Thursday, September 14

In Grafton

My timing was all off. I got on route 50 west and began a long climb through the mountains. At the peak (3000+ feet I think) I stopped to take a picture and put on more layers.

Then it got dark very quickly, but I still had almost 50 miles to Grafton, which is right near the park I wanted to camp at. The road (route 50) winds through mountains, with frequent 25MPH speed limits on turns, elevation warnings for trucks and no lights at all. It would have been really fun during the day; at night it was a bit harrowing but not bad, for the first 30 miles or so. Then it just got tedious. I finally made it to Grafton and came upon a motor lodge. Not knowing if the state park had campsites available or checkin past sundown, I decided to skip camping tonight and check into the lodge. It's $30 cheaper than the motel in Delaware and a room many times larger.

I like small roads like route 50 a lot better than the huge interstates. There are houses along route 50, spread out and with a lot of land, that would probably look very nice in daylight. There's a smell to the road - sometimes smoke, sometimes manure, usually just fresh air. There's a mist over the road, which lights up to announce oncoming cars. Traffic jams are worse on smaller roads, and one slow car can slow down miles of traffic, but the interstates are hardly immune to jams (as I saw today on 68). You can't pull off an interstate and get a slice of pizza like you can on route 50. And passing bikers don't wave to each other (left arm down) on the interstates, because the bikers in the other direction are across a concrete median and going at a relative 160 MPH.
There's still a hierarchy of biker communication, though. Some big Harley riders don't wave to non-Harley riders. I don't usually signal to scooters (I don't consider them motorcycles). I'm not sure where dirt bikes fit in, but you rarely see those on highways anyway.

Time to sleep. Tomorrow I'm headed in the general direction of Illinois. I'll try to time the ride better tomorrow.


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