A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Before the Ride

Getting ready to blog my way through another ride.

In 2015, I had a three week ride from home to Maine in a very roundabout route that was an absolutely wonderful trip. I blogged my way through that one, and called the blog Mainly Maine. Click on it and see what I did.

There are a few entries from that blog that explains why I like to do these things, and my thoughts about why I do them are the same now as they were then, so I will just link to a few posts from then. Click and enjoy! (Don't forget to hit the BACK button when you are done to return to this blog.)


CYCLE TOURING EVOLUTION from 1989 to 2017 (For me, at least)


Where to now?


The New River and West Virginia and the Summer Solar Eclipse

New River Watershed

New River Watershed

The New River (Click) is actually considered one of the oldest rivers in the world. It runs through NC, VA, and WV. In my snooping around maps over the years, this river has intrigued me...Also, West Virginia is the closest state that I feel that I know the least about. I have never done anything in WV other than drive through it briefly...(I'm sorry, I just remembered that I when to a 3-day planetarium conference in Wheeling, WV in the late 80's. That was very Ohio-ish, and now I am exploring the mountain-y portion of the state.

Posted by TadHerman 22:24 Comments (0)


Development of the Route

Things to Consider- Working in Seattle until Aug 5...Having West Virginia in my sights for my next ride for the past few years...Having my sights on the Aug 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse for the past few decades...considering finding a riding partner...involving my wife into the Solar Eclipse part of the trip...

1) I wanted to start near I-81 for easy car retrieval on the way back from eclipse.

2) The astronomy nerd in me wanted to get to National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV. It has the largest steerable telescope on the planet...a big radio telescope.

Green Bank Telescope

Green Bank Telescope

3) The Greenbrier Rail Trail This looks like a nice casual ride along a river in between big climbing days.

Greenbrier Rail Trail

Greenbrier Rail Trail

4) The Civil Engineering Teacher nerd in me wanted to get to the New River Gorge Bridge

It's a superlative bridge. Could be a cool thing to see.

New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge Bridge

The rest will be following the New River until my car ride shows up in Aug 18.

Posted by TadHerman 19:04 Comments (0)


There is more than the Solar Eclipse that will be dark!

There is an area designated in our fine United States where there is a major restriction on radio transmissions. This means essentially no radio stations, TV stations, cell phone towers. As you get closer to the center (Near the radio telescopes) there is no cell phone use, and even microwave oven use can be fined. Apparently some people that consider themselves hyper-sensitive to all types of radio transmissions will move into this area. The area is approximately 13,000 square miles, which is about the same as Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island combined.

Because of this, I am not sure if I will be able to keep a daily blog. It will be very remote for the first week, and if I can't find an internet cafe type place, I may have to wait to send out bloggy stuff....Time will tell. Or if you are reading this after the completion of the trip and the blog, you will never know.

The National Radio Quiet Zone (Click)

Green Bank, West Virginia, is surrounded by 13,000 square miles

Green Bank, West Virginia, is surrounded by 13,000 square miles

Posted by TadHerman 19:39 Comments (0)


The Astronomy Teacher in me has to make a plug for the big event.

I have been interested in astronomy from about age 6 or 7. I gobbled up many books on all things space over the years. Many books explaining Solar Eclipses would often have a map of the United States and the eclipses for the next 50 years. Here are 2 of those maps showing 100 years of eclipses. It give you a chance to see how uncommon they are. (I not sure if the picture will preserve resolution to read the dates). The last total eclipse in the US (on the maps in blue) was in 1970. It looks like it grazed Florida and Cape Cod as it went up the coast. I have the vaguest memory of being forced to take a nap so I, as a 6 year old, would not blind myself while looking at a partial solar eclipse in NY. This was never confirmed. However, I remember a 1994 annular eclipse (not quite total) that happened while I was working at Dutchess Comm College. A mother had pulled her daughter out of school to bring her to DCC (we had advertised a public viewing) because her teacher pulled the blinds and would not let the class view the eclipse because of the --danger--

There is no danger if viewed correctly.

Anyway, I have been aware of this event for over 40 years and the time is now...



The upcoming map in a little more detail.

Eclipse Map

Eclipse Map

Posted by TadHerman 20:18 Comments (0)

Ancient Omens and Modern Day Armageddon

Blocking the Sun...throughout history

It is understandable that in ancient times, before the ability to predict eclipses, the idea that the sun going out in the middle of the day might be considered a bad thing. The Sun would have been considered one of the most reliable things, rising in the east and setting in the west. Read some on reasoning for eclipses being interpreted as bad things.

Modern Day Concerns
I have been looking forward to this event for a few years. Now, it has become a news item and travel destination. The internet and online booking has shown that most accommodations in the US along the line of the eclipse are all full. There is growing concern that it may become an overloaded event that towns, cities, and counties along the line may not be ready for.

I will be heading to western North Carolina in remote, rural Great Smoky Mountain territory. It is in Cherokee County. The sheriff's office has put out a public notice and they are treating it like an impending winter storm...stock up on water and gas, stay at home... Here is a link to the notice...It reads like a disaster event. THEY ARE COMING! (CLICK)

Posted by TadHerman 20:53 Comments (2)

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