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Old 04-09-2007, 08:52 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilmostro
Did I see you guys heading south on 85 just south of the SC line around 7pm?
Probably, that's about the time Saturday we were entering GA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
pics
Work is interfering with our leisure time after a week off , but one of us will be putting more into this ride report sometime later today.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:57 PM   #32
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OK, let's start this thing from the beginning, and see how far we get.

Our first few photos show Kenny's nifty intercom setup, which I am going to let him explain in more detail, either here or somewhere in the equipment forum. Technical details aside, we both agree that this was the single best investment we could have made towards this trip, as much entertainment was provided just by allowing us to chatter freely.



We thought about buying an XM radio, but after a day or two on the road really saw no need for one. We're also GPS-less, what's wrong with using a plain old map, I ask, especially when you have someone on the back to navigate?

Our original intention was to leave at oh-dark-hundred on Saturday morning, March 31, but various forces conspired against that, and so it was after 2PM when we finally set out, with the intention of making it to Lawrenceville, IL, a roughly eight-hour drive, before stopping. From my area in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, the route is north on I-75 to Chattanooga, then west on I-24 through Nashville to Pembroke, then north on ALT-41/Pennyrile Parkway, and that takes us all the way to Vincennes Indiana, which is a short hop across the state line from Lawrenceville.

The weather was beautiful most of day one (Tennessee River, Nickajack Lake),


...although we spent several quality miles first smelling, then following this fully-loaded cattle truck ...



...and then we got some good rain coming through Kentucky and southern Indiana. Kenny stayed quite dry, but I had a few wet patches



Thus ends day 1.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:20 PM   #33
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We did better with our departure time on Day 2, leaving grandpa's house by 10AM on yet another gorgeous day, with everything dry but our gloves, which we attached to the tailbag (is somethig that bog considered a tailbag? a tail-duffel?) under the straps to flap in the wind.

The midwest is kind of boring,



...there had been some flooding though...



As we continued north on Rte 41 from Vincennes, we came across this guy, hauling ass down the highway and looking cool:



We took a right turn at Terre Haute IN and went east on I-70 through Indianapolis and Dayton to Columbus.

I think this is Indianapolis:



We stopped at a Wal-Mart for lunch supplies and enjoyed them at the Greenfield rest stop, because you know we dine at only the finest establishments on the road:





Along this stretch of highway through Indiana and Ohio, we were encountering heavy gusts under a clear blue sky. Gusts are especially fun when splitting the gap between a row of semis and a concrete barricade:



In downtown Columbus, we stopped at this cool coffeeshop, the Cup O Joe:



In Columbus, we got onto I-71 north to Cleveland, and on this leg we got a nice sunset.



From Cleveland, we took I-90 along the south side of Lake Erie, and here we crossed the 1000-mile mark on our journey, a photo I posted earlier in the thread. It was a little chilly and a little rainy, but nothing much in the weather department, really.

We found a lovely inn in Erie, PA, the Tallyho-Tel (get it?!), which shared a parking lot with a lovely neighborhood bar, because, as you will see, we only stay at the best hotels while on the road.



(All kidding aside, it was clean and friendly, and we enjoyed the bar as well.)

And here ends day two.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:11 PM   #34
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Day three is when we get to the pretty stuff!

The morning of Day 3, we discovered what was to become our favorite eatery, the Buckhorn Cafe which is attached to any TA Truckstop. Seriously, good, fast, and cheap.



From Erie PA, it's a short hop up I-90 to and through Buffalo into the Niagara Falls area. Pretty nice day today, but the closer we got to Buffalo, the chillier it became, until we hit the low forties Fahrenheit just before getting to the border.

Buffalo:


Crossing the Niagara River at Fort Erie, the southernmost bridge:


Canada didn't even ask for photo ID before letting us into their country


On the Canadian side, in Ontario, we took the Niagara River Parkway north along the west shore of the Niagara for several miles, through the beautiful small town of Chippawa, and into Niagara Falls proper.

Chippawa area and the less-touristy side of Niagara Falls:



I wish I'd taken photos of the homes along this stretch of road, because there was a lot of beautiful property there. I also imagine it is quite expensive property.

There is a monument to the Chippawa Battlefield, where the Canadians staved off an army of invading Americans (No one seems pissed off about it nowadays, though.)





As we enter Niagara proper, we see the rapids:



and then the falls themselves.





A lot of ice and snow yet:





After the waterfall itself, of course the elevation of the river is much lower, but the walkways and city are at the higher elevation of the river pre-falls. There are enormous walls along the lower side of the falls for miles which are lined with stone and brick, old structures and free-standing buildings, and a few things we found mysterious. I would have liked more time to explore these, although how you can get down along the walls safely and legally is another question, I suppose.









There is a building on the Canadian side that houses huge lights that are shined on the falls at night, in colors that constantly shift. (We took these from the Space Needle.)



The first night, we had dinner at the Guru, an indian restaurant that I would highly recommend to anyone else who visits the area. Excellent food and service.

