Category Archives: Motorcycling

Bucket List Maine Adventure

Bar Harbor, Maine

Okay, I’ll admit, this has been on my Bucket List for a while and has almost come to fruition a few times. The last time was with daughter Alex a few years ago. Who would have thought though, with our extended 2019 Winter and the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, that the Maine Adventure would become a reality this year.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Bike and trailer are packed, Kat & I are drinking coffee and preparing to head out at about 6:00AM towards our first stop in Keene, New Hampshire (about an 8-9 hour ride). After a good night sleep, and weather dependent, we’ll head north to ride the famous Auto Road of Mt. Washington, NH https://www.mountwashington.org/. Afterwards, we’ll head east towards Acadia National Park to our final destination in Bar Harbor, Maine, The Moseley Cottage & Inn B&B http://moseleycottage.net/moseley-cottage-inn/.

Big shoutout to Sandy G. at the Northstar Flag Company https://www.northstarflags.com/ for going Above & Beyond in getting our awesome logo flags to us in record time.

It’s been a long riding day of 9+ hours of road time. For most of the ride the weather was awesomely cool bouncing between filtered and full sunshine. Dory cooperated nicely and ran strong even with the packed trailer in tow. Our route took us through upstate Pennsylvania, New York State, Vermont then finally New Hampshire where we’re staying for the night. While passing through NY we stopped at a Starbucks for some much needed coffee but the “no bathroom” sign made us turn around in frustration to find a more accommodating place down the road. While there was beautiful scenery everywhere one of the most memorable was the 65 mile stretch along Route 9 as we entered Vermont from New York. We encountered everything a motorcycle rider would want from gorgeous views to twisty-turns and changes in elevation to good places to stop for a view or even a cold beer.

Arriving at our hotel about 6:00PM we unpacked, changed our clothes then headed to what we heard was a great, local BBQ place. The rumors did not disappoint as Jim Eddies on Winchester St. was THE place for great food and conversation. The lobster bisque and BBQ were so good and a fitting meal after such a long ride. Soon we headed back to the hotel to plan out tomorrow’s exciting trip to Mt. Washington and the weather was looking good.

Saturday, June 27

We were up at 6:00AM hoping for a little breakfast and a strong cup of coffee. Unfortunately Covid-19 reared its ugly head again causing our hotel to replace their bacon, egg and coffee breakfast with a blueberry muffin and OJ. Oh well, we’re packing up and heading towards Mt. Washington.

From Keene we headed out Rt 9 then up along Rt 93 on our 4 hour ride to Mt. Washington. The scenery was stunning as we carved through mountains and lush, green forests. This land up here is fertile and breathtaking. Along the way we quickly found a Dunkin Donuts for a much-needed cup of coffee.. and a donut. After a quick break we were off again. The ride was enjoyable as we passed through some magnificent areas. Although we didn’t want to make any unnecessary stops due to time constraints, we did stop to see the Boise Rock in the Franconia Notch State Park. Interesting legend if you have time to read about it.

Mt. Washington was an incredible sight and at over 6,000 feet high it’s the highest peak in the Northeast U.S. As with many awesome places we see, words and pictures don’t truly capture how amazing something looks to our eyes. After we arrived we were greeted then told we’d have to disconnect the trailer before heading up the steep mountain. After 15 minutes completing this task we were heading up. While we wanted to ride to the top we stopped just at the point the paved road turned to gravel, steepened, narrowed and dropped off 1,000 feet on the downward side. After a minute to evaluate the situation I decided that if we lost traction on our push upward it was too steep and narrow to turn around to come down. Better judgment got a grip on me and I finagled the bike around so we could start downward. A day of defeat or of good judgement, I’ll let others decide.

After a fun time at Mt. Washington we decided to eat on the road with 4 hours to get to our final destination before dark. So as I rode Kat fed both of us a tasty lunch of Cliff bars and protein shake. The time went by fast as we were anxious to see the Maine coastline, Cadillac Mountain and Acadia National Park.

