|04-28-2013, 06:31 PM||#1|
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: The Not-So-Free State
First ride across the Mason-Dixon line
Friday at work a friend texts me asking if I want to go on a ride this weekend. My first thought: hell yeah! Just before he sent me the text, I was looking for different routes to ride. I had decided to head up to Thurmont, just north of Frederick, MD to do some riding. I asked him where he wanted to go. The reply: Gettysburg. I'm fine with that. I've never been there, always wanted to go there.
We meet up at 10 the next morning and grab some quick breakfast. He's trying to get his bike registered in Maryland, so we head to an inspection place and spend 15 minutes there while his bike's inspected. Next stop was Woodstock. He was in the mood for a Bloody Mary. We arrive at the Woodstock Inn where there were 3 patrons and 2 bartenders-including one that was incredibly hot-sorry, no pics.
My buddy has the aforementioned Bloody Mary and I had a Coke. The guy down the bar starts talking to us-some old timer that's lived forever in this area. I told him our ultimate destination and our intended route up 32. He suggests getting off onto 26 and heading over to 97 as we'll miss all the traffic heading to Westminster, MD. OK says I and we headed off. Given the traffic on the small stretch of 32 we were on to get to 26, the guy was right about taking 97, which ended up being a 2 lane road through some newly green trees. Perfect! After Westminster, we arrive here:
Those two signs mark two firsts for me. It's the first time I've ridden a motorcycle across the Mason-Dixon line, and, more importantly, the first time I've ridden a bike across state lines. That's one advantage of living in a small state. When I lived in Texas and North Carolina, it was hours to the borders, and I never had a reason to bike there. So, this is my very first biking experience to the North!
While we were at the state line, the owners of the house next to the road walk up and we begin to chat. I tell them I'm an archaeologist and, obviously, have an interest in history. The gentleman, who is also originally from Texas, tells me the the creek next to the house was where J.E.B. Stewart watered his horses. Cool! I find it crazy to think that the guy was a major general and died when he was my age.
Next stop was here-and this is the only photo I got of the place:
My friend doesn't like to stop and take pictures, and didn't want to tour the battlefield, so those pictures will have to wait until another time.
The ride back was fairly uneventful except the bugs were out. I really enjoyed having a full face helmet on while my friend got pelted in the face. For some reason I was having a hard time starting the bike with the starter-no worries because I can always kickstart it, but the battery is only a few months old. We again stopped at the Woodstock Inn and had a drink. The same bartender was still there and I still have no picture-next time!
Today the rain was supposed to move in, but I wanted to go for a ride. It'd have to be nearby though. I chose a route on Google Earth between here and Annapolis and took off. The reason I chose the route was because of all the trees on the map-and I love trees, if not the pollen. Here are some pics I took along the ride:
Notice the winding road sign in the background-something I rarely saw in eastern North Carolina.
Notice the marsh in the background. I've gone from hilly woodland to the river all in the matter of a few miles-again, something I never experienced in eastern NC or Texas.
When I stopped here I noticed why I was having a hard time starting my bike:
The screw was falling off the terminal post. Oh well. I figured it probably fell off on the way to Gettysburg. If it's lasted 100 miles since then, it'll likely last the 10 miles home. I pushed the screw back in and the bike started again, no problem this time!
I got back home without the bike dying and promptly replaced the nut and added a little loctite for good measure. There were a couple of things of which I was reminded this weekend. First, it pays to talk to people. From the hot chick behind the bar (which was admittedly easy) to the old guy sitting in front of the bar to the people at the state line. It's amazing what you'll learn by talking to people. The second is that you can't replicate smells. All that riding in the greenery with all the beautiful pictures of trees, and the one thing that disappoints me is that I can't replicate that fresh smell there. You guys will have to use your imagination!
|04-29-2013, 11:48 AM||#2|
Joined: Jul 2009
Nice report. I was mapping out this same route last week myself, so hopefully I'll get to ride it soon. BTW, love the bike.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
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