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Old 07-12-2014, 10:33 PM   #31
ArmyMedic
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Always great reports Dr. Greg, so much more than the ride. Keep it up.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:08 AM   #32
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Enjoy your reports Dr. Greg. I'm a retired mechanical engineer/history buff/GS rider so I really feel that you talk my language....
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:34 AM   #33
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Hope you pay a visit to that couple who saved your ass

Keep the report coming DG
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:14 AM   #34
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I'm in...looking forward to the journey...GS rider of roughly the same vintage as yourself....as you are into museums-put the Curtiss Museum on your list-Hammondsport NY-Finger Lakes region-appx an hour or so north of Watkins Glenn...worth a trip...look me up if in SE Pa...on the Delaware river south and east of Allentown Pa...garage space and lots of room.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:39 AM   #35
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Bon Voyage Doc!


Sitting on the Bluff
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:24 PM   #36
Dr. Greg OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyMedic View Post
Always great reports Dr. Greg, so much more than the ride. Keep it up.
Hey thanks ArmyMedic. Wait a minute, was that a compliment? I think it was, so I'll take it in that vein. Ha ha, just kidding. Glad you're enjoying my style of "ride reporting" and thanks for coming along.

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Old 07-13-2014, 03:27 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyZA View Post
Enjoy your reports Dr. Greg. I'm a retired mechanical engineer/history buff/GS rider so I really feel that you talk my language....
Well howdy there TonyZA...yeah we retired ME's need to stick together. To say nothing of history buffs/GS riders. My language used to be differential equations, but man, sure glad I've put that past me now. Oh, yeah, for a while my language was Fortran, then PDP-11 assembler language, then Pascal, then C, then 6811 assembler language...hah, everything but a REAL language.

And---of course---thanks for coming along for the ride. I'm makin' progress...

--Doc
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:34 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R0CKETMAN View Post
Hope you pay a visit to that couple who saved your ass

Keep the report coming DG
If I paid visits to everyone who's ever saved my tail, I'd never get anywhere!

Seriously, did I forget something/somebody? Y'know, memory is the first thing to go. Er...well, the second thing.

--Doc
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:37 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamspc View Post
I'm in...looking forward to the journey...GS rider of roughly the same vintage as yourself....as you are into museums-put the Curtiss Museum on your list-Hammondsport NY-Finger Lakes region-appx an hour or so north of Watkins Glenn...worth a trip...look me up if in SE Pa...on the Delaware river south and east of Allentown Pa...garage space and lots of room.
Well howdy there grahamspc. I'll definitely see if I can work in the Curtiss Museum; I visited the New England Air Museum on a 2010 trip back east, and thoroughly enjoyed it. And I'll be reasonably close to the Finger Lakes region.

I have several inmates to visit in PA, but if my schedule works out I'll drop by. Would you mind PM'ing me your phone/address? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-13-2014, 03:38 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Greg View Post
Hey thanks ArmyMedic. Wait a minute, was that a compliment? I think it was, so I'll take it in that vein. Ha ha, just kidding. Glad you're enjoying my style of "ride reporting" and thanks for coming along.

--Doc
Of course it was a quote. As long as the ride does not resemble your interaction with the forest creatures or some variety of cold. Keep the rubber side down.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:40 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by luckychucky View Post
(Pic of Dr. Greg & inmate luckychucky) Bon Voyage Doc!

Sitting on the Bluff
You guys should have witnessed how luckychucky greeted me when I rode up to his place---I'll write about it in the installment for "Saturday, July 12." I'll say this much: he knew I was a Richard Wagner fan!

--Doc

P.S. I think your picture of my departure came out a lot better than mine. And my camera is fancier...NO FAIR!
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:46 PM   #42
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Saturday, July 12: Joplin, Missouri --> Poplar Bluff, Missouri.


Leaving Joplin...hard to avoid I-44...

Although my intent on this trip was "shunpiking" (avoiding interstates for you young folks), there really wasn't much reason NOT to take I-44 from Joplin to Springfield, Missouri. So I girded my loins, and hit the on-ramp:


I-44 in Southwest Missouri.

