Day 1: Root Beer Run

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…and I took the one that looked the least like rain! Not a drop all day. I made the decision as to which way to ride today, literally on the fly, at the last minute, right before the road split. I do that a lot; keeps it exciting! I decided to run to Huntington, WV and stop at the Frostop drive in. My parents owned a Frostop franchise back in the 60's. Mostly what I remember about it was the many jugs of root beer syrup in our basement. And all the equipment in our barn once they closed it down. Oh, and the “ranchburgers,” “chuckwagons” and, above all, the coney sauce.

After stopping at the Frostop in West Virginia, I can tell you that the frosty root beer is as good as ever. Not the case with the coney. Definitely not the recipe my mother used, and still uses today. It was great fun to stop though. The decor is similar and they still have curb hops. Being lousy at taking photos, I failed to get myself in a picture. We always called the place, “the root beer stand.” My dad called it the “geedunk stand,” and obscure Navy term for the snack shop on a ship.

Once I had my fill of the frosty mug, I tossed a coin and headed southeast toward the middle of nowhere West Virginia. If the show, “The Middle” attempts to portray Indiana as backwoods, they obviously have not visited the Apalachia region! When I say, middle of nowhere, I mean isolated. No cell phone signal for about 4 hours. No real towns of any size…not even a McDonald's…heck, even the gas stations were 60's throwbacks. It was so remote that the poor school kids had to take “connecting flights!” 3 buses waited for one to drop off kids in a roadside pull off. They each loaded other buses and headed toward home. It was so remote, dogs were sleeping in the road. It was so remote I saw more 4 wheelers than cars, many of them heading toward the Hatfield McCoy trails. That fued is over now, right?

I had a possible desitination in mind for the night; Bluefield, VA. As soon as I was able to get a phone signal, I reserved a room. Good thing too, as college football is in town for the weekend. I thought I would never get there. Generally, I like to stop riding about 6:00-6:30, as I want to be settled before the deer and other animals start playing tag. It was closer to 8:00 before I saw civilization. If you get the chance to ride Western West Virginia, I can highly recommend Highway 10. It was as twisted as the Devil, with at least a dozen hair pin 180s and mile after mile of “left, right, left, right.” Everything from tight twisties to beatiful sweepers. I spent so much time leaned over that I was sore and exhausted by the time I made the hotel. Just keep in mind that if you make that run, it takes about 4 hours to travel 100 miles!

Well, that sums up Day1 of this year's Asheville Beer & Biscuit run. No biscuits yet. As for the beer, I didn't see a sign advertising local craft beer until I had already grabbed one of these.





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