Travels: Jun 20 – Jun 24, 2018
GlideFest is an annual ride, with some seasoned riding friends, to various locations around the U.S. The ride has been going on for a number of years and this year finds us heading to fellow rider LeRoy’s backyard in Northwestern Pennsylvania, just south of the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). The ANF seems like an awesome place and I’d like to spend some time there camping, boating and fishing at a later date.
On this trip we’re hoping to visit Kinzua Dam & Skywalk, the PA Grand Canyon and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville. Check back to see where we end up…
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
After getting home from work yesterday I realized I’d better mow & trim my jungle-lawn so I decided I’d finish packing this morning. After some good coffee, leftover pancakes w/maple syrup and yogurt I’m ready to throw my gear on and head out. Check out the (*Click HERE to Track My Adventure…) link above to see how it works. More to come…
Shoving off at 9:00am
The riding day has been ideal. Temperatures in the 70’s with lower humidity. I only encountered a few short-lived rain storms that barely dampened me.. unlike most others in our group as I’d find out later.
My route took me along the Susquehanna River trail with some stunning views of this mighty river. My problem was that I couldn’t find an adequately safe area to pull over so I couldn’t get any photos. Oh well, it’s imprinted in my brain ;-).
With only about 50 miles or so to go I decided to stop off in Boalsburg at the Pump Station Cafe for some good coffee… and a cannoli. Boy that cannoli was good… the coffee was too. Pump Station Cafe
The rest of the journey to the base hotel Best Western in DuBois has been great. Many farms and mountains as far as I could see. It proved to be quite the pleasant ride.
After pulling into our hotel I was greeted by the friendly familiar faces of Leroy and Fred then Bill and Bob. As we talked a few others shows up, although no Phil and Nancy yet. After a quick trip to the grocery store, in Fred’s truck, for some snacks and beverages we decided to take the short walk to eat at the DuBois Diner. I had the Reuben sandwich and we all caught up on the past year of happenings with life, family and motorcycles. Now back to the hotel to continue…
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Flight 93 Memorial
After a great night of sound sleep I woke up early, as usual. With a little time before complimentary breakfast I decided to dry Dory from a night of rain. Best Western hotels have a deal with Harley Davidson for various discounts AND many offer bike wash stations and/or drying towel service. In short order Dory was pristine once again. Time for breakfast.
Breakfast and coffee were very good and the company was great. It was so nice catching up with the guys on a year of happenings. As we ate we planned out the day. After breakfast everyone dried their bikes, gathered their ride gear and in no time we were off. A couple guys decided to stay behind as they weren’t feeling all that well.
The day was intermittent sunny, cloudy and rainy. No big downpours but at times we had to wear our rain-gear. The 100 mile ride to the Flight 93 Memorial was fun although the time at the memorial was very somber considering the circumstances in all those passenger deaths. As I walked around and looked at the pictures and artifacts real sadness struck me at times. I’d been here a couple other times and the sadness is always there. If you’ve never been here you should come.
Afterwards we stopped at the close-by Lincoln Café (The Lincoln Cafe) and were treated to a fresh, home-made meal. I got a steak sub which was awesome. After lunch we cruised the back roads to our hotel. The ride was in and out of a little rain but it was a fun ride none-the-less. Once back I showered and decided to do some blog posting before dinner. The weather tomorrow is forecast to be very rainy… we’ll see ;-).
For dinner we found a great, nearby Italian restaurant called Luigi’s and boy we were glad we did. The food was authentic, fresh-made and quite good. I opted for a Caesar salad with shrimp as I was not very hungry after my big lunch. Luigi’s has an interesting history and quite the memorabilia on their walls. (Luigi’s Ristorante)
After dinner we went back to our hotel only to find that Phil & Nancy had arrived. The rest of the evening was spent catching up, celebrating their arrival and the official introduction of Jack into our group.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Kinzua Dam & Skywalk Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally
After another good night sleep and tasty breakfast we’re busy scoping out the rainy weather trying to decide on the day’s destination. More on this to come…
It was decided to head south to the Johnstown, PA Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally instead of the Kinzua area due to weather concerns. Before we got on the road we walked to nearby DuBois Harley Davidson and were treated to quite an interesting dealership. As you’ll see from the photos the dealership’s inside theme was as if their store was a small town with a road, streetlights, parking meters and more. As I think more about it I’m sure I’ll think of other unique aspects but it was very cool. Oh, check out the urinal with the clutch operated flush.
The weather for the ride was drizzly at times and very rainy other times. Just before reaching the rally it poured so we decided to stop to let the rain subside a bit. As luck would have it the place we stopped at were giving away free breakfast sandwiches. Several of us took them up on the offer and the sandwiches were good. Soon we were back on our way and reached the rally uneventfully.
As we entered Johnstown Leroy decided that we’d park in an indoor garage, which was a nice touch considering the weather. I decided to wear my rain-jacket and good thing as we were pummeled with rain. As we walked around I saw the normal vendors that are at most MC rallys. Having been around biking for 37 years there’s very little I need so the vendors weren’t of much interest to me. We did find a place offering cheap beer and great french fries outside under a large tent which was timely as it started pouring. So there we sat drinking beer, eating great fries and socializing. It was fun but soon the rain slowed and out we were to finish our vendor tour.
