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Down The Road I Go...

Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
4,042
Location
Seabrook, TX
I rode around for a while trying to find a good spot for a picture but it was impossible to get away from traffic. I was almost crushed by a cab driver that felt that I would just HAVE to lose the merge despite 75% of my bike being out front of his bumper. As he came over at me I looked at him and he just stared at me as he continued to push me into the next lane. Luckily, the next lane had enough space to accept me. If I'd been wearing my MX boots, he'd need to replace his headlight.
Whaddya expect from a NYC hack? :hack:
You're a brave person for riding thru Manhattan. :hail:

Great pics. Your nieces and nephews are precious.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2003
Messages
1,287
Location
Houston, TX
First Name
Stuart
Last Name
Robles
Which was where again? I know you've told me at least once already. Of course you recognized the ferry ride - but I goofed and left the tracker with the bikes down below deck. No signal got out as we crossed Would have been cool to see the blips continue up across the LI Sound.
If you traversed Long Island on the L.I.E., I grew up around exit 61.;-) The Lake Ronkonkoma area.

I'm not sure if you'd been out to the north fork of Long Island before, but it's big wine country now.:eat2:
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2003
Messages
78
Location
Pearland
First Name
Brian
Last Name
Montgomery
I sent you a PM Becca. I didn't know that you were on the road though. Awesome trip. It was trips like these that burnt themselves into my memories.
 

pacman

Die with memories, not dreams.
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Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
5,830
Location
Burleson
First Name
Wayne
I glad to see his auntie is at least providing him with wholesome reading material. :lol2:

Istanbul.jpg
 
Joined
May 19, 2003
Messages
332
Location
Houston
Day 8

I was almost crushed by a cab driver that felt that I would just HAVE to lose the merge despite 75% of my bike being out front of his bumper. As he came over at me I looked at him and he just stared at me as he continued to push me into the next lane. Luckily, the next lane had enough space to accept me. If I'd been wearing my MX boots, he'd need to replace his headlight.
Hahaha!
Hey pal, welcome to Noo Yawk!
:mrgreen:
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Thanks guys and gals - if it wasn't for this being a "birthday ride" I'd have waited a few more weeks until things up north started to look more like spring than winter.

I was on the road going solo on this day last year as well. I think I might make it a tradition. Lots of things to look back on from the past year and things to ponder in my helmet about the future. It's a good day for a ride. :rider:

Oh, and another late start being lazy and getting caught up...
 

Squeaky

2
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Joined
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Messages
13,258
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Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
oh? do tell:trust:
Last year my bday fell on the tail end of CheapSTOC, which is why I broke from the group and did my own thing. No offense, I love riding with all of you, but solo is just a different experience.

...and one I'm starting to enjoy.
 

Squeaky

2
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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
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Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Day 10
May 5th

Leaving my family is always difficult, but this time I wasn't being driven back to the airport for a quick flight home. Home would be almost a week away - hopefully - and the journey would have a few milestones to write home about.

Gas prices on Long Island are the highest I've seen the entire trip. Is it something with NY taxes, or just greedy station owners that are trying to squeeze every penny out of the seemingly well-to-do suburban dwellers?

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I hopped on the Long Island Expressway and took the HOV lane until it ended, It didn't get me past traffic, but it kept a wider cushion between me and the crazy cagers.

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After leaving I495 on the east end, the landscape morphed into countryside - wineries and asparagus farms abound. I passed Pindar, a local wine producer that I know my sister has always liked, but there was no way I'd be able to carry a bottle the rest of the way without breaking or mutilating it.

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Land gave way to water, and soon it was on both sides of the rooadway as I headed all the way out to Orient Point.

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I arrived at the Cross Sound Ferry in time to buy my ticket, take a few pictures, then board for the hour plus ride up to New London, CT.

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Once parked, we were not permitted back down to the parking deck. I later thought that I should have brought the SPoT tracker upstairs with me to have the "blips" continue across the water. Oh well, next time.

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It was a beautiful day for a boat ride. The water was mostly calm, the birds were hovering overhead, and the sun warmed everything it touched.

I grabbed an egg sandwich and some apple juice from the on-board cafeteria, then settled wandered the ferry decks looking for interesting things to take pictures of.

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New London, CT

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Spank says he's got a cough now. I shouldn't have left him down there with all the cars and fumes.

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I wasn't able to get a picture of any "Welcome to Connecticut" signs because we crossed over the state line somewhere in the water. I did notice that CT smelled like cedar. Maybe that's just my imagination.

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Before too long I was crossing into Rhode Island.

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The "Ocean State" - ok, now I gotta pee.

