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Barney’s Big Adventure I

Southeastern West Virginia

Bath County / Highland County, Virginia

 

This is the first in a series of ride reports around West Virginia and the surrounding areas.  I usually ride alone, but I thought I’d take along Barney for some company. Plus, it makes my 20-year-old college son wonder if his Dad has completely lost it. J

 

Today, I left Clarksburg and headed southeast through Elkins, Huttonsville, and down Rt 219 to Marlinton.  From there, I followed Rt 39 east to Warm Springs, VA.  At Warm Springs, I headed north along Rt 220 to Monterey, where I briefly detoured about 20 miles east to the summit of Shenandoah Mt.  Then it was back to Monterey and Rt 250 west to Huttonsville WV.  A short hop north to Elkins, and then I was home for dinner. 

 

I am just finishing my pet project (with the help of about 25 other riders) of photographing and documenting over 800 Historical Markers in West Virginia.  It started out of curiosity, and turned into a 2-year project where we helped the WV Department of Archives and History determine which markers needed to be repaired or replaced.  It has been over 10 years since the last time a survey was done, and much of the information was incomplete and outdated.  You can check out my project by clicking here:  http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=407164 

 

The reason I wanted to ride in part of Virginia today is to photograph some Historical Markers for a new project on the Adventure Riders website: www.advrider.com . A rider there saw what we were doing in WV and took the time and effort to set up a similar project for the Virginia Historical Markers.

 

Let’s Go!

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Trip0

I’m big and purple and ready to rumble!  My mascot for this ride, called

“Barney’s Big Adventure I”

 

 

 

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Here is a rough outline of today’s route, starting in the upper left, going south, and counter-clockwise around the loop into Virginia (with 2 brief detours).  

 

 

 

Trip1

I love early morning haze around the mountains!  This is Rt 33 eastbound into Elkins. 

 

 

 

Trip2

Another view along Rt 33, just a few miles west of Elkins.

 

 

 

Trip3

  I took a little detour south of Elkins looking for a WV Historical Marker.  I guess it is still missing.  Nice view south towards Beverly and Rich Mountain area.

 

 

 

Trip4

Rt 219 south of Huttonsville is a very scenic ride.  Barney’s enjoying it! 

 

 

 

Trip5

This funny scene is played out on Rt 219 between Valley Head and Huttonsville.  It’s a stuffed mannequin – been there for several years.  I’m sure it has startled many tourists.

 

 

Trip6

Next to the barn in the previous photo is this old country store “museum”.  Lots of interesting old stuff (including me!).

 

 

Trip7

I like the old gas pumps.  Couldn’t find the slot for my debit card, though.

 

 

 

Trip8

17 Cents Per Gallon!  Too bad it’s not unleaded. 

 

 

 

Trip9

After a quick refueling stop for the bike and a lemonade stop for me in Marlinton, it was eastbound for VA on Rt 39.  Nice ride through peaceful farmland.

 

 

 

Trip10

Another scenic view along Rt 39 after crossing into VA. 

 

 

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My first Virginia Marker – the small town of Mountain Grove in Bath County.  It’s located on Rt 39 between Warm Springs and the West Virginia border. 

 

 

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Not much here in Mountain Grove – just a few homes and a General Store.

 

 

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The next stop was the site of Fort Dinwiddie.  This was just a few miles east of Mountain Grove.  I rode out the gravel road for about a mile to search for remnants of the old fort, but the previous day’s rain left it a muddy trail.  I turned around without finding anything.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.

 

 

 

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Next stop – Bacova.  Named for Bath County VA.  This nice community is tucked away about a mile south of Rt 39 and appears to be a community of artists and craftsmen. 

 

 

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View entering Bacova from the south.

 

 

 

Trip11

Barney wants to stop and mail letters from the Bacova Post Office to all his friends.

 

 

 

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Next stop was Warm Springs at the County Court House. 

 

 

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Better view of the Bath County Courthouse.

