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It all started with pie...

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Follow along HERE

This adventure all started out with pie. Banana Crème to be exact.

ETA: Generally, I'll be running to Fargo, ND, then over to Niagra Falls, NY then Montreal Canada and back down the East Coast picking up the Blueridge Parkway/Tail of the Dragon on the return leg. I hope to be back in Texas by July 15th at the latest.

Date: 06/27/2009
Destination: Tulsa (Owasso), OK
Miles: 662
States: Texas, Oklahoma

Of late, I’ve been looking at my map of where I’ve been and where I haven’t. About half the country was in the “haven’t “ bucket so I thought this would be the time to see if I could make progress on visiting all 50 states on my motorcycle. Having the money, but no time was a problem, but now I’ve got all the time and no money short of what I was paid on cash-out when the company I worked for closed shop and sent all their operations overseas to Switzerland.

So I started to think of fun places while mapping out a good route. Lots of suggestions came forward, but in the end, I had to get Fargo ND out of the way since it was the furthest North state from Texas.

I eagerly packed and went back and forth on hotels or camping therefore unpacking, then repacking. I wound up deciding I’d camp most of the trip just to see if this was really something I enjoyed or not. I’ve already learned I miss my big Touratech panniers. These little BMW city cases just don’t hold the goods like those big old beer coolers do.

I also decided I’d take my laptop. Yes. Laptop. Big, heavy, 15” screen and all. That presented a challenge of just how does one lug it around and keep it safe? Well, I looked at the Pelican cases and settled on one that seems to do the job. So in goes the laptop and wow, there’s still room for the little point and shoot camera, iPod if I’m not using it and all the miscellaneous chargers and adapters for the camera, phones, computer etc.

So here’s a pic of the mandarin pig all loaded and ready to go.
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This morning I rolled out of bed and was really looking forward to seeing all my friends with Two Wheeled Texans in Marble Falls at the Bluebonnet. As I pulled into the parking lot, Cindy (Sunkissed) greeted me with a big old smile and Rusty (Woodbutcher) with a big old handshake. I just knew today was going to be grand. We made our way inside to the lovely air-conditioning and ordered. I also had the opportunity to meet Slowpoke and Ed (HoopleEd).

After a good lunch and the banana crème pie...
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... the time had come to head North. Not a whole lot going on from Marble Falls up 281 to Jacksboro except for the worlds largest rocking chair. Go figure. I thought there were several of those floating around as I recall my niece sitting on one somewhere on the East coast.
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A quick stop in Mineral Wells out of curiosity over the towns name too.
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The run over to Denton was starting to warm up. Then heading North on 35 at Gainsville there was 6 miles of stop and go traffic. Clutch in – Clutch out. Clutch in – Clutch out. And it was hot. Clutch in – Clutch out. That finally cleared and a few thermometers read 110*F so I figured that was fairly accurate.

About Marietta, OK I stopped for fuel and a big old Gatorade with ice. Man did that hit the spot. I also noticed why my camelback Mule was empty. It wasn’t because I had sucked it dry, but rather pinched the line somehow. I was really thirsty the last couple hours, but thought it was empty. About six cups of ice cured that and I fixed the line routing and all was good.

Heading up to OKC the sunset was beautiful. I had given thought to stopping by the OKC memorial, but a low deck of clouds came in about that time and blew any good photo opportunities I may have had. So I headed over to Tulsa with the setting sun and a fairly big thunderstorm somewhere off in the distance brewing. I knew I’d beat whatever it was so that was no concern. I arrived at what we refer to as TMA or Too Many Acres. My uncles place North of Tulsa where I pulled the bike in at the hangar door, unloaded the bike and made my way to the aviation themed ‘apartment’ inside the hanger. I’m looking at a 1954 L-19 “Birddog” as I type just sitting there waiting on tomorrows events.

The "Hanger Hotel" for Saturday night.
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Stay tuned….. I'll post up where I have internet and time.
 
Last edited:

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 06/28/2009
Destination: St. Louis, MO (actual Mound City, MO)
Miles: 323
States: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri

Remember that thunderstorm I mentioned last night on approaching Tulsa? Well that turned into one monster storm about 3am to the North about 40 miles. I have not seen lightning like that in many many years. An absolutely incredible display of mother nature. Needless to say, I was safe in the hanger and little rain did in fact actually make it to where I was. Still, I didn’t sleep much with all the thunder.

About 7am I did wake up to a crisp blue morning. I ate with my uncle and cousin, then the ‘fun’ began. Today was the annual fly-in at his little airstrip known as Sandridge. On the last Saturday of June, anywhere between 50 and 100 planes of all types fly in to this little grass strip, park and they eat burgers my uncle and a few others cook. The event is just like a neighborhood block party, but it’s on an airstrip and folks with planes from other local strips come by.

The variety of aircraft was incredible. Everything from the very old Stearmans to a twin Beech was there. All day long they came and went, did high speed passes and took folks on 15 minute hops. Here’s a few of the cool ones.

The L-19
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About 3pm with my belly full the time had come to go load the bike and make some miles to my next destination – Kansas City, MO. With the bike packed I said my good-byes and headed North on Hwy 169 all the way up to I35 at Ottawa, KS. Along the way, I saw a huge Amazon dot com warehouse, then a bit further up the road, the town of Amazonian. Hmmmmm….. What’s up with that?