The people in Rhode Island are rude, or at least the few that I met were. I stopped at a gas station to fill up and use the ladies room - but was told there wasn't one available to the public. Even for paying customers? "No restroom" was his repeated response.

Ok, so I went up the road to the next one and there was a sign on the door that there were no facilities. I don't see how the cashier puts up with that...

The third station didn't have a sign on the door and I spotted the powder room in the back. The door was open so I snuck in despite the "Employees Only" sign. Hey, it's not like I had to go through a stock room to get to it, but I reaaaaally had to go! I came back out, refreshed s ever, and proceeded to buy $5 worth of overpriced drinks and snacks as a sign of my appreciation. As I got to the counter, the woman behind it looked up at me, wwalked around the counter to the bathroom, and closed and locked the door from the outside. She came back up front and rung me up, told me to have a nice day (all the while giving me "the look") and I left.

Hey lady, would you rather I just drop trou behind your store?

Onward I go, past Purgatory

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Through Massachussets, which I didn't see a sign for, but it smelled like pine trees. Or maybe Pinesol. Is it state-wide spring cleaning day?

Into New Hampshire I go.

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Chugging along, I kept my GPS zoomed in so I would know when the crossing into Maine was coming up. I wanted to be ready! A I approached, I realized this would be another state border created by water. The bridge neared.

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Did you see that? I bet you didn't. It said State Line - Maine - Vacationland.

Here's a close-up:

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I was disappointed. I'd come all this way to get the sign and THAT was it?

I was (slightly) relieved when I got to the end of the bridge and found this, a larger sign welcoming me to the far northeast state. But there was also a small sign next to it that prevent a better picture.

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Living in New York for most of my formative years, I'd traveled repeatedly to Vermont and New Hampshire for family vacations, skiing, hiking, and general "get away from the city" vacations, but I'd never stepped foot in Maine until now. As minor an occurrence it is for most, it was a big deal for me. I was smiling from ear to ear, the sense of accomplishment was almost overwhelming. I'd done it. And the naysayers (you know who you are) can all kiss my big, tired, sore behind.

I found a gas station with decent food and beverage offerings to grab some dinner and make a plan for the night. My sister and I have a friend from college that lives somewhere in Vermont, so I called her to get his address and phone number. I left him a message and headed his way.

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I wasn't able to reach him but left a message with my ETA around dark:thirty. As I rode through southern New Hampshire, the setting sun was directly in my face and I put my sunglasses on under an already tinted visor.

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Both are polarized. Now I couldn't see the GPS screen. DOH!

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My shadow grew longer as it followed me west

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I stayed on Hwy 4 and Hwy 9, which were fun. I spotted a Moose crossing sign but didn't get the camera out in time - but moose this far south? Really?

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I found a small bridge traversing the creek/river I'd been following

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And had to be VERY careful riding on and parking in the thick layer of sand that had accumulated on the roadway over the winter.

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It sure is beautiful up here

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Vermont! I'd crossed over on another bridge, then caught the sign on the other side.

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I rode up the unpaved street and into his driveway, but Keith wasn't answering the phone or the door. I called my sister, the coordinator, to see if I was at the right house. Just as she reached for her cell phone to check his number two cars pulled into the driveway. Keith! ":long time no see!"

It had been years, literally. We determined the last time I saw him was at my sister's wedding back in 2001. Since then he'd moved up here to a small town just outside Brattleboro, VT and was working from home. Ah, the life.

I was afraid my last-minute overnight request might have been interfering with his plans, but he and his friend Bryan assured me they were just planning on hanging out for the night and that I was a welcome addition.

I guess they needed someone to beat at darts.

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I'm glad I could fill that void.

Our old friend George showed up and we talked for hours about the past - good times, bad times, strange times. We eventually made our way out back and built a fire in the pit.

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And as every proper Vermont homeowner should, Keith has a hot tub and coaxed us in. I made do with some Under Armour shorts and a shirt and relaxed away the miles. I must have been in there over an hour, my hands looked like prunes!

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New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine
406 miles
One HUGE milestone, and the turning point towards home again

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Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
273
Location
Katy, Tx
What beautiful pictures. It is nice to see that you have your birthday priorities in the right order! Happy Birthday! You go girl!!

Delores
 

Squeaky

2
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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Day 11
May 5th

Cinco de Mayo. Just another day, but this one started late. I woke up at the not-so-early hour of 9:30, but I stayed in bed listening to the sound of the birds chirping in the mountain air and the dog chasing the cat through the hallway. Keith's house is the perfect mountain retreat, and his offer to "stay a few days, the road can wait" was all too tempting.