I skirted the southern edge of Springfield, Missouri, and turned south, bound for Ozark, Missouri. At least the name is suggestive. I knew from prior experience in NW Arkansas that the Ozarks have some of the best riding around. I had no experience with the Missouri Ozarks, but surely they should be enjoyable...

My inital taste of the town of Ozark was not good. I stopped at your typical gas station/convenience store to refuel (this was about 0930 on Saturday morning) and the place was a "zoo" of people loading up their bass boats with ice and beer for a big party weekend. For some reason that just rubbed me the wrong way. I'm sure they were all good people (they always are), but somehow...

At least I was back on a 2-lane road (AR hwy 14 thru Sparta, Bruner, Dogwood (!), and Ava...


At least I was back on 2-track...

There were rather dense woods on both sides (this pic doesn't do them justice) with a fairly narrow "corridor" down the middle. I had no fear that a DEER might jump out at me---it was too friggin' hot for the forest rats to be out and about...


Just keep Wotan between the trees...

If you can ZOOM IN on the sign below, you'll see that this is "Eleven Point River." I have this thing for taking fotos of running water. Tried to get the second one from the bridge...didn't come out too well.




"Eleven Point River" --- Missouri Ozarks.


Where O where have my other "Saturday" photos gone?

Leaving Ava, one soon enters the Mark Twain National Forest, and AR 14 becomes DELIGHTFUL!! Nice curves, beautiful woodlands, a little "roller coaster" action, and---best of all---NO TRAFFIC!!! In the villages there were plenty of pickups and bass boats, but a few miles out of town and NUTHIN'!! A perfect riding situation.

Now in the best curves you just can't take pictures, but I SWEAR I took at least a few on AR 14. But for the love of Pete I can't find 'em...what a bummer.

I stopped for lunch in "West Plains, AR" and enjoyed a little air-conditioning (it WAS still plenty toasty, with humidity that made my New Mexico toes curl...). After lunch, the segment from Alton to Doniphan was again just wonderful. In fact, I began to LONG for some straight roads, just so I could relax! And the steering on the GSW is not at all heavy.

Oh yeah, recall that I had left the suspension setting on "RIDER ONLY" even though I was carrying about 90 lb of luggage (incl. cases). I theorized that my light body weight (well...) would work to my advantage. And I'm happy to say that the GSW handled PERFECTLY. Very neutral, confidence-inspiring, and entirely, well...just a joy to ride!! I love that bike more and more. SOOOO glad I took the test-ride of die wasserboxer.


Arrival at the domicile of inmate "luckychucky"...

I had previously contacted "luckychucky" about staying with him in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Shortly before 1700 hours I zig-zagged thru the backstreets of Poplar Bluff...courthouse on this corner, police station on that corner...AHA here I was. As I approached his driveway, he trotted out and waved me in to an, um, rather "tilted" slot in his driveway. At 145 lbs, I'm not the greates at manhandling the GSW, so I visibly showed some apprehension. "Aw, c'mon" said Chucky, so I went for it. Piece of Cake!

Lurking in the shadows was his lovely wife Melissa with a camcorder, videoing my arrival. After I got inside their house, they played back the video---the accompanying soundtrack to my arrival was none other than Richard Wagner's RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES!! If Chucky ever gets his camcorder to talk to his MBP, he'll send me the video, and I'll post it here (or maybe he'll post it). I couldn't believe that somebody actually READ my ride report, and identified my interests.

Since somebody actually READS these things, I'll have to think before I write...not my usual style.

Anyway, got to Chuck & Melissa's place, and we later went out for dinner. Don't they make a lovely couple?


Chuck & Melissa --- what an excellent pair of hosts!


The Plan for Sunday, July 13.

Chuck volunteered to take me kayaking in the Black River, but I declined...gotta be more adventuresome, Dr. Greg! But we ended up driving around the area, so I could see some of the beautiful Southeast Missouri backcountry...those will appear in the next installment.

Till then, thanks for following, and I'm still on the road.

