Day 8 – 5/24/2014
Start / End: Lexington, VA to Germantown, MD
Distance: 194 miles
Time: 8 hrs – Uncontrolled delay in travel

This was the start of the last morning away from home.  Not being impressed with the hotel, and since my neighbors have very little consideration, I was up before 8am, but didn’t rise out of bed until 8:30am.  Like normal, my first task was to check on my bike, it appeared to be doing just fine.  Today’s ride marked the last portion, or section to home.  I’ve taken the Skyline Drive previous but I don’t think I ride from end to end, so today, I will correct that oversight.  The end of the drive enters in Front Royal, VA.  I quickly packed and loaded the bike, ate my honey bun and was ready to move at 10am.  I topped off since I only used half a tank yesterday.

I took 81 to Staunton, where I could pick up Skyline Drive from 64.  Talk about a temperature difference.  You need to dress appropriately as there is a good 10 to 20 degree drop from the surrounding area.  I move toward the gate of Shenandoah National Park and it wasn’t until that moment, that I realized that I didn’t have any cash on me.  I quickly had the cars go around me as I backed my bike out.  For motorcycles, there is a day charge of $10, which will get you back in the park on the same day.  5 miles down the road I found an ATM machine, but not until I passed a group which looks like they were gathering for a day ride.  Damn, I wish I could have joined them, but I had a mission to ride the entire 105 miles.

I know 105 miles doesn’t sound that bad.  105 miles on Interstate 81 would take me a little over an hour, however, when you are limited to going 35 MPH, actually 45 MPH, well then it takes a little longer.  As I move along the road, I was very happy that I did it verses just taking the easy route.  The road gave my some challenges and really allowed me to up my game on taking turns with my bike.  I have to say there were many times when the footboards where scraping across the ground.  YEAH BABY!!

Aside from enjoying the natural switchbacks of the road, it was basically uneventful.  I was able to stop a couple of times to take scenic pictures, but honestly, most of the time I spent just trying to get around some slow moving cager.  That was until passing Big Meadow when I ran up on a motorcycle accident.

It looked like it happened moments before I got there.  I didn’t even pull my bike to the side, I just stop, turned it off and grabbed my first aid kit.  From what I gathered a group of German riders were traveling southbound and one of them simply went down.  Another rider not associated with the group believes he witnessed two of the biker bump causing one to go down.  The downed rider was on an Electra Glide and it flipped and slid off the road about 50 ft. from where the rider landed in the middle of the road.  His left eye was starting to swell shut, he was bleeding from a deep cut on his nose, and road rash on his legs.  I was the first EMT to him and there was a nurse from the UK close behind.  About a minute later another 3 EMTs arrived, then an off duty ranger EMT.  I called him Superass, because he was a huge pain in one. No one could do right until he appeared.  He was in civilian clothing, but I could see the cape in his truck and the letter S under his shirt. He was a pain in the ass.  When I first arrived I asked someone to call 911 because we happened to be in a really bad signal area.  Actually the entire mountain had horrible cell phone coverage.  When we got a ranger there, they looked lost, but had a first aid kit with more stuff than mine.

The German riders, a group of 6, spoke German well, but not so much English.  The rangers were able to get a German translator about 15 minutes later.  It took the ambulance about 40 minutes to get on location, but that time we had performed a detailed head to toe examination, and well as getting primary vitals.  We also placed a collar on him and placed them on oxygen. All we needed was a backboard and an ambulance.  When the ambulance arrived, they did more stuff on the street, which I personally believe they should have done in the back of the ambulance, but what do I know, I’ve only been an EMT for 26 years.

Anyway, because of our proximity and distance from a hospital and the apparent head injuries as well as MOI, a helicopter was requested and landed before the ambulance left the scene.  I followed the ambulance to the landing zone and watch them transfer and load.  These guys run at a little slower pace than we do at my station, but they did a really good job.

After the helicopter took off, I was back down the road. At about 5:35pm, I arrived at Front Royal.  From there I decided to top my fuel off again.  An hour later, I was home.  I decided to take 66 to 495 to 270.  Yes I could have taken more back road, but at some point you have to say, okay, I need to get home.

All in all, then was a fantastic trip.  I drove from Germantown, MD to Orlando, FL and back again.  I took many different routes and wasn’t on the highway the entire time.  Riding switchback road, riding in the rain, and crossing multiple state alone really is a rewarding experience.  This is only the start.  I plan on doing something like this annually, at least I hope to.  Traveling to different locations of course.  Thanks for reading my blog, if you have any comments, please post the below.

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