Accident, Dead Desoto, and Chickens Crossing the Road


Accident MD to Petersburg WV (And Back)


September 01-02, 2016



Since my mom is back at the farm in Petersburg for a while, I stopped at the post office in Clarksburg and picked up her held mail. It was a nice excuse to take advantage of two beautiful days (sunny and low 80s) and ride down to Petersburg WV on backroads to deliver her mail.





Since the 2-lane road out of WV is usually clogged with gravel trucks during the week, I took I-68 East about 30 miles to Friendsville MD.  From there I rode southeast to Accident MD, then Bittenger MD, then south to Swanton MD and Kitzmiller MD before crossing into WV at Elk Garden. A little further south, I took Rt 50 east to just past the turnoff for Keyser and turned south on Knobley Road, which varies from 1-2 lanes and comes out at Maysville, just above Petersburg WV.




Outline of route starting up north in Friendsville MD and riding south.


Link to Interactive Map on Furkot: 







The worst part of any ride is the 45 minutes it takes to go 7 miles in Morgantown traffic.

I sat through 4 long complete cycles at this light alone.






Soon I was out of Morgantown traffic and on the road.

First stop was Friendsville, Maryland.  It's the first exit off I-68 in Maryland and makes a good starting point.

This is Grace Lutheran Church.






On the east end of Friendsville, the road passes under I-68. 

Glad to be away from the traffic and big trucks.  Peaceful back roads ahead!





Just a few miles out of town is the turnoff for Accident-Friendsville Road.






The Accident-Friendsville Road starts out with a 1-lane bridge.

Don't think I will see many large trucks ahead.






Just to the side of the 1-lane bridge is this old bridge.

(Sorry - the sun was out in full force and made taking photos rather difficult)






After a mile or two, the road turned to chip-seal and fine gravel.

I was a little nervous at first what might lay ahead, but wisely chose to continue.

The road was very smooth and easy to ride on as it climbed Oak Hill.






After about 2 miles, the pavement returned. Glad I chose to continue.

Nice, small farms. 






Continuing on Accident-Friendsville Road.






More farms along Accident-Friendsville Road.

I think this would be a pretty ride in the fall with the trees changing colors.






Soon, I came to the town of Accident. 

Trivia:  A person from Accident is called an Accidental. (Musicians will find that especially funny)




In 1787, the surrounding countryside was surveyed into military lots by Francis Deakins, lots that were meant as compensation for the soldiers who served from Maryland during the War of Independence. Each soldier who served for two years received one lot of 50 acres, officers received four lots of 50 acres






Downtown Accident MD.   Nice quiet town.






Municipal Building and Town Hall.







View of Accident  MD from nearby hillside.  Lots of old farms in the area.







Leaving Accident MD on Accident-Bittinger Road eastbound.






Accident-Bittinger Road east of Accident.






Continuing east on Accident-Bittinger Road.






I passed several Mennonite Churches.

One, surprisingly, had a large flashing and scrolling message sign out front.






Sign out in front of church in previous photo.






Accident-Bittinger Road nearing Bittinger.  Lots of farms.








Also lots of split rail fences.  Nice, relaxing ride! 







Close-up of split rail fence.







Soon, I turned south at Bittinger onto Rt 495 towards the West Virginia state line.







Past Swanton, I turned onto Rt 38 south toward Kitzmiller.






Same spot as last photo, but turned to see the scenic overlook.






Kitzmiller MD.  That bridge up ahead crosses the Potomac River. West Virginia is past the bridge.







On the West Virginia side of the bridge looking back into Kitzmiller MD, where I took the previous photo.







The Potomac River was pretty low.







Heading south on Rt 42 towards Elk Garden WV.

This view is actually looking back north, with Jennings Randolph Lake to the right about 5 miles.







Panorama from the same spot I took the previous photo.







Rt 42 was a great ride! 







Passing through Sulphur City WV, I stopped to take a photo of Sulphur Methodist Church.






Soon, I turned eastbound on Rt 50.  There is a lot of great riding on parts of Rt 50.

This photos is from just east of Skyline.






More of Rt 50.  This is near the Keyser turnoff.






I had not planned to go this way, but when I passed this sign for Knobley Road, I quickly turned around.

I remembered this road passes by Greenland Gap about 30-35 miles south of here.

I've never been on the north section, so it's time to explore some new roads! 






Starting on Knobley Road off Rt 50.







Heading south on Knobley Road.  Still in Mineral County.






