Friday, November 7, 2008

Vacation 2001-East Bound an Down

Saturday July 29 2001 - 0 miles

Well I should be on the road today but since I didn't get my tires until late on Friday and I found a bad wheel bearing in the front wheel I am still at home. Pete and I worked until 10:00 PM last night getting him ready and had to go back to the shop today to finish up the work. Then to top it off I loaded "Front Page" on my laptop so I could update the web site on the road and crashed it. My CD-Rom is broken on it so I couldn't reload "Windows" and start over. So what is a guy to do? Yep, go buy a new one and send the old one in for repairs. I hope to have the insert picture thing figured out before long so you can see what and where I've been. So until later, see you from the road.


Sunday July 30 2001- 608 Miles

What a day. I thought I would be smart and miss all the interstate highways today and ride US 20 once I got past Chicago. US 20 was in good shape for the most part and traffic wasn't tclip_image004hat heavy either but what I saved in miles cost me dearly in time. Also MapQuest lied to me, it's much further to Cleveland than 600 miles. Made it as far as Fremont, Ohio and still have 70 or so miles before I get to Cleveland and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Hey I'm this close so you know I got to stop and say hello to Elvis :-)

Got a little sunburn on my now very red belly from riding with my shirt open, like I don't know better then that! Of course the day won't be complete without a little rain too. I had watched the lighting show all the way across Indiana. While I sure enjoyed that, I kept hoping that it would move either north or south of me but it didn't. I finally caught up to the rain in Ohio just as the sun was going down. Did I ever tell you how much I hate riding in the rain and even more so when it's dark? Sure am glad I have those new tires! I rode through some mighty deep water at times, half blind from the on coming traffic made it even more intense. Needless to say when I saw that Denny's sign flashing hot coffee I called it a day. The bonus was a Travel Lodge is right behind it. So the clothes are by the heater and with any luck they will by dry in the morning.


The reason for this trip is to see some of the country, and world for that matter, that I've never seen. Also I plan on visiting some new an old friends that I met right here online. I will look up Jason Deel tomorrow where he works and get to meet him for the first time. This should be good for a few laughs I'm sure. Then on to Cleveland for a little R&R before I head into Toronto, Canada on Tuesday.

Tuesday July 31 2001 - unknown miles

Well it seems that Canada isn't the friendliest place to visit. They wouldn't let me in to go see Sean. We will have to wait until this weekend to see each other again when we all meet for a little camping at Alpine Lake here in New York.

Outside of that I have had a great time. Jason and I had a nice visit Tuesday even though it was way to short. I didn't get a photo of him and I though. I didn't even think of it until I was back on the road to Cleveland. What a nice city that place is. Then off to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. I could of spent all day there but since I thought I was going to be at Sean's in Canada tonight I only spent about 3 hours there. If I would of know I couldn't get into Canada I would of spent more time there. They didn't allow cameras in the rock hall, as the locals call it, so the only pictures I have are of the outside of the building. Just for the record Elvis is dead :-) Did you know he liked to collect police badges? Sure was some neat things to see there. They had a special exhibit of John Lennon and his life. Some of his art work was on display along with his bed that he and Oko staged their now famous sit in on. The saddest part was they had his personal belongings that the police gave to Oko when he was murdered in the bag just like they had given it to Oko on that terrible night. His blood stained glasses was enough to make me almost cry. I was truly feeling very sad as I stood there and looked at that exhibit. I got to see my all time favorite drummer's drum kit, John Bonham. Also in that display was one of Jimmie Page's guitar and John Paul Jones's organ and one of Robert Plant's outfits he had worn during a tour.  I could go on about this place and all the cool things they have there but I would be typing all night.clip_image008Wednesday August 1 2001 - 770 miles since Monday morning

