I said the hell with it and pulled in the gravel driveway OFF CAMBER climb to his door.  I expected to see him appear with a shot gun but instead he was in his Sunday finest suit (three piece) that looked one size too small.  I tried to talk to him with the motor off but the fan on the Buell was going and was trying to take my helmet off and I also had my earplugs in.  I couldn't here one word he said except I think he said the property was being offered at $39,000 with two and a half acres.  I thanked him for his time, he walked back in the house with the front door open and I cautiously headed down the driveway locking the rear tire and sliding sideways here and there to the road.  I made good time back down that "Bethel Church Road" and again was traveling south on 220.  I kept thinking to myself  WOW that was great riding and I am really getting pretty good at the art of riding.  My Buell City-X just is the perfect bike for what I want in a motorcycle and I feel like it is connected to me.  The rest of the riding down 220 was simply gorgeous. I noticed that for the turns the speed limit around the turn was always about 12 miles an hour less than I was taking them and felt in control and good. "Slow in, excellerate out" was my mantra.  Push down on the outside handlebar, keep head level with ground.  I was also keeping the engine geared lower for instant power around through the turns.  And then out of nowhere I saw the bridge that the guy at the bar told me about and instantly knew where I was.  
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 01:32:35 pm by tankhead » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2006, 01:24:49 pm »





If you're ever in the area, we can sport-tour some of the nice retirement locations.   Bigsmile



LOL Hey that sounds great! We`ll have to spot the ones with rockin chairs on the porch!

Last summer I blasted out there several times on fri eve, just so i could wake up there and have two full days of riding!.........I`ll keep  in touch and let ya know when I am gonna be there again!
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2006, 01:52:13 pm »

Great trip report - can't wait to read more.  You passed right by my house on your way out of NJ  Smile
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tankead

« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2006, 02:09:03 pm »

SMOKE HOLE ROAD.   Razz
 

As I made the sharp right hander onto smoke hole I noticed a sign.  Apparently the smoke hole refers to the fog that would occur in the canyon (can you say canyon? can you say turns?) and it would take on the appearance of smoke coming out of the 'hole'.  Also there is evidence of Native Americans smoking their kill in the smoke hole cave.  The shape of an upsidedown hornets nest this cave is 20-30 feet tall and had smoke stains on the ceiling of the cave that indicates smoking the meat of the fresh kill.  As I moved the Buell about a 1/4 mile into the "canyon" EEK! I stopped the bike and pulled over to take a picture.  Cliff faces, Pileated Woodpecker, river bed, clear running water, trees, rocks, single lane road, uphoria... I moved the BUELL about another mile and pulled over.  Cliff faces, wall of rock, confederate flag on top with the letters B and L (I think), Steep downhill, single lane still.  I took another pic with the camera phone.  I then got back on the City-X and started do make love to the turns. I have never been so thilled on my BUELL.  It just felt planted and great.  I was screaming in my helmet around the turns, Yeah that's what I'm talking about!!!!!! I then made one of the turns that Gary made mention about and stopped to take another picture of the fast flowing stream.  The last section of smoke hole rd is just switchback climbing, descending heaven.  I can't tell you how great I felt and am glad I decided on this expedition.  I stopped at an overlook to check out and noticed three corpses of deer, skinned stripped, and just layed to rest right there.  Big hunting going on there.  Down the grassy slope was an antiquated shack that I wish I owned so that I could ride this road everyday.  The rest of the road was just amazing and kept my arms working overtime in the twisties.  I then got on 55 and made it to the Seneca Lodge and cabins.  I stopped to get something to drink.  I talked the owner.  She told me that her husband offers rides of 12 or more and it is about 6.5 hours of the best riding in the area.  She also had a huge gift shop there with many coyotee pelts.  She told me that she encourages all hunters to kill every coyotee they see.  They are bad for the environment and wildlife she insisted.  "KILL ALL COYOTEES"  OK back on 55 was a real joy.  I passed a road that looked tempting JORDAN RUN ROAD but I kept seeing signs for points of my interest and starting getting concerned about time.  So I motored along.  I stopped to take a picture of a point of where two rocky formations almost join and a sign explaining that George Washinton had sent a dude (soldierz0 to get the infamous Bennidict Arnold (traitor) but falied.  Oh well back on the road to Spruce Knob. 4800 and something feet says the map.  It was freshly paved last year the lady at the lodge said.  All I can say is Holy Sh!t.  No guard rails, fall off the face of the earth cliffs, and some more of the pebbles from the sides of the roads.  I climbed and I climbed.  I flirted with death at some points.  Getting some decent speed before slowing for the turns with gravel.  My adrenaline was pumping and I never once felt scared.  I was starting to have that feeling like I had to get everywhere quick before I can't get anywhere.  I saw reminants of snow on the sides of the road and just thought to myself, "that's right it is the middle of December.  What a crazy time this is.  Just then the road turned to dirt and I knew that I wasn't at the top but was really getting concerned about time.  I still had to ride through WV, VA, Washington DC area, MD, DE, NJ before dark. I turned around and headed back down the mountain.  By the time I got to the bottom my arms were aching, my rhomboid muscles between my should blades were cramping and I had to motor to Franklin where I would eat and then continue on 33 to 81 back up to 66.  To make a long story short RT 33 was the most unbelievable riding of the trip.  Skyline drive has nothing on this road.  Switchback after switchback.  I fell in love with all things BUELL on this road.  I feel like Erik made the bike for me.  I laughed at loud through the whole ride on 33.  Wonderful indeed.  I had put gas in the tank at Franklin and now in Harrisonburg I refueld flew up 81 at 80mph-90 mph got to Front Royal more of the same on 66 70-90 mph.  Feeling like I was on a mission I made it to the other side of DC on 495 by 3:00 something and had to get fuel again.  Got fuel right before the tunnel and made it to Del by sundown at 5:00 pm.  Made it over the Del mem bridge and stopped on 77 WAWA to get coffee.  Frozen, I could not stop shaking.  Adrenaline, cold, hungry I started to talk to another rider who was very nice but I could not realy stop shaking and I was hungry. He would let me get a word in so I packed my whole wheat tuna sandwhch in the trunk bag and head back through Elmer and down 40 home by 7:00.  WHat a trip.  800 miles in two days.  Thanks Erik BUELL for making such a great sport-tourer even though you thought you were making the ultimate streetfighter.
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2006, 06:08:20 pm »

Super Nice report!  Thumbsup

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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2006, 07:06:11 pm »

There are many full days of riding like that in WV and western VA. Once you get a taste of it, not much compares in the Mid-Atlantic. I bet you spend more than a little time this winter staring at a WV map plotting next season's adventures :-) I hope this rain blows through because I've got a date with some WV panhandle twisties tomorrow if it's dry...
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