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Trippin’ Connies 8 – The Northeastern 12

Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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I’m way behind on getting this year’s report out. I blame life.

There wasn’t much debate on which direction we were headed this year. Twelve states remained for Dad, the Connies, and I to check off within the Contiguous United States. Those states all reside in the Northeast. While we’re up there, we might as well see Niagara Falls, Mount Washington, and Acadia National Park. And to add an extra twist this year, 1,000 of the miles this year would include riding two-up with the ladies… my mom and wife. As always, I spend a ton of time planning the yearly ride, but it felt like this year was doubled with the twist.

The original plan was to leave the Tuesday after Father’s Day. A couple days prior to leaving, my wife asked me why we were leaving on Tuesday instead of Monday. I sat there for a second not knowing how to respond, but explained how I was already going to be gone for 11 days, I didn’t want to push it for more days away from the home front. The plan was to make it to Buffalo, NY in two days, splitting the mileage per day right down the middle at about 770 miles a day. She said why not leave on Monday and take 3 days to get there instead of 2. That was music to my ears. I gave Dad a call and he was perfectly fine with that, but he also knew I would be able to help myself with making it a little bit more difficult than that. Original plan was all Interstate miles, but with having an extra day I tried to mix it up a bit on days 2 and 3 with getting off the beaten path.

Day 1 – 6/20/2016 – Houston, TX to Jackson, TN – 657 Miles

Houston, TX to Jackson, TN – 657 Miles – MAP LINK

My bike began this year’s trip with 50,094 miles on it, just starting to get broken in. GPS data was cleared.


Instead of leaving super early on Monday morning, I wanted to see my wife and daughters off for the day before meeting up with Dad and heading out. They left the house at 7 am and I finished loading up the bike and took off shortly after, getting to Dad’s house around 7:45 am. Shortly after we began the journey getting to US 59 and heading north. It was going to be a long, hot day of chewing up miles.

The first stop for the day was just shy of 200 miles in Carthage, TX. We filled up on gas and took a little break. It wasn’t even the heat of the day yet, but it was still plenty hot.


Just before suiting up to leave, a 2015 Chevy 2500 diesel pulled up on the opposite side of the pump from us. This was only interesting because dad was in the market for a new truck. He’d been doing a lot of research and the new Chevy diesel was at the top of his list. I had an interest in his new truck purchase because I wanted his old one, a ’99 Ford F-250 diesel with a hair shy of 100k miles and in excellent shape. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that bad boy. But back to the Chevy, Dad asked the guy what he thought it. After a 10 minute conversation, the guy was giving off mixed vibes about it. His company owned 16 of them and all of them had injector problems at the 80-90k mark. He said you might as well start saving $8,000 for the replacement. The best part of the whole conversation was when dad mentioned his current truck. The guy said he actually still has his ’03 Ford F-250 diesel and referred to it as “the best diesel ever made.” Music to my ears of course, and nothing dad hadn’t heard before. The chat with the guy gave us plenty of conversation for the upcoming miles.

In between Marshall and Atlanta we rode through intermittent rain. After we went through the rain it got really hot, especially on dad’s bike. I had given him some Baker hand wings for Father’s Day and he realized there were still in the “closed” position. The little ambient temperature gauge on his bike got all the way up to 133 degrees! He opened them up and said it was like he turned the A/C on. The hand wings work. I’ve had mine for years and love them. US 59 took us to Texarkana where we met up with I-30 and headed northeast. Another 200 mile stretch put us in Malvern, AR for the next stop. This is where my road trip love affair with beef jerky began.


In Little Rock I-30 intersects with I-40, which we continued east on. Everything was going great until Memphis. We crossed over the Mississippi River to enter the city and everything was fine. As we were passing the skyline there were solid brake lights ahead of us. I noticed on one of the traffic boards that there was a reported accident ahead and two lanes were closed. We quickly made our way into the right lane and took the I-69 exit. I wasn’t 100% certain where we were going, but I do remember a southern route around Memphis when I was making the routes. As we now headed south we received a call from Mom, aka Mission Control. She was watching our Glympse at the time and was curious as to why we headed south. She was able to route us on the southern loop around Memphis using I-240. Unfortunately this route was not only a bit longer, but was also littered with traffic and light rain. In the end, the detour to avoid the wreck probably took more time than if we would have just stayed on I-40. As we cleared Memphis I was getting dangerously low on gas. I was able to stretch it out to 225 miles and we stopped in Mason, TN. The place was pretty disgusting with some interesting people there.

This beauty has been worked to the bone, but fit right in at this station.

Continuing on I-40, the good news was we were only 50 miles away from our destination of Jackson, TN. We made it to the Quality Inn without a problem and got checked in. Across the road was a restaurant named Redbone’s Grill and Bar. It sounded good so we walked across and gave it a try. The beer was good and cold and the food was delicious. As for the beer, dad had some popular domestic while I like to go the local route. This time it was a Ghost River – River Bank Red. For food, dad had beef tips while I had bacon wrapped shrimp and veggies.



Back at the hotel it was time for a shower and bed, we were asleep before 10 p.m.
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 2 – 6/21/2016 – Jackson, TN to Barboursville, WV – 525 Miles

Jackson, TN to Barboursville, WV – 525 Miles – MAP LINK

We were up bright and early, 5:35 a.m. to be exact. I had a little breakfast at the hotel and we packed up to hit the road.

We were off and running a little before 7 a.m. Back on I-40 we headed towards Nashville with the sun in our eyes, hoping to get through there before hitting any morning traffic. It was really comfortable out though with temps in the low 70s. We lucked out and cruised through the city without a problem. In the city we began heading north on I-65. We cleared the city and it was time for gas so we made a stop in White House, TN.

I-65 north took us into Kentucky and after riding through Bowling Green we exited onto the Cumberland Parkway and headed east. This began our getting a bit off the beaten path portion of the ride to Buffalo, NY. The Cumberland Parkway isn’t exactly a back road, but it was nice compared to the interstate. We basically had it to ourselves and it was quite peaceful. I told dad you could easily cruise down it at 120 mph, not that we would do that. The Cumberland Parkway runs out in Somerset, KY and we used Highway 80 to connect us to the Hal Rogers Parkway in London, KY. Somewhere along Highway 80 we could see something smoking bad ahead. A couple corners later and we found the culprit. It was an early 2000s model Ford F-150 absolutely engulfed in flames. There was another truck behind it and people outside, so I assumed everyone was ok. There were no emergency vehicles on the scene yet. The truck was on the shoulder and we got over as far as possible as we rode by, but we could still feel the immense heat coming off the truck.

After getting on Hal Rogers Parkway I started thinking about getting gas. I didn’t realize that this little parkway was similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway in that you have to completely exit and take a different road to get gas. I realized this after passing several exits and nothing was in sight. We kept riding on and I started to panic a bit as I checked my GSP for gas. We ended up exiting Highway 118 and riding 4 miles to the town of Hyden, KY.


Other than beef jerky, my go to snack during the breaks was going to be almonds and cashews. I’m down 40 lbs. in the last several months. I’ve completely changed my diet and finally realized that everything I’ve been eating for years is not good for me. No fast food, candy, processed sugar, etc. It’s not as fun, but I like the results and I’m sure my body appreciates it.

Getting back to Hal Rogers Parkway we finished it off and continued on Highway 80. Soon after, the sky began changing and the threat of rain appeared. The further we rode, the more intense the storm got. As we turned north on US 23, there was some serious lightning. It wasn’t much longer before it started raining, and then absolutely pouring. I started feeling really uncomfortable and told Dad I was looking for a place to pull over. It was coming down so hard I was worried about sitting water on the road. I finally found a gas station in Louisa and we pulled in. I couldn’t see that great and started riding through about a foot of water that was in the parking area of the gas station! Luckily I was able to navigate out of the deep water and we found a semi-dry spot to wait out the weather.



We found the first waterfall of the trip.

Parked on the opposite side of the pump as us and waiting out the storm as well was a rider from Huntington, WV, the town right next to our destination town of Barboursville for the night. We talked to him the whole time we were there. He was a very nice guy and military veteran, and also Kawasaki brethren. He had completed 3 tours, a true American bad&$$ in my book. He was just starting a trip of his own, trying to make Bowling Green by the night.



The storm was moving quick and within 30 minutes all the water at the gas station was gone and we were able to take off safely. When we did leave, thankfully there were only 45 miles to travel to Barboursville. A short ride up US 23 took us to I-64 where we turned east and crossed into WV. Not much later we arrived at our destination.

While riding along today my sister-in-law got wind that we would be staying in the Huntington, WV area. She told my wife we had to try Fat Patty’s. My wife looked it up and there was one right by our hotel, literally a 2 minute walk. I had even confirmed with the Veteran from the gas station and he said it was good. That’s where we headed after checking into the Best Western. Unfortunately there was a wait and it took 30 minutes to get a table. I didn’t feel like going anywhere else, so we waited it out. The place was packed. We realized Tuesday was buy one get one night on burgers, thus the crowd. Dad had a lava burger with some lightly flavored water domestic and I had a bun-less Cowboy burger with a Country Boy – Shotgun Wedding beer. Who could resist a beer with that name? Not me. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.


We walked back to our hotel and relaxed. Our room had a view of the pool, very fancy.

We were asleep before 10 p.m. again, this time with losing an hour during the day somewhere in Kentucky.
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Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Which camera/lens did you bring for this adventure?
Scott, I wanted to pack the D810 and a bikeful of gear, but ended up only taking the Fuji X100t and the wide-angle converter for it. I just didn't have the room to take my big stuff with me.

