Orangeville to West Virginia - In search of the Mothman | GTAMotorcycle.com

Orangeville to West Virginia - In search of the Mothman

matthew

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Early in 2022, COVID restrictions finally lifted at the border and I started to plan my next trip south of the border.
I originally wanted to visit Tennessee and the Tail of the Dragon; I was last there in 2014 but my motivation and energy for seven night or more trips is starting to falter, so I decided to cut back on that plan and visit some new areas in West Virginia instead.

All of my life I have stayed up later than I should and found Art Bell while doing Lycos, Alta Vista and Yahoo searches for bigfoot. Listening to Art's showed introduced me to a strange creature called the mothman, which was reported to have been seen in the 1960's in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. I now had a purpose for my trip.

The total trip:

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My ride to the border was mostly uneventful.

I somehow managed to take the offramp for trucks at the duty free building rather than continue to the normal way for cars. I didn't realize I could park and walk to the building, so I just kept riding through the parking area and to the bridge

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My first stop was at the haunted Hinsdale house in Hinsdale NY.
Haunted WNY: History Lurking Within The Shadows at The Hinsdale House

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It's an abandoned but somewhat functioning "haunted" house offering tours and all that jazz. I didn't go inside; I just wanted to see it for myself.

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From there I went south west to Bradford PA and John Williams European Bakery. I bought a steak sandwich for lunch and grabbed a few treats for the road.


Bradford is on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest. It's full of empty, fun roads and plenty of pull offs to rest and answer natures call.

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I stayed in DuBois PA, pronounced da-boys, for the night at the Hampton Inn.
 

matthew

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Hold for day 2 post
The plan for today was to visit Moundsville WV and then go south east to the next hotel for the day.


The road to Moundsville was incredible. It puts anything in Ontario to shame.

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Moundsville, is aptly named because of a large Native American burial mound in the town

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex - West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History



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There is a similar, albeit smaller mound in Toronto in Scarborough
Taber Hill - Wikipedia


It was a fascinating look at life in this part of the county pre (and some post) European contact.

Across the street is the former West Virginia Penitentiary
West Virginia Penitentiary | Moundsville | Prison Tours

The prison offers ghost tours, escape rooms and other events. Sadly I had no time for any of those


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After giving my brain some exercise in the Grave Creek museum, I set out south to the next hotel, in Weston WV.

The route out of Moundsville followed the Ohio river and then veered SE though rural WV. I was having too much fun and wanted to make it to the hotel in decent time so I don't have any pictures along this section, but once again the roads put Ontario to shame. It will be difficult to spend three hours riding in Ontario to find 30 minutes of twisty roads when in WV, you can spend three hours riding and not find a straight road.


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I stayed this night and the next night at the Holday Inn a little east of the town of Weston.
 
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matthew

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This is the day I've been waiting for.
I'm getting old and I'm a bit of a homebody. I like my garage, basement and taking naps. I was feeling a little blah from being away form my creature comforts but this day gave me motivation.

As I mentioned in my first post, I wasted many a night as a youth, young adult and now adult listening to Coast to Coast AM and other paranormal type podcasts so I had a few sights I needed to see today.

Flatwoods and Sutton WV contained two of those sights.

As usual, the roads in WV are worth leaving my basement for (the path at the right is the one I took in the morning)

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I went to the town of Flatwoods WV, home of the Flatwoods monster.
Flatwoods monster - Wikipedia
In 1952 a strange figure was seen in the forest in this area. It wasn't a samsquanch, it wasn't a bear, so the only logical explaination is a creature from beyond the moon.

Amongst the trailers and run down buildings is this lovely chair paying homage to the monster.

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I continued south to another town with abandoned buildings with two hidden germs, the Flatwoods Monster Museum and the West Virginia Bigfoot museum



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Legit

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The myth, the legend
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I just quickly Googled Dr Tom Burns of Chattanooga, TN and he doesn't seem to exist; The conspiracy deepens
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After confirming my belief in sasquatch, I needed to hit the road and go to the western edge of the state to confirm my belief in another creature.
The route to Point Pleasant was long and uneventful. I made the stupid mistake of looking at a map and thinking to myself "Point Pleasant is only 2.5 hours from the hotel", not realizing it's also 2.5 hours back. I wasn't looking forward to the long ride but the excitement of seeing the mothman helped cancel out my mood.