--Doc
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:12 PM   #43
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I love your "concept rides". Can't wait for your musings about the murder story.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:45 PM   #44
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Ah yes, the murder story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
I love your "concept rides". Can't wait for your musings about the murder story.
That is something that I'm completely unprepared for. I'm sure the site (i.e. Big Moose Lake) is completely different in situation than in 1906. Yet, there may be similarities.

So---like you---I'm very "expectant" to my reaction to the whole environment. Reading that book was the ENTIRE reason for this trip. During the trip, that sorta gets lost in the details, yet...

Thanks very much for your interest. There's SO MUCH of history that is fascinating. Literature, too. I'm so glad to be alive in a time and a place where one has the freedom to learn and experience...

It'll be interesting.

--Doc
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:03 PM   #45
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Sunday, July 13: Poplar Bluff, Missouri --> Marion, Kentucky.


Dr. Greg gets DEFLATED at 0500 hours...

After a lovely dinner at the "Wine Rack" restaurant (along with family friend Mark) we all enjoyed an excellent SANDIA (watermelon for you non-Espanol speakers). Mmmm, good. Reminded me of a story...but now is not the time. Tell ya that one later.

Last night Chuck had set up a real "Cadillac" of air mattresses for the good Doc to sleep on. Unfortunately, at 0500 hours I awoke with a "sinking" sensation, and was about an inch off the floor! I hastily moved over to the nearby couch and resumed my pursuit of Z's...no harm, no foul.


Finally, some real BREAKFAST EATERS!

Many folks eat a very light breakfast, namely none. Dr. Greg likes to have a little something, and in those cases usually resorts to a granola bar or some such. However, a REAL breakfast (BTW, see my "4-day southern New Mexico RR report" for an epic breakfast) is pretty nice. And Melissa was the best. As usual, forgot to take a pic till I had finished much of the food. That tomato was the first one I could taste since I grew my own...


Mmmm, good! Melissa is right up there with Annie (er, Mrs. Greg) in egg-cooking.


Luckychucky takes us on a "Tour de la Southeast Missouri"...

We all (Chuck, Melissa, and Doc) piled into Chucky's hauler, and set out in search of fotos. Chuck's house is right up alongside the Black River (named not for its color, but a pioneer family of that name), and he calls it "HIS" river, since the nearby Current River attracts most of the people, leaving the BR for Chuck to enjoy.

Melissa volunteered to photograph moi on/near a ped bridge on the Black River (can you spot Dr. Greg in the first pic?):








Making a fool out of myself (not really...)


Next, a few fotos by the Railroad Museum...






Hangin' around the Frisco Depot (no, not Frisco, Colorado)...

Next, Chuck insisted that I pose near the spillway (honest, all these Dr. Greg pics were Chuck's idea, not mine...don't blame me):


Doc at the "spillway"...somewhere in SE Missouri.

Then, at Lake Wappapello (?)...everyone in SE Missouri owns a boat.


I think this is Lake Wappapello...

Check out Dr. Greg and the "Big Indian" (and a couple eagles)...


Honest, that is not a Nazi salute...

Next, I had to sit on a big rock...


Sitting on a big rock somewhere...


Finally, time to leave these good people alone...

With Chuck's help, we manhandled Wotan back down the driveway (gotta test those crash bars sometime, however...) You saw the pic of Doc and Chuck in his reply a ways back...this pic of Chuck and Melissa is much better:


These folks were truly delightful to stay with...


Leaving Missouri and entering Kentucky...

IIRC, I have never set foot (or tire) in the Great State of Kentucky. So here goes...but before leaving Missouri there was more CORN. I believe my previous comment about corn for "animal feed" was wrong: Chuck opined that it was likely for ETHANOL. And I have to agree. The whole issue of using "food for fuel" is a tough one. I can see both sides, so I ain't gonna touch it here. However, in the last decade or so it seems like CORN is in just about everything. Corn sweetener, corn syrup, etc.


More corn...prolly bound for somebody's fuel tank.


The Confluence of two great rivers...

