With cool, clear temps and no rain in the forecast… (along with another state shutdown by our, um, PA Governor), Kat & I felt it was time for another getaway. We decided to go back to a nice spot we camped at before. Saturday we plan to hike up to Chimney Rocks to see the view.
Kat and I are headed out for some quick weekend fun at the Gifford-Pinchot Stater Park campground. First time there and anxious to see what it’s all about.
It turned into a fun weekend with friends, Jessie & Roger stopping up for dinner and a walk. It was chilly but refreshing as we enjoyed some tasty rum before turning in for the night. It’s a nice campground that’s about a 30 minute drive from our house. I think we’ll be coming here again…
Shark Week is a gathering of riding enthusiasts who meet annually for comradery, to ride some challenging roads and to partake in some of the incredible beauty our country has to offer. The idea for Shark Week began in 2010 and is made up of mostly Harley Davidson Road Glide motorcycles (which have a fairing that resembles the nose of a shark).
This year is the ride’s 10th anniversary and happens to be at the same location as the group’s first Shark Week, the historic and quite haunted Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Kat and I are packed and ready to head out to Pittsburgh, PA for the weekend SWX Gypsy Tour. This tour is ahead of the official start of SWX and will include tour of Pittsburgh, dinner at the Famous Primanti Brothers and a ride to the Duquesne Incline with its fantastic view of Downtown Pittsburgh. On Sunday we’ll stop off at the Flight 93 Memorial as we ride towards Gettysburg on the famous Rt 30 Lincoln Highway.
Kat and I rode for about 5 hours to reach our hotel in Pittsburgh. It was mostly a fun, uneventful ride. About about 3 hours in though, as we were crossing a mountain range, we hit about 45 minutes of steady rain and temps falling to the low 60’s. We rode on without rainsuits with only our pants getting wet. At some point in the early afternoon we decided to stop off to fill our tank, grab a bite and get some coffee. By the time we reached Pittsburgh everything was dry but the inside of our boots.
After we checked into our hotel we went to visit the Shark Week attendees who were staying about 2 miles down the road. While it would have been more convenient to stay at the same hotel, I figured I could endure the two miles for the $30 we saved. It was nice finally meeting Shrug, Chis and the others I’d seen on FaceBook or corresponded a bit with.
After a bit of meet & greet we were off on a tour of Pittsburgh by local residents and Shark Week X ride MC, Chris & Kim Hutter. I must say that I was quite impressed by the beauty of Pittsburgh by what I saw and what school teacher and local historian Chris explained. The view from atop the The Duquesne Incline was spectacular with the three rivers coming together at the Fort Duquesne point.
After this treat, and a few laps around town, we were off to eat at the famous Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar. By the time we arrived and waited about 45 minutes we were hungry and ready to eat. The Ruben sandwich Kat and I shared was quite good and an enjoyable time with some of the SWX folks. After dinner it was late so we decided to head back to our hotel for a good night sleep.
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.
Kat and I, along with daughters Alex and Samantha, are going to spend some relaxing Father’s Day time today floating down the Shenandoah River.
After Alex arrived we spent a little time talking as I opened some wonderful gifts from Kat and the girls. Their gifts and acknowledgments were greatly appreciated and they helped make all those sleepless nights (I recalled when they were young and would get sick) just a bit more tolerable. After some photos and gear loading we all packed into the Outback and left around 9:30am for a relaxing drive to West Virginia. We were heading to one of our favorite places for tubing and rafting adventure, Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center, https://harpersferryadventurecenter.com/.
On the way, as the girls caught up on their beauty sleep, I decided to stop at the Catoctin Mountain Orchards to grab something tasty to eat on the way, http://www.catoctinmountainorchard.com/. This is an awesome store if you get the chance to stop by one day.
Once we arrived we were instructed to grab a life vest and board the bus for a short drive up river to the put-in spot. This area of the Shenandoah River is what they decided to use for the tubers as the water levels were about six feet high due to recent rains. The Center felt the Potomac River would be too dangerous for tubing so every tuber for the day was funneled to this area. From the put-in area this gave us about an hour float time. The good news was that we could ride the river as many times as we wanted until they closed at 3:00PM. We ended up doing two laps then were starting to think about dinner.
After we’d had enough tubing we returned the life vest and tubes, changed into dry clothes and were headed towards home. On the way we decided to hit Red Lobster once back in Hanover. We were hungry and the girls and I enjoyed quite a feast of snow crab, scallops, garlic shrimp and a great Bahama mama drink (for Dad of course, ;-). Afterwards, I treated the girls to some great ice-cream at our local Bruster’s Ice-cream parlor. It was a fitting ending to great Father’s day spent with Kat and some awesome kids.
This is an impromptu road trip to the beach with Kat and my sister Mona to soak in the sun and have some fun.
Travel: Friday, June 12, 2020
Packed and getting ready to leave the wonderful state of Pennsylvania to pick up my sister Mona, then make a beeline across the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore and on to Ocean City, Maryland.
After a fun drive we made it to the ocean and were greeted by fair weather and lots of people. After checking in we decided to eat lunch at Grotto’s Pizza. Kat and I shared a Caesar salad and Bruschetta and my sister got a turkey burger. I think we all enjoyed the meal although service was slow due to the recent re-opening.