Before too long we decided to hit the road on our way back via some twisty roads. The ride back was fun and uneventful. Soon we were pulling into our Best Western and I made a beeline for a quick hot shower then to the lobby for dinner. For dinner it was decided to walk to the Hitching Post which was pretty lively with some sort of party or celebration going on. We were seated at a large heavy wood table and had an attentive waitress taking care of us. I was surprised to hear that our waitress had three daughters as I do. I wound up with an awesome cheeseburger and a tropical drink that our waitress promised I’d enjoy (as she was also a mixologist). The drink was good but every bite of that burger was great. I was satisfied!
After dinner we walked back to the lobby and did some end-of-day reflection but soon dispersed for a much needed rest. Tomorrow I’m thinking we’ll head to the Kinzua Dam & Bridge Skywalk…. I hope!!
By the way, in one photo you’ll notice flood marking on the wall of City Hall. The area is in a flood area and has had some real doozies.
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Kinzua Dam & Bridge Skywalk
Well, here we are at our final riding day. It’s 9:00AM and having just finished a nice breakfast with most of the group I decided to save my photos to Dropbox and do some posting. The weather is looking stormy as it’s been each previous day but I think we may be heading to Kinzua. It’s a 10:00AM kickstands-up call so I’m going to finish typing for now and go get my gear ready for a day of exploring and adventure. More to come, after I get back home.
The Kinzua Dam was very nice as dams go. After a short time looking around and taking some pictures I’d had enough. I wanted to see the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk. A few people in our group opted to return to the hotel to pack for Sunday’s return trip home. That’s a shame as I felt the bridge may be the highlight of the day. Not only WAS it the highlight, the ice cream parlor a few miles from the bridge was AWESOME!!
As you’ll see from the photos the bridge was stunning. Although it was raining the four of us walked out to the end of the bridge. I believe I read that the bridge is 300 feet tall with part of it having collapsed from an F1 tornado passing through it. It was an awesome spectacle with much of its structure laying below on the valley floor. If you get up this way you definitely have to eat ice cream and see the bridge.
IceCream & Kinzua Bridge Skyway
This being our final evening we decided to walk to Hoss’s Steak & Seahouse. I had some ribs and broccoli which turned out a bit on the overcooked side. All in all we had a nice dinner and conversation before walking back to the hotel. Once back we decided to gather for a parting group photo to include new member Jack and two new interesting recruits whose names escape me.
After our photo op we stayed around a bit to discuss the trip and some possible ideas for next year. Floating around was the idea of shooting over to eastern Ohio in Phil & Nancy’s home state (or at least one of them). After some drinks, ride planning and goodbyes I was off to get organized and get a good night sleep. My plan was to pack and be ready to head south towards home before breakfast, figuring I’d eat on the road.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
The Ride Back Home
I was up at 5:00am, packed by 6:00am and riding away from the hotel by 6:30am. With rain in the forecast, go figure, I decided to wear my usual rainproof riding gear. After a quick goodbye to Canadian Brian, I was off.
For this ride home I wanted to glide south along the mountain ridges which looked great on the map. Not always trusting the GPS to follow my route instead of its own I wrote down the roads on a piece of paper. From DuBois I essentially followed these routes South and/or East. There’s a Harley Ride Planner link of the route below.
In retrospect this proved to be an absolutely gorgeous route that I’m anxious to ride both ways some time soon. I’m certain the sun, cool temperatures and dry roads helped but I could only think that this ride epitomized why many of us ride with the sights, sounds, smells and feeling of gliding through the breeze. I could smell the strong aroma of honeysuckle in the air, feel the warmth of the sun against my skin cooled by the cool morning breezes, hear the thumping of the tuned engine making easy work of the hills as I glided up and down.. left and right.
I did make one stop for bacon & eggs at Nick’s Diner right on Rt 22 near Lake Raystown. I’m glad I stopped as the food was good and I met two riders who were camping at the Lake. We had some good conversation as I enjoyed my tasty breakfast. Within 45 minutes I was off and enjoying this fabulous ride home while thinking about this year’s GlideFest adventure overall. It certainly proved to be a very wet journey, all-the-more glad I learned to ride in the rain and practice this critical skill on a regular basis. I would admit that I’ve had some of my most memorable rides in modest to raging downpours although I’d admit I prefer sunshine, cool temps and dry pavement. This trip was very nice and enjoyable and now I’m looking forward to my next adventure, somewhere…
Key Roads Home:
- Rt 219
- Rt 729 (past Lumber City & Glen Hope)
- Rt 453 (through Tyrone & Birmingham)
- Rt 22 (through Alexandria, Huntingdon & Mt Union)
- Rt 522 (past Shirleysburg to Shade Gap)
- Rt 641
- Rt 997
- Rt 30 (past Gettysburg and on to Hanover)
The awesome route back home
Dory is packed for the ride home
Breakfast spot near Lake Raystown
Glidefest NumbSkulls DuBois-PA 2018
Glidefest NumbSkulls DuBois-PA 2018