Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Ride Completed

Having now ridden in 44 of the 48 continuous states that make up this great country, plus Alaska, I finally think I am beginning to understand why I really ride a motorcycle. Every single day, in every single local I have ever been in I can envision myself living there. Taking in the beauty and differences that make each unique, being “IN” the elements that insure that uniqueness, and having that stupid little smile on my face and in my heart…..that my friends is why I ride a motorcycle.

This trip covered 23 of those states, 14 of which were first timers. Extensive small, rural two lane highways were the order of the ride for 11 of the 17 riding days. Speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down is the name of the game on these roads and it is a great game. The people are friendly on these roads and the real flavor of the area can only be savored on these roads in my opinion. I am still learning HOW to really appreciate what is offered on these roads and allow myself to slow down even more and take more of what they offer. I still get lost in the riding aspect of a road trip and forget to stop as often as I should/could, take pictures, and enjoy the beauty and surroundings even more.

Linda wrote about what she learned on her first extended road trip and it was a learning time for me also. It has been over twenty years since I have done so much two-up riding. I had an almost unnatural fear of dumping her, and Petunia, and it was only after telling her I should just do it and get it over with that that feeling started to go away. Of course she was happy to not get dumped and thanked me for worrying about her. I learned it is better to share these road experiences with someone than it is to do it alone. To have to consider the comfort and needs of someone other than myself on a ride was good for me and while I could have been better I think I did OK. At least I had already decided I needed a motel when the humidity was near 90% even before Linda said anything. Plus, Linda wasn’t subjected to 4 AM get-aways or 1,000 mile days.

From the Pig Trail in Arkansas to the corn fields of Kentucky to the wine country of the New York area to the grandeur of Niagara Falls to real Vermont maple syrup to Maine lobster and clams on the shores of the Atlantic to the history in Boston to the barbeque at the Boneyard to suggested roads in Alabama to meeting Lady R and Harley to completing the journey safely, this ranks up there with one of the best trips I have ever been on. Funny thing is after every ride when I sit and reflect on it I always think it was one of the best I have ever been on. Damn, that must be why I ride a motorcycle….every ride is the best one I have ever taken.

Some sights from the road;

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Safely At Home

I safely arrived at home at 5:15 Wednesday evening. After a shower, we went to dinner and I got a call with family issues that I never dreamed would happen. It has dampened the ride a bit, but hopefully it will work itself out in time.

I went today to get my computer fixed and it was as simple as taking out the battery, unplugging the power cord, and holding the power button for ten seconds. I had tried most of that, except for the holding the power button part, and it still didn’t work. At least it wasn’t an expensive lesson and all my ride pictures aren’t lost.

So, today I have done very little and I am still worn out. I guess I am getting old because the 1800+ miles I put on in the last two days seems to have kicked my arse. Hopefully after a good nights sleep I be ready to recap the ride, change the oil, and start planning the next adventure. Now I think I need to start thinking about fixing dinner and having Linda a nice glass of wine when she gets home from work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life Is A Bitch Sometimes

Go figure something is wrong with the computer and it wont turn on. So, I can't respond to comments or Facebook.

I'm sitting in Clinton, Oklahoma after riding a taste over 1,000 miles. That leaves 800 or so for tomorrow and I plan on "Getting Her Done" as the old saying goes.

Dinner with Dianna and Harley was great and I owe them big time. You guys need to come out to the Phoenix area, even if you have to fly, and maybe we can convince the Cali folks to join the party, as well as Ann and Big D. I'll be in touch with an idea in a few days after I get home and reat up for a day or two. And how smart am I to not have photographic proof of our meeting? I had the camera in the room for heavens sake. Anyway, we tore up the town of Motgomery in the alloted time on a Monday evening. It was a pleasure to meet such fine folks and I need to thank you both again for dinner. The next meeting will have to include a ride to make it official.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

15 Days On The Road

I am spoiled, selfish, really lucky, and am 5,365 miles into Summer Trip 2010 sitting in Montgomery, Alabama. The beans have been spilt, so I get the pleasure of having dinner with Dianna, Lady Ridesalot, and her husband Harley. It is my belief that more of the Blogging community should just contact the folks who write the blogs they read when in their area and say, “Hey, got time for dinner?” If more of you would do that I wouldn’t feel so forward barging into Salinas and now here in Montgomery.

Whatever the case, anyone who reads my blog has a standing invitation to drop in if in the Phoenix area. Wait, is that OK with you Dear? Meet and greet dinner during the week, dinner and a ride in the area on the weekend, whatever options work for all parties concerned. Remember Phoenix is a dry heat. Getting to meet and put personalities to the faces adds to the enjoyment of reading the blogs.

Changing the subject….I have ridden through, and colored in, 45 states on a motorcycle. This summer alone I have covered 15 new ones. I have reached the goal I set when planning this ride and while it has been fun I am beginning to feel the pull to the house. In the morning when I leave Montgomery I will be slabbing it up to Interstate 40 in Memphis and eating up the miles. The back roads have been awe inspiring and taken a lot longer than I anticipated, but it has been a fantastic trip. Planning and leaving is always fun, but getting home is good also because then I get to start planning the next one. Just might include Hawaii.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nice Evening Under The Stars

This is tonight’s accommodations here in Gaffney, South Carolina. It is windy, cool, and the RC cola is ice cold. It has been a long time since I’ve had an RC and there is no adult beverage, so it is quite refreshing.

