Sunday, May 29, 2016

Live Free and ScooterBob

Amid a flurry of grass clippings and dust, I saw the USPS truck speeding around the bend in our street as though our few humble homes were the last deliveries standing between this mail carrier and the freedom of a holiday weekend off. I rumbled to the backyard on a mower that has likely seen better days, and when I came back, there was a box resting on the doorstep. As a self confessed Amazon Prime junkie, I knew I wasn't expecting a delivery. I examined the return address and immediately knew what was inside. 

ScooterBob had arrived. 

When I first signed up to host ScooterBob I was the proud owner of a 2014 Triumph Bonneville. My third motorcycle, the Bonne turned out to be a perfect fit for me. In the two years that I had it, It took me on pretty amazing adventures. There was no ride too long, no adventure too daunting, simply nothing I could not do with that bike. The story of its passing is as dramatic as it is sad, and is a post for another time. I mention it now because given the untimely parting with my Bonne I was unsure if I was the right person to host ScooterBob. Would he still want to see New England if it wasn't on two wheels? My correspondence with the current host (Toadmama )and moderators ensured me that Bob would still want a visit no matter how it happened. I was touched by their kindness. 

So here he is. As I opened the box I was profoundly moved by the small wooden motor scooter I found inside so lovingly packed in bubble wrap and peanuts. I found the bag of souvenirs that chronicled his journey around the world. I carefully unfolded each piece, remembering where I had read about it before. There was no doubt in my mind that this little scooter, and the man who inspired it's travels, meant a great deal to the people who are keeping his mission alive. Described as an imperfect human, I feel like maybe Bob and I would have gotten along. 

So for this man I have never met, and the people who have taken such good care of the tiny scooter that embodies his traveling sprit, ScooterBob and I are going to kick some ass. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

That Other Famous Virginia Road

ScooterBob and Me
ScooterBob will be heading north soon, so I figured I'd better publish this post about our latest adventure before he leaves.

We're still experiencing pretty crappy weather in these parts. This past Saturday was nice until afternoon storms rolled through, but I had to drive to Baltimore for my girlfriend's 50th birthday party.

Lucky for us, Sunday was a clear, dry day. It was a tad on the chilly side, but that just means I got to use my heated gear. Yes, it was awesome, thank you very much.

I've shown ScooterBob around town, taken him to see some oddities, rode with him on Skyline Drive, and, topping it all off, we met -- and were licked by! -- some really friendly cattle.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks here in Virginia. But there was one place I REALLY wanted to take ScooterBob while he was still here. To experience a road that's even more famous and more awesome than Skyline Drive.

ScooterBob on the BRP!

Me and ScooterBob on the BRP!
I would have felt like a terrible host had we not made it to the BRP. I mean, really. It's one of the Top 10 motorcycle roads, and for good reason.

As a bonus, we saw some more roadside coolness en route.

LOVEwork in Crozet, Virginia.
How could I resist THAT? If you aren't familiar with my LOVE mission, click here.

Crozet is slightly north and west of Charlottesville, an hour and a half or so from my home. To get there, we took some of my favorite roads, too. Like Dyke Road (VA-810), which runs from just west of Stanardsville south through Dyke and into Crozet. That road pretty much parallels Skyline Drive, but in the valley, and it is VERY picturesque.

The LOVEwork was just off of VA-810 at the Montfair Resort Farm. If I am being honest, I have to admit that we had to backtrack a bit because we missed it!

Dyke Road

ScooterBob enjoying the lovely scenery.

It was 50 degrees exactly and very windy at that overlook, which means it was cold!


I really like this image.

A pretty spot, eh?

Enjoying the scenery.
We didn't linger as long as I would've liked. It really was quite chilly in those gusty winds.

Besides, we had to actually do a bit more riding on that famous road. And there was one more spot I'd been wanting to see. And since we were in the neighborhood...

The Old Rockfish Post Office
It's just one of those spots I saw in a picture and wanted to see for myself.

The Old Rockfish Post Office
It was a lovely day. In all, I think we covered around 200 miles. We got some bling for ScooterBob on the BRP, too. :-)

ScooterBob at the Iconic Blue Ridge Parkway
I think our pal, Bob, would've really, really enjoyed the ride that day.