I look forward to your reports every year.

I do too, though I've already cried. You were in Mason Tn at about dinner time and missed an amazing dinner at a 93 year old amazing BBQ place. It's good enough to ride to for lunch from Dallas. :rofl:
I remember your report about it, too bad that didn't register with me before-hand. :drool:
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 3 – 6/22/2016 – Barboursville, WV to Buffalo, NY – 480 Miles

Barboursville, WV to Buffalo, NY – 480 Miles – MAP LINK

My alarm was set for 5:35 a.m. again, this time I hit the snooze. I just couldn’t open my eyes yet. When it went off again I forced myself out of bed. We were slow moving in the morning and didn’t get rolling until 7:30.

We backtracked a mile on I-64 and exited onto Highway 193, which connected us with Highway 2. Highway 2 was a nice ride along the Ohio River. In Silverton we jumped on I-77 and headed north. My stomach had been bothering me all morning and, as if it was dropped out of heaven, a rest stop appeared at just the right time. We pulled over and I was able to make my stomach feel 100 times better.


Shortly after getting back on the interstate we were finally crossing the Ohio River and into Ohio, the first of the new 12 states. The construction gave us the perfect protected place to pull over for the picture.

Less than a mile later we exited on Highway 7 and made our way to Highway 26. After I had received the “ok” to take an extra day to get to Buffalo, I started looking to see if there were any recommended twisty roads, trying to work in at least one on the way up. Highway 26 in Ohio seemed to fit the bill and it looked twisty on the map. My source is usually www.motorcycleroads.us. There’s lots of outdated information on there, but it’s a good place to start. So back to Highway 26, for the first several miles I was basically laughing at myself with how much of a rollercoaster of a road it was. Not necessarily the best thing to do after riding interstate for the last 2 days. I was completely out of whack when it came to the tight turns. And with Highway 26, on top of those tight turns were blind hills. It was quite a bit of fun though. Somewhere in the middle of the Highway 26 we stopped for a break at the Rinard Covered Bridge. We initially passed it up bit I had us loop back because it looked interesting.





The next stop was for gas in Woodsfield, OH. After filling up I headed inside to see what sort of snacks I could find that would be good for me. I found some Duke’s Hot & Spicy “Shorty” Smoked Sausages. They were really good, the problem was I couldn’t find them anywhere else on the trip. While I was in the store I overheard a bit of the conversation behind the counter. The guy was entertaining and used the phrase “explosive diarrhea,” which had dad and I laughing uncontrollably when I told him back outside.


Out of Woodsfield we took Highway 78 to Highway 7 (Ohio River Scenic Byway). We were on Highway 7 for a while and took it north along the Ohio River all the way to East Liverpool. It didn’t take us long to start running into construction stops. Dad loooooves construction stops.


The truth is, they bother me much more. That’s the downfall of having planned routes and destinations. It always seems like a race against the clock. I’m trying to get us to the hotel before sundown. For the next backup, dad got off and took a break.


All the towns along the river seemed the same and felt really old with tons of old houses and buildings. In addition, there were, what I assume, were coal refineries all the way up the river. Most of them were on the West Virginia side of the river, but there was one big one on the Ohio side.






In East Liverpool we took Highway 39 to the Pennsylvania border for new state #2. There were some historic markers at the border that we checked out as well.







When I got back to my bike, I noticed a small snake that I probably stepped on as I got off the bike. I’m pretty sure it was dead prior to our arrival.

In Pennsylvania the road turned into Highway 68. We were making our way to I-79. In Freedom, PA we ran into a bit of a problem when our exit was closed. We ended up having to go down several miles and at the end of that was a long line of construction traffic. While sitting in the traffic I was able to figure out how to get us back over where we were supposed to be without having to back-track any. We got to I-79 north of Pittsburgh and started to make up for lost time during the day. We ended up needing gas and making a stop in Edinboro. We took a little longer than usual here because we had been on the bike for a long time due to the slower roads and construction.

Back on the road we took I-79 north to I-90 and headed northeast. It wasn’t long before we were crossing into New York, new state #3.


In New York I-90 becomes a New York State Thruway, meaning no free exits. We collected our toll ticket right after getting our state sign pictures. We exited after 40 miles and paid $1.95 to do so. We rode Highway 5 to get a look at Lake Erie. We were riding along the lake and I wanted to find a good place to pull over. I spotted Hamburg Town Park, which was the perfect little spot to take in the view. We could see the Buffalo skyline in the distance.






While there, dad got the idea to take a piece of driftwood home with him. There were piles of it lining the shore. He picked out a perfect little piece, but decided against taking in the end. He remembered the story of people taking pieces of petrified wood from the Petrified Forest National Park and it being bad luck. We didn’t need anything like that happening, so he put it back where he found it.

After leaving we took Highway 179 back to I-90. We got on I-90, but not before collecting our toll ticket. The next toll booth was exactly 1.7 miles later and we had to fork over a whopping $0.15. It was pretty hilarious, but it actually ended up being the last of the toll road.

We finished off the day’s ride by taking I-90 north to Highway 33, which took us to our hotel right by the Buffalo airport. We were technically staying in the town of Cheektowaga, NY. We checked into the hotel, and before I could even ask about the packages we were expecting, the woman behind the counter said she had them. Each box contained the helmets, jackets, pants, and boots of my mom and wife. It was much easier to just ship them than pack them on the plane.

There were 3 options for dinner without having to ride anywhere. A Denny’s was in the parking lot, but that was worst case scenario. There was also a café on our side of the highway called Max’s, which the woman at the hotel recommended. We tried Max’s, but it was temporarily closed. Across the highway was the Olympic Restaurant, so we gave it a try. The food was pretty lackluster, but it was better than going to Denny’s. I must have had Denny’s on the mind though because for some reason breakfast and a beer sounded good. I had the breakfast plate pictured below with an Ellicottville Brewing Company Blueberry beer.


Dad had the meatloaf and asked for Tabasco. The waitress ended up bringing him Frank’s Red Hot and acted as if all hot sauces were created equal. There’s only one hot sauce in Dad’s world, but he went ahead and put that **** on everything anyway.

After eating we walked back across to the hotel and then the waiting game began. My mom and wife were scheduled to arrive at 11 p.m. Dad crashed out waiting and I went to the computer station in the hotel to purchase tickets for us to take the Hornblower Niagara Tour the next day. The ladies didn’t arrive at the hotel until midnight. I was outside to greet them being dropped off in the hotel’s shuttle. We walked to the room and tried to get to sleep as soon as possible.
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Nov 16, 2004
Bella Vista Arkansas
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I always enjoy your ride reports. I loved my 08 C-14. Your journeys are always great and its so cool that you get to do that with your dad. My father got me into motorcycling, but was taken too quickly. I still cherish the rides hat we had together. Great stuff and I can't wait to read the rest.
Sep 4, 2009
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"Destoryed in a flood"? Seriously, the National Forest Service should spell-check their signs.

Love the Lake Erie pictures. Great trip so far; keep it coming.
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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I always enjoy your ride reports. I loved my 08 C-14. Your journeys are always great and its so cool that you get to do that with your dad. My father got me into motorcycling, but was taken too quickly. I still cherish the rides hat we had together. Great stuff and I can't wait to read the rest.
Thanks! Sorry to hear about your father, thankfully you did get some rides together.

Kory......PA does have a Grand Canyon of its own. Ck it out.
I checked it out, not sure if I could have worked it in this year or not. Interesting though, I had no idea it was there.
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 4 – 6/23/2016 – Buffalo, NY to Oswego, NY – 215 Miles

No Map for today, Google will not let me save a route that goes into Canada and back with all the proper stops.

I woke up at 6 and tried my best to let everyone else sleep a little longer while I got ready. We had a small breakfast at the hotel and then tried to figure out how to get everything we now had packed onto the bikes. Our panniers and top boxes were bursting at the seams, but we made it work. Here were our guests for the next 4 days.

The next obstacle was just taking off. Dad’s used to riding with mom on the bike and does it several times a year. Me on the other hand, I hadn’t ridden 2-up in over 5 years, since before my wife was pregnant with our first daughter. Not only had it been that long, I was now doing it on an absolutely loaded down bike and after I was sore from riding 1,600 miles in the last 3 days. It was going to take some getting used to. To make everything even more intense, there was a busload of foreign tourists standing right at the entrance to the hotel watching us take off. We had to maneuver and squeeze between them and the bus, I was hoping I didn’t mow them all down. I don’t know about dad, but I was as wobbly as could be. Kudos to my wife for not jumping off and renting a car.

On top of it all, we were using Sena headsets to communicate to each other. Dad and I have newer units, and didn’t have a single problem the whole ride up. Mom and Lacey were using older units. In the morning we tried several times to get them all synced up but didn’t have any luck. I could talk to Dad and Lacey could talk to Mom, but we couldn’t all get together. The crazy thing was Dad and I could hear the wind noise from the ladies through the headsets, but couldn’t hear them. It was frustrating us all so we just took off and would try to figure it out throughout the day.

We took Highway 33 into downtown Buffalo to get to I-190. This took us to the Peace Bridge where we crossed over into Canada. Having never crossed a border on a motorcycle before, I was nervous about this, mainly just due to time. This first border crossing put all my fears to rest. We were both through in a matter of minutes. I’m thinking it helped being there early in the day.