We were in Niagara for a couple of days, we arrived Monday early in the day and left midday Wednesday. We visited this neat Buddhist temple north of the touristy area of Niagara Falls:





Some beautiful statues and carvings to see here, in stone and bronze.







While there, we encountered a taxi driver, Norm, who introduced himself as a self-appointed Protector of the temple. He gave us some friendly advice, namely, a Category 7 hurricane will strike the southeastern US sometime in June or July, and will sit right over Atlanta, wreaking havoc and destruction. Norm said we should definitely seek out high ground during this, one of the phenomena marking the beginning of the End Times. We mentioned that Atlanta was roughly 1000' above sea level, would this be high enough to escape death? Perhaps, he agreed, perhaps it would be high enough.

So, to wipe from our minds the specter of certain death, we went to a goofy shop, Souvenir City, and had our photo taken with an enormous plaster moose and then in a diorama sort of thing.



We watched a resident glassblower do his work, too.


We went to the American side of the Niagara River, and found it to be very inferior to the Canadian side. You just don't get the same view of the falls (although there is a little foot bridge which protrudes over the river to give non-passported Americans a decent view), and it's pretty trashy and dismal on that side. We were also approached by 'Mike', a fifty-plus-year-old man reeking of smoke of the ganja variety and dressed in garb meant to look official though clearly not official at all, who did his best to extort a $5 'parking fee' from us. Unsuccessful, he then followed us around until we took our photos and left.

We did enjoy a ride around tiny Goat Island, a really pretty little park which was also graced by black squirrels, something I had never seen before, and red squirrels as well. We took to calling them 'squirrels of color', which I guess means we're easily amused. I wasn't successful in photographing any of them, though.

On our last night, we rode the ferris wheel, great fun and great view.



Then we went to Jack's Bar and watched a really great cover band whose name escapes me, but Kenny will remember and probably will correct this post.



We had so much fun, we hated to leave.



It was also pretty chilly, in the low forties Wednesday morning, although Tuesday it was mostly in the fifties.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:01 PM   #35
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Wednesday afternoonish, we headed out -- crossed the Rainbow Bridge again from the Canadian side to the American side, and then took 18F and 18 north from Niagara, along the southern shore of Lake ONtario, and around to Rochester.

This area was pretty chilly, windy, and desolate-looking, but again, some beautiful old and new homes in charming towns, and stunning views.







The clouds begin to look low and threatening, and we see what could be snowfall in the distant north. This is around the time we hit Rochester NY, picked up I-390, and headed south.



We outran the worst of it down much of the east coast, but sometimes it nipped at our heels.



We had another Buckhorn dinner at the TA in Dansville, went south a little further until we got to Corning, and then took Rte 15 south through the heart of Pennsylvania in the dark.

We lucked into a really neat old hotel, called the Genetti, in downtown Williamsport, PA. It was built in the 20s and still has much of the old decor, the high ceilings, the glass doorknobs, even ornate molding in the ballrooms. It even has mailslots and chutes that run parallel to the elevator shafts, creepy dark corners, funny noises, and all kinds of ambience. In the off-season, they also have killer rates, cheaper even than the Tallyho-tel if you can believe that.







Room with a view:





We would have liked to spend more time in Williamsport, which by several accounts is full of great restaurants and good shopping, but alas the weather and the clock were chasing us.

Thursday, we slogged southward through Pennsylvania (rte 15 South to Harrisburg), then I-81 south across a corner of Maryland and into Virginia. There is some beautiful country in Pennsylvania, including some pretty old architecture





and the Nipple Convalescent Home



Also we spotted some Amish plowing their fields with horse-drawn ploughs, although I didn't catch the photo.

Feeding squirrels at the Hagerstown rest stop:


We stopped in Harrisonburg, VA for Thursday evening, and by this time it was bitterly cold in the evenings -- that Canadian cold air is starting to catch up with us.

Harrisonburg looks like a nice little town to visit, although we didn't spend as much time there as we would have liked.





Always interesting characters out and about:


The next morning, Friday, we get to run portions of Skyline Drive and the northernmost stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway! But that will have to wait until tomorrow's post, where I promise to wrap up the story.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:43 PM   #36
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Heading east on 33 we head for the Skyline Drive. Like the Blue Ridge Parkway soaring elevations and breathtaking vistas were the order of the day.

So heading out 33


Past the old Thunderbird


Through some beautiful farmland


And a sign directing us to one of the most beautiful roads on the east coast. Of course with the tempreature in the mid thirties we opted to head south


And finally the entrance to the Skyline Drive


For most of the Skyline we had the road to ourselves. The weather although cold was beautiful


Thus ends the beautiful Skyline Drive and begins the Blue Ridge Parkway




And once again soaring heights and breath taking vistas


Nature Calls and a warning of local wild life



Climbing higher the tempreature got lower

brrrr


We got off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and took 220 to Roanoke and took 81 unfourtantly we encountered a huge blizzard that was so bad that it got really dark and we could not get any pictures of it as the tempreature began to rapidly drop into the upper twenties. This storm lasted until we at last decided to pull off into Marion. Covered with snow and ice we stopped for some lodging / pizza / and a nice Merlot (yes in the driving snow I located wine and also had to locate a cork screw)


The next day thinking the cold was behind us the tempreature dropped yet another few degrees to the lower twenties


So we loded up on some really good country cooking and were once again off to do some more exploring.