 

 

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The next stop was one that makes “Marker Hunters” smile.  This is a “Three-fer”.  Yes, 3 markers in one stop.  Sometimes it takes an hour to locate one marker, so finding 3 in one spot is nice!  These are located on the north side of Warm Springs, VA at the junction of Rt 220 and Rt 39.  (Photos below)

 

 

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Marker # 1 in the group of 3 shown above.

 

 

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Marker # 2 in the group of 3 shown above.

 

 

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Marker #3 in the group of 3 shown above.

 

 

 

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Heading north on Rt 220 out of Warm Springs, I passed this interesting old dairy.  I know Beth would like this since the house and barn are white trimmed in lots of green (her favorite color).

 

 

 

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Here is the dairy barn.  I would have bought some milk, except it would be butter and curds by the time I got it home. 

 

 

 

 

Trip14

Heading north on Rt 220 toward Monterey and Highland County. 

 

 

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This is the Marker on the Bath County / Highland County line.  Just as in WV, the VA markers at the county lines are different on each side – the information is for the county you are entering.  This is for the southbound travelers on Rt 220 entering Bath County.

 

 

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This is the same Marker – for northbound travelers on Rt 220 (that’s me!) entering Highland County.

 

 

 

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Here’s a view of the previous marker along Rt 220 northbound (Bath/Highland Co, VA)

 

 

 

Trip15

Another scenic view along Rt 220 northbound, approaching Monterey.

Barney’s lovin’ it!  He’s been singing “I Love You” the whole trip! 

 

 

 

Trip16

Nice view of spring flowers along a roadside stream.

 

 

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At Monterey, I turned east on Rt 250 and stopped at the Felix Hull House about 10 miles later.

 

 

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Felix Hull House - Tucked in the trees about 100 yards off the highway. 

 

 

 

Trip17

This nice view is along the walk from the highway back to the Felix Hull House.

 

 

 

Trip18

Oh, yeah!  Rt 250 was good before, but now it’s getting even more interesting! 

 

 

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Just a few miles east of the Felix Hull House is this roadside pulloff for the Battle of McDowell.  This is especially interesting to me since Gen. General Stonewall Jackson was born in my hometown of Clarksburg, WV.

 

 

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The Battle of McDowell Marker (left) is part of a display set up along Rt 250.

 

 

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This plaque is on a stone monument near the Marker.

 

 

 

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The next stop was at the summit of Shenandoah Mountain, on the Highland County / Augusta County line about 20 miles east of Monterey on Rt 250.  There is a nice pulloff there with another Marker and interpretive trail for Fort Edwards (see photo below). 

 

 

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Nice view from the overlook by the Highland Co / Augusta Co Line Marker.

 

 

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Fort Edward Johnson Marker located at the same pulloff for the Highland Co / Augusta Co Marker.

 

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Rt 250 starts it’s descent of Shenandoah Mountain eastbound from the summit.

 

 

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This is one of the informative signs along the trail around the old fort area.

 

 

 

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Rt 250 heading back west to Monterey VA.  Great riding!!

 

 

 

Trip19

Approaching Monterey VA.  I stopped at a small pulloff with this great view of the area.

 

 

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At Monterey, I took another brief detour north about 6 miles to the WV / VA state lines.

This is the view for northbound travelers on Rt 220 entering WV. 

 

 

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View northbound on Rt 220 entering WV.

 

 

 

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This is the same Marker for southbound travelers entering VA on Rt 220.

 

 

After this, I turned back around south to Monterey, then headed west on Rt 250 back towards WV.

 

 

 

Trip20

Just west of Monterey VA, this stunning view of the mountains suddenly appeared.

Photos cannot do it justice!

 

 

Trip21

Rt 250 westbound (still in VA) approaching the West Virginia border.

Barney’s getting homesick.

 

 

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Back to West Virginia!  You can see a couple of the WV Markers to the left of this one.

 

 

 

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Home sweet home – West Virginia!  Rt 250 – Huttonsville is about 20 miles ahead.

 

Hope you enjoyed Barney’s Big Adventure I. 

 

West Virginia is a wonderful state to explore for history and natural beauty.  I would be glad to share my experiences with anyone planning a trip here.  Just drop me a line! 

 

 

 

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