Once in Canada we quickly exited and got to the Niagara Parkway. It was a scenic little ride with the river on one side and gigantic expensive houses on the other. As we rode along it was a build up of sorts as we got closer and closer to the falls. Once we were parallel with them you could just feel the power as well as spray reaching all the way to the road. We found a place to park in a metered spot and that was CAD 20.00. In the picture below you can see the American Falls with a hint of spray from Niagara Falls.

I have to admit, I was very naive when it came to the town of Niagara Falls. We could see a skyline as soon as we entered Canada. Judging the size of it, I thought it was of Toronto. When we finally realized it was actually Niagara Falls, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe the size of the hotels there. It seemed like a mini Las Vegas. We didn’t explore anything other than the falls, but you could just tell how commercial everything there was, a definite tourist trap. These are just my impressions.

Walking up to the edge gave us this view…

We walked down to where the Hornblower Niagara Cruises take off. When we were finally down at the bottom we scanned our tickets and walked passed a huge group that was eating breakfast, it looked like a company event. We got in line and there were not many people in front of us. They give you a fancy souvenir poncho to try to block some of the spray. We only had to wait about 10 minutes to get on and get going.



The tour boat took us up close and personal to the falls. It was a quick trip, but it was an interesting experience and nice to say we’ve done it. Been there, done that, got the poncho. Here are some pictures I got while we were on the boat. The ponchos were useless for the most part. I probably shouldn’t have even tried to even take any pictures while we were close, but I thought they might come out interesting. Luckily my camera still works.














This is what the line looked like after our 15 minute tour, I’m guessing the event breakfast was over and we made it just in time.

Walking back to the bikes I remembered that I wanted to play around with the miniature mode on my Fuji X100t. It’s an interesting effect, and in the right situations I like it.

Back on the bike we crossed the Rainbow Bridge to make our way back into the Motherland. Getting back in wasn’t as quick. It was backed up onto the bridge. While waiting I was able to get one of my favorite pictures of the entire trip.

By this time it had already warmed up and we had heat coming off the bikes, so it made the wait a bit worse. We were probably in line for about 20 minutes, but overall no problems getting back in.

Next on the agenda was to go check out Goat Island. The original plan was to view the falls from the U.S. side. As we were waiting in line to pay fees to get into the main parking lot a guy on a Bergman 400 rides up and tells me not to pay to park, follow him and there is free parking. I was sick of sitting in lines so we followed him. When we came to the first stop sign he explained himself further. He said how he was a local and that all the locals park in a different area and view the area around Three Sisters Islands. The he said, “just follow me… it’s f&c*i#g magical!” With words like that, I continued to follow the crazy guy. We pulled around to a small free parking lot by the Three Sister Islands. Once parked he continued to explain himself more about how much he loved this spot. What was odd was he told us to head out and have a look while he watched our bikes. I thought the guy seemed harmless, but dad was uneasy about it. We originally all walked away but dad ended up walking back and staying close the bikes. In the end the guy didn’t have any ill intentions, he was just a bit odd.

Lacey, as always, offered her photography skills to a family.

The area was nice, but I think the guy built it up a bit too much. Seeing as we had already seen the big falls from the best view, we were fine with not seeing them from the U.S. side and it was nice to see something in addition. Here are some pictures from Three Sisters Islands.





Leaving Goat Island we headed north on Robert Moses Parkway. This took us along the east side of the river and all the way up to Lake Ontario, the last of the Great Lakes for us to view. We turned east on Highway 18 which was practically empty, but super rough. That may have been a reason no one was on it. We made a detour off of Highway 18 to go to Golden Hill State Park, which contained Thirtymile Point Lighthouse. We had a nice little break there but the keeper was about to take off for lunch, so we were unable to go inside, not that it mattered much to any of us.





Sometimes hydration is really funny.

We got back on Highway 18 and took it to Lake Ontario State Parkway. This was all a nice scenic ride. It’s a beautiful and peaceful part of the state. What wasn’t great was my comfort. At about the 30 mile mark each time we would take off I could get very uncomfortable. It was a whole new world riding with a passenger and not having the ability to move around. Dad was having the same issue. On another note, we were able to get the Senas all synched up to an extent, but they would not work without problems the next several days.

We continued on to the town of Charlotte where we made another stop at a lighthouse. This one was called the Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse. The placement of this one was odd as it was up the river and not too close to the lake.






I set the camera up for a couple group shots. What is creepy is if you look in the first picture below there is a face in the top left window. And it’s not just a normal face, it’s a face that appears to be screaming. It was only in the one picture I took. I put a crop below it.



After getting through the north side of Rochester, we were now on Highway 104. It was time for gas so we stopped and filled up in Ontario, NY.

From there we continued on Highway 104 and then took a detour to go and see Sodus Bay Lighthouse.











We got back to Highway 104 and finished off the day’s ride getting to Oswego, NY, arriving a little before 5 p.m. EST. Our hotel for the night was the Best Western on the Oswego River. We checked in and then decided to eat at the restaurant connected to the hotel, which was Alex’s On The Water. I was way underdressed, but didn’t care much at that point. I had a sirloin with a ragu on top of it was a side of asparagus. It was absolutely delicious! The beer was a Pale Ale from Middle Ages Brewing in Syracuse. Dad was rubbing it in eating bread with dreamsicle butter as we waited for our food.

After dinner Lacey and I went for a dip in the hot tub and then back at the room everyone was exhausted, but I wanted to make the most of our view. I sat out on the patio and watched the sun go down and the seagulls flying around. It would have been amazing if there had been some clouds in the sky, but it was still nice. We were all crashed out before 10 p.m.

Sep 4, 2009
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Your wife has a 5,000 watt smile.

Great pictures of the falls. Even the up close ones you didn't seem to like provide a feel for the massive power of the water. As for the picture below, did you accidentally find your way onto Shutter Island? :eek2:

I set the camera up for a couple group shots. What is creepy is if you look in the first picture below there is a face in the top left window. And it’s not just a normal face, it’s a face that appears to be screaming. It was only in the one picture I took. I put a crop below it.

Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 5 – 6/24/2016 – Oswego, NY to Lancaster, NH – 345 Miles

Oswego, NY to Lancaster, NH – 345 Miles – MAP LINK

I was the first one up at 6:00 a.m. and we got on the road at 7:45 a.m. Leaving Oswego we continued on Highway 104 to Highway 1048 to Highway 3 to Highway 13 before jumping on I-81. We ran up the Interstate for 30 miles and exited in Watertown, eventually getting to Highway 3. Soon after we stopped for gas and a break in Great Bend, NY. The ladies got a treat as 2 shirtless guys were working on the roof across the street.

I bought some Jack Link’s Small Batch here and it was my favorite thus far. It got even better throughout the day as it heated up in my tank bag, making it even more tender.

We left and continued east on Highway 3. The further away from the interstate we got, the better the scenery was. Dad and I were still struggling with comfort, so we pulled over for a break at a random stop. My wife is always jealous that guys have it this easy…

It was a quiet little place with a creek and a picnic area, nothing fancy though.



And just as it always happens, once we left, maybe a mile or two up the road was a beautiful lake that would have made the perfect place to stop with a nice pier. It never fails, I always stop too soon. Highway 3 was a nice ride, but a bit slow at times going through towns. We turned onto Highway 86 in Saranac Lake, which took us to Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. We stopped for a fill-up here.

After leaving the gas station, we rode down Main Street, and that was a mistake. There were a ton of shops and Lacey wanted to stop and do some looking around. I knew that would kill all progress for the day so we didn’t. We’ll just have to go back to the area one day and spend some time there. It did seem like a pretty cool town. As we left, we spotted the ski jump ramps. They blew my mind with how steep and tall they were. The people who fly down them on skis are nuts.



We were now on Highway 73 and took that to Keane. Before we got there, we stopped for a quick shot or two at Lower Cascade Lake.


From Keane we took Highway 9N to Elizabethtown. I can’t remember which town, but one of these had construction going right down Main Street. They were only letting the traffic go one way down it, so we had to wait a while. They had the street all torn up and we had to ride uphill through rocks. I just knew that we were going over at some point, but somehow managed to keep it upright. Out of Elizabethtown we took Elizabethtown-Wadhams Road to get to Highway 22. This took us to Essex, where we met Lake Champlain. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work, but planned to ride the ferry across the lake. We had perfect timing and they had us pull right onto the ferry with a front row spot and took off just minutes later.

It was a nice comfortable trip across the lake. It really didn’t take too long and it was nice to get the buttocks off the seat. Somewhere in the middle of the lake we crossed into Vermont, new state #4.




You would think as a hobbyist photographer that would know how to take a better picture of myself, but alas, here’s a self portrait. Learn from my mistakes, always shoot at a downward angle. Shooting upwards adds at least 40 lbs.

I was hoping there would be a sign once we got off the ferry, at least somewhere within the first mile, but that was wishful thinking.

We took Ferry Road to US 7 and headed north to Burlington. There was a good bit of traffic there. We took I-189 to I-89 down to the capital city of Montpelier. We exited the Interstate to get to US 2. A bit past Plainfield we stopped for a break at the Martin Covered Bridge. The parking lot was a little walk away from the bridge. Mom and Dad stayed by the bikes and enjoyed the shade while Lacey and I went to check out the bridge.







The next stop was for gas in Danville. There was a large group of Canadians that looked like they were on a trip. I’m glad I was with my crew and not these guys.

Continuing on US 2 we rode to St. Johnsbury but jumped on I-91 to I-93 to get back to US 2 and avoid the city. One final stop for the day was at the Vermont, New Hampshire border. As we crossed the Connecticut River I didn’t see a sign for Vermont. What a bummer. But on the other side was the New Hampshire sign, and new state #5. We stopped at the sign for a few shots.