Niagara Falls is pretty spectacular in it's own right. I can see why lovers like to go there on there honeymoon. The water is nice and ice blue. The sound is loud but calming in a way and the park is very nice for a stroll along the river. I was surprised at the lack of people there. Another thing I am surprised about is the people of New York. Unlike what we as 'Midwesterns' hear all the time, these people are as nice and friendly as us flatlanders. Every time I asked someone where I needed to go they didn't hesitate to tell me, and no they didn't say go to hell. They all drive like they have a brain which is more then I can say for back home sometimes. The only one time I did have a problem with a driver it was a cop who wouldn't let me lane change when I needed to before my lane had to merge.  Did I mention I got pulled over in Pennsylvania yesterday? I guess with all the hassle I had trying and failing to get into Canada yesterday I kind of forgot. The Trooper pulled me for not wearing my helmet. He was very cool about it though. He walks up and said "did you know you have to wear that bucket here?" Told him "no I didn't" and had asked a couple of people but nobody knew when I asked them. He just asked if I would put it on for him and of course I said sure. He told me to enjoy my trip and that New York had a helmet law too so to be sure to keep it on because they wouldn't be as nice about it. Off he went and off I went with my helmet on and no extra paper in my wallet. To bad he wasn't working the Canadian boarder instead of the jack ass that I luclip_image010cked into last night. Made it to Rick an Lisa's tonight after a very long P8010006

boring ride across upper New York state. However once I got off the super slab the sights and ride was much better as is always the case. This is truly a nice part of the country, glad I have made this trip. Rick an Lisa tell me that the traffic will change once I get into New Jersey early next week, unfortunately it will be for the worst. The congestion will be far worse then anything I have been through yet.  One thing I know that will never happen in Iowa is toll roads. I can see it now, about the first time some guy at a toll booth asks a farmer for 50 cents to cross a bridge he will tell him just where to go. Forget about the $7.35 it cost to travel from one side of the state to the other on interstate 90 today! I think tomorrow will be a take it easy kind of day for a change. As I set here I think about jumping in the pool right next to Rick and Lisa's new motor home they are putting me up in tonight. But since I am so tired at this moment I would probably drowned. Maybe I will wait until tomorrow after I have had a good nights sleep without some front desk ringing me to see if I am going to check out or stay another day.  

Monday August 5 2001 - 1,600+ so far

My time on the road is quickly coming to an end. The weekend camp out at Alpine Lake in New York was an absolute blast. We had people from all over the country and Canada show up for the 3 days of sun and fun. Everyone eat like kings and played like kids. Sean made it from Canada with his family and it was his daughter, Sarah, 4th birthday toSarah1 boot. We had cake and melted ice cream to celebrate Saturday evening.  Rich from Maine  came on his new Harley, what a nice bike it is. Dave from Maryland came with his wife and 2 kids, they plan to stay for the whole week. With the stuff they dragged out of that truck they look like they could stay a month. Tom from Michigan made it with his clan in a great big mobile home. He and Rick did the my house is bigger then your house thing all weekend but I think RichRick lost. Ed and his wife came from Connecticut to spend the weekend and relax with all of us. Ed had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. Of course Rick an Lisa was there as was their two girls and all of their friends, pretty nice bunch of kids. A couple of them played guitar to keep us entertained around the camp fire. All good thing must come to an end and this was no different. Everyone woke this morning and said their good-byes.

I stopped by and met Tim Lena today. We had a good bull session for a couple of hours and I found out he is just like me. He don't work to hard when its as hot out is was today! He got me headed in then right direction and  I made it to the Atlantic ocean today. OK technically it is the "Long Island Sound" bay but it is close enough for me, Silver and I have seen both oceans now. There was a gentle man painting when I pulled up and luck would have it he was on his Harley too. We talked for a while and he told me all about the area I was in. Thanks to him I found the best spot to see the ocean in Stamford, Connecticut that anyone could ask for. I set there as the sun was setting over my shoulder and decided it was time to find a place to lay my head for the evening. I will be looking up a some seafood before I leave here you can count on that! clip_image014Painter2

Thursday August 9 2001 - Home at Last 2,987 Miles Total

A lot of miles have passed since I was last able to update this. These last three days seem to have been the toughest of all. With not much of a break for relaxing on vacation. At least I have a few days before Monday when I have to go back to work.

