Three National Parks, One Great Road Trip, Celebrating America’s Best Idea


1916 – 2016



The Road to Virginia

The weather was perfect, what every traveling motorcyclist hopes for when starting a long journey from home. Sunny, a mild breeze, temps in the upper 40’s at 8 AM. Sunday, October 2, a perfect South Carolina autumn morning.

It was a long day in the saddle. Seven hours and three states to reach my first nights destination, Willville Motorcycle Campground in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Willville is a favorite camping destination of mine, but I hadn’t been there for three years. It was good to be back.


Willville is pretty basic. Unimproved tent sites, a trailer bunkhouse, a bath house, and an open air gazebo and porch. Oh, and a modern day privy.

Note the decal. More on that later


Camp scenes from Willville

Not many campers at Willville, as it was a Sunday afternoon when I arrived. Most folks head home on Sunday morning after a weekend’s getaway. After setting up camp and signing in, a nice nature walk was in order to stretch the legs and set the stage for the week to come.

This guy had all two-wheel bases covered:


The ride to Willville was all back roads and secondary highways. Very pleasant, nothing too technical. The best road I traveled on was NC 268, between Lenoir, North Carolina and Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Curvy, two lane tarmac with virtually no traffic and beautiful scenery. If you find yourself riding in this area of North Carolina, check this road out.

The final twenty miles to Willville was on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Had to have an early Parkway fix. About nine miles out, I stopped here for a late afternoon root beer float, 1950’s style:

001 The interior is done up pure 1950’s: juke box, soda fountain, and the requisite posters of Elvis and James Dean. Struck up a chat with a couple of Harley riders before heading out. Check out that chopper. Anyone seen Peter Fonda?

The evening was fantastic. Sitting around the campfire with a few locals who camp here all the time. One guy was strumming a guitar while we all sang or hummed to the tune, drinking a beer or two.

In the morning, I still have about 150 miles to go to get to my first of three National Parks. Let the celebration begin!

Next Post: Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive, Virginia



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