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Old 07-25-2014, 10:24 AM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Greg View Post
July 24: Preface to Dr. Greg's Return Trip...

(I used to be a competitive road cyclist, in SoCal in the early 70s...collision w/a pickup during a training ride (1) killed my best friend, (2) put me in traction for 2 months, (3) unconscious for 2 weeks...pretty much ended my racing career. And I was a pretty good climber (137 lbs back than...)

Oh
Wow, doing pretty well considering you must have had damn near a complete rebuild.

Great report. Enjoying the updates. I know it's a pain doing it on the road. Rewarding for those who can't be on the road right now though. We can enjoy the trip anyway
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:09 PM   #122
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Like I said, I guess I have a "durable" body Y'know, I've kinda gotten into doing the RR updates; at least when I have a reasonable place to stay. As I've said, the part about writing ride reports I like best is reading them a year later.

Thanks for following.

--Doc

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Wow, doing pretty well considering you must have had damn near a complete rebuild.

Great report. Enjoying the updates. I know it's a pain doing it on the road. Rewarding for those who can't be on the road right now though. We can enjoy the trip anyway
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:20 PM   #123
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Friday, July 25: Killington, Vermont --> East Meredith, New York.

After sitting around the resort for a week (well, I did do the Big Moose Lake ride...) it was time to leave. Set the alarm for oh-God-thirty and started getting packed...had a little trouble leaving.


In addition to Mowing, you guys have another thing we don't do in New Mexico...

When I strolled out to move Wotan into a better place to load, he was all covered in DEW! I guess I had seen this before, but it is SO strange...we never have dew in New Mexico. So I had to go back in, get a towel, and wipe the dew off. Kind of a pain...

After getting all packed, figured I better take a pic before I left, so here it is:


Dr. Greg and Wotan ready to leave Vermont...bare feet and all.

Note the bare feet. I go barefoot all summer long (well, during all warmish weather); as a result my feet get "durable" enough to walk on gravel, etc. with no discomfort. I just like going barefoot. I've caught flak for wrenching in bare feet (I wouldn't work in a machine shop barefoot), but it depends on the job. I mount tires barefoot, for example...

BTW, just before I took that pic, a gentleman called over and said "hope you're wearin' more gear than that..." We had a nice chat; he was a former Goldwing rider who was interested in Wotan. I assured him that I always wore ATGATT (which I do).

Then, literally after riding out of the resort driveway, my stupid GPS just turned off and went blank. Now what? Took it out of the cradle and turned it on---it came back up and functioned flawlessly the rest of the day (I occasionally have to remove the battery to get it back on track). I do like the Garmin Montana, but it has its quirks.


Lotsa Vermont ski areas...and quaint little towns.

Trying to atone for my "interstate" sins, I took VT 100 south from Killington, all the way to Wilmington. Passed thru a bunch more ski areas, and several "quaint" little towns. Shoulda stopped and taken a pic or two of the quaint buildings, but by the time I thought of it I was past, and tough to turn around. Oh, well... You've all seen enough green country in this RR anyway.

Plus, I said I might not take many fotos on the return trip.

Man, from the look of it, skiing is BIG BIDNESS in Vermont. Lotta $$$ must pass thru these quaint little ski towns. Snow is two things Dr. Greg dislikes: COLD and WET. Never learned to ski; didn't grow up in the right part of the country anyway...

Oh yeah, one FIRST for me: I was removing my helmet, and it slipped out of my hands and fell in back of me right on the ground! Never had that happen before...felt like a fool. Helmet was fine: the shell certainly be able to withstand a bigger impact than that, but conceivably it coulda done some damage to the peak (the peak kinda protects the face shield). But no harm done, thankfully.


It's SUMMER: make hay while the sun shines...

In this region, can't do much roadwork in the winter. So let's do it all while Dr. Greg is passin' through...


This was a LONG one...

While I sat in line (too chicken to ride to the front) I noticed some interesting rock strata alongside:


This was the only thing to look at while waiting for the CD...

Once our group started moving, there musta been five miles of dirt road "under construction." No problem: dirt is much preferable to gravel. And it was still pretty Green Mountain National Forest.


Back into New York...

I couldn't seem to find a way to avoid the Troy/Albany area---had to hit those toll booths once again (toll was free, BTW). But it was much earlier on Friday afternoon than before; traffic was mercifully fairly light.