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I had originally intended on stopping in Kansas City, MO to pick up MO as a state but I just didn’t feel like stopping yet. The afternoon-evening was still quite nice and I knew tomorrow would be a lot of slab miles to get to my next destination so I just opted to keep going.

Moving into MO
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And typical scenery of the area
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I made my way to within 80 or so miles of Iowa and stopped at the bustling metropolis of Mound City, MO. After sweet-talking the gal at the counter, she gave me a discount or two and was also told I could park the bike right out front. That’s the first time I’ve ever done that and I’ll admit, the pig looks sort of cool parked there.

Tomorrow brings a lot of miles and a heading of North/NorthWest.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Messages
1,892
Location
Bryan, TX
Suggestions:

In Kansas hit Scenic 7. It's beautiful. Who knew there were hills in Kansas???

In Nebraska after 7, Nebraska City has a VERY neat hotel to stay in. I can't remember the name right off hand but GOOGLE the town and you'll find the hotel. Big log cabin hotel. VERY nice.

In Nebraska you can get off the highway and ride the Loess Hills trail. Lots of stuff to see and nearly zero traffic.

Good luck to you. After those couple of areas to see it's flat grain fields and wind until you hit ND but it's what you make of it!
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
11,836
Location
COS
sounds like a good trip so far.
Bring me a souvenir, oh and be safe :rider:
 

Janet

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
3,394
Location
Midlothian, TX
That polished aluminum plane came in to the Lancaster Airport while I was out there on Father's day. Sure is pretty. Have fun Scott and stay safe.
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 06/29/2009
Destination: Fargo, ND
Miles: 549
States: Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota

This morning the alarm came way too early for me. But I knew today and tomorrow would be the slab-o-rama for miles making the rest of the trip somewhat sane. The weather was perfect with low humidity, crystal blue skies and a balmy 77*F. I was actually chilled for a while in my mesh gear, shorts, t-shirt and cotton button-down work shirt. Oh well, the price you have to pay when you head North.

One thing I’ve noticed is the further North you go, the earlier the sun comes up and later it stays up. This became apparent today. Heck. Maybe it’s just the fact that you can see for miles without humidity in the air.

Leaving Missouri up the West side was still fairly scenic. Lots of rolling hills and farmland. That gave way as I ran up the Western side of Iowa up through Council Bluffs and up to Sioux City.

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I crossed over into South Dakota at Sioux City and ran up the Eastern side of the state.

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Gradually, the flat farmland gave way to the beginnings of some hills. Along the way, I couldn’t help but notice all the homes have basements or are split level dwellings. That got me thinking about how does one build a basement that’s like a swimming pool for all practical matters and not get water in it when it rains? I must have pondered that for a hundred miles without resolution.

I also noticed that just about every barn and silo was the same color. Is there a standard paint color-code for barns in the upper Midwest?

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I pulled in for lunch at a roadside rest area which had the most beautiful grass. Everything here is still GREEN as ever and the temperatures haven’t risen during the day. In fact, it’s actually less than when I started now.

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At yet another rest stop, the views are becoming more spectacular. The sky is the bluest blue. I haven’t had to drop the polarizing filter on yet and I also noticed the resizing is doing funny stuff with the pixels or I need to clean the lens.

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Yes, I yielded to the large quantity of bees making a home of this sign. A few of them liked the neon lime of the jacket, but they were no match for highway acceleration.

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After this rest stop, it was a quick but antsy 60 miles or so to Fargo.

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So I've arrived in Fargo, ND, eh...... ;-)

I'm off to find dinner and a camera store to get a lens cleaning kit and also find some gorillia glue. Seems my riding boot heel is deciding to seperate from the rest of the boot. That's OK. They've got 100k miles on them and I've got a new pair waiting on me upon my return. Oh, and the temperature? 69*F and sunny.

Tomorrow takes me East and back South...

.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Location
austin
I am thrilled to hear the weather is working with you on this trip. I check that SPOT thing at least a million times a day. Are you going to post more photos? Your words are great - makes me feel like I am almost there, photos would be icing on the cake. Stay safe.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
4,622
Location
Jennings,La.
Neat report and great pictures. Keep them coming. I understand about the money vs time thing. I have a great job now but the pay is not that great. Retired and SS. ;-)
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
597
Location
Rhome, Texas
I wake up every morning wishing my Company would severance me so I could get some riding in.
I told the wife that once I retire she'd better get use to the idea that I'm gonna take 5 weeks off and go for a ride SOMEWHERE!

Since I have to work a few more months at least, cause it doesn't look like the Company is gonna get ride of me yet because we are in our busy season, I guess I'll follow your ride and live a little longer with the Walter Mitty Complex your feeding me. ( Sorry for the paragraph sentence;-))

I like the Dakotas. Be my luck I''ll have to wait until Winter to retire.

Have a safe ride and if you ever need someone to come get you, let me know.
I need an excuse to get out.:mrgreen:

Curtis
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 06/30/2009
Destination: Davenport, IA
Miles: 664
States: North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa

What a grand day. I had the alarm set for 6:30 and woke up at 6:00am to bright sunshine coming through a crack in the curtain. Figuring I had a long day I got up and packed my gear then stepped outside to a crisp 56*F and really low humidity. The sunshine was in full force and the sky that deep blue. For some reason, the air is just different here. It’s crisp. It’s clean. It’s, well….. different.