Just after 6:00PM we pulled into the Moseley Cottage & Inn in Bar Harbor. It looked like a beautiful place nestled in a community of homes, vacation properties and other B&B’s. Upon arriving we were met by two women in the parking lot who were friendly and quite helpful with area information. After a good 30 minute orientation from the ladies we checked in and carried our belongings up the 3-flights of stairs to our third floor room, the Behive. Once organized we had a quick shower then were off for a walk towards the bay and the local eateries.

After a short walk we decided to try Getty’s restaurant and their lobster rolls. We ended up getting the lobster bisque in addition along with a salad. It was a nice spot for dinner. After dinner we walked back towards our room scoping out some nice stores along the way and stopping for a nice ice cream sundae. Once back we were quickly off to sleep in preparation for a busy Sunday with its forecasted good weather.

Sunday, June 28

After waking to a faint knock at the door we were greeted with a nice Canadian bacon, egg, home-fry breakfast with coffee, a blueberry scone and OJ. It took me some time to wake up as I really wanted to spend a bit more time in bed. With the weather so nice though, and the forecasted rainy weather for the next few days, I dragged myself awake and out the door we went.

Our plan was to hit a few key places then take time for a nice dinner. So for our first stop we headed to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. At just over 1,500 feet it’s elevation is quite high for the region. It was a nice, cool ride up with some great views along the way. At the top it looks like terrain from another planet with very large boulders fused into the landscape. You can walk the entire area on the boulders and gravel even to the point of some sharp dropoffs. This was a great place for a panoramic view of the island. I hear it’s also a great place during clear weather to catch the first glimpse of the morning sun. With our weather predictions I’m not sure if we’ll be able to see this.

Once off the mountain we decided to head south on Rt 3 and over to the west part of Mt Desert Island to explore the beautiful, rocky coastline and stop at Bass Harbor Light Station. Before the lighthouse we stopped for a quick trail hike and were greeted by a sea cave carved into the rock. With the rising tide we were cautioned that the several feet of tide would strand us if not careful. After some climbing and playing on the rocks we were off to Bass Harbor. An interesting ride this was with some great views of some small bays with many locals anchored in their boats enjoying the day. The lighthouse was another nice hike down a rocky shoreline and a nice place to soak in some warmth of the sun. We were fortunate to meet fellow motorcyclist Fred and his wife riding a beautiful Honda Goldwing. Fred is a fireman and we had a great conversation before saying farewell. As we headed back soaked in the great views once again. We enjoyed the more laid-back feel of this area VS Bar Harbor and decided we’d try to get back here tomorrow.

Once back we walked down to the harbor to have dinner at the Reading Room Restaurant. We were seated in their outdoor patio at the end near the firepit which eventually proved wise. Much of our time in Bar Harbor has been with cool temps but this evening there was an increasing fog, gusty winds and temps in the low 60’s. As time went by Kat and I, along with the other patrons, were getting cold. We quickly decided to order lobster rolls, Caesar salad and lobster bisque which was becoming our staple diet in Maine. Although the dinner was good, by the time we finished we were anxious to leave for the warmth of our room. On the way though we stopped to listen to two street performers nestled next to a building shielded from the cold wind. They were interesting and after some brief conversation we were home watching a movie thinking about our Monday agenda.

The Reading Room Restaurant

Monday, June 29

Story to come…

Tuesday, June 30

Story to come…

Wednesday, July 1

Story to come…

Until the next big adventure...

PA Grand Canyon Ride

Travel: May 31, 2020

PA Grand Canyon Group Ride

PA Grand Canyon

Tomorrow morning Kat & I head out on the PA Grand Canyon ride hosted by the Cumberland Valley HOG Chapter and Appalachian Harley-Davidson. I estimate our total distance for the day to be about 400 miles and for it to be a full day of riding. I’m not sure how many folks will be on the ride but there are over 200 who listed they were interested. The weather forecast looks to be cool and clear so we may just have an awesome day for riding. Auto coffee is ready and we’re off to sleep now. Tomorrow we ride!