The experienced RVers I’ve talked to assure me it isn’t going to rain tonight. That is especially important because of the amount of rain I got yesterday afternoon and evening. When I got here everything in the bottom of the trailer was wet. It rained so hard that it was blowing into my eyes behind my glasses like a million little needles. But on the bright side it was cool and today wasn’t bad either.

Tomorrow looks like some back road time in as I continue to color in my map. Now, I think I will go listen to the birds sing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Afternoon of Rest

We have arrived in Seekonk, Massachusetts, the laundry (my, [because Linda doesn’t do laundry on vacation. I think she is smarter than I am, but I pack lighter]) is in the dryer, our plan for Boston tomorrow is in place, The Boneyard has $1.00 ribs tonight that we are thinking about sampling, and we are resting. That was after the trip to get here that included a trip to the Nashoba Valley Winery and Providence, Rhode Island.

The Nashoba Valley Winery was a new experience for me. Yes, I have visited several wineries in Napa Valley, California, southern Arizona, New York, and now in Bolton, Massachusetts. This is the first one that I have seen that bottles wine, beer, brandy, champagne, distillates, vodka, and cognac. If you can drink it, this place makes it. We did a sampling of five different wines, beers and choose two to take with us for the weekend. In my limited knowledge of wines, I find a wide range of flavors from each region of the country. It is either fortunate or unfortunate, depending on your outlook, that the wineries we have visited on this trip don’t ship to Arizona because there have been some really good wines that we have tasted.

Linda is holding up rather well considering the humidity. The number of miles we have ridden isn’t staggering, but considering that the majority has been back road, two lane, 50 mph, slow going, time consuming miles it is beginning to take a toll. She hasn’t complained except to say she doesn’t know if she can stand up and even my butt is starting to give out about 3:30 every afternoon.

Tomorrow will consist of a short ride into and out of Boston and a few miles of walking and sight seeing. The humidity will dictate how much walking we can do and may try to ride Petunia between the things we want to see. There will be lunch on the pier at the No Name Restaurant on the agenda and everything else will be by the seat of the pants.

That is the news from the East Coast as I see it and now I need to see if the cloths are dry so we can go eat. More to come later

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Checking In

Is it Wednesday morning already? We left Canada Monday morning about 9 AM and except for a total of 9 miles we have only been on back roads with a top speed of 55 mph. We are in Rumford, Maine this morning and will be traveling to Belfast, Maine to a local lobster shop to have fresh off the boat lobster.

Can you say HOT? They are in record breaking heat out here and yesterday it was 96 with 70% humidity. Truthfully as long as we were moving it wasn’t that bad, but being stopped just for gas or to take pictures we really felt it.

Linda is enjoying her first extended road trip…I told her it WAS enjoyment…and she doesn’t complain. However, it is a lot more comfortable in a motel with air conditioning than in a tent. We agreed it would be nearly impossible to sleep in these conditions in the tent.

I'll get to more later, right now I need to go get coffee to entice Linda to wake up, so we can get on the road for the day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Greetings from Canada

Our Saturday started with a ride back toward Erie, Pennsylvania to take Highway 20 back toward Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The reason for this ride was to take in some of the wineries that dot the area and to find some local libations to have while in Canada. We were told we could tank three bottles in without paying customs and we found two we liked.  As I am writing this post we are enjoying a very nice red named Rufus Red.  This wine is named after the great, great, great, great, great grandfather of the young man who was helping us with the tasting.Rufus planted the original grapes for this winery.  Rufus planted the original grapes for this winery 150 years ago and some are said to still be growing.  This wine is a semi-sweet wine and reminds Linda and I both of cranberries. It would be easy to forget it is wine and consume to much of it…..hey is it all gone already?

At the border we were asked if we possessed any alcohol and I declared the two bottles because we had just seen them search two different vehicles in our lane. The Border Guard asked a few more questions and then said, “Enjoy your weekend in Canada,” and we were off.

We went to check into our hotel and everything was almost set except they were just finishing a remodel and needed about half an hour to finish up. Since we needed to get something to eat and drink that wasn’t much of a problem. When we got back the room was ready and we were told there were special instructions to get to the room. We had to ride the lobby elevator to the 29th floor, get out and go a special elevator, use a hey to access the 30th floor to reach our room. When we got to the new elevator we were greeted with this sign:

Yep, we were in the Penthouse. Not just that, but the center room overlooking the Canadian Falls.  When we opened the door this is the view were greeted with:

The view from the doorway.

The Canadian Falls.

The parking lot below our room and Northern end of the Falls area.

We are doing all of the big four tourist attractions Sunday. Maid of the Mist boat ride right up to the falls, White Water Walk a close look at the rapids, Journey Behind the Falls which is below and behind the heart of Niagara, and Niagara’s Fury, which is a 4 D movie describing the Creation of the Falls. It should be a day to remember.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ye Tale of Olde

It has been written of a time the King was occupied with womanly charms. The gate was forgotten on this day and word quickly spread. And soon all of the Villages' idiots took for the hills. They weren't used to this freedom and wondered from side to side of this paved playground. First quickly and then slowly. They were happy to be free, but the King laughed because he knew and hoped many wouldn't find their way home.

There was one, Sir AHD, who wouldn't let this disrupt the plan to meet the Fair Maiden Linda. So, upon the trusty steed Petunia, Sir AHD played the game and knowing he had plenty of time to await the big dragon delivering Lady Linda was content to let their games go unnoticed.

Alas, it was written...All good things take time.

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