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I caught up on some postings from the weekend and sorted out my pictures, then packed up the bike once again. I said goodbye to Abby with a game of catch in the yard, then thanked Keith for his hospitality. I tried to convince him to come down to Houston sometime, but I don't think he was going for it.

"Free pool tonight at the bar within walking distance!"

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He couldn't convince me to stay, but I can't blame him for trying. I was very tempted.

Down the road I go...

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Unfortunately he had some work to do and couldn't break away for lunch, but he had recommended the Vermont Country Deli just a few miles through town.

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Brattleboro, Vermont. A quaint little town that, according to Keith, has everything you'd want without the sprawl of an urban city.

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I had intended to get breakfast (despite it being well past noon) but the baked three cheese macaroni caught my eye. I got a half pound with a fresh baked roll and some coffee.

Hwy 9 was also highly recommended as a scenic alternative to the interstate system.

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I concur!

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100-mile lookout. The day was clear enough to see what this great Earth had to offer.

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Slowing down through each town that appeared, this caught my eye.

MOOOOOSE!

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And this had me thinking of my sister. (Hey Nicole, what do you have planned for June 7th?)

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Welcome (back) to New York! This time I was entering on land instead of by bridge/tunnel as I had down in the city.

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Spank agrees, this is a HUGE state that not may people realize stretches as far as it does. We'd be spending the rest of the day just getting across it.

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And cross it we did. With the sun shining, it was almost warm with my jacket liner in. I was able to ride with mesh pants without even a hint of a chill.

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Albany. New York's state capital. Like most states, the capital is not the primary city but houses the gub-ment entities and has its fair share of towering office buildings.

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I was on the New York Thruway, but I didn't want to be - so I wandered off. Another $1.20 toll (New England sure gets ya on toll roads and crossings) and I was free and wandering the Catskill region. Instead of following a set route, I turned off the GPS navigation setting and opted instead to follow the lines that looked twisty and went in a general southwesterly direction.

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Game Farm Road. It was shaded by the tree canopy and just what I was looking forward to.

Until this.

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So I backtracked and found some other squiggly lines, but this time I scooted the screen over a bit to make sure they went all the way through.

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Glamorous, ain't I? LOL

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Chasing the sun. I have a feeling I'll be doing this just about every afternoon until I get home.

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I made my way through Woodstock and wanted a picture of something cute and "hippy" with my bike, but it wasn't like I'd expected. It's turned into yuppy art studios and little sidewalk cafes. I'm sure everything is overpriced and the hippys of yester-year are baby boomers trying to squeeze every penny out of their 401k plans.

I decided Binghampton was as good a stopping point as any for the night, so I pointed the GPS to it and kept following the squiggles. I found Hwy 28, which has a 40+ mile stretch from Delhi to Deposit that I would LOVE to ride over and over again!

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The road twists and turns over water and between mountains as it makes its way through a valley. Curves are posted between 35 and 55 mph, and although the road surface leaves much to be desired, I found my groove and started to (finally) scrub off some of the rubber on the sides of my tires. It was invigorating! If it hadn't been so late in the day, I probably would have turned around and done the section again. The elevation was around me - but it went up, not down. The curves weren't tight enough to make me nervous, and there was very little traffic to deal with.

I was in heaven.

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After Deposit, I made my way via Hwy 17 into the sleepy college town of Binghampton. I hadn't expected to be in this area, so I had to stop at a gas station to load the GPS basemap. It's one of the few downsides to the Quest I have, but since I road trip with a computer it's not much of a problem, just an inconvenience.

The bugs made sure I'd need to pull over to change out my visor anyway.

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Vermont, New York
286 wonderfully lazy miles

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Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
First Name
Bryan
Awesome report so far. Looks like you'll have a bunch of crap weather to deal with for the next day or two or three. :storm: Good luck! :rider:
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
214
Location
Austin
First Name
Kat
Last Name
Humphrey
Very cool trip. How did you attach the ammo cans for panniers?
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,845
Location
Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
Awesome report so far. Looks like you'll have a bunch of crap weather to deal with for the next day or two or three. :storm: Good luck! :rider:
Wow.. no kidding. I just clicked on the national radar after reading your post and it looks like a whole bunch of green with a some spots of red and yellow. Well, at least Squeaker will get her gear washed for free again!:rider:
 

Squeaky

2
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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
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Katy
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Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Wow.. no kidding. I just clicked on the national radar after reading your post and it looks like a whole bunch of green with a some spots of red and yellow. Well, at least Squeaker will get her gear washed for free again!:rider:
Yeah, tell me about it. I got an early start to try and make up some time today, but the weather is keeping the speed down and the frustration level up. I found a quiet little corner store for breakfast, so while I'm here I have to let some soapy water sit on my visor to try and make it not fog up as much.

