This morning we wanted to get on the road early as we knew we had a long day ahead of us running down I-81S. As a last minute thing before we left I checked the Garmin for food along the route with “BBQ” in the name. I found one stop in each of the 4 states we would be passing through; Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. We managed to get on the road by 8am after having breakfast at the hotel. Today had my first waffle of the trip.
Riding the superslab isn’t usually exciting but the scenery along I-81 in New York state is very nice, and the temperatures stayed in the 70’s. In fact it was very comfortable until we got down into Pennsylvania and our altitude got lower. That’s when the heat started building.
Our first BBQ joint was at the southern end of PA in a little town called, Greencastle. When we rolled into town something big was going on in the center of town and they had the streets blocked off forcing people to follow detours that weren’t really intended for that amount of traffic. Finally after circling the entire town and coming in from the south we reached Bentley’s Old Mill Bakery & BBQ. The place met the objective of having “BBQ” in the name for the Smoke Chasin 2011 ride. They were closed for some local event and the hand written sign said they would be open “later”. Two things make me unlikely to ever try to go back to that place; 1. no bbq smoke smell outside (even if they were closed for business, the pit should have been smoking meats for Monday) 2. The place looked brand spanking new and lacked any authentic BBQ attitude about it. I’m really stuck on the lack of good smelling smoke…. UPDATE: Reagan did some investigating online and determined they have closed the place and it’s up for sale. That certainly explains the lack of smoke.
So we punched up the 2nd joint which was just down the road a few miles in Maryland. A short ride down I-81 and another drive through town took us to a shopping center in Hagerstown, MD. There we found Hempen Hill Bbq Bar & Grill which as luck would have it is closed on Sundays. OK, those of you who know me…. if I ever actually decide to open a BBQ joint, you have my permission to give me a “whoopin” if I don’t open on Sundays. I mean come on! BBQ joints should be open on the weekends, no excuses. Close down on Monday and Tuesdays if you want time off.
The rules of the Smoke Chase don’t require us to actually any Q so we got our pictures and moved on. The 3rd stop was a long shot in my mind. It didn’t show up on my Garmin and I had found it via google. So we headed down to Martinsburg, WV in search of JF Texas Brisket BBQ. The address led us to a little business center in the middle of no where. I guess they had gone out of business because there was no JF’s BBQ to be found. I should have checked it out a little more carefully online since it wasn’t in my Garmin. Oh well…
We returned to I-81S and went down the road a few exits until we found a Subway just across the Virginia state line. That gave us a chance to get out of the 100 degree heat and enjoy a late lunch. We opted to skip the BBQ in Virginia as we’ll be in the state for another 2 days and should be able to find a place along the way. We completed the last 45 miles of the day’s ride and found our hotel in Front Royal, Va. We are just a mile or so from the beginning of Skyline drive.
Today we travelled 440 miles and were on the road for 8 hours. This was certainly the hottest travel day we’ve had so far. Tomorrow we’ll be riding the Skyline drive in it’s entirety. The whole route is 111 miles and is supposed to take 3.5 hours plus stops along the way. It’s a work day so we’ll later but I expect to be in Waynesborro tomorrow afternoon in time for a nap.