With the bike packed, I couldn’t help but notice a LOT of riders heading into work on their scoots. Virtually all of them in t-shirts. Yep. My Texas blood is thin compared to these guys and gals.

Heading out of Fargo East, the MN border wasn’t but a few miles away. The sunshine was bright and my liners were in on the jacket and pants as well as wearing a sweatshirt and my heated grips on high. The ride felt like a winter day in Austin.

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Minnesota is a lot like South Dakota and North Dakota on this side. Generally rolling hills and everything is so darn GREEN. There is also the sheer number of little lakes that are everywhere. No wonder they call it the land of 10,000 lakes.

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I also had the opportunity to see a few geese flying around and my fear is a bird strike with one of these monsters. I saw a few large deer hiding off in the woods as well. And there’s this really cool black bird with orange and yellow wings. When they fly, they really look nice, but they are like a bluejay – very protective of airspace and they didn’t like the fact that I walked over to them. I was buzzed a few times in the process.

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I generally headed East/Southeast to Minneapolis where I lost the sun for the day to low thin clouds, and swung by a little town called Edina where a good friend of the family lives. I tried to make contact with her for coffee, but no such luck so I continued SSE and on into Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin is much like all the others, except the smells seemed more pronounced. There’s something about the chilly air mixed with the fresh cut smell of hay and all these grain silos with some sort of sweet grain smell blowing about.

And corn. All this corn. I assume it’s all for agriculture use and according to the “Knee high by the fourth of July” mantra, it’s well on it’s way. That brings up another question. Just what goes in all the silos? Is that grain storage for the cattle that are probably in the barn next to it? Are these all dairy cows or meat cows? And there’s silos that look like just a fence panel exterior. What is their purpose? Old corn cobs? Too many questions remain unanswered.

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Along the way I decided to opt for a more scenic route bailing off the highway. I took a state road for the last 225 miles that reminded me of a FM road in Texas. Lots of turns and elevation changes along the way. That brought me to Fennimore WI and a narrow gauge train that was interesting.

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A little further off was the Iowa border, but I saw I could duck into Illinois for about three miles and then on into Dubuque. So that’s the new plan and it worked beautifully.

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Another hundred or so miles and I landed in Davenport, IA where I grew up. I haven’t been back for 33 years or so and just felt the need to go see what it looked like, the house I grew up in and so forth. After missing the street a few times I finally found it and met the owners.

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About an hour and a half later I finally left and headed over to the mother of the friend I missed in Edina. We spent a half hour catching up and then it was time to find a spot to spend the night.

Tomorrow brings the Windy City and more…
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Location
austin
Yahoo!!! It sounds like the perfect trip and you are having the best time. I'm glad you were able to catch up with friends, the weather sounds out of this world fantastic and the sight seeing perfect. Thanks for the great posts and wonderful photos.
Safe travels.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
2,175
Location
Katy
Fantastic story-telling Scott, and your pics are as great as ever! Sure wish you'd bring some of that cooler air down here with you... :trust:
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Location
austin
No fair, you got to visit with Ruthy! and Shiela! It sounds like you are having a fantastic time and the riding has been in good weather. What a blessing.
Stay on the top side of the bike, we miss you in Austin.
Love you - littlesis
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 07/01/2009
Destination: Toledo, OH
Miles: 459
States: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio

This day started out really nice then went downhill from there. While in Davenport, I wanted to see a girl I had dated in High School as well as a good friend of the family my parents have known throughout the ages. I had called and didn’t get an answer, and as small as Davenport really is, I decided to swing by her place. But alas, nobody was home. Not to be outdone, I decided to see if I could remember where her parents lived. With a few misdirected turns, I eventually found the place and knocked on the door. As soon as I heard the voice, I knew I had the right place. I had a wonderful chat with her mom who called and she was in fact home. I left for her place and enjoyed a wonderful chat catching up on life. I’ve always had a fond spot for her and the memories are good.

Next up was a visit to yet another friend of the family. Through a few miscues on google maps, I eventually found her place and again caught up on thirty plus years. She remains in close contact with my sister, so she was up on much of the family happenings.

With the visits over, I had to make one pass through downtown and try to find one of my old schools. The exercise took me a few times, but I found it atop the hill just as I remembered.

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With my curiosity quenched for Davenport, the time was near to head East and get this road trip going again. All morning long, the temps were mid-60’s and a slight mist. However, off to the East the clouds were dark and the forecast was for rain. And the bridge over the Mississippi river was under construction that caused a 30 mile detour. Eventually, I made it onto I-80 and headed East.

Western Illinois is much like everything else you’ve seen up to this point. The same barns, same fields, same cows, same silos and so forth. The one item that struck me was the sheer volume of traffic. I had chosen the interstate to make miles since I didn’t get out of Davenport until noon and I had approximately 400 miles to go today. At one point I ducked down a country road. I sort of liked the way this looked.

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Further down this country road I decided to shoot a few more shots, and look what popped his/her little head out:

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I rode by an old iron bridge that I just had to backtrack to see what it was all about. Turns out the bridge is on a parkway headed in a different direction. Ah…. So little time, so many roads.