While I was finishing up, Dad and Mom went back across the river to make sure there wasn’t a Vermont sign. They ended up finding one and it’s no wonder we missed it, I was expecting something a little grander. But before I made it back across the river, I couldn’t get my ignition key to turn. I tried a couple different things, but nothing was working. Then I remembered reading about this problem a long time ago. It came back to me that you had to tap on the side of the ignition to get the KIPASS system to activate. There were stories of people carrying around a rock with them. I took out my key FOB and tapped the side, and I could hear something click within it. I was then able to turn the key. Thank goodness!

Leaving the Vermont sign I had to follow the same tapping procedure. It was going to be a pain, but at least it was working. Back into New Hampshire and it was only a mile until we were at our destination, the Coos Motor Inn in Lancaster, NH. I went in to check us in and for the first time ran into a problem. The lady said she didn’t have us down for the night. I started checking through my phone and found the email confirmation. Someone had missed our reservation and had us down for the next night, but luckily they had rooms still available. We got into our rooms and then headed into town to eat. There weren’t many options but we ended up at JL Sullivan’s Irish Pub. Our waitress didn’t care too much about helping us, so the whole experience took a while. I had a salad, so it wasn’t really picture-worthy. I had a JL Brown Ale along with it.

We were at the restaurant way too long, about an hour and 45 minutes. On the way back to the hotel we filled up on gas so we were ready to go in the morning.
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Oct 9, 2007
Far East DFW
Man, if you are just now discovering beef jerkey, wait till you hit up the jerkey bar at Buck-ee's. Love it, you are now running around the area I spent some time growing up at, looking forward to more pictures.
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Man, if you are just now discovering beef jerkey, wait till you hit up the jerkey bar at Buck-ee's. Love it, you are now running around the area I spent some time growing up at, looking forward to more pictures.
Not just now discovering it, but just now using it to my advantage on a road trip. :trust: Don't get me started on Buck-ee's. My wife and I get a pound of it every time we go by that place. :doh: Every time they are like, "you realize that's like $39, right?" Yes, just give me the stinking jerky!!! :mrgreen:
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 6 – 6/25/2016 – Lancaster, NH to Seawall, ME – 287 Miles

Lancaster, NH to Seawall, ME – 287 Miles – MAP LINK

We got up early as usual, Lacey and I went down to see what they had for breakfast. There was absolutely nothing that wasn’t loaded with carbs. Big strike out there, but we’d live. We took off from the hotel at about 7:30 a.m. and headed east on US 2. In Randolph we took a right on what I would consider a “cut-over” road, Dolly Copp Road. Looking at the map, this road should have saved us a few minutes on getting to Mount Washington. It looked just fine on the map, and was a first, but then it turned into a super rough gravel road. We kept moving forward, but part of me wanted to turn around and not risk it. It was one of the sketchiest roads I’ve ever ridden on the Connie, and two-up at that.

We intersected with Highway 16 and headed south to Glen House, where the entrance to ride up to the top of Mount Washington was. They charged $26 to enter, but to ease the pain of the price, they give you a fancy bumper sticker. There were no cars at the entrance station, so we paid and cruised right through. It was 7.5 miles to the top and the entire road had a steep grade. There was a mile or two stretch towards the top was only hard-packed dirt. I’m not sure if it was under construction or if that’s just the way it is. It added an extra degree of difficulty, and the consequences were rolling down the mountain. We reached the top without any problems. It was nice and chilly at the top.





We made the short climb up to the summit and asked someone to take our picture. The height is nothing compared to out west, but it’s the highest peak in the northeast.


We walked to the other side of the peak and enjoyed the view.









We went into the gift shop and got some souvenirs… t-shirts for our girls and the usual stickers and magnets. We geared up and took off but before we made it around the first turn we could see black smoke billowing up on the side of the mountain. I pulled over because it looked like the train was headed up to the top and I wanted to see it. It was literally going about a mile an hour and took a while just to crest over and into our view. While here, I managed to lose the lens cap to my camera. I set it on the tank bag and when we were ready to leave it wasn’t anywhere to be found.




As we descended the mountain there was much more traffic heading up than what we did just a little earlier. We made our way back to US 2 and continued east, finishing off New Hampshire and entering Maine, new state #6.


And just to give an update, every single time I need to start my bike I have to hit the side of the ignition. Thankfully that is working every time.

We took US 2 to Highway 26 and then continued east on Highway 219. We found a place to stop and take a break at the crossing of the Androscoggin River. I walked down to the river to check it out.




Dad gave my brother, Brett, a call to see how his ride was going. He had left that morning and the plan was for him to meet us in Virginia to ride with us some on the way back.

The ladies on the other hand were enjoying some J.J. Watt video.

Before leaving, Lacey and I checked out the little cemetery that was there. Lots of dates in were in the 1800s. It was sobering to see how many children didn’t make it to 5 years old, the age of our oldest daughter.



We took Highway 133 to US 202 to Augusta where we made a stop for gas. I picked up some local beef jerky back in Vermont and finally gave it a try. I’m sad to report it was the worst of the entire trip.


We left Augusta and continued on US 202 to Highway 3, taking it all the way to the Maine coast where we took a left on US 1. It was really busy along the coast and very slow moving. In Stockton Springs we took a detour off of US 1 and rode down to the Fort Point Lighthouse. I took a left too quickly and went down the wrong road to the lighthouse, but luckily we were able to walk across the field to it.








Back on US 1 we rode to Ellsworth where we took Highway 3 out to Mt. Desert Island, which contains Acadia National Park. It was later in the day and there was traffic everywhere. It was hard to make any progress. Everyone was also a bit hungry, and I had promised that I had a recommended place to eat later, but it didn’t help that we were passing tons of lobster shacks. We entered the park and didn’t see a place to pay an entrance fee, so we just continued on. Avoiding Bar Harbor we got to the Park Loop Road, which is a two-lane one-way road. We came to an overlook area and took a break.



We rode on from there and came to what I thought was Thunder Hole, but I was wrong, it was just a nice place to view the coast. It was tough getting around on the rocks with motorcycle boots on.




I asked someone where Thunder Hole was and they told me about a half mile up the road. So we geared back up and headed there. It was much more crowded than where we originally stopped. We parked and headed to the hole.

While we were there, the hole was completely underwhelming.


It was nice to watch the waves crash on the rocks though.






Someone offered to take our picture and I obliged, too bad we were staring right at the sun.

There was a park store at the Thunder Hole location and after getting back to the bikes, I started to think if we would see another one or not. I ended up running up to the store to pick us up some Acadia NP stickers and magnets.

From there we rode a bit more of the loop and then got back on Highway 3. Somewhere along the way we ended up paying our entrance fee for the park. Mom and dad didn’t have to pay because they flashed dad’s senior pass. By this point in the day, everyone was about at their limit and hungry. I still had one more lighthouse I was trying to fit in for the day before checking into our hotel and getting dinner. Against everyone’s wishes, I continued on the route. The conversation got pretty quiet. We got to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and walked around and down to the right side.



It wasn’t the view I was hoping for and had seen. Once we got back to the bikes, I realized there was a route down around the left side. I took off to go that way and everyone else stayed at the bikes. I’m surprised they were there when I got back.


I hustled back to the bike and we got going again, only a few miles until we got to the Seawall Motel. I got us checked into our rooms. Lacey and I were upstairs, right next to a group of 4 out on the porch drinking and being loud. It wouldn’t have been a problem, but there was no A/C at this motel, so opening windows to get the sea breeze was a must. I sure was hoping they would get quiet or be gone by the time we got back from dinner.

As for dinner, we headed up to Southwest Harbor where we planned to eat at Beal’s Lobster Pier. It was recommended by Daytrader as he said they had the best lobster rolls he’s ever had. We parked and the line out the door seemed like a good sign.








We all ordered variations of the lobster roll, they had 3 different styles. Lacey and I also split some lobster stew, we blew the diet, but when’s the next time I’ll be in Maine to have a fresh lobster roll? I didn’t feel bad about it. I’m happy to report, the food was amazing, and thank you Daytrader for the recommendation! Everyone was happy once again. To go along with my meal I had a Lobster Ale from Belfast Bay Brewing Co.



After dinner we walked around the pier and soaked in the scenery.






The sun had already gone down before we headed back to the hotel. Thankfully the group drinking outside our room was finishing up as we arrived. We discussed just how early we were going to get up the next day. My plan all along was to watch the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain. The problem with that was sunrise was at 4:45 a.m.! But the early start to the day would hopefully guarantee us dropping the ladies off at the airport on time for their flight back. It looked like a 30 minute ride from the hotel to the mountain, so we decided we would leave at 3:45 a.m. to give us a bit of a buffer. We got to bed as quick as we could, the alarm was going to be sounding off soon.
May 29, 2005
Out Riding
You got real Lucky on Mount Washington. It is hardly ever that clear up on top.

Enjoying you report very much.
Oct 9, 2007
Far East DFW
Pretty sure that like Pikes Peak, they are slowly paving that road to the top. The cog train is slow but pretty neat for what it does. Riding it is crazy because of the inclines it climbs.

When I was a kid we used to go hike up Mt Washington once a year. It was always a big deal with our church and a good time with good memories, though some of those are cold and rainy, I remember them fondly and well.