I'll miss showing the little guy around, but we've had quite a bit of fun..

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Very Different Kind of Excitement

I'm sure many of you miss Bob just as much as I do. He was one of my most-avid blog followers, and he really seemed to enjoy my wide variety of posts. Whether they featured cool roads, pretty scenery, roadside oddities, or more mundane stuff like cows.

I love cows. I don't know why, I just do.

After one post, Bob said, "We don’t have a lot of cows around here as this is not cattle country and the only farms we have are of the vegetable variety. You sure know the good roads..."

So, after we finished playing around on Skyline Drive, I wanted to show ScooterBob some of my favorite local roads and introduce him to my favorite herd of Longhorns at the Marriott Ranch.

As you can see, the weather was picture-perfect.

Along Fodderstack Road, east of Little Washington, VA

Pretty Creek

Longhorns at Marriott Ranch
The Marriott (yes, that Marriott) Longhorns weren't very close to the road, but it still made for a pretty picture.

Hume Road through Marriott Ranch
If you're curious about the Marriott Ranch, click here.

Leeds Manor Road (VA-688) is my favorite Fauquier County Road
That picture is a very good representation of Leeds Manor Road. I'm guessing you can understand why it's a favorite of mine.

Youngish Longhorns along Leeds Manor Road
I'd been hoping to see some cows in a field of buttercups (little yellow flowers), so I figured I'd stop for a quick pic.

It always makes me giggle when cows, very curious animals, all stare at me when I stop.

But this guy...

Friendly young Longhorn.

This guy was VERY curious. And very friendly. He actually came over to say hi to me!

He stopped about three feet away, and stared.

His companions were also quite curious.

My cute little friend.
That's when I decided I HAD to get ScooterBob out to see the cows (and/or bulls).

ScooterBob meets the Longhorns
That was when things started getting even more interesting.

The Longhorns had been curious about me. But ScooterBob REALLY intrigued them.

So I sat him down right next to the fence and retreated a step or two to see what would happen.

Coming in for a closer look.

They all walked over for a closer look.
Yes, I was giggling with delight.

ScooterBob drew a crowd.
How funny is that? But wait, it gets better.

This youngun was VERY curious.
How curious? He decided to take a taste of ToadMama!

I'd never been licked by a cow before.
He didn't stop there. He licked ScooterBob, too! And then tried to bite him.

ScooterBob got up-close-and-personal with the Longhorns!
I saved ScooterBob in the nick of time. I imagine his handlebars would have been crushed!

Inspecting ToadMama and ScooterBob

Wanting another lick!

It was the funniest bovine experience yet!
I'm so glad ScooterBob was there as my witness.

Come on. Give me another kiss!

Continuing south on Leeds Manor Road

Me and ScooterBob with our new friends.

Friendly Virginia Longhorns

Friendly Virginia Longhorns
I told you it was a very different experience! Was I right?

Off for more adventures with ScooterBob today. :-)

- - - - - - - - - -

If anyone is interested, I shot a video last year, which started on Hume Road, near the intersection with US-522. It shows the ride from there to the Village Hume and then south on Leeds Manor Road. The battery died about a minute and a half south of where SB and I met the Longhorns. There's no music, just wind and motor sounds, so you might want to press mute before watching.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Drive, Continued

It's my last morning in Maryland (work trip), so I wanted to share the other pics I captured of ScooterBob and me on Skyline Drive.

It IS a lovely road, but The Blue Ridge Parkway, located just south of Skyline Drive, is even better. Will we make it there before SB heads off to visit his next host? 

The obligatory photo of ScooterBob at the park's sign.

If you aren't familiar with Skyline Drive (SD), read this.

We got very lucky with the weather on that day. It's been cold and rainy ever since.

Heading east on US-211


Mary's Rock Tunnel, the only tunnel on the Drive.

It was a fun day for ScooterBob and me.
Who will ScooterBob visit next? Matt T. is next on the list, but I haven't heard from him. Matt, if you are reading this and want ScooterBob next, let me know. Otherwise, who else is ready?

I'll be sad to see the little guy go.