With most of the week off work, I knew I was gonna do some riding. Time to clock some miles. I'd gotten out with a buddy yesterday for a sweet little jaunt of about 74 miles, but today it was time to really roll it on. With a minor threat of rain, I began the day slowly, drinking coffee (our last at the house) and having a small breakfast. It did sprinkle for a minute as I was gearing up, so I decided I'd ride the 93 R100RS instead of taking out the K1200. Not sure how it happened but the newer bikes are FAR less "weatherproof" than the older BMWs. Anyway, it was only a 20% chance of showers... with an 80% chance of fair weather, I took off. I admit, I kinda loaded the bus- took anything and everything I had by way of rain=proof riding gear- virtually guaranteeing a nice day out!
First order of business, head up to Linglestown PA from the house (in Lemoyne) to see my man Geoff at St Thomas Coffee Roasters, to replenish the stash of fresh roasted Organic coffee beans. Crossing the Mighty Susquehanna River, I thought "what the heck." and pulled off on City Island to get some shots of the bridges and stuff. There are 7 bridges total spanning the Great River in Harrisburg, from I-81 on the north end, down to I-83 on the south end.
Riding thru the city, I stopped again to get a couple more shots, deciding formally to take lots of pix today, for a full-on RR. Not much happening here... must'a been just prior to lunch.
Here's our State Capitol Building
It's actually really beautiful.
I cut thru the city and jumped on I-81 for a quickie hop up to Linglestown. The small burg is distinct for having not one, but TWO round-a-bouts.
These are pretty rare in South Central PA- but PENNDOT is doing studies and looking to add more & more of them in the future around PA.
Now, stopping at the Coffee roaster's...
Geoff is such a nice guy- Here he is, seeing a little old lady into her car!
And some shots from inside- the roaster, etc.
Yep. The Mother Lode!
Riding out of Linglestown, I headed down towards the river, thinking I'd head basically west today. Popped onto US 322 W and ran up to Dauphin.
I rode down to the river to get some shots. Here's Stony Creek, where it merges with the Susquehanna.
Here's one of our primary local Landmarks- a 25 foot tall, 4 ton mock-up of the Statue Of Liberty- Lady Liberty On The Susquehanna.
She sits atop an old bridge pier from way back- WITH permission from the pier's owners. I actually helped put her there. This shiny "new" statue replaced the original. This one went up in 1996 or so... it got there via helicopter. The old one fell over in a storm. It was made of a heavy base, a 16' 4X4, some expanding foam, and venetian blinds. This one is MUCH sturdier- solid plywood with a fiberglass outer shell. The original got out there when these crazy guys I know snuck her up in a sort of "technical assault" on the pier under the cover of darkness- about 0300 hours one morning back in the late 80s. She kinda became an instant hit, and the NBC, or CBS guy who replaced Charles Curralt did a piece on her one night a couple years ago on the National news!
Here's the old Gazebo/Bandstand in Dauphin's town center. Love the detail.
From here, I rode upriver, once again hopping on US 322 W to hurry up, getting off in Duncannon and crossing the Juniata to ride PA 849 up to Newport. Here's a couple shots from high on a hill top, along 849- a really great road. Looking basically West:
Here's some shots from Newport, of the4 old steel bridge over the Juniata River. The bridge has one of those old steel grates as the road surface. These are slowly being replaced throughout PA. This bridge is the longest I know of with this type of surface.
Everyone's spoofing on Harrisburg's Mayor, Linda Thompson- she recently made some remark about Perry County "scumbags" messing up her town... or some such. She has a real knack for opening her mouth wide enough to get both feet into. She ain't the sharpest blade in the drawer.
Rolling out of Newport, I wanted to ride Middle Ridge Road down towards Ickesburg. This is a fantastic road that runs the entire length of a high ridge. I guess it more less runs E-W, and it's maybe 10-12 miles long. Superb, with views off both sides. Looking North (ish)
I got over to Ickesburg, and headed north on PA 74- I'd just ridden it coming the other way, and some pix are to be seen above. I knew I was gonna head west on PA rte 75, I wanted to go out all the way to Fort Loudon, and ride up US 30 to the top of the mountain and have a beer. From where 74 hits 75, it's about 10 miles (+/-) west of Port Royal, on the Juniata, and a whopping 59 or so miles out to the end of the massive valley that 75 runs down thru. There's just nobody here, ever. In general, traffic is so light around Central PA that it really makes for pleasant riding!
This is deep Amish country. I passed several buggies. I always wave to them. The younger girls and kids will always wave, the young boys giving enthusiastic responses to seeing the bike, but the old folks always just glower. Oh well, I wave anyway!
At one point today, I even saw an Amish guy plowing his field- he had a team of 6 massive mules pulling his plow! It really isn't polite to be all stopping to take pix of these folks. I used to keep my camera in my hand as I rode, but not so much any more. If a chance for a pic presents itself when I'm stopped, then OK. No such luck today tho. I eventually made my way all the way down to Fort Loudon. I saw a clock along the way saying it was 3:30, so getting on in the day. The sun was coming out tho! YAY!
I turned right onto US rte 30- The Lincoln Highway, and headed up the mountain to the Mountain House Bar... Wasn't nobody there except the bartender, and a couple guys having a beer after work. Man, on a summer Saturday or Sunday, this place is PACKED with bikes and bikers... Not so much today, tho.
I sat out on the deck with those couple guys, and enjoyed a Shiner Bock beer. They were mostly talkin about snakes (copperheads) and sharks. Kinda refreshing compared to your typical chit chat about deer huntin and trout fishin... They busted on outta there, and so did I.
Think they'll bless a BMW?
Heading back down the mountain, I decided to ride thru Chambersburg. Here's a shot off 30, looking more or less east:
My idea originally was to hotshot out across the Great Cumberland Valley on US 30, and break off on PA rte 233 towards home (ish). Coming into Chambersburg, however, I recalled several years back, when I'd had a micro brew from this town. Back then, the guy was brewing beer in his basement, or garage. At the edge of town, I hopped off the bike and did a quickie Google search- turning up the Roy-Pitz Brewery! Nothing for it, then, other than to pop by for an ale. It was superb! They've only just now opened up a "bar", and eventually will sell food, local wines, and everything. I had a red ale and a blonde.
Definitely must get back there some summer's afternoon. For anyone who's into it, get off I-81 south at US 30, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp, heading into Chambersburg. Look for Third St, and turn right. Go about a block, and Third will bear right at a stop sign. Go straight thru into a kind of alley, and look for the big brick building pretty much dead ahead. Third St parallels US 11.
By now, it was getting to be too late to be taking the really scenic route I'd envisioned... So I hopped on 81 Northbound for a ways, getting off the King St exit, at Shippensburg- to ride 174 down to Boiling Springs.
Stopped at Boiling Springs to get a couple pix...
Trout & ducks in the lake
one of the springs feeding the lake...
AND the world famous Boiling Springs Tavern (NO- I did NOT stop for another beer!)
If you're ever in Boiling Springs, pop into the tavern and tell the bartender Micheal, I said hello. Have a crabcake sandwich. a cup of The Bisque, and a Stoudt's on draft. The place has been there forever, and it has kind of grown up along with all of us, I suppose... It's come a mighty long way from an old honky tonk with a dirt parking lot to the place it is today. Anyway, that's pretty much it for today's ride... I rode just darn near 200 miles. Hope y'all enjoy the RR and pix! Look for more RRs here from my exploits in Central PA!