That said, on my last Colorado trip, in Walsenburg I took a picture looking out into the plains. I sent my dad the picture telling him that I was at the base of the mountains, which were at my back and had not even begun climbing into them. The rockies meet the plains pretty abruptly. However, while I had not begun to climb, my altitude at the time was that of the summit of Mt Washington. Pretty mind blowing if you think about it. You don't realize how much you are climbing going across west Texas but you are.

Not exact, but close enough.
Walsenburg Co - 6,171′
Mt Washington - 6,288′
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Sep 11, 2005
Spring Texas
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Please explain how you can blow your diet while on vacation? That's what vacations are for! Great pics!
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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You got real Lucky on Mount Washington. It is hardly ever that clear up on top.

Enjoying you report very much.
Thanks, and I agree!

Pretty sure that like Pikes Peak, they are slowly paving that road to the top. The cog train is slow but pretty neat for what it does. Riding it is crazy because of the inclines it climbs.

When I was a kid we used to go hike up Mt Washington once a year. It was always a big deal with our church and a good time with good memories, though some of those are cold and rainy, I remember them fondly and well.

That said, on my last Colorado trip, in Walsenburg I took a picture looking out into the plains. I sent my dad the picture telling him that I was at the base of the mountains, which were at my back and had not even begun climbing into them. The rockies meet the plains pretty abruptly. However, while I had not begun to climb, my altitude at the time was that of the summit of Mt Washington. Pretty mind blowing if you think about it. You don't realize how much you are climbing going across west Texas but you are.

Not exact, but close enough.
Walsenburg Co - 6,171′
Mt Washington - 6,288′
That's what I was thinking about quite a bit while we were out east. Dad and I play "name that elevation" often as we're riding along. Closest without going over wins absolutely nothing. :mrgreen:

Please explain how you can blow your diet while on vacation? That's what vacations are for! Great pics!
As dad will confirm, I can't really call Trippin' Connies a vacation, more like an extremely memorable adventure. :mrgreen: Beer was enough of a vice on the trip for me. :chug:
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 7 – 6/26/2016 – Seawall, ME to South Portland, ME – 214 Miles

Seawall, ME to South Portland, ME – 214 Miles – MAP LINK

My alarm was set for 2:45 a.m., and it came very quick. We got ready, packed and geared up. The parking lot had a bit of a slant to it, so we pushed the bikes down the hill to the road before warming them up, in hopes of not rattling the entire motel. Although, there was another car that left right before us, so we were not the only crazy ones up. We took off at 3:40 a.m., 5 minutes ahead of schedule. It was chilly in the morning, I didn’t wear my winter gloves, but I probably should have. There’s just such a lack of feel/control with them, which keeps me from wearing them in times like this. As we rode toward the mountain, I was scanning the sides of the road, and we did pass several deer. We weren’t the only ones heading to watch the sun rise and got behind more and more people as we got closer.

We arrived about 20 to 30 minutes before the sunrise, and I would estimate about 100 people were already there. We found a place on the rock and waited.



People dotted the mountainside.

More anticipation…

And finally, right on time it started to peek over the horizon.


And then rise up…



Sick of sunrise shots yet? Here’s a few more…





We took a selfie and then someone offered to take our picture.


We finally headed back to the bikes and I turned around and saw a nice picture. I grabbed it and it is one of my favorites of the trip.

It was time to hit the road and start making our way to the airport.


We cruised back down the mountain and took Highway 233 to 103 to 3 to get back off the island. It was time for a gas stop, and my hands were freezing, so we stopped for gas and to warm up in Ellsworth. We took a little time here.

The little bit of time here made a big difference. We got going and I felt much better. We were now back to US 1 and making our way back down the coast. It was much better than the ride up it just a day prior, but that was all due to the time of day. There was much less traffic early in the morning on a Sunday. We cruised down to Rockland where we made a little detour out to Owls Head Lighthouse. The final road that lead to the lighthouse was all rock and the first section of it was basically whoops, it was pretty odd. I sat there for a minute trying to contemplate which route through it I wanted to take and dad flew by me. We passed the parking lot and kept going down the road until we realized we had probably gone to far, mom saw a sign that said “Authorized Personnel Only” and started telling him to stop. He was so focused on getting down the road he wasn’t paying attention to anything else. I started laughing so hard listening to them I could barely park my bike without dropping it. We ended up parking them right there next to the sign.









Back on US 1 the next stop was for a restroom break at a rest stop southwest of Newcastle.



Continuing on US 1 we ended up getting on I-295 to get to Portland quicker. We were trying to make it to the Portland Airport by noon as the ladies’ flight was at 1:25 p.m. We exited Congress Street and took it to Highway 22, leading us right to the airport. We arrived at about 11:15 a.m. I parked in a spot where I figured we’d be out of the way, but immediately a security guard came over and told us we couldn’t park there. We had to park up about 50 yards in a more designated area. We did that and then began trying to sort out what they would be taking back, so it was going to take a little bit of time. I headed inside to use the facilities and when I came back out they told me the security guard had checked in on them saying we needed to hurry up and move along. We finished sorting everything and started saying our goodbyes. At that time, the Mr. Security came back again and was more assertive, saying we needed to hurry up and clear the area because he had given us enough time. Before we had left on the trip, my father-in-law had told us the Portland, ME airport was one of the places that a 9/11 plane had taken off. He was very familiar with the airport and had an unattended bag situation of his own there. So the way this guy was acting was no surprise to us, but it sure was annoying. We finally made the guy’s day by having the ladies go get checked in and Dad and I leaving the airport.


We had the ladies’ gear strapped to our bikes and the plan was to go ship it out immediately and then head to the hotel. Originally we planned on UPS, but realized they were not open on Sundays. Luckily FedEx was open on Sunday and there was one only a few miles from the airport. We headed there and it was closed. It didn’t open until noon, and it was only 11:50 a.m. What a relief. At noon we went in and had everything boxed and shipped back home. We ended up sticking dirty clothes and anything else we didn’t need any longer in the boxes as well, so our bikes were even lighter than before. Unfortunately FedEx was about twice as much as UPS was to ship to Buffalo, NY.

We then headed to the hotel and filled up our tanks right before we got there. I intentionally picked a hotel close to the airport. We had only ridden a little over 200 miles for the day, but with getting up so early, I figured we could use the remainder of the day to get some rest. We relaxed at the hotel, not being able to check-in just yet, so just sitting in the lobby. It only took about 30 minutes for a room to be cleaned an available, and in the meantime we gave Bret a call to check in on how his ride was going. Once we were able to get into our room we spread out and really kicked back.

We discussed eating an early dinner by the water in Portland. The Porthole had decent reviews and also sounded cool, so that was the plan. At about 4 p.m. we headed that way. It was super busy in the area by the piers and we didn’t even think we would find a parking spot. We ended up pulling into a small lot right by the Porthole, there was an attendant there that asked where we were going. I said The Porthole and he said it was ok if we parked on the side, right by the place. I couldn’t have planned it any better. We then realized The Porthole was having a huge event with a live band and it just looked way too busy. Right next to it was Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room. It looked much more low-key, so we decided to go there instead, we could still hear the music and didn’t have the crowd. Dad had a S.B.L.T (scallops, bacon, lettuce, & tomato). I finally got him to try a different beer, we both had a Shipyard Brewing Co. Summer Ale. I gave wild-caught swordfish a try, and it was pretty good. It had a chicken-like texture to it, overall I enjoyed it.



We were back at the Hampton Inn, showered, and in bed by 6:00 p.m. We fell asleep early to make up for lost time the last night, it was much needed.
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Nov 5, 2008
East, Tx
....I finally got him to try a different beer, we both had a Shipyard Brewing Co. Summer Ale. I gave wild-caught swordfish a try, and it was pretty good. It had a chicken-like texture to it, overall I enjoyed it.
Okay I really need to wake up before I start reading. I read the above and while still thinking of the beer I read "had a chicken like texture".:huh2::rofl:
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Okay I really need to wake up before I start reading. I read the above and while still thinking of the beer I read "had a chicken like texture".:huh2::rofl:
It wouldn't surprise me if I actually wrote that! I'm working on these late at night, dozing off sometimes. :doh:
Nov 16, 2004
Bella Vista Arkansas
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Thanks again for sharing your trip. My wife and ride probably ride 70% two up and it sure does make a difference in handling. Enjoy these days and having a wife and parents that enjoy the hobby. It is a special time and these memories will be with you forever.

Ok I am being sappy.. ride safe guys!
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Thanks again for sharing your trip. My wife and ride probably ride 70% two up and it sure does make a difference in handling. Enjoy these days and having a wife and parents that enjoy the hobby. It is a special time and these memories will be with you forever.

Ok I am being sappy.. ride safe guys!

I'm all covered in sap over here! :mrgreen:

How does the big Versys handle riding two-up compared to the Connie?
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 8 – 6/27/2016 – South Portland, ME to East Brunswick, NJ – 407 Miles

South Portland, ME to East Brunswick, NJ – 407 Miles – MAP LINK

I feel asleep the previous night at 6:30 p.m. but woke up a couple times early in the night because Lacey was texting me with updates on their flights. They had delay problems with both flights on the way back, spending a long time on the tarmac. In total they got home two hours later than the anticipated arrival time. By 8:45 p.m. I was completely out.

I woke up at 5:45 a.m. and I had a small breakfast at the hotel, we were on the road by 7:00 a.m.


Today’s goal was to get through and around some of the major cities in the northeast and end up south of New York City. We started off on I-95 and would end up spending a good portion of the day on it. We crossed back into New Hampshire and then 16 miles later we entered new state #7, Massachusetts.