At least it's not too cold.

Yet.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
168
Location
Missouri City
Regardless of the weather (yeah, it's easy to say that while sitting at a desk in a dry office, er, cube)...I'm jealous. I wish I had the resources for a trip like this!

Like I mentioned before, I can't wait to hear the stories on a Monday night. Should be QUITE entertaining :thumb:
 

STILLSMOKEN

Inactive Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
78
Location
whitney, texas
Me thinks the weather has driven Squeaky to ground for the day. Looks as if she decided to hit a motel early. Weather must be bad where she is but ahead to the west it looks a lot worse. Well maybe it will give her a chance at the computer to bring us up on her saga.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
First Name
Bryan
Just looked at the weather again. She's almost to Cincinnati, and the weather is clearing west of there. If she stops for the night soon, it should clear on out so she can head south. Or, she can go west now and get out of pretty quick. She's still making her miles! :thumb:
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,845
Location
Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
I just got finished relaying the local weather radar to her over the phone. I think she's going to wait out the brunt of the storm at a rest area and then press on to Louisville for the night. But you never know how fast or slow these storms decide to go.
 

Squeaky

2
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Messages
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Katy
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Nelson
After about an hour at the rest stop, the rain slowed to a drizzle and the sky lightened up. I threw a leg over and headed for Louisville, but took the VERY indirect route. Wireless here at the Super 8 works well, so after I've taken my well-deserved hot shower and gotten something to eat, I'll try to get caught up.

THANK YOU BILL AND JAYME for the weather reports when I needed them most!
 
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
4,600
Location
Out Riding
I am glad you are having a safe and wonderful trip. :rider:

I went to the Catskill Game Farm many times when I was a kid. The night you were in Binghamton you were 45 miles South of my home town of Norwich.
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,169
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North of Weird
First Name
Scott
I'm glad to hear you are in for the night and safe.....

Really enjoying the reports and pictures and wishing you a safe return home. Can't wait to hear all about it on Monday night too!

Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your adventure!
 

Squeaky

2
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Messages
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Katy
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Rebecca
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Nelson
Day 12
May 7th
My Birthday

The whole reason this ride was planned for early Spring during such tumultuous weather was because of today. I wanted to be on the road on my birthday just like I was last year and how I hope to be in future years. I like traditions. I like looking forward to things. Regularity

Well, the trip itself has been anything but "regular". As Mollie said, if everything were going perfectly this would be a vacation, not an adventure. There have been moments that I wished this was a vacation though, sitting on a beach with an icy fruit drink in my hand. Most of the time that thought is the farthest from my mind. An adventure it shall be.

I woke up to a few phone calls and text messages reminding me that I'd grown a year older (seemingly) overnight. Why should we feel like we're a whole year older on this ONE day when its been creeping towards us all year?

The bike had been parked right outside my hotel patio door throughout the night and was easy to pack up.

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The bugs that had smashed themselves against my visor had also encrusted most of the front of my bike. I took soapy water and a rag to the lights and blinkers to aid visibility.

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Having typed up a day or two of ride reports but not uploading them due to lack of WiFi at the Motel 6, I decided to stop for a liquid breakfast to get that done.

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After two iced caramel macciatos (sp?) I was ready to roll.

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Westbound

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I found myself following water again. You can see it in this picture off to the right of the road.

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I've found peace with water. It doesn't like to run along mountain ridges, so it tends to allow for twisty roads at lower elevation. It's a safe bet.

Not sure what's up with this FEMA area.

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Miles and miles of construction slowing me down.

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The state line was tangled up in this mess, and with state police sporadically placed to watch the flow of traffic, I didn't risk weaving through to the other side of the barrier for a picture. I ventured off the highway to escape the smell of fresh laid asphalt.

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About an hour into the ride, my MP3 player decided to quit. It signaled low battery and turned itself off, but I was sure I'd charged it. I took it as a sign that I should be thinking more than singing today, so I left the earphones in to block the wind noise and motored on. I caught myself repeating some of my riding music over and over, but I got a good hour or two of thinking done as well.

No, you don't get THOSE details. As much as I share on this ride, there are things that nly I will know once it's over.

In the next town, I pulled over and swapped out to my "backup" MP3 player. It's shown it's age and has no LCD glass, but it plays music and I'm a creature of habit.

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Hills and valleys

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Expansive interstates

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With the late start, I'd almost forgotten to eat lunch. It was already well into the afternoon when I pulled off for gas and found Aungst's Family Restaurant.