I forget if I took the route that went north or south when heading to the town, but both felt very long. There was some nice twisty sections, but still it was long

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When I eventually arrived in Point Pleasant, I was greeted with closed streets and heavy traffic. There was a damn Mothman festival happening. I couldn't believe there are more people like me out in the world; It's a scary thought

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I parked beside a nice couple who rode from Columbus Ohio and walked over to the statue for the obligatory picture

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Tired but satisfied, I geared up again for the ride back to the hotel.
 
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matthew

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This was mostly an uneventful day. I was starting my trip back north. Before I left I ventured into town to snap a photo of Weston's most famous landmark, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum - Wikipedia

It's a huge building with a sordid history. Like the WV penn, it also offers ghost tours. I went on a tour here a few years ago and it was very interesting.

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I had a long boring day ahead of me, nothing was really noteworthy at this point. I was just in a "GTFO" mode. I was on took interstate I79, I68 and then 219 all the way to Bradford, which was my last night in 'Murica. I stayed at the Holday Inn

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matthew

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There's not a heck of a lot to say for this day. I woke up around 5:30 and started to load the luggage back on my bike. I made sure I had my passport, COVID papers, bridge fees ($10.25 now) and ArriveCan app ready in my tank bag.

I left the hotel around 7 and hit the border around 9. The CBSA employee only asked to see my passport.
I knew I was back in Canada when I was greeted with people driving 5 km/h under the limit in the left lane and other people tailgaiting without changing lanes and passing.

I arrived back in Orangeville around noon and was amused to see the pickup trucks from the "good ol boys" around town. Compared to what I saw in rural WV, the so called "country folk" here are basically just cos-players

I enjoyed my trip but the long days, for me anyway, was a bit much. I'm glad I didn't head farther south to TN, like I originally had planned. I wish I had given myself a day off the bike and doing nothing, but the hotels are all in suburban hell with no sidewalks and 55 mph roads, so I didn't want to confine myself to a hotel and not be able to walk around and explore a city.

All in all, it was worth it.
 
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robertv19

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There's not a heck of a lot to say for this day. I woke up around 5:30 and started to load the luggage back on my bike. I made sure I had my passport, COVID papers, bridge fees ($10.25 now) and ArriveCan app ready in my tank bag.

I left the hotel around 7 and hit the border around 9. The CBSA employee only asked to see my passport.
I knew I was back in Canada when I was greeted with people driving 5 km/h under the limit in the left lane and other people tailgaiting without changing lanes and passing.

I arrived back in Orangeville around noon and was amused to see the pickup trucks from the "good ol boys" around town. Compared to what I saw in rural WV, the so called "country folk" here are basically just cos-players

I enjoyed my trip but the long days, for me anyway, was a bit much. I'm glad I didn't head farther south to TN, like I originally had planned. I wish I had given myself a day off the bike and doing nothing, but the hotels are all in suburban hell with no sidewalks and 55 mph roads, so I didn't want to confine myself to a hotel and not be able to walk around and explore a city.

All in all, it was worth it.

Sounds like an awesome trip!

I just got back from a quick jaunt into PA and agree 100% about the difference in driving “habits” of SW Ontario drivers.

We rode through Bradford on the 219 and as we did I was thinking, we’ve never stopped here...for anything...gas, lodging or food. I always just think of the Zippo factory. Lol

Love the supernatural aspects and would love to tour some of those old prisons and lunatic asylums. Very cool!

Thanks for sharing
 

sburns

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Very cool trip, awesome looking roads, and of course Mothman! So weird and fascinating.

Thanks for sharing.
 

Lightcycle

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Excellent! I love trips with a quest or theme!

As I mentioned in my first post, I wasted many a night as a youth, young adult and now adult listening to Coast to Coast AM and other paranormal type podcasts so I had a few sights I needed to see today.

When I was younger, I used to watch Paranormal Science TV shows like "In Search Of...", and being in awe of episodes that covered the Ancient Astronomers from Mayan ruins, the Lochness Monster, the petrified remains of the citizens of Pompeii after the eruption of Mt Vesuvius.

Your Art Bell was my Leonard Nimoy.

On our big motorcycle trip, we visited each and every one of those sites in Mexico, Scotland, Italy and it brought back all those memories once again.

We also tried to visit every TARDIS in and outside of the UK. But that's a whole other side-quest...
 

mimico_polak

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Looks like a great trip and writeup! Thanks for sharing.
 

slowbird

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Awesome ride report! Thanks for sharing.

Probably one of the few ride reports I actually learned some things from.
 

timtune

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Bradford PA. You missed the Zippo mueseum....... and it's free admission!
 

oioioi

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Thanks for the ride report.
Looks like you had fun
 

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