It’s Sunday morning and we’re in Mechanicsburg now. The number of bikes is growing and currently I see about 50. The temps are cool and just shy of 60f degrees now at 8:00am. I’m not sure it’ll get out of the 60’s today but we’re in full leathers and feeling good.

First stop of the day for gas, grub and bathroom break at a Sheetz in Selinsgrove. So far the riding has been fun with its staggered formation, crisp blue sky and roar of the many bikes negotiating the twists and turns along the mighty Susquehanna river.

We reached the Canyon and it is stunning. More photos to come later.

More to come…

Allegheny National Forest Region Excursion

Travel: May 16 – May 18, 2020

Title Pic

1. Allegheny National Forest Maps

2. Kane Manor B&B

3. ANF Riding Routes

4. Kane Manor (Anoatok) history

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Day 1- Travel Day

It’s 5:30am, Dory is fuel and packed and we’re up drinking coffee reviewing temperatures and rain chances along our route. Speaking of the route, our general plan is to head to Harrisburg then take routes 22, 322, 80 & 219 to Kane, Pennsylvania and the Kane Manor B&B (link #2). The weather is looking good so far with a temp range forecasted from about 62-69 degrees with no rain. Once in Kane we tentatively decided to do the Longhouse National Scenic Byway tour around the Allegheny Reservoir (see link #3). More to come…

After about five hours on the road we arrived in Kane, a small town located in McKean County just east of the Allegheny National Forest and about two hours east of Lake Erie. The weather cooperated by delivering hazy sunshine although it was a bit chilly on the bike at about 63 degrees. Although much of the journey was beautiful, I think the highlight of the ride to Kane was cruising beside the mighty Susquehanna River on Rt 22 just north of Harrisburg.

After arriving in Kane we decided to head to the historic Inn we had booked. Although the current owner, Dave Krieg, wasn’t there his groundskeeper Mike was and explained some of the interesting history to us. Having been commissioned to be built back in 1896 by author, physician and women’s rights activist Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood Kane, we learned the home has quite the history. See link #4 for more detail.

IMG_7396

After dropping off our belongings and looking around the Inn we hopped back on the bike to explore the lake (Allegheny River Reservoir). Feeling a bit hungry we took Mike’s recommendation and stopped at Bob’s Trading Post for a quick lunch. Although we heard they have good ice cream we only shared a steak sub before getting on our way. The ice cream will have to wait for another time.

Our basic goal for riding around the lake was to scope out areas we like. Our future plan is to return with the trailer to do some motorcycle camping along with hiking, fishing and kayaking. We found many prime fishing, camping and hiking areas we liked as you’d imagine being in such a great wilderness area like the Allegheny National Forest. We did stop at a few before deciding to take the long way back to the Inn.

The return ride was fun as we carved through some mountain passes and past many full rivers and streams. When we arrived back we decided to order a cob salad, sweet potato fry and cheesecake dinner. Unfortunately, upon Kat’s suggestion, we walked the 2+ mile round trip to pick up that tasty dinner. I can say after 8 hours of riding this walk was not as easy as it should have been but we managed and enjoyed every bite of our dinner while seated in the quiet dining area of the Inn. I vaguely remember blogging a little after dinner before heading off to our room for a much needed rest. I was thinking that some top-shelf rum would have fit this picture perfectly. After a brief conversation about the ghosts we fell into a fast and deep sleep that was not to be disturbed by any creaks of the floorboards or rattle of our door.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Day 2- The Return Trip

After an awesome night of restful sleep we had the opportunity to meet Dave, our host and Inn owner. After a sad “Covid-19” greeting Dave promptly invited us to breakfast and a good (many) cup of coffee.

While Kat and I enjoyed the hearty sausage, egg, potato and buttered toast breakfast we had the opportunity to talk to Dave about his beautiful home and Inn, with its rich history and happenings. We learned that after many years as owner and proprietor Dave was looking to sell the Inn to spend a bit more time enjoying some much-desired retirement travel. Dave had enjoyed a long military career as an Air Force Master-Sergeant before purchasing the Inn.