We decided to do a little riding and exploring up around Sugar Grove but the tempreature continued to stay around 21 - 22 degrees and some significant snow flurries turned us back


So back on to 81 in search of warmer weather we had one last pass to negotiate and yes the tempreature dropped once again to 21 - 22


Heading south the tempreature rose to a balmy 55 by the time we reached Atlanta, GA.



We were on the rode for 8 Days during which for approximatly 2200 miles the tempreature never got above 50. The bike performed flawlessly and got great gas milage. We encountered 30 - 40 MPH constant wind gusts and the sun rarely peeked out. We Had a lot of fun and met alot of people. Niagara Falls is a beautiful and magical place to be shared with someone special.

I hope you all have enjoyed this humble trip report.

Advrydrs
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:17 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvRydr
We Had a lot of fun and met alot of people. Niagara Falls is a beautiful and magical place to be shared with someone special.

I hope you all have enjoyed this humble trip report.

Advrydrs
Thanks for the report. What kind of people did you meet?

Also, if you're in this area, this run'll spoil you for riding roller coasters.

I hope the next time you're up this direction the Canadian weather's more friendly!
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:16 PM   #38
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Forgive my ignorance...but as of 4/11 I can't figure out where you guys are in relation to Toronto. On a previous thread you mentioned passing through Toronto. If that's still the plan, and you haven't passed through, give me a shout. We have a spare bedroom and can put you up. We are also about 7 km from a Motorrad dealer, and even closer to downtown.

Email me via my site if interested www.motorcycle-overland.com

Cheers & safe journeys!!
- Lorne
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:57 PM   #39
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Puke East...

If you're planning on heading our way later this season and are looking for local beta for Newfoundland drop by our website and post your questions. ridetherock.com.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:05 AM   #40
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Forgive my ignorance...but as of 4/11 I can't figure out where you guys are in relation to Toronto.
They got as far as Niagara Falls and then headed home.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:34 AM   #41
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I've used that crapper before!







Didn't you have bags on that bike at one point?
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:51 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by timk519
Thanks for the report. What kind of people did you meet?

Also, if you're in this area, this run'll spoil you for riding roller coasters.

I hope the next time you're up this direction the Canadian weather's more friendly!
Aside from Norm, the self-appointed protector of the Buddhist temple, and Mike, the would-be parking-fee extortionist ... we found everyone on the Canadian side particularly to be extremely friendly. Even the Ferris wheel operator wanted to have a good chat (in the tourist off-season, I imagine she gets lonely!).

Additionally came across some exceptional restaurants and hotels. The Guru Indian restaurant in Niagara Falls was particularly enjoyable. Also, for a budget hotel especially, the Niagara Falls Travelodge offered exceptional service and a great location, if you enjoy being right in the touristy area. And I think Williamsport, PA and the Genetti hotel is worthy of its own visit, I really wish we could have spent more time there.

We planned a little more visiting time with both relatives and ADV folks on the eastern leg of our loop, but time and weather just didn't allow the meanderings we had hoped for, which is as good an excuse as any to take more trips in the coming months.

Oh man, I love roller coasters...
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:58 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by tor1150r
AdvRyder(s)
Forgive my ignorance...but as of 4/11 I can't figure out where you guys are in relation to Toronto. On a previous thread you mentioned passing through Toronto. If that's still the plan, and you haven't passed through, give me a shout. We have a spare bedroom and can put you up. We are also about 7 km from a Motorrad dealer, and even closer to downtown.

Email me via my site if interested www.motorcycle-overland.com

Cheers & safe journeys!!
- Lorne
Thank you for the kind offer, but we made it back home to Atlanta late in the day Saturday, April 7.

While we were there, we meant to wander north into Toronto on a day-trip, but between being a little slow to get out of bed in the morning and finding plenty to occupy our time right there around the falls during our short stay, well, we didn't make it up there.

Our original thought was actually to come up through the midwest US, through Michigan, around the northern end of Lake Huron, and then down along the east side of Georgian Bay to Toronto and Niagara, but with weather and timing concerns, we amended our plan very early on.

We were dying to visit the Toronto BMW dealership too, ah well, next time
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:59 AM   #44
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If you're planning on heading our way later this season and are looking for local beta for Newfoundland drop by our website and post your questions. ridetherock.com.
thanks, will do!
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:31 PM   #45
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Oh man, I love roller coasters...
Do that road at about 75 MPH, and see what your heart rate does.

Mine was a-goin' pitter-pat-pitter-pat-pitter-pat in a most rapid fashion.

Enjoy!
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