In order to survive the long New England winter, I like to spend hour after hour studying stacks of worn maps, surfing Expedition Portal or ADVRider, and planning next year's rides. My big plan for 2012 is a May/June trek from Western Massachusetts down to the Shenandoah National Park...running the entire length of the Blueridge Parkway...and then a run or two across the Tail of the Dragon. I expect that I'll pick up a notional traveling companion or ten throughout the winter and then most of them will ditch at the last moment due to family commitments, work, or American Idol auditions. That's OK...I enjoy the planning and having something to look forward to in the spring.

So...my fellow adventurers...intrepid explorers...eaters of exotic roadside fare...those who fear neither rain nor roadside flats...

Anybody want to share a favorite road side stop...a cautionary tale...a favorite restaurant...a twisty back road that shouldn't be missed? I'll be riding my GSA and doing my best to avoid the interstates unless there's just nothing to see.

I'd love to hear about your experiences in this area of the country. ~Ross