Spruce Knob 2021
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Deepak, Behram, Arvind, Jishnu
Spruce Knob, Black Water State Falls, Scene Rocks and More
We were planning a long 10 day ride to start on July 9th but plans changed. We would have to take that trip some other time. But we had already taken time off from work. So on a whim, we decided that we could go for a shorter ride just on Friday. To accommodate other riders we decided to make a quick jaunt just for Friday and return on Saturday.
So off we went on Friday morning, 9am. Just met at the Lowes gas station in West Cary, gassed up, and synced our Cardo units. Just the two of us, Behram and I, no particular destination, just heading north....
Our ride went through several back roads towards Virginia where we stopped for gas and a break for lunch. It was a hot day and I got to try out my new cup holder and tank bag. The cup holder with an insulated travel mug worked out great. Was able to sip ice cold water in my 3/4 helmet and had some trail mix with me in the tank bag.
In the afternoon, we turned left and went towards West Virginia. There were some beautiful back roads winding through farms on both sides. Behram had a couple of destinations in mind he had gone earlier and would love to return to.
Late afternoon, we reached Spruce Knob, West Virginia. This is located in Monongahela National Forest. At 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak. The area is popular with backpacking and hiking and the Spruce Knob tower offers visitors
an amazing view of the gorgeous natural scenery around the area. Riding to the peak, we could feel the temperatures drop and it was a refreshing change to a more comfortable riding temp (temps dropping from high 80's to mid 60's)
After having the obligatory selfies at Spruce Knob, we decided we still have time to visit a couple more spots. Seneca Rocks was the next destination in mind. Seneca Rocks is one of the best-known landmarks in West Virginia. These rocks have long been noted as a scenic
attraction and are popular with rock climbers. The rocks are a magnificent formation rising nearly 900 feet above the North Fork River. It was a beautiful sight and we stopped by the visitor center to purchase a couple of t-shirts.
We still had enough time to stop to see another destination. Not too far away was Blackwater Falls State Park. We rode to it just around sunset time and it was a pretty sight. The Blackwater River falls over a canyon to create the 62 ft high falls and it is one of the most photographed venues in the state.
After that we decided to call it a night and Behram contacted a friend of his who owned a Hampton Inn Hotel nearby. We managed to get a room reserved and then headed to the hotel, reaching around 10pm. It was wonderful meeting Behrams friend at the hotel and he hung out
with us till late in the evening. On our drive to the hotel, we saw an amazing sunset. A perfect day, indeed.
The next day we contacted Arvind and Jishnu to see where we could meet them. We decided to meet at the famous Swinging Bridge restaurant in Paint Bank, Virginia. It would take them a few hours to reach there. The Hampton Inn offered a sumptuous hot breakfast buffet that I
loved! Soon after having breakfast we headed out and then took local scenic roads into Virginia.
We reached around noon to Paint Bank, Virginia and the other two riders reached within a minute of our arrival. Perfect timing. We had lunch at the Swinging Bridge restaurant.It offers typical southern gourmet food, and BBQ. The restaurant was pretty busy and it took a while to get our food but it was delicious. Soon after lunch, we decided to go explore some more back roads in Virginia. Jishnu decided to choose a twisty option in Calimoto for our ride back home and the route had a 3 to 4 mile stretch of gravel. There were a few steep uphill hairpin turns on gravel which gave us white knuckle moments on our touring bikes. Jishnu powered ahead in his GS which was in its elements on gravel.
The gravel section could not end fast enough for us. It was a delight to see tarmac again! Soon after, it started raining and we stopped to put on our rain gear. The rain felt good as it was very humid earlier.
We continued on further in Virginia, winding our way back to the North Carolina border and then headed home. We reached shortly after 8pm. It was a wonderful quick trip on beautiful back roads.