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And of course the obligatory bike picture.
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By the time I made to the Southern tip of Chicago-land, the skies were really threatening so I stopped to put on the rain suit. That was a smart move as when I crossed into Indiana the rain started and kept up throughout the rest of the day.

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I feel as though Indiana had a bait and switch tactic going on with the highways. There were signs for I-80 and I-90 as a toll road with “toll road” next to every I-90 sign. But when I got in I-80, it too was a toll road. I was under the impression that during the Eisenhower era the Interstate system was developed with federal dollars. I would hope these ‘owners’ don’t receive fed dollars for the upkeep of a road in which they now toll. The road however was quite nice even in the rain.

After clearing Indiana, Ohio was next with their toll road version of I-80.

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No big deal, but the rain was steady and didn’t let up until almost Toledo where the deck lifted and all that remained was a drizzle. A quick stop at Subway for dinner and a check of where a hotel was and I was off again. I forgot about the time zone change so the time was an hour later. I’ll have to adjust all the clocks for that one now. Argh……

Tomorrow brings Michigan and hopefully a border crossing…
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,529
Location
South of Houston
Scott,

Seem like you're having a fine time - nice report

You going where I think you're going......

Be safe my friend
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
No fair, you got to visit with Ruthy! and Shiela! It sounds like you are having a fantastic time and the riding has been in good weather. What a blessing.
Stay on the top side of the bike, we miss you in Austin.
Love you - littlesis
I don't see an introduction for you, young lady, and all your posts are in this thread, so it sounds like you are very close to Scott. :eek2:

So, please introduce who you are and :welcome: to the forum and the wonderful world of TWT storytelling (see Soozy's date thread for another good travel story with lots of pictures).

glad to have you here! :thumb:

-edit- I forgot to comment on Scott's adventure: :thumb:
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 07/02/2009
Destination: Niagra Falls, NY
Miles: 389
States: Ohio, Michigan, Ontario Canada, New York

This morning was much like the others. Wake up to 55*F or so and the threat of rain. The bike seemed a bit hard to start for some odd reason. Yet once warmed up, there were no issues. I put the rain gear on for good measures, but this morning there was no real need. The clouds were low but held off as I made my way North from Toledo to Detroit where I would cross into Canada. Along the way, not much had changed. It all looks the same! I did run into yet another detour South of Detroit. Something about another bridge construction project and ‘take this detour’ so I added a few more miles as a result. I’m still not sure I had to do that.

I made my way to the bridge into Canada and meandered through the maze of customs traffic lines. Not that there were many other vehicles waiting to cross. Rather, the intricate maze they have you run through. I fueled up to insure I’d have a full load going into Canada. Here’s the Ambassador Bridge prior to launch.
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And the obligatory sign when available
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Once in Canada on the 401 headed East I realized these were really nice roads. Those neighbors to the North sure know how to build and maintain their highway system. Three lanes for most of it, then down to two. Along the way, there were several 18-wheelers headed South with loads of the 2010 Camaro and Police Interceptor Crown Vics. They must all be coming from Ford of Canada headed to the US market. There was also the standard barns and fields as has been for the entire trip
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At London, I decided I’d fuel up and had to make a stop at a highly recommended eating establishment. Well, actually I had to see what all the fuss was about. I will say they have really good coffee and toasted/buttered bagels. Moose was right.
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While there, three gentleman asked where I was from. After a brief conversation, one asked where I was headed and I told him Niagra Falls. He said if I wanted the scenic route, I should go down this road, at the T, turn left, look for the hotel and go left again. OK…. I’m thinking I’ll get lost, but hey, it’s a short day so what the heck.. Turns out he put me on Canada 3 which was indeed a great ride. Very nice two lane road with little towns about every 12-15 miles. Speed limits maxed out at 80kmh so the ride was enjoyable.

Along the way I saw something I haven’t seen in quite some time. An actual phone booth.
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And yet another great looking barn/silo combination.
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Coming into a little town called Tilsonberg, my heart sank at the sight of this.
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Just before this sad sight, I had stopped behind a truck at a traffic light and noticed I didn’t have a bright light reflection in the tailgate. Hmmmm…. What’s up with that? Turns out the main headlight burned out sometime today. It was fine last night, so I took this opportunity to swap it out as I brought a spare just for this occasion.

A few more along the way to Niagra Falls
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This little town had an interesting old church. The sunshine finally poked it’s head out then quickly disappeared. The church was built in 1853 and located in Canfield. Just after this picture was taken, the sprinkles turned into rain and it stayed that way for about an hour or just until I reached the bridge to enter the US at Niagra Falls. The short glimpse I saw of the falls was something I knew I was coming back for after I setup camp.
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Next up was another obligatory state sign after clearing US Customs.
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Once through downtown, I made my way to the KOA site and setup camp. Forecast for this evening is showers. Argh. After camp was done, I unloaded everything into the tent and headed back to the falls, maybe 10 miles away. I wandered into the state park and the gal who charges $10 per car asked if I wanted to park for free. Sure! Where? There was a little corner spot that no car could fit in so that’s where the pig stayed.