While the future is uncertain whether the Inn will stay an Inn or be purchased as a private home. What I do know is that whoever acquires the Kane Manor Inn will also acquire a part of history.

After breakfast, some packing and goodbyes we decided to head to Kinzua Bridge so Kat could see it. After a short ride we arrived then walked the bridge taking in the fantastic views. We were fortunate that a park ranger on the bridge took a shine to us in passing and for about 30 minutes gave us an interesting history on not only the bridge but the various tree species and invasive pests plaguing them. Very informative. As we were talking it started to drizzle then rain. We quickly headed to the bike to don rain suits and be off.

As we navigated the rain we of course passed by Mt Jewett Family Tastee Freeze which Kat quickly asked to stop at. After removing a few layers of clothing we ordered some of the best, if not THE best, ice cream I’ve eaten in portions that would chock a billygoat. Kat got a baby size and I got the small and I can say they were giant-sized portions. We decided to sit on the ground under an overhang to focus on our ice creams, which were delectable. Afterwards we once again secured our rain clothing and were off on the 5-hour journey home.  Fortunately after about an hour of rain the sky started to clear into a nice, sunny day. After another 40 minutes of riding to dry the rain suits we removed them at the next fuel stop. We were also surprised to find the #1 Cycle Center Harley-Davidson near State College which we stopped at for a few pics before hitting the road again.

The rest of the brisk ride home was fun and fast as we looped around the Susquehanna River once again towards home. This trip was a fun time that we’re looking forward to enjoying again in the future.

Riding Season 2020: Post Covid-19

April 1, 2020

It’s April Fools Day today. As I sit hunkered down in my house waiting-out the Corona Virus I started thinking about the start of the 2020 riding season. I began riding back in 1981 and at the beginning of each year there are numerous motorcycle injuries and deaths as the riding season begins. This year I believe it may be worse due to the Rebound Effect.

The Rebound Effect is what happens when you’ve been cooped up through the winter season not being as active nor enjoying your favorite outdoor pastimes as much or at all. As warmth starts to fill the air people flock to the outdoors with a feeling of freedom, urgency and a dose of invincibility.  It’s this exact sense of freedom and urgency along with diminished skills (and some carelessness) that are the root of many of these early season accidents.

As warmth begins to arrive here in the Mid-Atlantic states many of us will be thinking of the rides and destinations we want to visit like Maine, Nova Scotia, the Adirondacks, the Great Smokies… but oops, I digress ;-). Soon our Social Distancing “stay-at-home” order will be lifted and riders (i.e. everyone) will be surging to the roads to enjoy the outdoors. With so many vehicles of all types on the roads, anxious to get somewhere, we must use common sense and some prudent judgement if we’re to survive.

With this in mind here is my top-10 list of simple things I’d suggest to help keep you happy, safe and alive.

  1. Make sure your bike is mechanically ready for the road.
  2. If you’ve been dormant through the winter start moving and exercising so your 800 pound bike doesn’t feel like a 1,200 pound bike.
  3. Get your mind ready for riding. Start thinking about your bike, its controls and operation. Visualize starting, stopping and the balance of riding through turns.
  4. Brush up on Physics especially friction, gravity, inertia, momentum, counter-steering and gyroscopic forces. They all play a vital role in safe motorcycling.
  5. Remember how small an area of tire rubber actually touches the road. It’s less than you may think.
  6. When you head out to ride make sure you’re feeling good and alert. If you’re not sure you’re up to riding it may be your inner sense warning you. Pay Attention!!
  7. Don’t rush, enjoy the ride and always practice your riding skills along the way.
  8. Stay alert, don’t let euphoria cloud your judgment.
  9. The road surface tells a story. Watch up ahead for changes in color, shine and contrast. There may be grass clippings, oil, water, sand, stones, animals, etc. all waiting to knock you off your beautifully washed & waxed bike.
  10. Careless and distracted drivers kill (especially at intersections)! Better to wear more protective gear than less, especially early in the riding season.