Afterwards we walked from 14th Street down to the inlet to see what the world looked like post-COVID-19. I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of folks having fun everywhere. Most places were open but with Mask and Distancing rules in place. There also seemed to be a different sense about the people. A feeling of finally being free with some sense of normalcy and it was inspiring to see it. I will admit though we also had a feeling that the weekend could see some sort of uprising if the sheer numbers of kids and bands of police staged along the Boardwalk were any indication. Oh well, we’ll see how that goes.
As we walked, many places looked familiar from the last time I was here some years ago. I decided though that Dumser’s milkshakes and Thrasher’s fries would be on my short list. I gladly treated the girls to tasty milkshakes which were not only great tasting but refreshing as well.
After the milkshakes and viewing the inlet we trekked back to our hotel. All in all we walked a total of four miles and we were glad to be back. It was nice and, with a feeling of having earned a tasty dinner, we started thinking about where we’d go for that dinner.
Since most restaurants only offered carry-out (due to the Corona Virus) it took a few calls to find a nearby restaurant that offered dine-in seating. We settled on the Reel Inn Restaurant and Dock Bar https://reelinnoceancity.com/ for some local seafood. This turned out to be a good choice as this was a nice, upscale place on the water with very good food. The best part, it was only a short half-mile walk from our hotel.
The evening was cool and breezy as you’d imagine being near the ocean. I was glad Kat and I brought jackets as I decided to wear mine, after first offering it to my sister. The girls wound up getting crab cake platters and I got a feast that included scallops, shrimp and a crab cake. Excellent meal with awesome company. After a peaceful walk back to the hotel we got settled for the evening. We discussed going bike riding the next morning then were off to a deep sleep.
Saturday, June 13
After a good night sleep we decided to rent bikes to loop the boardwalk’s 6 miles. Heading north provided a stiff wind in our faces but nice morning views. We decided to stop at a Starbucks for much-needed coffee and breakfast sandwiches. This provided a nice transition for waking up. After a tasty meal and coffee we continued until reaching the end and touching the dot. Yes, they actually have a sign with a dot at each end of the boardwalk you can touch. I think this is to validate that you actually rode to the end, lol.
The southerly ride was better with a nice tailwind and people just starting to arrive to the boardwalk. Before we knew it we were at the inlet area. It was entertaining for my sister and I watching Kat perform her synchronized “riding” as she looped back and forth across the parking lot singing to the music in her headset. Before leaving we decided to ride out onto the fishing pier which was fun. We arrived just in time to watch a skate being reeled in. The skate is a cousin to the ray except that it doesn’t have the tail barb that can stick you. After a short time taking pictures we headed back to our hotel to return our bikes and prepare to hit the beach.
Well, it’s almost noon and we arrived at the beach. It’s sunny, 69f degrees with cool gusty winds. Although I’m not certain myself I’d say the water is freezing cold judging by the screams and the few people in the water. So far Kat was the only one to brave the cold to swim. I will say that the water appears to be a beautiful, pale seafoam green color that looks inviting. Boy is it nice to listen to the waves crashing as the tide comes back in.
After some sun-soaking we decided to take a stroll on the boardwalk for some Thrasher fries and to check out the Kite Loft, which always has some interesting things. Boy those fries were GOOD!
At this point it was time to get back to the hotel, take a break and start thinking about dinner. We decided to walk north on the boardwalk to see what we could find and soon happened upon Da Vinci’s by the Sea https://www.davincisbythesea.com/home, an Italian Restaurant that proved to have good food. After a hearty meal of pasta, garlic shrimp and a tasty mixed drink we were back at our hotel to get a good night sleep for our travels back home tomorrow.
Sunday, June 14th
With the new day looking bright, sunny and cool we decided to head north along the coast as my sister wanted to stop at Dolle’s Candyland in Rehoboth Beach for some gifts. What a wonderful place this turned out to be with it’s many shops, eateries and a wonderful beach. After finding a place to park I met the girls up at the boardwalk to shop and grab lunch. It’s no wonder we hung out here for a while as nice an area as it was.
We decided to get our lunch at Semra’s Mediterranean Grill http://semras.com/ and sit at the town gazebo to eat our healthy fare. Mona bought us each some fudge as our dessert. This experience at Rehoboth was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I want to return!!!
Although I could have spent the rest of the day here it was time to leave and head towards our last stop before home, Rommel Harley Davidson in Smyrna, Delaware. Unfortunately, with the annoying Covid-19 stuff going on there was NO COFFEE being offered. Very disappointing. We did get to use their bathroom though and on the way out I bought a pair of gloves I’ve had my eye on for a few months. I was also afforded a nice garage thermometer by my loving sister Mona. After we left we made a quick stop for gas and COFFEE at the nearby Wawa and were back on the road heading towards home.
The rest of the drive back to drop my sister in Baltimore (then on to our home in Pennsylvania) was uneventful but fun as we listened to, and sang, some old memorable songs curtesy of Sirius Radio. It brought back thoughts of a happy time but also reminded me of the fun the three of us shared over these few days. The trip was a great time at the beach and with family and one we’re looking forward to doing again soon. Until the next adventure…
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.
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 activistElizabeth Dennistoun Wood Kane, we learned the home has quite the history. See link #4 for more detail.
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.
Kat and I are heading out to the Pocono Mountains to enjoy some good food, music and SNOW. No motorcycle for this trip.
It’s been a good day at Jack Frost Ski Resort and with the Subaru folks. After checking out the fun and music we headed for a great dinner at Sitkos Farmhouse then to the best ice cream I think I’ve ever eaten at Milkhouse Creamery.
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.