Nice shots and I'm enjoying your story. Be safe
Montauk Point Lighthouse commissioned by President George Washington
My friend's Montauk home. The hospitality was fabulous!
This morning I had a nice Montauk breakfast and headed to visit more friends in Hastings on Hudson, NY. The ride was virtually uneventful (a good thing!) except for a couple of traffic delays. I crept in traffic along side a guy and girl on a new BMW 1600. Although it's beautiful, I like Ol' Blue's boxer.
So far, I've done 2375 miles on the trip. Talk about taking the long way around to NY. I realize it ain't Ewan and Charlie....just me.
Tomorrow, heading to the BMW dealership in Maine for the 6000 mile service and a new rear tire. The route I plan to take will run through NY, western CT and MA then across NH, VT and into Maine. It should be a full day.
By the way, the weather I've been touring in has been better than anyone could wish for; blue skies, 65˚- 75˚ most of the time. Bright sunshine, no rain. I'm taking it while it's good 'cuz I know it could all turn on a dime. Whatever lies ahead, I've got to believe that someone is watching over me.
I miss my family so much that physically, it hurts.
You are carrying the spirit of your father with you so there is no wonder why the weather is great and you will be home soon enough to the family. Travel well.
Nice job documenting and sharing your ride, your family misses You too ! God Bless
I can't thank my friends enough that took me in, fed me and shared their words of encouragement. It was great looking over the map with my buddy Gerard and having a few beers. The biggest compliment was that he repeatedly kept saying, "I should be going with you."
Riding up from Hastings on Hudson, on the west side of the Hudson (9W), was some of the most treacherous roads I've ever ridden on in my life. Rocky, vertical drops of probably 1000 feet or more and low guardrails. Not a place to carve.
Heading more north, I shot diagonally, on 44, across northwest CT then picked up 7 north into MA and then southern VT. There I picked up 9 East which connected with 202 through NH and into ME.
The ride was nice, meandering in towns that were founded in the mid to late 1700's. I had a reality check when I approached what had to have been a fatal accident; two cars that appeared to have had a high speed broadside or head on collision. As I passed by the wreckage, I counted eight "jaws of life" tools scattered around the two cars. The reality check came when I was rubber-necking and almost ran over a police officer directing traffic past the scene. Hey stupid, KEEP YOUR EYES THE ROAD.
2770 miles traveled thus far and, except for another ten miles north to get the BMW serviced, the south to north portion of the trip is done. Today, I point Ol' Blue west and head to the Pacific.
Baby's got a new pair of shoes; Metzlers installed front and rear for the next 6000 or so miles. Ol' Blue had her service and is good to go for throttle up to the west.
I sat down with a guy, Roger, at the BMW dealership and he turned me on to some great roads through western Maine, central New Hampshire and Vermont. Roads so fine that I didn't want them to end so I saved some for tomorrow before heading into Canada. The guys in Maine gravitate to Vermont. It's their motorcycling mecca.
I found myself attacking these Vermont roads. Long sweepers, tight switchbacks, no traffic, no police and great, great weather. With the Beemer loaded to the gills with luggage, I was still able to drag the pegs and keep pace with the sport bike guys. Small children near the tight curves couldn't figure out why sparks were flying from my bike. Merely the pegs scraping from a BMW R 1200 RT at full lean my child.
By the way, did I mention Vermont?
It's all that, roadwise, and absolutely beautiful to boot.
This is the first time on the trip where I am jazzed to hit the roads tomorrow.
Did I mention no cops?
I mean the Blue Ridge was super nice, but leisurely. You can't help but attack the roads here. Fun, fun, fun.
Did I mention no traffic?
The folks here know the proper way to drive these roads. The gang of hooligans on the Ducati Hypermotards have got nothing on a particular housewife in a Jeep Wrangler. I did all I could to stay with her. Granted, she knows the roads but I had to believe that she was having a good time returning from the grocery store. She gets it. "Honey, just gonna run up to the market for some milk. Need anything?" Thrash!
This was also the first day that I felt no "monkey butt". Granted, me and Ol' Blue only clocked about 240 miles or so but I was moving on the seat, shifting from side to side.