                  *Now get out there SOON and enjoy yourself…

 

Bald Eagle State Park excursion

Travel: Aug 17 – Aug 18, 2019

Bald Eagle State Park: Maps & Guides

Kat and I wanted to get away but only had time for a brief overnighter. We decided to head to Bald Eagle State Park which is located in Howard, PA about 150 miles and 3 hours northward.

This was a fun get-away although short on time. We were able to enjoy the peacefulness of a scenic ride along with lunch and a swim at the lake. One thing to note was the crushed stone campsite access which produced a great deal of stone dust that covered everything. Next trip here I’ll have to see if they have a less primitive camping area with paved access.

 

GlideFest 2019

NEW Travels: July 24 – July 28 (Due to tropical Storm Barry)

Travels: July 17 – July 21

GlideFest is an annual ride with some seasoned riding friends to various destinations around the Country. The ride has been going on for many years and this year finds us heading to Bluefield, Virginia (about 50 miles north of the Virginia/North Carolina border and 85 miles north of Cherokee National Forest) and the awesome Back of the Dragon.

The Back of the Dragon travels along Rt 16 and spans 3 mountain ranges. It climbs to over 3,500 feet and offers 32 intense miles (and 260 windy curves) of exhilarating riding fun. Check back for more information as the date gets closer. Follow these links for more details.

http://www.backofthedragon.com/the-road.html

https://www.appalachianbackroads.com/back-of-the-dragon

Overall route spanning Wednesday – Sunday

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Travel Day!

It’s almost 4:00AM. Kat and I are working to leave here as soon as possible towards our first ride-through destination… Front Royal and Skyline Drive.

The day is done and it was a beautiful day of riding. Total distance was about 450 miles but I was weary when we arrived at the hotel and forgot to check the mileage, especially with Fred, Tim and Leroy preparing to leave for dinner. Wednesday morning was crisp and cool with temps in the mid-60’s much of the way. Although the temps started to warm a bit as we arrive in Front Royal the temps dropped back into the 60’s as we entered Skyline Drive (SLD). Fortunately Kat and I were dressed warmly and felt good.

As we negotiated SLD it felt good to glide the bike through the twists and turns. The Road Glide Special handled the twists in performance-like fashion and I could tell Kat was enjoying herself, especially with this being her first time on SLD. With the weather being so nice it was easy to lose focus and enjoy the ride but the “animal crash zone” signs that appeared from time to time were a stark reminder to keep a watchful eye on the road. In fact Kat mentioned several time that she saw deer on the sides of the road. Unfortunately, no bear 🙁.

During our way south we decided to stop at several overlooks to take pictures and some video and enjoy the strong cool breezes blowing across the mountains. It felt great to sit with Kat and look out across the blue-toned mountains with the breeze blowing across our faces. If we weren’t following a plan I believe we may have laid on the stone wall and taken a snooze in the warm sun. But alas, the Road called to us to keep moving. Great memories made though on there on the wall.

As we prepared to start our journey south some folks in a car approached looking like they wanted to talk. So Kat and I abliged and had a nice conversation with a family of Kentuckians on their way down SLD and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once we waved goodbye to our new friends we quickly hopped on the bike and were off but with a slight change of plans. Instead of heading down to Rockfish Gap to exit SLD we decided to exit at Rt 33 to save more time for our next stop… The Natural Bridge. More on this latter as it’s now time for Thursday morning breakfast with the group. Hopefully I’ll catch up with my writing later today. Until that time we’re off…

Rolling Thunder XXXII – 2019

Travels: May 26, 2019

It’s been some time since I attended a Rolling Thunder but with it being reported to be the final ride, and it being Kat’s first RT, I thought this would be a good time to ride. Read on to find out more about this solemn and powerful event.