We headed towards Boston, but instead of going directly through the city I thought staying on I-95 and looping around the city may have been a better idea. I’ll never know if it was or wasn’t a good idea, but I do know we got stopped in 2 different sections in some traffic. After getting through the second jam it was time for gas. I missed a couple of gas stations right off the interstate and then started getting desperate and exited searching for a gas station the GPS was showing. It took us down Highway 109 and into the town of Dedham. The houses looked old and expensive, I enjoyed the little detour and getting off the interstate for just a bit. We found the Sunoco and it was packed. After filling up I wanted to take a little break but there wasn’t enough room to stay at the station, so we pulled across the street and parked in the shade next to a realtor’s office. A lady came out to check the mail, a.k.a. see what in the heck was going on, and I asked her if it was ok if we took a short break there. She said that was just fine, so we each ate a banana we had taken to go from the hotel.


We took off from there and got back to I-95, heading south with the next stop at the Rhode Island border to get new state #8.

I noticed I had smashed this little lady on the tank at some point.

We made our way through Providence and then exited the interstate onto Highway 4. It was really busy along there, but we took it to connect to US 1 and head south to Highway 108. The goal was to get to Point Judith Lighthouse. Until we arrived, I didn’t realize we wouldn’t be able to get all the way to the lighthouse. There was a fence around it as it was U.S. Coast Guard property. There was a large parking lot next to it with a little park, so we went ahead and stopped to take a break and enjoy the view.




We weren’t the only ones there soaking in the ocean breeze.

While walking around there, I noticed a trail that headed beside the fence line. I was curious, and I also needed to relieve myself, so I walked down it to see where it went.

It took me right down to the rocky beach where I had a better view of the lighthouse.







From there we rode back up to US 1 and headed west. We exited Highway 78 and that took us to the Connecticut border for new state #9.

From there we took a quick right on Highway 2 and got back on I-95. We cruised down to Branford and exited to US 1. We took a couple smaller roads and made our way to the park that contained New Haven Harbor Lighthouse. We rode up to the park entrance and the young lady in asked if we were residents of Connecticut. I said no and then she told us it would be $30 per person to enter. Dad and I looked at each other trying to figure out what to do. I said all we wanted to do was see the lighthouse, and that was going to be $30 per person? She answered with yes. There was a section of the park that had a nice beach with facilities, so I’m assuming that was the main attraction. Dad started saying he would just stay there and I could run in to get some pictures, but it still didn’t sit right with me to pay $30 just to do just that. Dad then, in his sweetest and most convincing voice, asked if it was ok if I just went right to the lighthouse took a few pictures and we would leave. He may have batted his eyes at her a few times, I’m not sure. She ended up saying it was fine if we both went in to just do that, we didn’t need to pay.

So we rode into the park, straight to the lighthouse. The problem was where we had to park was a couple football fields away from the lighthouse. So I flipped my helmet up, grabbed my camera and took off. I then grabbed the shots below.






Walking back to the bikes, for some reason I chose to go through the deep sand and ran across the gentleman pictured below playing the saxophone. I thought to myself how random/odd it was, he just seemed out of place. When I told dad this, since we were still talking through the Senas, I couldn’t help but start laughing at myself. Here I was in full motorcycle gear, including helmet, walking through the sand, basically on the beach. Now that must have looked out of place to people!


Leaving here, I rode back through the entrance the wrong way in hopes of thanking the young lady for letting us get in for free, but she was no longer there, a man was sitting there. That was a bit awkward. Then a quarter mile up the road I saw her walking and thanked her as we rode by. I’m guessing she didn’t care too much about charging us since she was about to get off of work for the day.

It was time for some gas so we stopped in New Haven at what seemed to be a rougher part of town. There were some interesting characters there so we didn’t stay too long.

We got back on I-95 and continued down the coast and crossed back into New York without much of a problem. There was a bit of traffic in Stamford, but not too terrible. Everything was moving along just fine until the interchange of I-95 and I-278. We were staying on I-95 but the traffic began right at that split. We then spent over 50 minutes to go a little over 4 miles to get to the George Washington Bridge. It was a horrible experience. Right away we slowly passed a police officer that was standing on the shoulder, making sure no one was riding on it. He thanked us for not trying to get ahead by lane splitting or riding the shoulder. Dad confirmed with him that lane splitting was illegal and he said yes, not in New York. It was hot out, but the worst part was that we were moving at such a slow pace we had to constantly work the clutch. It would have been better if it were stop and go. Instead, we were moving at a couple miles an hour, just slow enough that we weren’t able to just hold the throttle in first gear. We had to constantly have the clutch partially pulled in, killing my hand. At one point there was a guy that was pulled over in the right lane, relieving himself right there. I couldn’t blame the guy. Mom called in to check on us and kept us entertained all the way to the bridge. Never again will I ride this section of road on a bike.

As soon as we got to the double-decker bridge the traffic freed up and we took off, crossing the Hudson River and into New Jersey, new state #10. I thought we wouldn’t be able to find a sign, but they had it a couple miles up the road. It wasn’t exactly the safest place to pull over for a picture. Dad thought a video here would have been more suitable as the cars flew right by us. (Note: I tried to wait for the least amount of cars in my pictures.)


For the rest of the day, we stayed in the middle two lanes of I-95, which were separated from the outside lanes and considered the Turnpike. We pulled up to the first toll booth to get our ticket and I kept pushing the button and there was no ticket. I kept looking around and didn’t see anything, but then dad said is that it up there? I looked up and saw a ticket, having to stretch as far as I could to get it. I guess it came out of the 18-wheeler slot. Luckily we cruised down the Turnpike without any traffic. It felt great to be moving again. We could see the New York skyline as we rode by on the left and then passed MetLife Stadium on the right. We flew all the way down to East Brunswick and exited at Highway 18, finally paying our toll of $7.55. There was traffic on Highway 18 getting to the hotel, and the final intersection at Old Bridge Turnpike was hilarious. To simply go left at the intersection we had to get in the right lane and sit at the light. When the light turned green we had to make a big loop on the right, then sit at a light that was 90 degrees from where we just were. Then we had to wait for that light to go across Highway 18 and get to the road our hotel was on.

We checked in to the Comfort Inn and Suites and started talking about where to eat. We had passed a Hooter’s just a mile back, and that sounded good to both of us. Of course it we weren’t able to easily get to the Hooter’s, we had to pass it, go down a couple miles, turn and come back while sitting in traffic and now a light rain. I guess Hooter’s doesn’t believe in local beers, so I had a Dos Equis along with my salad. Dad had some “3-Mile Island” wings that he didn’t really care for.

Leaving the restaurant, dad headed back to the hotel and I wanted to go to Walmart to stock up on beef jerky and 5-Hour Energy. I got sick of paying gas station prices, so I figured I’d load my bike down with beef now that I had all kinds of extra room. When I came back out to my bike it was now raining pretty good, so I got soaked getting back to the hotel, but it was worth it. I hopped in the shower and was asleep by 10 p.m. It was a long exhausting day.

As a side note, my KIPASS ignition suddenly began working properly again at some point during the day. Up until that point, from the Vermont/New Hampshire border, every time I needed to start my bike I had to firmly tap the left side of the ignition with my FOB. And now, after days of this, it’s working like nothing was ever wrong with it.
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 9 – 6/28/2016 – East Brunswick, NJ to Waynesboro, VA – 385 Miles

East Brunswick, NJ to Waynesboro, VA – 385 Miles – MAP LINK

I was up at the usual 5:45 a.m. again but we didn’t get rolling until 7:30 a.m. Both of us were dealing with stomach issues, thank you Hooter’s.


There was some fairly cheap gas across the road, so we filled up prior to leaving. We sat in morning traffic on Highway 18 to get back onto the New Jersey Turnpike. It wasn’t raining, but there was a haze in the sky along with a bit of fog. Once we got on the Turnpike heading south we didn’t have any traffic problems and flew down to the Delaware River. Right before the river we had to pay our final toll in New Jersey, I believe it was another $7.55. I pulled over so dad could get his glove back on.

We crossed the river and were now in new state #11, Delaware.




Delaware welcomed us to their state with a $4 fee for crossing the bridge. We got back on I-95 and cruised all 15 miles across Delaware. Before leaving, they hit us with another $4 toll, so that 15 mile stretch was quite expensive. With our wallets emptied, we entered the last of the Contiguous US for us, new state #12 of the trip, Maryland. The Connies had now checked off 48 states together.



We continued on and rode through Baltimore, using I-895 on the south side of town. We suffered a slight delay due to construction, the road went down to one lane right before the Harbor Tunnel Throughway. Once we got to the tunnel the road freed up as we rode the almost 1.5 mile tunnel under the Patapsco River. We had been talking to Mom, who had also been talking to my brother, Brett. She said he was already in the Washington D.C. area and was going to head west on I-66 to try to find a good place for us to meet up at. After clearing Baltimore, we were on Highway 295 and in need of gas. We made a stop in Hanover, MD.

From there we rode into Washington D.C. I was hoping to get a picture of our bikes in front of a sign, but there was only a tiny sign on the right side between the highway and the “feeder,” with no place to pull over. It was a bummer, but I didn’t want to turn around and spend all kinds of time trying to get back to the sign, and there wasn’t really a place to park by it. Highway 295 turned into I-295 and took us on the south side of Washington D.C., then I-495 helped us finish off the bottom loop around the nation’s capital. We then got on I-66 to head west out of town. I-66 had a crazy amount of lanes and there were lots of people on the road at the time. Mom had told us Brett was waiting for us at the Virginia Visitor Center. I saw a sign that I thought said something about Virginia Information and I took that exit. My Sena had randomly turned off without me knowing, so I didn’t have any communication with Dad at the time. The exit off the interstate gave me an opportunity to diagnose that problem. There was nothing at the exit, so we pulled over in a Post Office parking lot to call and figure out more details on where Brett was.