When I left Connecticut on Tuesday morning after having breakfast I did my best at not getting run over going around New York an in New Jersey. I stopped and met David "Grammy" Graham at his shop. He has a very nice little shop in an old New Jersey town. It looks like  your basic neighborhood gas station from out front if you don't see all the BMW's setting around. GrammyShop A person would wonder how a BMW shop could survive out in the hills but all you have to do is watch the cars that drive by and you soon see that there is a plenty of money driving by. One of the towns good guys stopped in while I was there and brought ice cream bars for everyone including whoever was at the gas pumps at the time. After work Grammy took me out to dinner at a local brew pub along with one of his closest friends. I don't think I every thanked him for that either so thank you Grammy for dinner and the hospitality. Like everyone I met on this trip it was a pleasure my friend. We parted ways and on down the road I went, all the way to Harrison, Pennsylvania for my stop over that night. Rode to Indianapolis the next day where I hooked up with Rick Liebler who works for UPS. It was kind of a surprise to meet up with him. I hadn't even thought of it when I got to town. So we went down the street a few blocks and had a couple colds ones and talked cars. On my way to Indy I had to stop and get a some oil for Silver since he was a half quart low after two thousand miles. As I was passing Iowa City, Iowa I stopped an visited with my stepmother, Alice, and drank all of the ice water she had. This was the hottest day I had encountered the whole trip. 

Sorry I don't have anymore new pictures to share with everyone but I just didn't really do any sight seeing after I left Connecticut. I will post one more of Long Island Sound.clip_image016

There is a old joke about that when a real biker goes out for a ride he doesn't come home until all of the digits on the odometer have changed. Well I gave it my best shot. The speedometer had 106 thousand something and now has 109,454 for miles. Either I need to ride around the world, hey I might be on to something there, or get a new bike with all zeros. Don't worry Silver buddy you are not about to be replaced. Not with all the memories we have together. Thanks for being the dead solid ride you are, getting me there and back every time. 



Mr. Motorcycle said...

Ah, a spectacular adventure ride! thanks for bringing us along!

irondad said...

There's certainly a lot to digest, here! I like the picture of the bike secured to the post. It almost looks like the drive chain was taken off the rear sprocket and draped over the post.

Saves remembering a key!

I'd actually like to make a more intelligent comment, but haven't finished absorbing it all, yet!

fasthair said...

Mr. M: You are very welcome. Thanks for enjoying the ride with me. I've got some more I will be posting in the future. I've just got to get some old pre-digi cam photos scanned on.

Irondad: My bike is belt driven silly :) I'm speachless that I left a wordsmith such as yourself unable "to make a more intelligent comment" I'll try to dummy it down a bit next time! HA

anarchy said...

hey fasthair, came across your blog after you left a post on mine... looks like you have a lot of good reading here... i'll have to grab a beer and do some reading...

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

You're right about reciprocals...I read and comment on quite a few blogs, some more than others. I do read your additions as often as you make them and this one is no less interesting than any of them! I just started riding this summer and my longest trip to date has been 124 miles...but it was one I'll never forget. In any case I know the roads you've been on and, um, well have had similar struggles getting into Canada, one time anyway. Adventures, I've had a million, Lord willing, there'll be more. It's good to see how many others have them as well.

fasthair said...

anarchy: Glad you could stop by for a bit. You've got a ton of great photos on your blog. I'm going to have to grab two beers (I read slow:)) and get more of your blog pulled up.

Rick: Welcome, glad to see you stop by. Adventures are what life is all about. Just like yesterdays little ride. AGUH! Yup read about your birthday ride. Tha's a good trek for a first time.