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Earlier this year friend convinced me to go to Claytor Lake State Park in the western Virginia mountains for a weekend ride. It sounded fun, so I said yes. Of course, I had to go on the TW :) which was actually a great call considering some of the roads we ended up taking. The original idea was to drive up Friday night to make camp, ride all day Saturday, some Sunday, then head home. Knowing I'm not able to really sleep on the ground anymore, I compromised by agreeing to trailer the bikes up early Saturday and camping through Sunday.

Saturday: We got out of the house at a decent time and were lucky - the traffic going up wasn't too bad. Google said it was a little over 4 hours. It ended up being more like 6. No matter, though. We got there, set up the tent, unloaded the bikes, and took off for our first ride to find lunch. We found a cute little sushi place and had some great fresh rolls. My friend Priya went to Virginia Tech, so she wanted to visit campus and pay her respects to the memory of one of her instructors who died in the shootout all those years ago. It was a nice ride out to the campus, which was a beautiful place in its own right. We walked part of it before I remembered one of our young interns from the shipyard was going to VT this year, so called her up and she hung out with us for a while. We went bowling, ate great pizza, and had a grand visit. By the time we got back to the campground, it was dark, but we had a full moon for plenty of light. A nice fire got us well into the night, and by the time we went to sleep, we were both well and truly tired.

I say "sleep", but mostly it was an endless restless rotation as I tried to find a comfortable position. Next time I am bringing my damned cot, or an inflatable bed. I'm young enough to want to still enjoy camping and old enough to admit defeat when I can't sleep on the ground anymore.

Sunday: Sometime right before dawn, I crawled out of the sleeping bag and retreated to my granny car (a Grand Marque) to catch a few hours of honest sleep. By the time Priya rolled out of the tent, it was already 8 a.m. We ate hard-boiled eggs and leftover sushi-rice (just white rice cooked with vinegar - kinda tasteless, but very filling). By 10, we'd broken camp, repacked the car, and were ready to ride again. This time I got to lead (a dangerous proposition), and took us through some fabulous back roads.

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The countryside along here is amazing. We hit some great roads. I wish there was space to stop along some of them, but they were little more than narrow jeep tracks and we were afraid a local would come barreling down one of them, around a blind curve, and straight into the back of us if we stopped too long.

I look forward to going again some time soon. We missed seeing the leaves change by a week or two. They were starting to get some color, but nothing as spectacular as we hoped.
 
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