Oh yeah, while riding along NY 7 somewhere before Troy (I think) I passed the shop of MAX BMW...hey, I've heard of them! If I'd know it was coming, I mighta stopped, but prolly not.

Was gonna take back roads into East Meredith (there are a bunch), but I wanted to call my buddy Colin ahead of time, and I was afraid my AT&T phone might not have service back on those roads. So I stayed on I-88 into Oneonta (phoned him there), and eventually manhandled Wotan onto the uneven terrain of his place (had to dig a spot for the sidestand; these pics courtesy of Colin)...


How much does this bike weigh again?

But we finally landed...


Success! See, I really do wear all that gear...

We will have a good dinner tonight (don't worry, I'll get a pic). Then I'm debating whether to bypass the sidetrip up to South Otselic, and head directly for my buddy John in Forksville, PA. Would be a little easier, but I won't get up here again for a while. We'll see. May depend on the weather forecast...

--Dr. Greg
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:21 AM   #124
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July 26: Saturday morning update...

Wanna review a little more of the previous evening...recall I was with my old friends Colin & wife Taney a little outside of rural East Meredith, NY.


Friday evening: as usual in the "US East" --- greenery abounds.

Here's one view of their house, the picture window has a beautiful view out to the woods:


Getting this house "livable" took a lotta work...ask Colin.

Here's the view out that big picture window (taken from inside the house):


This view almost rivals Forksville, PA...

There's a smaller (and higher) balcony where Colin and I hung out in the evening...


Kinda hard to get work done in these surroundings...

Like moi, Colin is a mechanical engineer, and teaches dynamics (and robotics) at SUNY Binghamton. Same stuff I used to do; in fact we used to work together on robotics research (those were the days...)

My promised dinner pic didn't turn out very well. The food was excellent (I gave it FIVE stars), but Taney had turned her head away just when I snapped. Why didn't I take another? Those electrons are expensive!

Finally, had to get a shot of one of Colin's three cats (Mrs. Greg is a cat enthusiast [also dogs and kids]...this is for her).


A contented cat...I believe its name is "Schrodinger" (get it?)


Saturday morning...

Since my hosts are relatively late risers (even later than me), I strolled down to check on Wotan. He was reveling in the greenery. Sure don't see this in New Mexico...


I don't wanna leave!

Even the cows were contented here...



What was that saying about "contented cows" (showing my age...)

So later this morning I'll leave for Forksville, PA, and possibly the most beautiful view of this entire trip. However, I may not have any connectivity up there, so no updates for a while. Dunno where I'll be staying after that; thought about camping, but not in the rain. Yes, I'm a wimp...comes with age, at least with me.

--Doc
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:29 AM   #125
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:50 AM   #126
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Well, howdy there Mark. Good to have you along. We never did have that beer together...I think that was around 2008

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Old 07-26-2014, 11:29 AM   #127
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July 26: Saturday lunch update.

Today might just be the last "easy" riding day of this trip...like I've said, during the "return" leg sometimes you just wanna get home. But this morning a few thoughts occurred to me that I think I'll take some time (er, kill some time) to share...


Leaving Colin's paradise...

Colin and Taney---being self-professed "night owls" (and hence latish risers)---didn't lead me to expect much for breakfast. Actually what I was looking forward to were the canteloupe and fresh-picked blueberries that I was too full to consume the previous night.

Thus, imagine my surprise when this plate was thrust in front of me:


An unexpectedly good breakfast!

After packing, I managed to get a pic of Colin & Taney (rhymes with "Annie") down by Wotan:


A pair of old (and good) friends; more wonderful hospitality.


Rural America: NASCAR, muscle shirts, and the odd shotgun blast...

Shortly after leaving East Meredith, NY, I began to muse on the similarity of rural American (er, rural USA) culture. Seems like no matter whether you're in northern Alabama, eastern Oregon, or upstate New York, the "rural culture" is remarkably similar. The mellifluous harmony of a too-rich 350 small-block powering a ratty Camaro past a hapless cyclist...the muscle-shirted good ol' boys at the local hangout, and the endless gun-racked pickups. Don't get me wrong, I pretty much like all of the above. Just fascinates me.

NOTE: There is an important distinction between "muscle shirts" (which I have one of with me), and "wifebeater" shirts, of which I own none. The "wifebeater" has thin shoulder straps, while the "muscle shirt" is a T-shirt with no sleeves. BIG difference, IMHO. I'll try to get a self-portrait in my muscle shirt sometime on the way home.

