ONE MORNING AT GRAFTON, WEST VIRGINIA

Rt. 50 is one of the older highways in the American system, cutting across the country at about waist level. In the mountains of West Virginia, it offers that motorcyclist abundant curves, great scenery and lots of tiny towns to meander through on your way over to Front Royal where the Skyline Drive starts south to hook up with the Blue Ridge Parkway. About 35 years ago I was on my way there, riding my old BMW R90/6 on this road and stopped for the night at the little motel (now long gone, unfortunately) in Grafton West, Va. The next morning when I went across the street in the rain to the restaurant for breakfast, there was a new Honda Goldwing parked there with what appeared to be a large, very nice , suitcase, not of the motorcycle luggage variety, bungi-corded awkwardly to the seat. Inside I met a man in his later 50’s who told me over our eggs that he was a lawyer in Washington DC and a few weeks ago he had been sitting at his desk, immersed in the legal minutia of his profession when he suddenly realized how much of his life had gone by in just such labor. Though he was not a motorcyclist, he got up, left his office and walked down the street to a Honda dealer and bought the big Gold Wing, rode it home and there, to his wife’s consternation, packed up the suitcase and told her he’d be back “in a while”. He had been out west, into the the deserts and the mountains, had gotten wet and cold , overheated and felt the wind through his jacket. On this morning he was headed back home, presumably to finish the work he had left on his desk. I hope he still rides.

About johngrice

Retired small town lawyer, lifelong motorcyclist, traveler and old guy sitting around thinking.
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