Posted by: Jessie | October 23, 2011

BMW Club Weekend in Hocking Hills

The BMW Motorcycle of Cincinnati does a weekend club event every year.  For the last several years it has been at the Iron Horse Motorcycle lodge in North Carolina.  This year it was decided to go someplace closer, and we chose Hocking Hills.  Iron Horse is about 350 miles from Cincinnati, where Hocking Hills is only about 150 miles away.

We rode up on Friday and took the back roads.  It was an easy 3 hour ride.  We got to the Holiday Inn Express in plenty of time to check in, relax, have a beer and socialize before dinner.  Tom was passing out beer before we had our jackets off.  Some people brought appetizers and snacks, which we enjoyed before dinner.  It’s a good thing, too, because after we go to the BBQ restaurant across the street, it was another hour before we could get a table.  After dinner we went back to our rooms to get some sleep.  The plan was to ride out at 9:30 in the morning to explore some roads.

At 9:30am it was pretty darn foggy.  There was some discussion of waiting for the fog to lift, but by 10:00am the fog was still pretty thick.  Then Merril, who was staying at a cabin down the road, rode in and told us that the fog was only over our hotel, nowhere else.  So we geared up and were ready to go, but Eric’s bike would not start.  The guys tried to push start it.  They pushed, and pushed, and pushed.  Finally they decided to jump it.  This worked, and finally we were on the road.  We were 12 bikes, 4 of them riding 2-up.

John took us on some beautiful roads.  At one point when it turned to gravel I was reluctant to follow.  My big heavy bike does not do so well on gravel, but the Harley, the Gold Wing, and the brand new K1600 GTL were already ahead of me.  I figured if they could handle it then I could too.  It was loose gravel at first, then muddy loose gravel (boo!).  Then it turned back to pavement (yea!).  Then gravel again (boo!).  When we stopped it became apparent that 10 out of 12 bikes don’t like gravel.  There were fourteen faces frowning at John, so he had to distract the focus off himself and tell everyone that JESSIE REALLY HATES GRAVEL.  Now, I’ve had some bad experience with gravel, but it’s not worth making a big deal out of it.  I went ahead and rode on it, didn’t I?  And I survived it.  So it’s all good.

We got lost in the woods and gravel so we missed the Moonville tunnel.  Next stop was the Buckeye Furnace.  It’s a smelting furnace where they made iron from ore.  It was heated with charcoal.  The whole site is an interesting piece of history, and the furnace itself was huge.

Next we went to lunch at Marie Laveau’s Bar and Grill.  It’s a neat place with two outside patio’s, a bar, and a restaurant area.  They have a juke box, and Tom had to play the country song about Marie Laveau three times so that we would all learn the words.  We got there at 2:00, and we were hungry.  We filled the whole dining room.  There were only two guys working, I think the one by the name of “Big Sexy” is the owner.  They did not tell us that the kitchen doesn’t open until 4:00… they just started cooking.  “Big Sexy” took our order onne table at a time.  He did not move very fast… it’s hard to move fast when you’re that big.  The kitchen was just a tiny area behind the bar and they fired up the smoker out back.  Eric had a rib-eye po’boy.  I had a tilapia po’boy.  The food was good, but it was 3:30 by the time we all got served and 4:00 by the time we left.

We went from there to the Leo Petroglyphs.  They are the oldest and finest examples of petroglyphs in all of Ohio.  Many of us were disappointed by the amount of graffiti.  We went for a short nature hike and then got back on the bikes and headed back to the hotel.

The ladies who did not want to spend their whole day on motorcycles had gone shopping, hiking, and site seeing.  By the time we got back to the hotel they had put out drinks and appetizers in the breakfast room.  Chips and dip, cheese and crackers, beer and wine.  How lovely!   We were all sitting, chatting, munching and drinking when one of the girls from the front desk came in and announced that there was no alcohol allowed in any of the public areas and that we had to move the party to one of the rooms.  How disappointing, and how odd.  They did not say anything about our drinking beer in the lobby the night before.  There were several women in Harley t-shirts drinking beer in the lobby, and they weren’t asked to take it to their rooms.  Oh well.  We packed everything up, cleaned up after ourselves, and went across the street to the Mexican restaurant.  They were able to seat us right away.  Dinner was great and the portions were huge!

The next morning we were back on the road.  Many people came straight home, but Eric and I headed over to Old Man’s Cave.  There we met up with Scott, Lisa, and Ruben.  We hiked around Old Man’s Cave and the Upper Falls.  Then we rode to Chillicothe for lunch.  After lunch we split up and rode home.

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