BTW, not one minute after I snapped the pic of Colin & Taney above, there was the "KA-BOOM" of Colin's uphill neighbor limbering up his 12-gauge. "Good thing they're only around about two weeks out of the year," was Colin's thankful comment. Indeed. Note that Doc grew up with guns, hot rods, and bicycles...and of course motorcycles.


Back to the Trip...

Again, I wimped out and took I-88 (I think that's right) from Oneonta, NY to Sayre. then 220 south to the Forksville area. I-88 is actually quite scenic and low in traffic:


NY I-88: a pretty good interstate, as interstates go...

Finally, at "Exit 11" I saw the sign for Unadilla! I used to lots of dirt riding with my four boys (my weapon was a '92 KX250: very mellow cylinder porting...a perfect tractable 2-stroke for the Doc). And Unadilla was always the mecca for MX riders. A very "Euro-style" track, so I hear. Anyway, tried to get a pic of the Unadilla exit sign, but just missed. Dang camera...


Unadilla is around here!

Finally, an ADV-style rider!

Right around here, in my rearview mirror I saw an ADV-style rider coming up: R12GS, big cases, coupla dry bags tied on top. And he didn't even wave to me! After thousands of waving H-D riders...of course I guess I shoulda waved first. But I'm never the first to blink.

Hah, hah...too much fun.

See you inmates in a coupla days.

--Doc
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:59 AM   #128
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Well, howdy there Mark. Good to have you along. We never did have that beer together...I think that was around 2008

--Doc
No worries, I've had plenty since then. There is no expiration on the offer, though.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:13 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by Dr. Greg View Post

Right around here, in my rearview mirror I saw an ADV-style rider coming up: R12GS, big cases, coupla dry bags tied on top. And he didn't even wave to me! After thousands of waving H-D riders...of course I guess I shoulda waved first. But I'm never the first to blink.

Hah, hah...too much fun.

See you inmates in a coupla days.

--Doc
The wave is still a mystery to me. I read recently a Harley blog where he said to stick 2 fingers out and down below handlebar says hi and the road ahead is okay. Tapping your helmet with Palm of hand says trouble ahead. Road debris or police radar etc. he also said "power rangers" are to be ignored.

My thoughts are to always wave to an obvious adventure rider and wave to all on secondary single lane each way roads. Waving to all on interstates seems ridiculous. They can be so far away across the divide it's easier to just pay attention to your own side of the slab.

Still, I like the idea do the helmet tap. Just never seen it used.

Anyway. I'm missing riding. That open road is addictive and your reports help ease the lack of a "fix" until next year.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:25 AM   #130
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No worries, I've had plenty since then. There is no expiration on the offer, though.
Itsa deal. Try to remember to ping you upon my return...

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Old 07-27-2014, 10:27 AM   #131
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Hmmm, your "waving" algorithm sounds too complicated for my poor ol' brain to process while riding. I'll just go with my best judgment. I'd actually prefer that nobody waved...don't need a wave to prove anything.

--Doc

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The wave is still a mystery to me. I read recently a Harley blog where he said to stick 2 fingers out and down below handlebar says hi and the road ahead is okay. Tapping your helmet with Palm of hand says trouble ahead. Road debris or police radar etc. he also said "power rangers" are to be ignored.

My thoughts are to always wave to an obvious adventure rider and wave to all on secondary single lane each way roads. Waving to all on interstates seems ridiculous. They can be so far away across the divide it's easier to just pay attention to your own side of the slab.

Still, I like the idea do the helmet tap. Just never seen it used.

Anyway. I'm missing riding. That open road is addictive and your reports help ease the lack of a "fix" until next year.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:07 AM   #132
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Sunday, July 27: Mid-day update from Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Stopped for lunch at Altoona, PA---might as well take a break and use the WiFi to bring the RR up-to-date. BTW, in spite of the dire weather forecast (more later), it's been very nice today. My sense of timing has been impeccable. So lemme go back to Saturday.


Saturday, July 26: East Meredith, New York --> Forksville, Pennsylvania.

You may recall that I stayed with John & Heather at their beautiful hilltop place near Forksville on my "outbound" leg...well, they graciously invited me back! Didn't need to think very long about that...