If you followed my "Lewis & Clark" trip in June 2012, you'll know that I'm very interested in that expedition. So imagine my joy when I got the opportunity to cross the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers...






Some photos of the Mississippi River near "the confluence"...

There was a pretty shabby memorial to the "Corps of Discovery" so I stopped in tribute...


You'd think that the U.S. Guvmint could maintain this better...

Prolly you can't read this unless you can "zoom in" but I have to insert it just the same. I mean, the Corps of Discovery is responsible for the opening of most of the American West. And they only lost one man. Roll call! Is your name here? Note that "York" was the black servant of Meriwether Lewis. The Indians they were to meet were greatly impressed with York's physical stature (and general nature).


Roll call! Is your name here?

Many people forget the Lewis & Clark expedition (aka Corps of Discovery) was first and foremost a military endeavor.


And these guys didn't even have air conditioning!


After crossing the Mississippi, I used my new camera's zoom feature (broken on my old camera) to capture an image of the bridge across the "Old Man"...


I gotta say the bridge over the Columbia River was much more intimidating...

I was almost ready to leave the "Lewis & Clark" monument when I saw this "survey marker"...couldn't quite get the whole plaque in my field of view...but better than nothing:


My previous host was a surveyor; he'd appreciate this...


The OHIO River...

Only a few miles beyond was the crossing of the Ohio River. Subjectively, the Ohio River appeared to be a bit larger than the Mississippi River (probably wrong, since I've heard the upper Mississippi is in flood stage; who knows what its situation is here). After having the main Lewis & Clark "boat" built, they brought it down the Ohio River to here, then up the Mississippi to the Missouri. The rest is history. So here's the Ohio...


Crossing the Ohio River...


And there are EVEN MORE rivers...

As if the confluence (I love that word) of the Mississippi and Ohio were not enough, in this general area are two more major rivers: the Tennessee and the Cumberland. The "Land Between the Lakes" National Recreation Area has long captivated me---I would love to camp there, but it is just TOO DAMN HOT right now...especially after riding all day. Perhaps on the return leg, or maybe some year in the fall.


Comments on traveling this time of year...

Y'know, just to get this far is something of a "victory" for me. A confirmed Westerner, I've never experienced the humidity of the midwest/east "up close and personal." And right now, it's a bit warmer than usual, but not much. Today was mid-90s, with about 65% humidity. I will admit that my T-shirt is pretty damp after I doff my KLIM jacket, and my undies likewise. But I'm hangin' in there. The one casualty of this weather is CAMPING. Typically I love to camp, but after a full day of riding, an air-conditioned house/motel room sounds mighty attractive. Then again, if I HAD to set up camp, I could.

The weather is supposed to cool (polar vortex?) in the next few days; that'll be welcome. Plus I'm beginning to head north. As I cross into PA and NY I'd imagine it might cool a bit. But who knows? I guess that's a bit of the "adventure." Not that what I'm doing could possibly be classed as "adventurous." That's for young guys.

Just called inmate "Go-4-It" in Walton, KY...confirming my visitation with him on Monday night. I'm SO GRATEFUL to be able to spend time with ADV inmates---infinitely preferably to a sterile motel room (or a sweltering campsite). As I penetrate the northeast I seem to have more folks on the "tentspace" list... and of course I'm looking forward to my week in Killington, Vermont. It'll be nice to be able to have a "home base" for a while. Plan on doing some day rides from there over into the Adirondacks. I'm re-reading "An American Tragedy" just to get psyched up (remember, that's the entire reason for this trip).

OK folks, time to wrap up. I'm having the time of my life. But I need your support. Send some good thoughts my way. Mrs. Greg is doing her best, which keeps me going. That, and the GSW. What a bike.

--Doc

P.S. Old "luckychucky's" great-uncle (or some such) lived to be 125 years old (he swears it's true), and is buried somewhere near Poplar Bluff, MO and termed the "Methuselah of Missouri." When he turned 100 years old, he was quoted as saying "shoot, I can work just as good as a young fella of 50..." A role model for us baby-boomers...RIP Methuselah of Missouri...
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