I walked through the walk gate and on to the bridge I rode in on earlier. The clouds were really building so I figured I had about 30 minutes. Here’s a shot from the bridge
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And the “Maid of the Mist”
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When you enter Canada, they ask for your passport and DL. I gave them my birth certificate, passport, DL all in one shot and didn’t have a problem the four times I was requested of the information.

I beat the rain home and here I sit in my tent with light raindrops pelting. Sigh….. I’m off to call it a night.

Tomorrow brings a re-entry into Canada and points further North and East. Montreal here I come.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,529
Location
South of Houston
Canfield

Nice little sleepy village about 8 miles from where we lived prior to moving to the States

ps - try the Chilli in a bread bowl.....
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 07/03/2009
Destination: Montreal, Quebec Canada
Miles: 479
States: New York, Ontario Canada, Quebec Canada

Today’s pondering questions were what defines ‘fun’ and how much fun is one supposed to have. I’ll be the first to admit, after seven days on the road and roughly 3200 miles, they are starting to run together now. The daily routine is much the same in that I ride the highlighted map I prepared the night before, stop and take pictures of interesting places, calculate and recalculate fuel consumption and associated stops, eat, ride some more, get to the destination, unpack the bike, setup the tent or move in to the hotel and plan the next days events while writing the trip report. Just to get the report done involves downloading the pictures of the day from the camera to the laptop, selecting the ones to resize and then push to a photohost. Once there, you grab the URL and copy/paste that in the trip report. When it’s all done, copy/paste the report in a forum.

So what defines fun? To me, fun is an event you experience while doing something that brings pleasure. Even some things that don’t bring pleasure are fun as they involve problem solving. For example, while on the road there are invariably things that come up. A few examples include:

My tank bag. I purchased this used from another R1150GS owner when I acquired mine. The bag was in great shape and the price was right. Now, some two and a half year later, the elastic stretch material that secures the bag to the hooks has failed during the trip. That makes the tank bag want to lean WAY off to the left side.
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The solution was how to stop the bag from moving around. Enter the strap solution and problem solved.
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Next problem to solve was my gloves. They might be a year old or so and the finger suffered a blow-out.
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Solution? Heck. It’s warm out now so just let the finger go commando, rain and all!

I have two spider nets I secure all my stuff on the bike with. Both came from Cycle-Gear. One is probably seven years old, the other not one week. Guess which one failed? The week old one. I HIGHLY recommend you DO NOT purchase the plastic hook version from there. The plastic is brittle and does NOT stand up to the rigors of long distance touring. How to solve it? Carabeeners and hook what metal ones are available directly into the webbing of the other one. And an extra 1” wide web strap to hold it all to the bike.

Remember the boot sole issue on day three? Crazy glue the sole back to the boot and don’t look back. Still holding well as if nothing were wrong in the first place. Problem solved.

The burned out headlight bulb? Remove the old one and install the spare I brought along for this very occasion.

Tires? I’m still working on that one. I left with 11k on these Tourances. I’ve been able to get 16-20k on every set thus far. This trip might be different. With 11k and a roughly 6k trip that’d be 17k or well within what I’ve come to expect. Let’s just say they seem to be going away at twice what I thought. When I get to Southern New Jersey I’ll see where they stand and maybe start to look for a dealer.

Now back to this fun thing. Today started out in the rain suit leaving Niagra Falls. I made the border crossing yet again and there was no rain. After heading Northwest and stopping at the local Timmy’s for coffee and a bagel, the gear came off. While at Timmy’s, the locals again were very friendly asking me where I was headed and where I was from. I seriously doubt that any conversation like has ever happened to me while in a Starbucks in some distant part of the country. The folks just seem more friendly North of the border. Now that was fun.

As I was leaving the town, this caught my eye. Just what is Daily Entertainment with Rooms for Rent anyway?
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So I cleared Toronto with only a few mis-turns. I figured that would be OK since my GPS is about eight years old or more and the base maps are out of date. New roads have popped up. Go figure……

I continued on the 401 or Hero’s Highway Northeast on the North side of Lake Ontario and the showers decided to rear their ugly head again. That meant stopping to find a place to gear back up. Ride for a few miles and clear the storm and all looks great so look for a place to gear down. Do that, repeat as more storms come from out of nowhere. Now this exercise is NOT fun.

I ducked off in the little town of Gananoque to yet again put on the rain suit. I met a very nice guy who was born in that town in 1930 who was visiting to see what it was like after many years away. Turns out, he rides a Strom 1000. The quaint little town was having a bbq festival right next to this small lake. I just had to park there.
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And the fountain on the little lake.
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As I approached Montreal, the sky became ugly again, so I stop and gear up. Then the five o-clock traffic on a Friday is added on top of the rain. And further this by having to guess at French. You see, Montreal is all French speaking so all the signs are French. Then their exit numbering system took a bit to figure out, but once I did, it was easy. Through observation, I figured out Est was East and Nord was North. West was, well West I think so that only left one. Knowing three of four you can solve the problem. Fun? Yup. No so for the traffic.

Welcome to Quebec. That’s two Canadian provinces now and the furthest North I’ll be on this trip
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Tomorrow brings a return to the United States on Independence Day. The run will take me through a bunch of ‘little’ states and hopefully I’ll get some good fireworks displays on the leg.

