Cass Memorial Day Campout
May 24 - 27, 1996


From: Don Graling

Date: Sun, 26 May 1996
Subject: BMW: Cass Rally Trip Report

I originally thought I was going to Ocean City, Maryland with about 350,000 other people this weekend and then to my delight my wife decided she wanted to attend a horse show on Sunday instead so the weekend was open. Steve Coburn, Blue Ridge Beemers, had mentioned the Cass Rally last weekend and after finding it in On the Level it looked like an easy shot from Centreville, Virginia.

Nick (10-year old smart mouth son) and I left on Friday after work. On the bike and packed at 7:00 P.M. with a quick stop at the money machine planned. Five minute drive was overshadowed with bright lightening and thunder. One thing Nick hates is this! So after getting the cash we returned home to wait it out for a couple of minutes in the garage. Within five minutes explosives was over and we were on our way. Took 29 west through Manassas Battlefield and then west on Interstate 66 to Interstate 81 to Harrisonburg. Stopped in Harrisonburg for a Mac attack at 9:00 and was back on the road by 9:30. Took Route 33 West and then hit 28 South once we were in West Virginia. Coming out of Harrisonburg saw a lot of heat lightening but never did get any rain. The trip over the mountains at night is always intense. Saw Bambi on the side of the road several times just waiting for me to come along. There was almost no traffic and arrived at the Cass Rally site near Green Bank, West Virginia at 11:59 P.M. Nick was done by then, he said he'd been dozing off on the back. He's pretty well wedged in between the Corbin backrest and the Vermont Canvas U-pack, he's not going anywhere.

After setting up the tent, hit the sack, and then was awoken at 2:30 by the loudest thunder storm. Thought Nick would wake up but nothing doing, didn't hear a thing. Next morning greeted by a beautiful camp site and great rally put on there. The folks that ran the rally couldn't have been nicer. It was fairly small but saw several other members of my local BMWBMW club including Angelo Gravagna, Bert Spittel, Joe Grant and "Red". Other IBMWR presidents in attendance were Nancy Jablonski and John B - (I think Baxter).

The highlight of the trip was Saturday's ride on the Cass Mountain Railroad. A restored railroad operated as a State of West Virginia park since 1963. If you ever get the chance and are in the area you have to take the train. Saturday night dinner was catered by the local restaurant and we ended the evening sharing lies over the campfire. I really need to buy a kermit chair or steal Dave Keuch's to enjoy myself.

Sunday dawned wet and foggy for the third day in a row. We'd planned to head back on Sunday anyways so it didn't really matter. Trip back took about four hours and covered close to 200 miles. Some of Route 28 was washed out, amazing what you can't see at night. They've had some bad floods in West Virginia this year and it was evidenced by the piles of debris by the side of the road.

The rally was a laid back affair and they hope to expand it next year but keep it at the same site. If the weather could have been just a little bit better the riding would have been even more fun.

Don Graling, Centreville, Virginia
"Don's Four Corners B-Day" 8/3 - 8/18


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