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I've always found that restaurants with "family" in the name are worth stopping for, and this one was no exception.

I splurged on a loaded bacon cheeseburger and fries.

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When the waitress cleared my plate (yes, it was empty except for the pickles) and asked if I wanted dessert I instinctively said no. I did a double-take though and remembered that it was MY day, so I asked what my choices were.

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If this place were closer to Texas, I'd say we need to have a pie run here!

A slice of peanut butter pie and a hot up of coffee were the perfect cap to a great meal.

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Back on the road, the skies grew darker as I made my way across PA.

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As the drizzles began, I stowed the camera and started to make a plan for the night. If I could make it to Columbus, OH I had a friend I could stay with. The backup plan was a colleague of my mother's that lived outside Pittsburgh.

The rest areas along the interstates are much cleaner than I remember from my childhood. I stopped at this one to let some of that coffee out and to put the liner back in my jacket.

I was making good time on the highway when I realized I was nearing 200 miles on the current tank of gas. I'd been pretty good about refueling well before I needed to, so when the flashing beacon of stupidity blared at me for 15 miles I actually started to worry.

Thing is, I worried less about what I'd do if I ran out and more about how I'd never live it down with the Monday night crew... go figure...

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Turns out I still had a half gallon or so to spare.

I made the decision to head towards Darlington, PA where Salome (pronounced Sol-oh-may) would gladly accept me into her home for the evening. She rides a Harley with her husband and has been following my journey on my blog.

She warned me that they lived "in the boonies" and offered to come meet me in town and lead me back to the house, but the GPS said it knew how to get me there so I declined the offer and wound my way up the dark, wet hills and right into their driveway. As I rolled to a stop and put me feet down on the gravel, the garage door magically opened before my eyes and I nestled the soaking Strom in for the night.

Cheyenne said I could share her house as long as I pet her for a while.

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After her husband Dennis went to bed, Salome and I stayed up for a while drinking coffee and talking before finally calling it a night. She offered to let me sleep in and leave when I felt like it or even stay another day to stay warm and dry, but I regretfully had to decline so I could (again) try to make up the miles getting back home.

Oh, how I long for the day I can hit the road and not have to "be" anywhere.

New York, Pennsylvania
363 miles

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Follow me: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/gogl.jsp?glId=0niqJ8tjMVyEOT91cDaNW9QJxINAVSS9q
 
Last edited:

M38A1

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Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,169
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
What an excellent way to spend your birthday! And with friends to boot.....


Now, about those Kawasaki mirrors...... :lol2:
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
531
Location
Sugar Land
You're doing so well! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

I'm so excited for you. All the hardships and misery make for great stories...hehe. :trust: :rider:

Can't wait to hug your neck when you get back! :mrgreen:
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
168
Location
Missouri City
Looks like you rode through (or right next to) Loveland, OH and Rising Sun, IN. I lived in Loveland for one excruciating year (1997-1998) and worked at the Grand Victoria Casino and Resort in Rising Sun.

Curious to hear about THAT part of your trip...
 

voyagerrider

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
593
Location
Burleson, TX
First Name
Marty
Last Name
Johnston
What better way to spend your Birthday than doing what you love.
Happy belated Birthday from Kathy & I.
Marty
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Brian - last year I lost a mirror (it was loose, fell off, bounced off my leg and down the road) but I needed a quick replacement for a trip. David (Cagiva549) had a few spare KLR mirrors and was kind enough to give me one. I haven't bothered replacing it with a Strom mirror because, quite honestly, a mirror is a mirror. :lol2:
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
2,819
Location
Cypress Tx
First Name
David
Last Name
Hutchinson
The lonely round mirror is still hanging out on a shelf looking for its lost mate , I keep hearing strange noises during quiet times while working in my shop . When they are reunited they will have a lot of catching up because one got to go to Maine and one didn't . The pair saw lots of happy trails all over Texas and Mexico and were resting on the shelf when I sold there old ride and didn't get to go with it . They need to be together again on a new ride . SEYA
 

Duke

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,622
Location
The Woodlands & Woden, TX
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
Well as of 17min ago she was OK in Lone Star, TX.

Looks like her trip is coming to a close. She has less than 5 hours of road infront of her and could be home before dark.

Squeaky, thank you for taking me along your ride with you. The posts, the SPOT, and the pictures were great.
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
First Name
Charles ("Chuck")
Last Name
Gibke
Looks to be near Lufkin a few minutes ago.

Appears to be zeroed in on the home stretch.
:pray: for the last bit, especially thru Houston...
 
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