Am I having fun? You bet.
 
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Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,755
Location
Huntsville
16-20K on a set of Tourances!!?? Geez, I was lucky to get 6-7K out of a front and maybe 5K out of the rears... Maybe it was all the zipping and zooming that the GS inspires :oops:
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Location
austin
Happy 4th of July!

Do you keep that pocket Declaration of of Independence and the Constitution of the United State of American in your pocket on the bike?

Your company will be missed at the days festivities.

Safe travels.
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 07/04/2009
Destination: Mystic, CT
Miles: 500
States: Quebec/Canada, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut

What a difference a day with sunshine makes! The rain continued all night long in Montreal and I just knew the tent would be soaked. I tried my best to wipe down everything but that didn’t help much. So I packed everything up and was gone by 6am with the storm clouds that came last night headed to the North. Today, I was headed South.

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Leaving Montreal on Hwy 16, the border came quickly at about 24 miles. I crossed over a Champlain New York and fueled up only to note the skies were getting cloudy to the East and South. I was bummed. But Canada had one last good looking barn to toss into the mix.

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The border crossing back into the US was easy. I thought it was sort of cool that I was coming back into the States on July 4th too.

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Vermont was only a skip away, as much of the East coast states are. Here’s the bridge into Vermont, and it’s obligatory sign.

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Running over to St. Albans, then ducking down a scenic country road to head East, I would up in St. Joisbury. Here’s some shots along the way. Vermont doesn’t have high speed limits and everyone seems to enjoy driving at a leisurely pace. These roads were just begging for speed. Much the same was for New Hampshire where the max speed limit in the state is 50mph.

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Moose crossing. I still didn’t see Al anywhere
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Crossing into New Hampshire, the sun was out but where there were clouds, they were thick. I finally threw caution to the wind and ditched the rain gear to temp the Gods. It worked. The rest of the day was great.

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Here’s the typical architecture of the buildings in the area
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Time to move into Maine and the destination was the Atlantic ocean.
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York Harbor, Maine looking at a storm over the Atlantic ocean
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Here’s a shot to show the other side of the US from Soozy’s Pacific Boot Picture. This is the Atlantic side with TWT boots.
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Leaving Maine, I jumped on I95 and ran it all the way down for the day.

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One item that came to mind today was the distances aren’t great between places, but the traffic and lower speed limits offset the time it takes to get there. Today was right at 500 miles, but the travel time was also right at 12 hours in the saddle.

And Rain. One thing cagers don’t get to experience is the smell of rain. When you get that first wiff of it, you had better start thinking about the rain gear because it’s close. Today was no exception. I think I was in and out of it twice and each time, not only could you see it coming, but you could smell it too.

There is also the aroma of the dairy farms that cagers don’t’ experience. Nothing like running along and then wham – dairy farm to the windward side.

I wound up making Mystic CT this evening about 5:45pm. Unpacking the wet tent and gear was quick and I layed everything out to dry. After a quick shower and laundry, the gear was 95% dry. I think if the weather holds tonight like it should, everything will be good to go in the morning.

Tomorrow brings a run into the “city”, and an afternoon/evening with a bbq buddy of mine in Highland Hills, home of West Point.

.
 
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Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
4,622
Location
Jennings,La.
very neat report. Had my tankbag fail the same way on my '95 R11GS after 3 years and 50,000 somewhat miles on it. Ended up sewing straps on it later.
I never did all the states in the NE sector. But loved the back roads of VT, NH and Maine.
I once had to change out the headlight lens on my '02 R1150Gs and what a major job that turned out to be. Do get some kinda rock guard.
Thanks for sharing your ride with us, I know the work and time it takes. ;-).
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
539
Location
elgin,tx
Great report, I must say I'm envious. Riding in the north in summer is saweet. I grew up in MN, still visit, we had those Red-winged Blackbirds all over. I can't believe that NH has a max speed of 50 :shock: the state isn't THAT small.

Anywho...carry on :rider:
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 07/05/2009
Destination: Highland Falls, NY
Miles: 156
States: Connecticut, New York

What a day! I must say that today has to have been one of the best so far. Morning temps in the high 60’s, blue sky and no humidity. I packed up the campsite and was off by 8am for an easy day to Highland Falls, NY, home of West Point. My plan was to spend the evening with a good friend of mine from a bbq forum I frequent.

Breaking camp and leaving the KOA in Mystic, CT
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I left Mystic CT on I95 headed South towards New Haven. Along the way I stopped in Derby to visit the Yale rowing club facilities. Not that I have any interest in rowing, but it sort of sounded like a cool place. When I was ready to leave, this little fellow stopped on the bike just on top of the TWT sticker.
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When I hit New Haven, I ducked off on what would best be described as a CT FM road. The road was CT 34. Nice and twisty, lots of elevation changes and a canopy tree cover for most of it. The buildings all pretty much look the same as well. These were taken in Edmond, CT.
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I thought this front door was nice. The house was probably built in the late 1800’s
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The miles didn’t take long to crank off and I found myself in New York again with some beautiful scenery. I’m on Hwy 6/202 now.
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Coming into the Hudson River valley on the top of Bear Mountain, this is an old army depot dating back to WWI. The facility was used for storage of ammunition during WWI, WWII and Korea.
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They had a guy taking shots with BearMtnPhoto or something like that that snapped me I think. I'll have to go figure out if that was the website name and look around. The mountaini was like being at the Three Sisters but not near as long. Awesome riding.