We finally found Brett, who had been waiting for us a little over an hour. The meeting point was the Virginia Welcome Center, just outside of Centreville, VA. He was happy to have some company finally after days on the road alone. He was also excited to see something other than interstate, which he had done the large majority of his trip thus far.


The new pack of 3 headed down I-66 west for 35 miles before exiting Highway 79 to get to Highway 55. We filled up on gas and energy drinks so we’d be good to go for the Skyline Drive.

From there we took Highway 55 into Front Royal, where we made our way to the start of the Skyline Drive. Brett and I each paid $15 at the entrance, dad once again got in free with his Senior Pass. We took off from there climbing in elevation. We weren’t 5 miles down the road when I spotted a car ahead in our lane facing us. I slowed down and as we approached, the car took off and told me that he was watching a black bear out in the woods. We stopped and looked and spotted the bear, the first I’d ever seen in the wild. It was way too far away for my Fuji, so you’ll just have to imagine a black bear in the woods. It was making its way away from the road and was soon out of sight.

We stopped for a break at one of the many overlooks.



Dad signed a few autographs for some fans and Brett gathered some footage for a film he plans to put together of the trip, which I don’t think he’s even started working on as of yet.



I have a thing for old dead trees in interesting shapes, so I pulled into another overlook.






It was slow-going along the Skyline Drive, but it sure was nice to be back up in the mountains.






Further down the road we made a quick stop, right before what looked like the storm we were about to ride through.


With 30 miles left on the Skyline we hit the rain. It wasn’t quite as bad as it looked but we rode through rain for several miles. We stopped after clearing it.








We finished off the Skyline Drive and took I-64 to Waynesboro where we would be staying at the Best Western Plus. The lights at the hotel dimmed as we began charging everything we had. Not really, but it was laughable just how may electronics we had.

Within walking distance of the hotel was a Logan’s Roadhouse. It sounded good to us all, so that’s where we headed when we were ready. Dad couldn’t wait to get his hands on a beer and I was looking forward to a steak.



I was showered and in bed by 9:00 p.m. The downside of Brett tagging along with us was, well, you can see below….
Sep 4, 2009
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Couple o' questions about the above entry.
- Skyline Drive & getting in free - Is that on a National Parks senior pass?
- Your dad signed some autographs - Apparently, I don't know something very important about your dad...
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
First Name
Last Name
Couple o' questions about the above entry.
- Skyline Drive & getting in free - Is that on a National Parks senior pass?
- Your dad signed some autographs - Apparently, I don't know something very important about your dad...
Yes, he got in for free because of his National Parks Senior Pass. ;-)

And for your second question... :rofl: That was just a joke. Those people pulled up right when we did and the kids rushed over to Dad's bike and I think he may have talked to the parents a bit. Just kidding about the autograph thing. :mrgreen:

The Trippin' Connies ARE world famous though, right? :lol2: :mrgreen:
Sep 4, 2009
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Love my senior pass and use it every chance I get.

Who knew? Maybe your dad is actually Harrison Ford and his fake mustache fell off at an inopportune time. :shrug: But yes, with TWT membership reaching South Africa, Europe, and Tasmania, the Trippin' Connies are world famous. You may take your bow now.
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
First Name
Last Name
Love my senior pass and use it every chance I get.

Who knew? Maybe your dad is actually Harrison Ford and his fake mustache fell off at an inopportune time. :shrug: But yes, with TWT membership reaching South Africa, Europe, and Tasmania, the Trippin' Connies are world famous. You may take your bow now.

Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
First Name
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Day 10 – 6/29/2016 – Waynesboro, VA to Asheville, NC – 400 Miles

Waynesboro, VA to Asheville, NC – 400 Miles – MAP LINK

***Due to Google limitations on routing, the map above is not completely accurate. All you really need to know is that we rode the Blue Ridge Parkway from Waynesboro, VA to Asheville, NC.***

I got up at the usual time. Brett and I had breakfast at the hotel and we all took off right around 7 a.m.

From the hotel we crossed over US 340 to fill up on gas. From there we headed to towards I-64 trying to take it back to the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway. At the intersection there was a man standing outside of his red Ford F-250, a couple years old at the most, and there was a fire under the hood. I guess I got distracted and ended up taking the wrong entrance to the interstate. We had to head the wrong way for a couple miles before there was a place to turn around. By the time we were riding back, the Ford was now completely engulfed in flames. Two flaming Fords on one trip, I was wondering when we would see the third.

We rode back down to where I-64 splits the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dad waited for us as the Blue Ridge sign while Brett and I rode over to document that we had been on the Skyline Drive, since we didn’t do it the day prior.


We then rode back across the interstate and met dad at the Blue Ridge Parkway sign.


It was cool in the morning and the thought of not being on the interstate again for the rest of the day was pretty exciting, but a bit daunting. The northern section of the parkway is racetrack smooth. Unlike the interstate, these were not mindless miles. We were constantly concentrating on the curves and animals. This made for more breaks to give our butts a rest and to refocus, also allowing for us to take in the scenery.



The next break we took was at Otter Lake.






From here we could hear some falls, so we went to investigate and checked out the Otter Lake Waterfalls. It was basically just an overflow of the lake over the dam.


There was a trail that went along the creek, so Brett and I walked down it a bit to look around.





We got going again and stopped further up the road at the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. I was hoping to find stickers/magnets related to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I ended up getting probably my favorite sticker ever here, which I will document with a picture later in this report.

The next break was at the Iron Mine Hollow Overlook.






I had previously printed out the gas exits from the Blue Ridge website, since you can ride from top to bottom on the parkway and never see a gas station. As it got close to getting gas time, I started searching the list for an exit that showed a gas station within a few miles of the parkway. We took that exit and were able to quickly find a station in Vinton, VA, just outside of Roanoke. As you can see from the sign below, we were forced to buy Regular 87 octane.

We got back to the parkway and continued on, making a stop further up the road at a scenic spot.






From here I took off before Dad and Brett, the plan was for me to go ahead and find a good curve to stop and take a picture as they rode by. I didn’t get very far down the road when I saw the Mabry Mill, so I pulled in there, they weren’t far behind me so I just signaled them into the parking lot.




I took off before the guys here again, hoping to find a good corner for pictures. I ended up riding about 20 miles ahead and just pulled over finally at a funky spot, just because I didn’t want to get too separated. Unfortunately, the area where I was trying to get a picture wasn’t in a very twisty area and I completely missed Brett.



We all met back up, crossed into North Carolina, and then stopped at the Bluff Mountain Overlook for a break. It was meat snack time. It didn’t take long and Brett was already hooked on jerky.




At this stop, we looked at the gas exits and decided to exit Highway 18 to find our next gas stop. My paper stated it was only 3 miles to the west. As we approached the exit, our options were north or south. At first we exited and headed north because it looked like there was a town that direction. After more than 3 miles of no gas stations, we decided to turn around and try the other way because dad was seeing one heading south on his GPS. We passed back by the Blue Ridge and headed down the mountain on Highway 18. It was actually a fun twisty ride down the mountain other than a bit of gravel on the road in spots. Dad’s GPS said it was 2 miles away, but that was as the crow flies, it was actually a 7 mile ride one way. I showed a closer gas station on my non-updated GPS, but we rode by that one and it was clearly shut down a long time ago. Our last hope was McGrady Grocery.

As we pulled up to the old school pump, I asked a lady outside if they sold gas. She said yep, 87 octane with up to 10% ethanol. We weren’t going to make it anywhere else, so Regular had to work again. I asked if they took credit cards and she said they did, just come tell her how much the total was when we were done. I didn’t want to have them run 3 different credit cards, so we all filled up on mine.



After we all filled up, I went inside to give her the total and pay. It was like stepping back in time when I walked into the place. There was only a small area you could even stand in there, the rest was packed with stuff/junk. The lady I talked to ran the place and her mom and dad were inside with her. Momma was highly entertaining and we talked about motorcycles and the storms that had just hit West Virginia. I asked if they had any energy drinks and they happened to have one of the Zero Calorie Monster Energy drinks of the orange variety. Momma hand picked it out of the tiny fridge they had and said “those are pretty good, I had one just the other day.” At the youngest Momma was in her late 70s. Haha! After paying and finishing up our conversation, I walked back outside and told Dad and Brett they needed to go in there and check out the place. Dad wasn’t up for it, but Brett went inside and grabbed the last Monster. He came back out with the same impression that I had of the place. Very interesting people, but very sweet.

Outside they had a very rare Chevrolet scooter. I’ve never heard of it, but it did have a Chevrolet emblem on the back fender, so it had to have been a Chevy, right? Dad looked and I think it had something like 2,200 miles on it…. 2,200 rough miles! It may or may not have belonged to Momma.

Things got a bit weird right before we left. The whole time there was a guy up the hill from us that was watching us while he was digging a large hole in his yard. Then, as we were gearing up, a toothless, long-haired, shirtless guy came out from the back of the building and started acting like he was riding a bike with some ape-hangers, revving the imaginary throttle. I couldn’t quite tell what he was saying, but I told the guys it was time to get the heck out of there. I forgot what was taking Dad so long, but Brett and I took off and he was still there. We joked that he had some tainted gas and wasn’t going to make it out. I was already trying to think of what we were going to tell Mom when we came back home without Dad. We were all laughing like crazy, it was one of those things where you just had to be there.