John's leg is doing better, and he met me somewhat N of Forksville on his '06 FJR. He promised to show me a cool overlook, so I followed him. On the way out to the overlook I couldn't resist getting a couple fotos of the road:




Beautiful north-central Pennsylvania roads...

High Knob Overlook...

Yep, that's where we were...








A few pics of High Knob Overlook, north-central PA...

BTW, John is my new "role model" for growing old (what, I'm already old?)...he rides that FJR like nobody's bidness (pavement or no). It was all I could do to stay up with him. Ride on, old man!

A couple more "food" pics (more to come, BTW).

I almost feel guilty posting so many "food" pics, but it's a time-honored ADV tradition, no? Anyway, forgot to photograph our dinner that night until I was almost finished...


What's left of my Saturday night dinner...

Obviously I enjoyed it. However, I did foto the dessert before I finished it (which I did). This, mi amigos, is a gen-yoo-wine Pennsylvania Dutch "shoo-fly pie"...the "wet-bottom" version (sounds a little immoral...) Yowza!


A Pennsylvania Dutch "shoo-fly" pie (wet-bottom version)


Saturday night out on the deck...

After dinner, I strolled out to the deck, sat and read, and watched the stars appear...


A beautiful hilltop evening near Forksville, PA...

Man, this is the life! I told John that all Mrs. Greg and I need is about 0.5-acre sliced off the corner of their 45 acres (maybe he'll go for it!)

Oh yeah, with all the "cat" pictures I figured I should balance it out...here's a foto of one of John's dogs. They were great (both the dogs and the humans). Dogs are SO COOL. I love dogs.


Good dog.


Sunday, July 27: Forksville, Pennsylvania --> Altoona, Pennsylvanis (so far).

On Sunday morning, the TV weatherdroid went on and on about the dire weather forecast. Rain, wind, hail, tornadoes...man, I just about committed suicide (not really). It actually looked pretty nice outside ("ya don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows...")


No tornadoes in sight...

Naturally, breakfast was not disappointing...


Think there's enough to keep me warm there...

Got a pic of John, Heather, and Doc (Wotan, too) just before I left:


Hard to leave these good folks...

For all that I've ridden my share of interstates (and violated my vow), I've spent a fair bit of time on the secondary roads, too. The first couple hours leaving Forksville is on PA 87, which is very nice.


Yep, the roads here are still nice.


As we all know, when you ride alone, people tend to come up and talk. Even moreso when your side case is plastered with DR. GREG... these nice folks (Dave & Carol) strolled over while I was stopped at a Mickey D's (to use the rest room). Jim was a H-D rider, but expressed lotsa interest in Wotan. Y'know, that GSW attracts more interest than ANY OTHER bike I've ever owned. Sometimes nice, sometimes a pain. Now it was nice. We all had a nice chat, about fun topics like politics and religion.


Dave & Carol...had a nice chat about...well, lotsa stuff.

Guns and Religion...

Hey, remember when President Obama was speaking to a private fundraising group (IIRC) and said something like "rural people in the US tend to turn to guns and religion when times are bad..." Or something like that. I thought about that: there sure were a lot of churches and gun shops (gunsmiths) in the rural country I've ridden through. I'm partial to both of those things, but now is not the time.

Rural Pennsylvania...

While riding S on US 220 I snapped a foto of some Pennsylvania hills:


Pennsylvania hills...

Got me to thinkin'...y'know I think the BEST thing about this trip (yeah, even better than exploring An American Tragedy) is seeing Pennsylvania, and musing about Mrs. Greg (Annie) growing up there as a little girl. It is SO beautiful...now I understand her love for PA. And that helps me understand her. OK, ok, enough with the psycho-babble.

Apparently there are t'storms all around me, I'm in this nice pocket of calm. So...best not to ride much farther, right? But then I'll never get home! Gotta get home to Mrs. Greg!

Maybe another update tonight, but maybe not.

--Doc
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:26 PM   #133
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Sunday, July 27: Forksville, Pennsylvania --> Morgantown, West Virginia...

As I was trying to type the above heading, I thought to myself "I don't even know where the @#$%^ I am anymore. That's a sign I need to be heading home. Especially bad when I awake disoriented (ask Mrs. Greg). So let's keep heading WEST...


On thru State College and the Cumberland Valley...

I was an undergraduate at USC (University of Southern California)...got the full scholarship from Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown in 1964. So---along with all the rich kids---I was a Trojan. And with that goes the USC football team. I guess. I was (am) not a big fan of football. At 137 lb I ws not exactly football material (but a damn good cyclist). Anyway, it was hard to avoid being a USC football fan.