Heading up NY 218 into the village of Highland Falls, also known as the home of West Point, I was able to go to the base visitors center and view the items in the museum. There was a lot of history stuffed into that building.
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The village of Highland Falls also had some very nice, old structures including this church built in 1840.
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Here’s a shot of Constitution Island with it’s castle
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And a shot of the roads in the area.
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I met up with my good friend David Brace from the bbq forum and met his wife. We made it back to their place where I unpacked for the day/evening. While there I was treated to an excellent spread of various cheeses and meats, and an authentic Italian dinner. Afterwards, we went out to do some sightseeing and finished the evening at a local ice cream shop.

Perkins Drive observation deck
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The Hudson Valley at dusk with a full moon starting to show.
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Tomorrow brings Philadelphia and Cape May, NJ.

.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Location
austin
What a lovely area. Your photos are out of this world fantastic and I was really glad to read about the perfect weather for a ride.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,529
Location
South of Houston
I continued on the 401 or Hero’s Highway Northeast on the North side of Lake Ontario
Am I having fun? You bet.


The stretch of Highway 401 from Trenton to Toronto is known as the Hero's highway

The remains of every Canadian Forces service person killed overseas is flown to CFB Trenton and then taken to the coroners office in Toronto

When this happens the sides of the road and the overpasses are lined with people paying tribute to the fallen

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-sEsJB80R2TM/canadas_highway_of_heroes/
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 07/06/2009
Destination: Cape May, NJ
Miles: ESTIMATE 286
States: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey

Yet another fantastic day! Bright blue sky, warm temperatures and good memories.

I woke up about 6 this morning and started to plan the route I would take today. I had planned on making the run down to Philadelphia to see yet another house I grew up in, then motor on down to Cape May, NJ to spend a few days. After looking at maps and asking my friend DB what the best route was, we came up with a plan to get me South. I said my goodbyes to DB and Kathy and was off. Not long after starting, I had to ditch the liner and button-down shirt as the temps were now in the high 70’s. The weather was that nice!

I started out taking the Palisades Interstate Highway South of Highland Falls. Again, another great road with a tree canopy, great elevation changes and just enough curves to keep it interesting.
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My first mark was to make it through New York City where I’d catch the New Jersey turnpike South. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that I wouldn’t make it into Pennsylvania without some rerouting. So while on the bike I kept looking at the map and GPS trying to make sense of all the little black lines and dots. Even zoomed in, the area was a mess. There are a lot of roads and towns in such a compact area when looking at the GPS.

As I approached Philly, I missed the turn for the Walt Whitman bridge. I didn’t think that would be a big deal, but it was. I had to really think about where I was going, directions and so forth just to get back on track. I saw that I should have taken a road to Camden, NJ, and a few miles later saw another sign for Camden and took that exit. Turns out, that ran me up one of the poorer parts of Camden from the South. I wasn’t really afraid, but I sure was out of my element.

I also had one of those ‘rut-row’ moments as I was making a right turn at about 30mph where the front end just slid out an inch or two in the middle of the turn. It’s one of those things you can’t see and before you know it, it’s over. Thank goodness the spot of oil or whatever was very small and the pig stayed upright.

I finally made it across the Walt Whitman bridge into Pennsylvania and again started to look at the map and GPS.
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I came up with a general plan that would put me in the ballpark of Drexel Hill, but every road I turned on went a different way or was called something else. My GPS is about 10 years old, so I’m sure the basemaps are a bit dated. I wound up at the City Zoo and asked a cabbie how to get there. He smiles and said ‘go down this road 2 miles, take a right at Market and follow it out”.

OK, I’ve got a plan so I did as he said and again, I found myself amongst burned out buildings, hookers, vandalized cars, all sorts of trash in the roads and all under the elevated train system. This went on for four miles or so and I felt as though everyone was staring at me. I was definitely out of place.

Running through one of Philly’s finer neighborhoods (Market Street).
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But Mr. Cabbie was right – I made it to the destination and found the old house. Nobody was home and I noticed it was for sale so I called the agent and left a message. I’m curious as to how much they are asking for it.

Here’s yet another place I grew up in. The house looked good for its age.
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After looking around a bit, I rode around the neighborhood, fueled up and decided it was time to head South.

I took the loop around Philly and got back on I-95 to the Walt Whitman bridge and then 47 South the 90 or so miles down to Cape May. I found the beach house just fine, pulled in and unpacked the bike. My aunt and uncle who just had their extended family there greeted me and we began the evening’s meal of Maryland crab cakes. By 9pm or so, I was ready to shower and hit the rack with the cool breezes flowing through the open screened windows. Sleep came quickly.

Overall, a great day except for the few wrong turns in somewhat less than ideal neighborhoods. However, being in these situations just adds to the knowledge and experiences of how others live, so all is good.

Tomorrow brings a relaxing day in what should be sunny Cape May.

