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Old 10-23-2010, 08:06 PM   #61
shaweetz OP
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I’ve made a resolution, for when I get back, to go slow. Not slow in the riding sense, mind you.

We’ve covered a lot of ground, and short of a canoe, the saddle of a motorcycle is, I think, the premium way to visit and take in the richness that is out there. At this point of the trip though, the weariness of just always rolling through is starting to grate. From time to time, we’ve passed a couple, or an individual, parked at a beautiful overlook, sitting in lawn chairs, enjoying the scene. And I roll by, and I think. Yes.

You could pass a day sitting in those chairs, watching the light and clouds and sounds and seasons play over the scene. You could spend a lifetime.

Autumn is advancing, and we have so many beautiful places to walk, hike and visit right at our own doorsteps. I am really looking forward to it.

---

I had a few plans for today on the table.

- make a run for the east coast, thereby touching both shores and making the trip certifiably Epic. Plus I miss the Hatteras Seashore, not having windsurfed there for a few years now.
- continue north on the Blue Ridge, strike east past DC (gross) and touch the Atlantic there. Maybe even check out the sights in DC.
- make my way up through West Virgina to visit some family of mine, something I've been trying to work into my route for a while.

Two things make the decision. Foul weather on the coast and flood warnings in NC and Virginia are one. The second is a strong dream I have about my cat. The codger was not well before we left, and I've been worried about him. The dream, like all dreams, makes little sense but the feeling is unequivocal. My cat needs me to come home.

I ride north. 500+ miles through five state lines to visit my family in Wheeling WV. A big day of superslab riding, with a small interude of a VA speeding ticket (trying to catch some dude on a red and black Thunderbird Sport ) and VA 16:



The West Virgina turnpike was so rough it ate my choke knob and one of my seat bolts, and I had to pay for the privilege. I told the dame at the final toll booth that they ought to be paying me for the therapy I'd need after riding their damned road.

She was not amused.

A fine visit with fine people, and a tour of their awesome rig (a rolling five star hotel! Damn!):



And they toured me around and treated me like a king, bringing me to this great fish place in downtown Wheeling:



These people make a mean fish sandwich.

I really love that one of the most incredible trips I've ever done starts and essentially finishes with a visit to some extended family that I don't get to see nearly enough.

Bidding them adieu, I have a mission for Pennsylvania.

Car dealership in Ohio... is confusing. I doubt it, but it sure does look like these have been here since the dealership closed its doors.



WV 2 is all steel towns and close views of nuclear cooling towers, but I'm on a mission for something else...
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:27 PM   #62
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The ought to make the first day of spring

...the day the time changes.





















I've had this mission up my sleeve for a while.

The stills are from a film shot at this location over 40 years ago: George Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, which is one of the seminal works of the zombie genre, and a movie I've been very close to lately. I've been doing a production of this film at Ottawa's Mayfair Theatre and other venues over the last year, in which the audio is stripped and the music re-scored and performed live, along with all the foley and voices, courtesy of a cadre of voice actors who occupy the front row of the theatre. So needless to say, I'm intimate with every scene and every shot.

My route took me near this cemetery, in Evans City, which is a short ride north of Pittsburgh. I have to credit thecabinet.com for the movie stills and also the tips for finding the things I needed. Observant people will notice that all the trees are different. A tornado ripped through here in the 80′s and laid waste. The cap on Kramer’s headstone is also gone, either thanks to the tornado or a fan with sticky fingers. It also turns out that the road past the cemetery is a capital motorcycling road. Icing on the cake.

I had the place to myself the whole time, which is good, because I didn’t wish to disrespect anyone with photo shenanigans. As it was, I paid my proper respect to the owners of these graves, who — while long dead — were still people who mattered to someone, and perhaps still do.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:50 PM   #63
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The beginning of the rest

Now, I have one more mission. It is time to go home.

I hammer it up through the Allegheny National Forest -- which is in full blast fall colours, the rich smell of decaying leaves is already starting to fill my helmet -- and make it as far as I can go for the day, to Coudersport HOME OF THE FALCONS. I've passed several signs declaring I am IN GOD'S COUNTRY, but my maps must be out of date.



The rest of Coudersport is quite charming, but this caught my eye, right on the main street. What has to happen such that an incredible building like this is left to fall back into the earth? A shame.

It's Friday night, and there's a fall colours festival going on. Crap. This place is booked up. I finally get a room at the charming Paul's Citgo and Motel:



An early roll out through autumn mists:



And thence through Ithica, up I81 past Syracuse, a cut through upstate NY through Mennonite communities and back roads covered in horse manure, and a border crossing at Ogdensburg, NY.

45 minutes later, I am home.



Six weeks, 10,000 miles and a lot of memories later.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #64
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For the next week, I'm processing pictures, updating this thread, and trying to figure out what I've learned; how does what I just did fit in with what comes next? I'm generally feeling a little out of sorts that I'm not on the move every day, and I seem to have a lot of possessions beyond what fits in a duffle, a tank bag, and two panniers. Do I need all of this junk???? Obviously, I do not. But overall, I'm pretty euphoric about the whole experience.