The day started cool as we rode briskly from our home in Hanover, PA to Frederick Harley Davidson to begin our Journey. We were surprised how well Frederick HD prepared for the event and how big an event it actually was. We were also happy to see the complimentary breakfast sandwiches, coffee, fruits and other perks being given away. As we ate and woke up with the tasty coffee we watched the other riders pouring in and started realizing this was truly going to be big.

After we finished eating the kickstands up call was given so we prepared to leave. The excitement among the riders was thick in the air as we began systematically leaving the dealership. As we rode we felt a sense of being part of something worthwhile especially with all the people waving as we rode under the overpasses. Judging from Kat’s responses on back I knew she was having a good time as well. As we rode we could tell the temperature was rising but it wasn’t until reaching DC and slowing that it became apparent it would be a steamy day with heat and humidity.

With this reported to be the last Rolling Thunder the attendance was incredible with estimates in the hundreds of thousands. This became clear as we tried to get into the Pentagon parking lot but had to park on the entrances with thousands of other riders. It was hot but they were giving cold water out to those who wanted it. Kat and I made the best of it for a couple hours but eventually decided to veer past the parked bikes and head west towards clear pavement and open country.

As we made our way west then north towards Pennsylvania we had open riding and time to contemplate the day’s event. Although we weren’t able to get fully into RT we realized our participation to that point was fun and meaningful for us. As we pulled into our driveway we looked forward to a cool shower and some tasty Thai food we picked up along the way. Until the next journey…

GlideFest 2018

 *Click HERE to Track My Adventure*

Travels: Jun 20 – Jun 24, 2018

IMG_6035

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.

*Check it out here..  Visit ANF    U.S. ANF

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…

GlideFest Map
The epicenter of our adventure

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Travel Day

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.

Pump Station Cafe
Nice cup of coffee & great cannoli

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…

Your Choice..

img_6058

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Flight 93 Memorial

(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…

img_6099

Storms everywhere!

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

(Kinzua Bridge)

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.

Mt Jewett Tastee Freeze

Kinzua Dam

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…

Harley Ride Planner- route home

Key Roads Home:

  1. Rt 219
  2. Rt 729 (past Lumber City & Glen Hope)
  3. Rt 453 (through Tyrone & Birmingham)
  4. Rt 22 (through Alexandria, Huntingdon & Mt Union)
  5. Rt 522 (past Shirleysburg to Shade Gap)
  6. Rt 641
  7. Rt 997
  8. Rt 30 (past Gettysburg and on to Hanover)
Ride Home

The awesome route back home

img_6218

Dory is packed for the ride home

img_6225

Breakfast spot near Lake Raystown

img_6226

Mmmmmm

img_6156

Glidefest NumbSkulls DuBois-PA 2018

img_6158

Glidefest NumbSkulls DuBois-PA 2018

Shark Week VII

CANCELLED: Due to the purchase of my new home in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania I regrettable had to cancel what would have been an awesome ride.

Travels: Jul 24 – Jul 30, 2017

wimg.17.1490196070-shark-week-vii

This blog is about the 7th annual Shark Week road trip. The host hotel is in gorgeous Cherokee, North Carolina and we’ll be riding some of the most beautiful areas in and around the Great Smoky Mountains such as; The Cherohala Skyway, Tail of the Dragon, Smoky Mountain Parkway and much more.

This is my first time to Shark Week so while I’m not sure of everything to expect. I am certain though it’s going to be an awesome time in one of the most beautiful areas east of the Mississippi. Check back closer July 24th for more…

PS: For those who don’t know, the term “shark” refers to the Harley Davidson Road Glide model that has a front fairing shaped like a shark’s nose.

GlideFest 2017

CANCELLED: Due to the purchase of my new home in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania I regrettable had to cancel what would have been an awesome ride.

Travels:  Jun 17 – Jun 25, 2017

This trip is all about our annual GlideFest road trip and gathering. For 2017 our epicenter will be Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and all points surrounding this historic area. Check back near June 21’st for more on this awesome road trip.

large.wimg.16.1490194268-glidefest-2017