And the same kinda thing with Penn State. It was "America's College Team" I guess. Until the bottom fell out---who knows what the real story was.

But I found myself riding thru State College. Now here is where Mrs. Greg (Annie, or "Miss Annie" as I've taken to calling her recently) grew up. And so I feel a somewhat saintly aura about State College, and rightly so. I stopped by her girlhood home in 2010 to take a pic; didn't feel I need do so again, so I passed right on through...


The Cumberland Valley of Southern PA...

In 2010 I followed US 220 down thru the Cumberland Valley of south-central PA, and really enjoyed the country. Since that was my natural route, I did so again. Took a few pics of some of the country...






The Cumberland Valley of south-central PA...

When I'm in this country I always recall General Lee's Confederate Army as they came up thru this country on their way to Gettysburh: what a granary! What a bounteous country from which to obtain food! Like nothing in the south! The thrifty regional farmers of Southern PA were a bounty to the half-starved Confederate troops. Still looks like pretty good country...


West "By God" Virginia (for the 2nd time, IIRC)...

Riding W along US 40, came to the "WV Welcome Center"...


West Virginia! Briefly, anyway...

I vividly recall this same "welcome center" in the Fall of 2010, when I was freezing. Never did a hot cappucino machine impress me so much! Today it was in the mid-80s, and rather humid, so no need for a drink machine...

Y'know (Y'know, I write that a lot)...every time I've thru WV, I've been coming through. Never had time to do any riding IN WV itself. And it's one of the best riding areas around. Maybe next summer I'll plan a ride TO West Virginia. Any volunteers as to good roads? My ol' buddy John? He professes to love riding in WV...and I'd trust his advice. Anyway...

Got a camera-timed photo of the good Dr. at the WV Welcome Center. I ended up staying in Morgantown, WV. Just before a heavy thunderstorm hit the area. I'm thinking about camping (!) tomorrow night. We'll see what the weather is gonna do.


Doc & Wotan at the West Virginia welcome center. The Governor says: WELCOME!

Then after that I hope to hook up with my good buddies Stan & Charlene in Walton, KY (if I can find my way there), then after that I've got repeat invites from Chuck in Poplar Bluff, MO...and my good budy Steve in Joplin, MO just chimed in (I forgot he was on a Colorado trip).

So it looks like a nice ride home. If this darn RAIN would go away. Which it will.

I was gonna watch the German MotoGP race tonight, but I'm feelin' kinda tired. Mrs. Greg and I have been doin' some ruminations about Pennsylvania, and the possibility of taking a trip back East (the two of us...not on a bike, but somehow) I think it would be good for us. Bonding and all. As if you're not bonded yet after 40 years of marriage and four kids...

OK fellas (and the odd lady), keep me in your thoughts. I survived An American Tragedy...now just an uneventful ride home...

--Dr. Greg
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:22 AM   #134
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Monday morning update...July 28.

Forgot to mention that yesterday, while coming down thru Pennsylvania on some quasi-rural roads, something caught my eye...turns out it was a blasted forest rat leaping across a side-street at 1135 in the morning! The darned things are supposed to be resting (or something) at that hour, right? Sheesh. All day long (of course) I saw dead ones along the road. Just get me home!


Last chance to camp?

So I stayed in the Morgantown, WV area last night. When I awoke this morning to the 0600 medication alarm, my brain was stuck. Where was I? Inmate's house, motel room, or where? What was I doing? Reminded me of the "deer-strike" concussion in 2008 (awoke in the middle of NM 117...where am I? what am I doing here?). Many more days before I get home.

Anyway, while eating breakfast, I check the world on the iPad, and saw this:

Tumultuous Storms Batter Millions!

And there was a friggin' lightning strike on the beach near Los Angeles!! As a native SoCal guy, it just doesn't rain in the summer in that area. What's happening?!?

So I was hoping to camp tonight somewhere around the Athens, Ohio area. But with the unsettled weather, I just don't know. Yeah, I'm a wimp.

No pics to update, sorry.

--Doc
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:14 AM   #135
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Still on board and I agree that Pa has some great riding areas...even though I am a Canadian transplant and have ridden in both countries...Pa is still a favorite...just looked at national radar map and it looks clear where you are headed...look forward to next report.
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