Antioch United Methodist Church. 







South of Antioch, the road narrows to 1-1/2 lanes with no center line.

I love these roads!!!






Right around the Mineral County/ Grant County line on Knobley Road.

Nice view with an old barn to the left.






Better view of the old barn.






Some curious bovines.  A few ran away, and a few came closer.






Knobley Road north of Greenland Gap, near Martin.






Still heading south on Knobley Road near Greenland Gap.



After passing Greenland Gap, I didn't stop for photos since I have many posted already on different ride reports.

Next stop - the farm and delivering the mail to Mom.






Parked by the farmhouse for the night.






To get to the farmhouse, you need to cross our creek and go up a gravel road.

Luckily, the creek was very low (only 6 - 8 inches deep today) so I could take my bike up to the house.

This old swinging bridge has been here forever.

I can actually walk across carrying stuff in both hands without holding the handrails. Woo-Hoo!







Panorama of the view from our farmhouse out to Rt 220.

Notice our "pet" deer to the right? They come up by the house every evening.





After dinner, Mom and I walked up to the cemetery.

I've walked this old gravel road up the mountain hundreds of times.






The old cemetery is at the top of a nearby hill. Very peaceful.






"Old Man Judy" was one of the first to be buried here.

He wanted to be buried under that old pine tree in the center.

That was nearly 100 years ago, and the tree is still there!


In the foreground by the fence:

My grandparents (Herbert and Mernie Alt) to the right.

My great-grandparents (William and Elizabeth Alt) to the left (separate headstones)








Hay bales in our field, with the Bethel Church of the Brethren in the background.







After a hearty breakfast of eggs and toast, it was time to head out.  Today, I am going to backtrack north just about 3 miles to take North Mill Creek Road over to Dorcas, then South Mill Creek Road (CR-9) south to Mozer, Kline, and Upper Tract. From there, I would loop south to Franklin then west over Rt 33 to Germany Valley and Riverton.  Then I would pass Seneca Rocks on my way to Harman and Rt 72 to Parsons.  Then, it would be main highways home.





Outline of route, starting below Petersburg (on the right) and going northwest to Grafton in the upper left.


Link to Interactive Map on Furkot: 








About 5 miles south of Petersburg on Rt 220 is the turnoff for North Mill Creek Road.

It runs east about 5 miles and joins South Mill Creek Road (CR9).






The start of North Mill Creek Road.






North Mill Creek Road goes past several old farms and houses.

Looks like the road was recently chip-sealed and is good shape. (Just take your time, especially in the curves!)






North Mill Creek Road






North Mill Creek Road - more old farms.






Soon, I turned south onto South Mill Creek Road. 

This side-road detours to the Spring Run Fish Hatchery.

I have photos posted on another ride report.   CLICK HERE






Continuing south on South Mill Creek Road.






Still continuing south on South Mill Creek Road.  Nearing Mozer and Kline.






Still continuing south on South Mill Creek Road. 







Still continuing south on South Mill Creek Road.  Nearing Mozer and Kline.






South Mill Creek Church of the Brethren.  Old and new churches side by side.






The old church.







Old Country Store in Kline.






Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church just south of Kline.





View up South Mill Creek Road, just south of Kline.






Continuing south on South Mill Creek Road. 





Fixer-Upper with great view.  Currently used to store grain and feed.  (South Mill Creek Road)






South Mill Creek Road at the turnoff for Greenawalt Gap Road.

Nice old barn with a stream running by it.






Nice setting for a photo. (Too bad I had direct sunlight and shadows)

I need to come back for a better photo with the fall colors!! 






That's Greenawalt Gap Road turning to the left off South Mill Creek Road. 

Someday when I have more time, I will go exploring. For now, it's back to South Mill Creek Road.






Still continuing south on South Mill Creek Road. 






Still continuing south on South Mill Creek Road.  Nearing Upper Tract.







Still continuing south on South Mill Creek Road.  Nearing Upper Tract.

There is a great photo around every curve on this road.








Still continuing south on South Mill Creek Road.  Nearing Upper Tract.







Big corn field just before reaching Upper Tract and Rt 220.



At Rt 220 and Upper Tract, I turned south to Franklin to fill up with gas.

Then it was west on Rt 33 to Germany Valley and Riverton.





Rt 33 from Franklin west is a great ride!! 






Enjoying more of Rt 33 west of Franklin.






Stopping at the Germany Valley Overlook on Rt 33 west of Franklin.

