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Old 05-17-2012, 05:47 AM   #1
ricochetrider OP
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A little ride around Central PA on Vintage Iron

Well, it was Mother's Day and as My GF was away, the "cat" did go out to play. Here's the ensuing pix & story of my exploits:

Yeah. Right. So the Norton had been sitting around for a spell on my carport and I felt the need to clean the old dog up a bit... this morning, after I was done with some other chores, I took all the goop, gak, and rags and towels, and gave the bike a solid going-over... well I hit the high spots anyway.

Heading upriver, I was undecided on where to go exactly. tho a plan was beginning to form itself in my pea brain.
I figured I'd go ride the big sweepers of PA rte 850 heading West into the country, and go to see the good old Dellville Bridge, an old covered bridge up in Perry County, PA USA, that I just love. Which is exactly what I did. Here's a shot of the Norton across the Susquehanna from the PA state capitol. I had to be mighty careful not to slpi up on any of the goose shit peppering this little grassy area here- OR get any on the nice clean Commando!


I was inspired to take some shots at the Dellville Bridge, by a simple shot that a buddy of mine took a few years back, while he was visiting from England, when I took him to see the old covered bridge- So I messed around a while taking various pix. Not so sure I ever did quit replicate Karl's fine effort, but got some good pix just the same.

I think this is my fave:

here are some others


ricochetrider screwed with this post 05-17-2012 at 06:07 AM
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:52 AM   #2
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A visit to Little Buffalo State Park

Anyway, I guess I took about 20 pix there.... Then, I got on the bike and rode out, with the idea to find a great crooked PA state road nearby- and I took a new way to get there, which was quite enjoyable. This road, PA rte 849, led me over to Newport, PA- very near to Little Buffalo State Park, where I help with an Autumnal arts fest, the Little Buffalo Festival Of The Arts.... back in the 1990s, I helped to build a fantastic stage there for the festival, now in its umpteenth year-

(insert gratuitous Motorcycle shot here)

There's a great story about this last shot:

As I said, I was volunteering with a load of other folks to bring this wonderful pavillion into reality. I was a carpenter on the project and worked closely with one of the lead guys in building the large front truss, we dubbed "The Mother Truss". I was right up top of the thing as we swung the trusses up with a fairly large crane on the day of the "Buffalo Erection" (REALLY- ya just can't make this stuff up).

The triangular "wing" trusses, which run off at 45 degree angles from the face of the stage, have long miters running the vertical length of the beam where they connect to the "Mother Truss". You can't see it, but at the top of each wing truss, there's a notch. It wasn't discovered until the first one came up that the notch also needed to be mitered along its vertical edge. I decided I'd miter it in place while the ground crew finished the long miter AND mitered the notch on the second wing truss. I told the guys below me to bring up a framing square, a chisel, and a chain saw. I laid out the cut, and said "fire that saw up and hand it up to me". This whole time, the crane was still hooked to the truss, but it was sitting on its pillars. I had my buddies on the scaffold below lean the wing out far enough for me to work, and had them hold it as steadily as they could while I put my right foot on it, and completed the rip/miter with the chain saw- one foot on the "floating" wing, and one foot on the Mother Truss- to much amazement of all who were there, including the ex-senator, Mr Moore, whom the pavillion is named for- who stood below us all slack-jawed at what we were doing- in a shower of wood chips from the chain saw.

This action, executed innocently enough by myself- an expert with wood, AND chain saws- became forever known as "The Little Buffalo Chain Saw Massacree", and I was launched into infamy in that single instant, completely sealing my rep as one crazy mofo.

Fortunately for all- The Moore Pavillion stands strong to this very day, many years later- as you may plainly see.

Up above the stage is a BIG lake- held in place by the giant earthen dam. here's a few shots of it:


Also in the park is a great old mill- that the park still operates to this day.

It's pretty cool, and as I was in full "bimble" mode- completely fucking about with no "real" plan....I thought I'd take a few shots for y'all.

Here's some cool old millstones and an Indian Grinding Stone:

Here's the nice Ranger man, who didn't hassle me even tho I'd parked my bike in the handicapped spots, to get some pix. He WAS really nice, and told me the mill was going to open up any minute, if I wanted to stick around...

But I had to git- so I busted a move on outta there for my next stop.

Stay tuned for more....


ricochetrider screwed with this post 05-17-2012 at 06:11 AM
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:02 AM   #3
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Right, then. Moving along...

After leaving the park, I popped in to see an old friend- in fact he told me he just turned 70! He calls me every now and then to chat and always says- "If you're ever up our way on your bike, stop by." - to which I always say, "Yes I Will!" These folks, whom I've known for many years, are the ones who initiated the Little Buffalo Festival so many years ago, and conceived the idea for the locally funded, volunteer-built Moore Pavilion. He heads the effort to keep the festival going to this day- in fact "they" (and you know who "they" are) call him Buffalo Tom. Of course it being Mother's day, the daughter was there too, so it was old home day. As I was getting off the bike, The Mrs. said "Hi, Welcome! You're just in time for Brunch!" I was like... "Um well, I wasn't trying to do THAT..." But of course they knew that, and it'd have been rude to refuse their hospitality and rush off after not having seen them in a while. And as I was on a "bimble" anyway and had nowhere else to be and no schedule... It was a natch to stick around and just enjoy some family time with great long-time friends.