.
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
Date: 07/07/2009
Destination: New Jersey (Cape May)
Miles: 39
States: New Jersey (Cape May)

Morning came late today as the cool temperatures and nice breeze made for great sleep and lazy napping. I had a nice breakfast with my aunt and uncle from Vero Beach, FL and then I was off to explore on my own the little town of Cape May. I have been coming here as a kid for many years, but infrequently as an adult. So this was my time to motor around and see everything on my schedule.

First up was nice walk around the area with my uncle. We had good conversation catching up on the past few years since we last saw each other.

A street sign on the bayside with the saltgrass growing up
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The house we’ve had in the family since the late 1940’s
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The area is very quaint and friendly to all the visitors and residents as evidenced by this sign.
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Some gulls trying to score their next meal in the surf
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The salt air really takes a toll on anything metal here
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Lots of wildlife running around. There seems to be an overabundance of these guys in the neighborhood
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I have to admit, I’ve been an ATGATT rider. Up until today that is. The temperatures were really nice and the air fairly dry with bright sunshine. I did a little risk assessment which included thought of how much traffic there was, what the average speeds were and where I’d be going. In the end, I rode with my helmet and riding boots with jeans and a t-shirt. I felt naked for the first 10 minutes, then really enjoyed the rest of the days events this way.

My first stop was going to the Cape May lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1859 and stands 157.5 feet tall.
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Looking from either the lighthouse or the elevated portions of the dunes at the ocean, you can see the WWII bunker which housed a pair of large guns used to protect the area from enemy vessels. When built, the beach extended some 900 yards out, but due to erosion the water was actually up to and surrounding the structure as of a few years ago. Over the past several years, Cape May has reclaimed a significant portion of the beach (for the time being as mother nature will win this one I’m sure)
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Leaving the lighthouse, I made my way over to “the point”. Here, you can see the remains of an experimental WWI concrete ship called the USS Atlantus. There were twelve of these ships built, yet proved impractical due to their weight.
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Just back from the point is a WWII fire control tower recently restored. Known at Fire Control #23, this was built in September 1942 and used to direct fire from the Bunker shown above. There were two on the New Jersey side and eleven on the Delaware side.
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From the point, I made my way to the beach area and the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches are fee based and you have to have a pass to access them.
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At another entrance to the beaches was this cute little red wagon
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Along the seawall are some fine examples of Victorian architecture. This one is called “The Sea Mist”, and was renovated a few years ago after an extensive fire. These are actually condos within this building that stands less than 300 yards from the ocean.
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Here’s a shot of part of the beach. Excuse the black ring around the shots, but I learned my 18mm lens with a polarizing filter shows the barrel of the filter.
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Some waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on a rock jetty on the beach
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After walking down the seawall for a bit, I headed into the side streets and found this Catholic Church at the end of a pedestrian walking mall.
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A representative sample of a typical Bed & Breakfast
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Here’s a shot of some of the larger Victorian style places. What’s amazing is these were once individual homes owned by the very wealthy who vacationed here.
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Here’s a channel marker setup as a display on the seawall
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Next was a trip over to the marina and The Lobster House where there is a restaurant and the fishing fleet moors. Here’s some fishing boats and the outdoor seating.
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Moving from The Lobster House, I visited the ferry terminal for the Cape May/Lewes Delaware Ferry. I needed to check fees/time schedules as I think I’ll be leaving New Jersey on the ferry headed to Delaware in a day or so.
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After the ferry terminal, I scouted out one of the many fresh vegetable and produce farms. We’ve been going to this one for as long as I can remember.
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I found the local library who has a Wi-Fi hotspot and then headed home to get ready for dinner. We wound up heading back to the Lobster House where I feasted on crab soup and salad. Here’s a few shots from the dock area.
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Then to finish out the day I we walked down to the bay to watch the sunset.
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I’d say today was indeed a grand day.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
11,836
Location
COS
I've been trying not to watch this thread, it makes my days stuck behind a desk that much more difficult :lol2:
Looks like a great trip so far, I'm jealous
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,151
Location
North of Weird
sounds like a good trip so far.
Bring me a souvenir, oh and be safe :rider:
Working on that one.... :trust:

Scott,

Seem like you're having a fine time - nice report

You going where I think you're going......

Be safe my friend
Sorry, but that one just didn't work out. I tried to figure out how to make it work, but just didn't have the prep time to pull it off.

Great report. Nothing better than the sound of light rain on a tent on a cool night.
Yep. The cool temps and rain were great for sleeping, but not so great on the riding, setup and knock-down parts of camping.

Canfield

Nice little sleepy village about 8 miles from where we lived prior to moving to the States

ps - try the Chilli in a bread bowl.....
Yep, that's the place. BEAUTIFUL little village. Sorry, but I didn't get to try the Chili. I did see a Timmy's in the states but I missed the exit for it.

Happy 4th of July!

Do you keep that pocket Declaration of of Independence and the Constitution of the United State of American in your pocket on the bike?

Safe travels.
No, just a copy in the truck.

:eek2:

Boot camp. USCG TraCen Cape May. August 1981.

(I think it was just that I was in New Jersey that was my problem :thumbd:
Cape May was a very cute little town.)
Yes. I recall a conversation at a pie run about your boot camp there.



And to all the well-wishers so far via message and PM, thank you for your prayers on safe travels. Tomorrow is the Western leg turn for home with a few stops along the way.

.
 
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