This is one of my favorite overlooks in WV.






Panorama of the Germany Valley overlook.






Short history lesson #1.






Short history lesson #2.  Time to ride!





Heading down the mountain on Rt 33 towards Judy Gap.

In just a couple of miles, I will turn right onto Bland Hills Road.






More curves on Rt 33 before I turn off onto Bland Hills Road.






The small sign pointing the way to a fun (and very narrow) road to explore.






View of the start of Bland Hills Road after turning off Rt 33.






Just a couple hundred meters down the road leads us to our first discovery.






An early 50's Desoto rests (and rusts) quietly by the roadside.






Another Desoto photo.

Reminds me of the Steven King movie "Christine" (except that was a 1958 Plymouth Fury).






Another Desoto photo.  Nice hood ornament - made of real metal! 





Another Desoto photo.







Another Desoto photo.







Another Desoto photo.







Another Desoto photo.  Last one - time to ride!








Continuing north on Bland Hills Road into Germany Valley.

Beautiful view with the road curving to the left up ahead.






Continuing north on Bland Hills Road into Germany Valley. Old log cabin/barn. 

Did I mention how narrow the road is in places?






Continuing north on Bland Hills Road into Germany Valley.






Continuing north on Bland Hills Road into Germany Valley.

This home had cows and chickens grazing in the yard.






OK - Time for a quiz.  Why did the chicken cross the road?







ANSWER - To have lunch with a friend. 






Shortly, I turned left onto Horse Ridge Road as it heads towards Riverton.

This beautiful view is just about a mile south-east of Riverton.






Another view of the road and rock outcropping without the bike.

You should see this place in the fall!






At the bottom of the hill is this view of rocks overlooking Riverton.






Old Riverton.  From here, I rode Rt 28/33 North a few miles to Seneca Rocks.






Rt 28/33 heading north to Seneca Rocks from Riverton.






Seneca Rocks. This is the site of the old visitor center that was destroyed in the 1985 flood.

The new visitor center is to the right about 1/2 mile.


While stopped at Seneca Rocks, I met a young man named J.C. from Virginia Beach riding a new V-Strom motorcycle (like mine, but newer). He was camping nearby and going out exploring different roads in the area. His plan for today was Dolly Sods and the Blackwater Falls area.  I gave him a few suggestions and we were both on our separate ways.







North of Harman about 10 miles is the turnoff for Rt 72 to Parsons.

No large trucks and very little traffic otherwise. Paved, but some fine gravel in spots. Take your time!







Last warning - narrow roads ahead!






Rt 72 - Beautiful countryside.






Another old white church along Rt 72.






Flanagan Hill United Methodist Church and Cemetery.

Interesting because the pastor at our church (Wesley UMC) is Pastor Randy Flanagan.






Continuing out Rt 72 towards Parsons. The road was is pretty good shape most of the time.

It's not a racetrack, though, with fine gravel and blind corners. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.






Did I mention there are a lot of big curves on Rt 72? Well, there are.

Here comes the one car I've seen in the past 15-20 minutes.






Coming into Parsons, this old railroad bridge parallels the highway bridge.

(Yes, we are in West Virginia)


Beware - Parsons is one of several small WV towns who derive a great percentage of their operating budget from speeding tickets.  When you see the sign that says 25MPH, you had better be going 25MPH. I've not had a ticket, but I've read many stories of other riders who "were slowing down" but weren't quite there yet.  Out of state riders have been known to meet the judge even on a Sunday morning.


I stopped for a quick meal at the Sheetz in Parsons. Then it was north on Rt 72 to meet Rt 50, then west to Grafton.  These are all main roads and are part of other ride reports of mine, so I won't duplicate photos here.  Suffice it to say Rt 72 is a great ride.  Rt 50 from Cool Springs west to Grafton and Clarksburg, quite often (today!!), is filled with large gravel trucks going 20MPH up hills and barely breaking 40MPH otherwise for miles and miles and miles with nowhere for the dozens of cars following to pass.



One last stop before I head up Rt 119 from Grafton to home in Morgantown.

Going to stop at the Grafton National Cemetery in Pruntytown (west of Grafton) to say hi to Dad.




Grafton National Cemetery.






Entrance sign.






The groundskeepers take immaculate care of the veterans resting here.

Today, they were mowing and watering the grass.






The flag was at half staff as another veteran was being interred here today. RIP



Hope you enjoyed the ride!  See you next time.



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