Sadly, it didn't last. I'd come home sooner than planned based on a strong feeling. My buddy:



grew very sick and was hospitalized days after I got home. Days after that, he was gone.



My great companion and friend for over twelve years:
While I will always look back at this incredible trip and know that you were happy and in the loving care of my parents, my memory will always be coloured with regret that I wasn't there in your last six weeks.

You gave us so much.
You were the best.



I should have tried harder to fit you in the tank bag.

I hate to wrap up a trip report on a note like that. But that's the real deal, and the richness of life isn't all Hollywood endings.

More than just pictures of motorcycles, I enjoy reading these reports because I get to step briefly and vicariously into the experiences of others. And every time I step out, it feels like I've gained something. I hope a few folks got something out of this ride report. It was a pleasure to put it together.
Cheers
Mike & Karen
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:38 AM   #65
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"Certifiably Epic" is a matter of perspective. I'd say you nailed it.

I'm no cat person, but my cat was a people person; rescued him as a tiny kitten from under a car hood, and he adopted me. Lost him 4 years later to kidney problems, and he passed while I was on a bike trip. But his spirit lives on....
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:05 PM   #66
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Great Report

Mike and Karen, thanks for sharing.

My wife and I feel the same way when we return from a trip. Lets sell all our stuff and just keep going. Someday I hope to make that come true.

Sorry to hear about your cat.

If your travels take you to Boston or Maine, look us up.

best

Matt and Susi

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31408987@N04/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12262654@N00/
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:48 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailwa66
"Certifiably Epic" is a matter of perspective. I'd say you nailed it.

I'm no cat person, but my cat was a people person; rescued him as a tiny kitten from under a car hood, and he adopted me. Lost him 4 years later to kidney problems, and he passed while I was on a bike trip. But his spirit lives on....
I've met plenty of cats who could give a damn about their people. But ours was family.

Se7en, dig those Tourances, and the skidplate (have you posted any details about it?). I have a strong urge to fit some DS tires back on...

Probably everyone who goes out touring for more than a few weeks comes back wondering at all the Stuff and entanglements that've piled up... a week later, you're in your Bubble of Junk again, and it has you. This time, I say, I will keep the liquidation dream alive! Purge, baby! For a week or two, anyway .
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:25 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaweetz

Probably everyone who goes out touring for more than a few weeks comes back wondering at all the Stuff and entanglements that've piled up... a week later, you're in your Bubble of Junk again, and it has you. This time, I say, I will keep the liquidation dream alive! Purge, baby! For a week or two, anyway .
I totally agree with you, I did my cross country trip back in July and I still sit at work daydreaming about the trip and all the beautiful places I visited.
I go home and don't feel attached to anything anymore, it's all just material things
There are so many beautiful things to see in this world, I just want to go out on my bike and leave everything behind.
Like you, I feel I lived on the road for 23 days with only the stuff I was carrying and I was perfectly happy
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:28 PM   #69
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I too am sorry to hear about your cat, he was very cute
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:40 AM   #70
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Nice report

From a fellow 01 Bonnie owner to another I enjoyed your report. Kudos for doing it on that Ironing board called a seat. I had mine redone with Sargents foam before my trip from CA to Canada... helped a little.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:50 PM   #71
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Thanks for a superb write-up

Now that is one grand tour! Nice to see you did it a Bonnie.
As a fellow Hinckley Bonneville owner I know what you mean when you say the bike feels great when loaded with the weight down low.
Appreciate the gear info as well.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:11 PM   #72
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I really enjoyed reading your report, thanks for sharing it - great writing and pictures. Makes me look at our Bonnie a lot differently, that's for sure!

Sorry about your cat but at least you were around in the end.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:01 PM   #73
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A quick gear question. What are those panniers you used?

Cheers,

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Old 10-28-2010, 10:13 AM   #74
shaweetz OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjs3800
From a fellow 01 Bonnie owner to another I enjoyed your report. Kudos for doing it on that Ironing board called a seat. I had mine redone with Sargents foam before my trip from CA to Canada... helped a little.
Thanks

It's all about the sheepskin. Cheap, effective. Though you do need to bring a dog hair brush along, since it gets compressed and loses its loft.

My wife had the gel pad and had no complaints. We like being able to move around a bit on the flat seat.

Keep in mind that we're doing 1.5hrs tops between short breaks, 375 to 400 miles was about our threshold of enjoyment 2-up, and 500 miles solo just about finished me off. The seat was not the issue though. I took off with the wrong bars...
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:29 AM   #75
shaweetz OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveO
A quick gear question. What are those panniers you used?

Cheers,

DaveO
Happy Trail Tetons, the craftsmanship is excellent. The gasket is pretty much toast after the trip, but it's easy to replace I imagine.

My description of the slightly convoluted mounting arrangement is here:

http://www.triumphrat.net/twins-talk...or-bonnie.html
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