Dad finally caught up to us and we rode back up the mountain on Highway 18, getting back to “The Ridge.” The whole detour to get gas had cost a good amount of time and we still had 145 miles of the parkway to navigate before exiting for our hotel. Our next break came at Price Lake.



Our final break of the day came at the Bald Knob Overlook. I wanted to keep going but my arms and butt needed the break.



Time seems to get lost on the Blue Ridge and the concept of making good time on it can be thrown out the window. It’s about enjoying the ride with beautiful scenery and little to no traffic for the most part. But doing 400 miles of it in one day is a bit of a task. We were all tired towards the end of the day, slowly clicking off miles.

The closer we got to Asheville, the more we got stuck behind slower traffic. At one point we had followed a car for several miles and I couldn’t find a place to get around. That car finally exited and a car like the one pictured below entered the parkway right in front of us. I had to hit my breaks to slow down, the thing was crawling. I told Brett (Dad’s SENA was disconnected at the time), “great we finally get rid of one and then get another in front of us… and this one is even slower!” And then, out of nowhere, the station wagon took off as if it had hit the laughing gas. We followed at first, but within 2 or 3 turns that thing was absolutely gone! I don’t know what type of engine and suspension upgrades it had, but it completely dusted us. At first I was thinking we were going to see the guy in the weeds, but it never happened. We got owned. Brett and I were laughing so hard, I had tears streaming down my face. I almost had to pull over because I couldn’t see anything. We joked about it the rest of the trip.

We finally reached Asheville and exited on Highway 191, finishing off the day’s route by heading north a few miles until we reached the Holiday Inn Express. We got to the hotel at 7:15 p.m., so it was a full 12 hour day. We were all absolutely exhausted. Dad was at another level though. As much as I’ve rode with him, I had never seen him this bad.


He didn’t even care about dinner. He didn’t want to spend another second on the bike that day. There weren’t any eating establishments within decent walking distance either. Brett and I decided to go try a highly rated place in the area. We pulled up and it was Mexican restaurant. I told him I wasn’t up for that in North Carolina, so we went across the street to the Stone Ridge Tavern. It was a nice and new place, and ended up being a great place for the night. After we ordered our meals, I called Dad to check on him. He had already taken a shower and was in bed. He said he already felt much better, but it was too late to meet us, so I offered to bring him food back. Brett had a burger and I had a some grilled chicken and veggies. He tried the Hi Wire Hi-Pitch IPA and I had the Pisgah Pale Ale. Both of us really enjoyed our meals.



We got dad’s burger and onion rings to-go and headed back, stopping at a gas station in between to fill up and I also picked him up a tall boy Miller Light, hoping to make him feel even better. He was completely stuffed by the end of it all, but a happy camper.


Nov 28, 2006
North of Weird
First Name
The "No Swimming" at Price Lake was priceless. Maybe they weren't swimming. Instead maybe "floating". :ponder:
Sep 11, 2006
Houston, TX
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Day 11 – 6/30/2016 – Asheville, NC to Opelika, AL – 406 Miles

Asheville, NC to Opelika, AL – 406 Miles – MAP LINK

We woke up early and after a small breakfast left the hotel a little after 7 a.m.

Before we took off for the day, I wanted to get a shot of Brett and his packed down Ninja 1k.

We followed dad down to the gas station where he filled up and then headed back to the Blue Ridge Parkway to finish it off. To me, the section from Asheville to the west/south start of the parkway is the most scenic. It was amplified this particular morning by a rising sun and low laying clouds.


From that stop I road ahead to once again try my hand at some action shots. I quickly confirmed the Fuji X100t is no action camera.




We then took a break, I was sticking to still pictures from now on.









And then another stop.






We had a bit of a bet going on which side of the road the sign for the highest BRP elevation would be on. I lost that bet.






We finished off the Blue Ridge Parkway for good and immediately it was a bit of a reality check as we got into traffic riding through Cherokee on US 441. From there we took US 19 to US 74 to get to Highway 28. Right before we turned south on Highway 28 a large group of Goldwings turned right in front of us. We were crawling along following them and the road was way too tight for us all to get around them. We ended up just stopping for a break, hoping to get some distance in between them. We had plenty of options for snacks.




I had picked up some Krave Sweet Chipotle jerky and finally opened it up. It had a smell that was so familiar to me, but I couldn’t figure it out. Brett tried as well, but we just couldn’t pin-point the fragrance.


Continuing on, now at our own pace, we rode south on Highway 28. It’s always a fun ride along there. We stopped for a break along the Cullasaja River, north of Highlands.




I tried to get creative using my tripod and 10-stop ND filter, but in the end I wasn’t too happy with the shots. With the mid-day sun going in and out of cloud cover it made shooting long exposures very difficult and gave too many shadows.





We took off and I was loving the tight twisty road, so I stopped for a couple pictures of it.




A couple turns later and we were at Bridal Veil Falls. As we sat there the Goldwing group came past again. They ended up turning off and taking a different route out of Highlands.



Continuing south on Highway 28 we crossed into Georgia, taking the road to Pine Mountain. We turned west on Warwoman Road to cut over to Clayton. Warwoman Road ended up being a hidden jewel. The first mile of it contained about 10 15mph switchbacks, and the road surface was perfect. After that, it straightened out a bit, but was still a nice ride. In Clayton we stopped for gas. The whole time Brett had been debating on riding back with us or heading back north and extending his ride for 2 more days. He ended up deciding to extended his ride and once we filled up, he took off north on US 23 headed back for North Carolina. He had plans to ride Deals Gap and a couple other roads and doing a bit more camping. I was glad he was able to ride along with us for as long as he did. We wished him good luck and he took off.

But not before a selfie to remember the ride…

Dad and I headed west on US 76 to Lake Burton where we took a couple smaller roads to get around the lake. They included, Charlie Mountain Road, Bridge Creek Road and Burton Dam Road. Continuing west we took Highway 197 to Highway 356 to Highway 75A. We finally got to Richard Russell Scenic Highway. Unfortunately, we turned on right after a truck pulling a long trailer. The first part was my favorite, but we had to poke along behind the truck. I should have pulled over and waited a while, but didn’t want to add unnecessary time onto the day. Several miles in we could finally get around and flew down the rest of it. A short jaunt down US 19 then took us to Wolf Pen Gap Road. I would consider it the Deals Gap of Georgia. It’s 11 miles long and the east part of the road is really tight and challenging. We stopped and took a break somewhere along the way.





In Suches we took Highway 60 south to US 19 and headed towards Atlanta. This basically meant the end of the “fun” riding for the trip. The rest of the trip was about making time and crushing miles. We took Highway 400 into Atlanta and the traffic heading the opposite direction was crazy. I kept thinking there was going to be a time when it would be on our side. When we got on I-85 and headed into town we finally hit the mother-load of traffic jams. We were slightly ahead of rush-hour, but that didn’t make a difference. The experience was worse than we had in New York City. This was mainly due to the intense heat. We were dripping sweat and heat was pouring off the bike’s engines. I got to a point where I didn’t care anymore and told dad I was taking the shoulder. I had to get moving. We rode the shoulder on and off, weaving our way through miles and miles of traffic. It was the worst experience I’ve ever had on a bike. On the south side a town we caught the HOV lane and finally started moving along, and then the I-85 and I-20 interchange the road finally opened up. No accidents, no construction, so it was seemingly for nothing. We continued south on I-85 and after we completely cleared Atlanta we stopped for the final time that day in Newman.

We geared up to leave there, and as I got on and pushed my bike backwards, I hit the ignition. My bike began to fire for a split second and everything shut off, including my dash. The tach needle stuck at about the 5k mark and didn’t move. The key was on, but nothing was working. It was a sinking feeling after a long day and we still weren’t to our destination. I pushed the bike back up into the parking spot and we began to start diagnosing the problem. At that time, right on cue, thunder began rolling to the east of us and it looked like it was headed our way.

We checked every single fuse under the seat, and they all looked good. The next one to check was the main fuse in the battery compartment. I got in there to check it and it was still good. Next was to check the battery. The positive connection to the battery was a bit loose, so I disconnected and then tightened it back down. Still nothing, and I really thought that was it. While I was messing with the positive connection, I unscrewed the ground from the terminal, but I never did unscrew the ground from the frame. When I finally did that and as soon as I touched it back to the frame I heard the needle move on tach. I tightened it back down and gave it a test. Everything was working again! I quickly, but carefully put everything back together so we could get out of there before the rain hit. I couldn’t have been happier that it was an easy solution, and only cost us an extra 30 minutes of time.


We had 70 miles left to our destination so we took off from there and blasted down I-85 and into Alabama. We exited US 280 and took a right to get to the Best Western in Opelika, AL. The checked in and got settled. We gained an hour when we got back into Alabama, and even with that we still didn’t get to the hotel until 8:20 p.m. It was a 14 hour ride with a little bit of everything mixed into it.

There were mostly fast food places around us, but there was an Outback Steakhouse, so we walked across the road to eat there. As we waited for our food, dad killed a loaf of the bread. I was certainly a bit jealous. I had the bourbon bacon salmon with veggies and a side of mushrooms and a Sam Adams Summer Ale.


We were in bed by 10:30 p.m. with hopes of leaving early the next morning to make it home.