Now these folks live WAY out in the country. Tom has an addition off the garage where he spends his "own" time, and the place is rife with long standing vibes of yore- the spirits of all manner of people and things which have crossed the threshold over the decades abound, and the peacefulness in the room is as thick as fog on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The entire building was recently rebuilt, and a fantastic job it was,too- actual traditional timber frame construction done by some mutual friends. Where the place was darn near uninhabitable in Winter (before the rebuild) it is now tight and snug, with real GLASS windows and everything! If it were right downtown, it wouldn't be any more upscale.
First off, here's a painting of how it USED to look:

And here it is now in its new found glory:

Why, the little place even has its own "refrigerator":

As I rolled up, the ladies were walking in from the Vegetable garden with arms full of goodies- which then became Brunch. It was delish and the visit stretched long- we hung out for a couple of hours. Eventually, tho, it was time to move, so we said our "see ya laters" and I suited up. I fired up the Norton and as I rolled out, they waved, I waved, and I watched them grow smaller in my mirrors, Them finally disappearing altogether as I rounded the first bend, just down the road.

PS: I am SO blessed to have so many great friends in my life. Few things are as important. I give thanks now (and try to do so most every day) for them all- as well as for the many blessings in my life!


To wrap it up, I left my friend's house and went south and west a little, riding a sweet little PA country lane named Germany Ridge Road, in between PA rte 274 (out of New Bloomfield) and rte 74 (going South now). Wasn't sure how it was gonna play out, But IME no bad things have ever come out of simply following he front wheel around on great country roads.
As it turns out, I made it to the top of Waggoner's Gap on rte 74, North of Carlisle, and then kinda bolted home from there.
It was sweet riding all the way, with the typical few cars, and many bikes! here's some pix from along the way.

Now, I gotta tell ya- PA's Lancaster County (home of the "hollywood" Amish) gets a lot of press and glory about its farming. BUT good ol Perry County stands pretty darn tall in this regard as well- tho it's MUCH more low key- getting about zero glory or props. AND there's a huge amount of Amish all over PA- NOT only in Lancaster County. There's THREE farms visible in this picture alone:

Jus sayin.

PA rte 74 going south from the top of Waggoner's Gap:

Here's a "squeaker" view from the top, of PA's great Cumberland Valley

An interesting point about this spot-
Waggoner's Gap is right on the major East Coast inland Migratory Fly-Way. The Audobon Society has a Kiosk there, and folks come from miles around, to see the annual migration- you can see many many hawks, eagles, and other migrating birds in prime season. Hawk Mountain, in Berks(?) County gets most of the local glory but the fly-way runs in a straight line to Waggoner's Gap. The view from the top, of the Cumberland Valley- used to be pretty enjoyable and easy to enjoy from the immediate roadside- until it was hogged up by THIS:

Now you have to go a couple hundred yards down the mountain to get a clear view of the entire valley.
This dude is a Ham radio Operator. He built all this shit up there, I guess he owns the land- and has a camera up there, with a speaker. He's actually been known to YELL at folks if they get to close to his compound(!) even as he sits in his office in town... Cuz HE ain't hanging out up on the mountain top! He had ALL manner of annoying lights up there for a while but I think he took them down after the whole world protested to the local authorities that the lights were killing them. Aside from that gak, there's some kinda big tower there (on the right), that's been there forever... tho it never blocked the view.

So there's some back ground and info for y'all's reading pleasure. From there, I rode down the mountain and turned left to parallel the ridge, riding out east on PA rte 944, back towards Harrisburg. I hopped up on the freeway (I-81) to finish out the run back to the house, and turned the Norton back into the drive, and into its "stall", in the "stable".

A happy day's riding for sure. The bike ran well- REALLY well. At the end of the ride, as I was running up thru the gears, I felt something smacking me in the ankle tho- from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd gear. Looking down, I found that the kick lever was winding downwards as I revved up, and would snap back into position after each shift! Didn't do it from 3rd to 4th tho- go figure. So I guess the barsteward isn't perfect YET, it still has one more trick up its tail pipe....
But it held oil, and ran like it was glad to be out.

As was I.

Thanks guys, for riding along!
Happy belated Mutha's Day, all you Muthas.


ricochetrider screwed with this post 05-17-2012 at 06:16 AM
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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Sweet report and super sweet bike. Imma gonna have me a norton someday

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Old 02-21-2014, 07:36 PM   #5
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Just read this ride report a few years late. I lo e riding through Perry County and feel blessed to live near such great riding. I like to stop at the Delville bridge also. Its a nice break for a picnic lunch or just to stretch the legs. I've even jumped in the creek on a hot day! Nice bike, I'll be lookin out for ya!
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:29 AM   #6
42 JAY
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Location: Newport, Pa
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I'll join ya on this old thread! I love it up here in Perry county! I used to live in Hanover and took a bike ride to little buffalo state park about 13 years ago. There I met a redhead and wasn't long till I moved up. Got married and stayed. I love it up here. Love riding the back roads and dirt roads. Love riding Juniata County also. I hear some guys on adventure bikes and dualsports hook up at Summersale diner and ride up here. I would love to hook up with them sometime. Later.:
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