Like Roger said, "I could spend the rest of my days just riding in Vermont."
Last edited by manwohr; 10-02-2012 at 01:13 AM.
Since my last post, I've been suffering from Vermont withdrawals. After spending Saturday morning finishing up on the beautiful VT roads, I entered Canada. Somewhat shell shocked I believe. The Canadian countryside is pretty enough but what I drove through was not spectacular. It reminded me of Ohio or Indiana only with it's signs in French. I'm sure there must be some real great roads somewhere. I guess I took the wrong route. I've got to say that the Canadian people are some of the nicest, most cheerful people I've seen. It seems like wherever they are, they are super happy to be there.
The next day I awoke in Canada psyched and ready for a great ride. The weather was nice. 68˚ and partly cloudy. I fired up the Beemer and headed west on hwy 17 on my way to Sault St. Marie. At about the 100 mile mark, the clouds that I was watching to the west started to become ominous. At 12:30 the first drop of rain hit my windshield and I decided to pull over to put on my foul weather gear. Another 30 minutes later, it was coming down in buckets. Lightening bolts lit up the otherwise dark grey sky. My thoughts immediately went to a story my mailman told me about a buddy of his who went cross country on his motorcycle only to be killed by a lightening bolt in Idaho. It would be too weird for my mailman to have two friends killed the exact same way so I continued on. 68˚ soon turned to 58˚ but the rain only got worse. Just let me make it to the U.S. and it'll all be fine. Then a break. Just as I was approaching the U.S. border the rain stopped. I crossed into the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan and stopped to have a bite. After my meal I Looked to the west and the dark clouds were building once again. Thirty minutes later, I'm in a fight for survival. Thick heavy rain. Gusty winds. Two lane roads. Now I could have pulled over and gotten a hotel right then and there but I was determined to make Wisconsin before stopping. This was to be a defining ride. The temperature had dropped to 42˚ on Ol' Blues ambient temp display. The rain was relentless, but so was I. Heated grips and a heated seat made what I was about to attempt possible. My gear wasn't keeping all the rain out but given the conditions, it did a pretty good job. My gloves were soaked but again, the heated grips kept my hands toasty warm. Make no mistake, this was not a comfortable ride. I'm not sure exactly how long I drove through this cold and nasty stuff, 4, maybe 5 hours. The RT never missed a beat. I arrived in Iron Mountain at around 8pm with the rain still coming down. After checking in at the front desk, I looked back and noticed a huge puddle that had gathered were I had been standing. Went to the room, turned the heat to 90˚ and the fan on high. Slept like a baby.
Last edited by manwohr; 10-02-2012 at 01:17 AM.
Today I looked out my Iron Mountain window and the sky was crystal blue. As I went to load up the bike, I was shocked to see just how nasty and dirty she was. You've probably seen what I'm referring to on the cars from up north when they finally make it to a warm climate. Just filthy. Anyway she sparked right up and off we went. My first destination was to go by Crivitz, WI. Our family and our friends family, who actually own the place, have spent a number of summer vacations on 55 pristine acres in a cabin on the Peshtigo River in this cool little town. It seemed so strange driving through the same place all by myself. After a couple of pics, I headed north to route 8 across Wisconsin. Finally, the Autumn leaves that I've been searching for. And all this beauty framing up some damn nice roads. Northern Wisconsin is beautiful this time of year. Crossed into Minnesota at Taylor's Falls and headed north, and around Minneapolis. The weather for today's ride was a bit chilly at 55˚ but otherwise perfect. Except for one strange occurrence at the end of my Wisconsin leg. I stopped to photograph a beaver lodge and as I was finishing up, I noticed a small cloud overhead. All of a sudden a bit of hail fell gently all around me. It almost looked like snowflakes. Not a drop of rain and this gentle hail floating down. Simply beautiful.
I ended today's leg in ND. To me it is the gateway to all things west.
Praying for a safe rest of the ride. Praying for good weather. Missing my family and friends.
Last edited by manwohr; 10-02-2012 at 01:19 AM.