The IT, Ali and I went for a nice long ride this past weekend..11 hours and something over 400 miles, the IT (my new NT700V Honda) now has over 5k on the odo, not too shoddy for 11 weeks of ownership and this doesnÔÇÖt include commuting miles since I donÔÇÖt rider her to work, all just weekend riding miles.
So now you may well be wondering whoÔÇÖs Ali???
Well for all you sheep staggersÔÇÖ, cat herders and Non ADV taggers hereÔÇÖs a pic of her taken recently as we enjoyed a crab cake samash for lunch at a local riverfront watering hole in NOVA.
Yup sheÔÇÖs an ali-gator in fact, thatÔÇÖs her name, Ali Gator. She is the mascot for the Northern Va Tag-o-Roma game that I have been participating in for the past year (off and on as time allows). I had picked her up at the tag location the day the shot was taken last week and then again this past Sunday I went and got her in Arlington at the hotel she was staying at (well near, anyway)
But enough of introductions, on with the Further Adventures of Ali and Me!
After we the hotel (donÔÇÖt ask but it was in the Red Light District) :
We headed out along Geo. Wash. Parkway on the Va side of the Potomac and crossed over at Cabin John and picked up Clara Barton Parkway which runs along the Md side of the river. There is some BIG money in this area which is part of the area known as Potomac Maryland, very ritzy (sorry no pics of the rich and famous..if youÔÇÖre looking for that stuff try Yachoo or omg!). Clara Barton is a very nice shady road with some very dense growth as seen in the next two pics. Note these were enhanced, though they were rendered in HDR, it really was this dark and green with the bright morning light filtering down, no saturation or other processing needed
Then we headed along River Road, still following the Potomac River
Came upon this nice old historic school house tucked back in the woods
Crossed a nice little shaddy stream, one of zillions pretty much anywhere you ride in these parts.
As we near the end of River Road it turns into gravel, and though I was on the IT I figured it way high time it got some dirt/gravel action.. handled it very nicely we proceeded at a good 35 Mph clip, sweet, dual-sporting (of sorts on an IT!)
After about ten miles of gravel through rolling horse farms and deep woods we came to Whites Ferry that crosses the Potomac River. This is the only remaining operating ferry on the Potomac River, dates back well into the past (from the Wiki page..ÔÇØ Early settlers recognized that the relatively still waters of the Potomac River at the location would provide an ideal location for a ferry. The first known ferry operation at the location was Conrad's Ferry, pronounced contemporaneously by the locals as "Coonrod's Ferry"  in 1817. After the Civil War, former Confederate officer Elijah V. White purchased it and made many improvements to the service. He named his ferry boat in honor of his former commander, General Jubal Anderson Early.ÔÇØ)
HereÔÇÖs Ali enjoying the view as we cross.
And a pic looking up RiverÔÇª.I noted how blue the waters looked, almost an exact match for the sky, this is rather usual as the Potomac often runs a dirty brown, esp. after a good days rain as we had the past day or two.
Then it was on the Leesburg to pick up route 9 north toward Charlestown WV. Along the way we pasted a very pretty little town (one of my favorites) called Hillsboro. Here is the old stone school house still in use today. Since Ali has been with the NOVA tag for a little over a year I figured it was high time for her to get an edumacation, so while she was in class I took a few shots around the town..
Looking down the main streetÔÇª
When Ali got out of class (it was a very short lesson as they didnÔÇÖt speak gater) we wandered up the road and took route 671, Hapers Ferry Road toward, well ya, Harpers Ferry. Along the way (and it being Sunday and all) I figured it was time for Ali to get some religion so we stopped at this small churchÔÇª
nice stained glass window
Another older church cross the street just at the top of the rise (just ignore the ghost car, there were several grave yards around...)
A shot of the old church yard
HereÔÇÖs Ali coming out after the sermon.. I love old wooden doorsÔÇª
From Harpers Ferry we took 340 north to 67 then west 37 into Sharpsburg, then back down to cross the Potomac again at Shepherdstown and along 45 to pick up route 9 once more. That took us into Berkely Springs Wv, one of the old mineral springs that dot the area. Here we stopped for some Nathens Hotdogs at a little stand next to the public park and springs that I always patronize when in town.
Ali enjoying a hotdog..yeah, she eats the paper warpper as well, but you know, she is Not a Tame Alligator after all...( I think I'm the ADV tagger who Ever feeds her so she pretty ravenous by the time we hook up!)
end of part one