With the trailer days behind us we started a leisurely ride out of Roanoke and onto the Blueridge Parkway. In the past we have ridden much of the North Carolina Parkway but have not ventured onto the Virginia portion. Today we fixed that (well at least a bit), we started on the Parkway in Roanoke and rode to the exit for Shenandoah Valley Harley Davidson (ok you will not actually find that exit), about a hundred miles (give or take).
One thing you learn quickly in touring is that you never replace all your equipment at one time, you do it slowly as things break, get lost or stop working the way you want them to – today it was Cindy’s boom mic clip, my seat, and Julie’s clear face shield. With these items in need of repair/replacement we were off on our trip-in-a-trip Harley shopping and dealership tour (Virginia edition).
The first shop we visited was Shenandoah Valley HD, nice store but due to the recent Rolling Thunder Rally they were low on inventory and the helmet Cindy wanted was unavailable, the seat I was looking for was in question and Julie did not know at that point that her face shield would be breaking. The good news is that the dealership was able to locate an alternate helmet for Cindy a few miles down the road at Stonewall HD in Orange, with the helmet located we were off to Monticello for the Thomas Jefferson Home tour. Prior to the tour we met up with Dean’s brother Randy and his wife Pat who met us for lunch and joined us on the tour, what a great couple.
The tour of Monticello was very interesting and our tour guide was animated and engaging, he truly knew the history and was able to answer any questions asked. One tip if you want to go on this tour, buy your tickets online to save money but when you go to will call you will have to stand in the ticket line, make sure you allow time for the line and the bus ride to the house, 30 minutes would have been fine for us (we did it in 11, yikes). One other suggestion, Julie and I had just finished listening to a Jefferson biography, it really added to the experience and gave us something to do on the two trailer days.
After Monticello we were off to Stonewall HD for the Helmet and a seat. The folks at Stonewall were great. Earlier in the day when we called the dealer the helmet Cindy wanted was on hold for another customer, by the time we got to the dealership they had called the customer and found out that helmet would indeed be available for Cindy. As a bonus, they also had my replacement Hammock seat (so long old seat of 100k+ miles). Unfortunately, the dealership did not have a face shield for Julie, she has a Scorpion Helmet not HD, well that leaves us a reason to do more shopping later on.
From Orange we had a short 75 ride into Alexandria to continue our Hampton Inn tour staying near Mount Vernon, but more about that later.