Old Friends and another go at a BDR
One of our main drivers to head East was to catch up with old friends who live in Vermont... and we still had time on our side at this point!
We had so far travelled over 20,000kms!
Laurie and Dan have a small dairy farm and Laurie is a fellow artist. We visited them in 2018 when we spent a couple of weeks in the New England area and had previously met through shared farming and art interests on social media.
While Nick went off and helped Dan on the farm and a neighbour to get in their hay...
Bec went for a long walk and bike ride with Laurie along a 22 mile long rail trail that runs along the bottom of their farm.
The trail follows a stream that at one point a group of beavers had dammed causing the neighbouring field to flood.
They also have a wonderful little farm shop where they sell milk and yoghurt from their cows as well as grass raised meat from the farm and lot of other local produce.
It was wonderful to just stop for a couple of days after soooo.... much contious travelling and ground ourselves mentally and physically in surroundings that felt familiar.
Sometimes you just need to stop and "be" ...this was one of this times.
Unfortunately all of us were so living in the moment that we forgot to get a photo of the four of us!!! Guess that means we will have to visit again.
Refreshed and ready to move on we decided to give another BDR a go. The Mid Atlantic Back Country Discovery Route was meant to be a lot easier than the one we had previously tried and now Becs sore ribs were no longer hurting we decided to give it a crack!
But first new tyres ...we really had got our moneys worth out of this set!
The MABDR is a 1700km route for motorcycle riders that primarily uses forest roads and rural country lanes, to lead riders through the Appalachian mountains, majestic forests, bucolic farming landscapes, Amish country, and locations that played pivotal roles in early American history.
We once again did it in reverse and started on the border of New York State, travelling down through Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.
We set off from Bringham around 8:30 for the start of the BDR 150 kms away in Lawrencville.
Before leaving we got chatting to a group of Indonesian Harley riders who were doing a USA tour from Chicago to New York. There enthusiasm was infectious and we exchanged numbers with them as contacts when we visit that way …and for them if they get to NZ.
We had no idea what to expect from the Mid Atlantic BDR after having to quit the Washington state one over the other side of the country.
It turned out to be easier thank goodness! Lots of forestry gravel roads, there were the odd patch of deep gravel and quite a few sharp bends but on the whole it was a breeze compared to 3 weeks ago!
We found a Sugar Bush (maple syrup harvesting set up) and got lost when the road was closed but because of it found and amazing cafe in a general store for lunch.
Around 3pm we finished at a pretty little settlement called Cedar Run. There was an inn there that looked “a quaint place to stay” and Nick went in to see if they had a room …they did, the last one! And while it was more expensive than we would normally pay it included dinner and breakfast …and all the people sitting on the porch said what an amazing place it was and how good the food was.
Our room was on the top floor and we had to duck through a 5 ft corridor to get to it.
Once we had unpacked the bikes and settle in we went for a walk for an hour along the nearby rail trail and saw deer, toads and dead snake. The place was just gorgeous and we knew this was a stop over we would always remember!
Dinner was great! And we met some great people like Rich and Mary Lou. One of the things we are loving about this trip are the people we meet!
The following day we hit one gnarly up hill section where there was a bit of loose and larger rocks for a few kms. It was a case of throttle on and look ahead …we already knew our bikes could handle terrain like this.
On one of the switchback corners we met a group of riders coming downhill in the opposite direction and were forced to stop right on the bend.
Nick set off again pretty easy but Bec's short legs didn’t handle the camber very well and over she went clunking her knee on a rock. Thank goodness for protective clothing!! Sore and swearing a lot she got back on after 5 minutes and finished the ride.
It was easy gravel roads again after that stretch. We finished section #8 around 1pm and had lunch in Harleton and stocked up on a few groceries. We then started on section #7
We didn’t really know where we were going to spend the night and after 60kms or so when we passed a state park called Po Paddy and saw they had a campsite ...it looked a good place to stay.
There were lots of people there for the long weekend (Columbus day on the Monday) and they had warm showers!!! All for $15!
Nick lit a great fire with wood salvaged from all over the campsite again (no way was he paying for wood!).
It was our coldest night yet and well below freezing when we woke up. We thought it might be a better idea to look for cheap motels until the water warmed up again BUT...
How cheap is too cheap??? because we didn't get a secure feeling and a lot of sleep in the next place we stayed!!!
Day 4 of the BDR was a lot of country roads past farmland. It made a welcome change from the woods.
And we passed through more Amish country. It is fascinating to see how they farm with modern equipment but with horses and no rubber tyres!
That night we found a cheap airbnb. It looked lovely from the outside and was a beautiful old villa inside but our hearts dropped (and brains screamed a little!!!) when the guy showed us to our room in the cellar ...gulp!
Do you know what? we watch too many horror movies because everything was perfect and we really felt like part of a home as the cat came in and ran up and down the room going completely crazy ...and we had a wonderful nights sleep!
The last couple of days were our favourite as the roads got a little more technical (rocks, streams, deep gravel etc.) and the autumn colours had really started to it their peak.
We even found a perfect little picnic spot in the absolute middle of nowhere!
And an hour or so later came across a fellow biker travelling the other way.
It is so cool meeting people like this, its like you are in this big gang where there are lots of members that you haven't met yet!
Yes, we did it!!! We finished a BDR