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Southwest to Northeast USA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by buelligan, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. buelligan

    buelligan Member

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    I just got back from a 3 week, 6049 mile ride east to Barbers motorcycle museum, the Dragon, Blue Ridge Parkway, Pennsylvania, upstate NY, and NH. My main priority on this trip was riding as much two lane as possible, avoiding freeways, turnpikes, etc, and visiting some old buddies from 'Nam and my family.
    Photobucket just started charging to do 3rd party embedding, so I got a smugmug account and am still trying to figure it out, so I just put all the photos in a slideshow for your entertainment, and you can figure out where the pics are and who the characters are...
    I think you have to copy and paste the link into your browser:

    The first day, I burned an 850 mile day to Little Rock, Ar-Kansas to meet a friend from Virginia who was heading west on his vacation. After an evening of beers and lies, I headed south to the Natchez Trace, and east to Birmingham to Barbers museum.
    Anyone interested in bikes should check this place out, bikes of all makes, years are here on display. Truly an amazing place, I was in awe of the sheer quantity, and quality of the displays.
    I'm a Buell guy so I did spend some time on that display, and I was impressed with some of the customs like the Kawasaki KZ900 with 4 extra cylinders, a V8! awesome...
    From there, I headed north to ride the tail of the Dragon, I've ridden it many times on other bikes, Buells, Super Tenere pulling a trailer, CB750, and now the RS. Some of the Killboy pics are at the end of the slideshow. You can see, I was loaded down pretty good with the camping gear across the back, the bike did well.
    After doing a few loops back and forth on the Dragon, I headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've also ridden this on different bikes through the years, but I've never ridden the whole parkway from end to end.
    I think it was the 4th of July when I started up the Parkway in the wee hours of the morning.
    A mist was rising from the pavement, some patches of fog here and there, and spectacular views of the fog in the lower valleys was amazing. True Nirvana!
    Traffic was light, and my speed was appropriate for the road conditions, and for sight seeing, it was a perfect two days of excellent riding.
    After the parkway, I rode Skyline drive, which is a national park, lower speeds, patrolled by rangers, and to my dismay, pouring rain :-(
    I bailed about 3 quarters of the way up, and made a beeline for Pennsylvania.
    I rode northeast through Amish country, rolling hills slowly gave way to the Poconos, and curvy roads. I soon made it to my bros house in Nescopec, PA.
    Soon the 3 of us were kicking back with a cold beverage, telling stories, and reminiscing the old days. I hung out for 2 days, and then headed north to upstate NY, (Lake George) where my older sister lives. She just started riding again last year, and I had convinced her to ride to NH with me. Her first long ride! She did well on the two lane roads, but the covered bridge dumped her when she didn't notice the trench in the center of the bridge. Luckily the bridge is made of wood, and didn't leave any scratches, and only her pride was hurt. ;-p
    We soon made it to NH where our other siblings live, and where we all grew up. It had been 15 years since I had been back. Good to see the family again, and good to wander around the old town. I was sad to see the water tower gone, I had worked hard to climb that in my teen years and paint that pot leaf on it. It was still there the day it came down, lol.
    One of my bros came up from Pennsyltucky the second day there, and we all got pretty hammered that night. Luckily it rained hard the next morning, and we didn't have to worry about riding hung over. <big grin>
    We all rode up to Laconia, and across the Skankamangus highway. I passed riding up Mt Washington. After riding a Super Tenere offroad, over the 13,000' passes of Colorado, the 4500' high mountain of New Hampshire no longer impressed me. That evening, I cooked official New Mexico Nachos with Hatch Green Chile I had brought with me. Nothing like watching the slow burn take effect on these northerners, LOL.
    Both of my sisters have been corrupted by the green chile during their visits to my place in the past.
    The next day my sister, bro, and I headed back to Lake George. My sis had to work the next day.
    My bro and I headed back to PA that next morning, in the rain. My bro is a Harley guy, not a dyed in the wool HD guy, but just a guy who likes the brand. No attitude. But he does like the leather, and it did him no good in that downpour. I was glad I had good rain gear, that kept me dry all the way. He on the other hand was drenched, gotta love them chaps, eh?
    I hung out another 2 days in PA and went on local rides with both my bros on many of their favorite roads, finally it was time to start heading home.
    I headed southwest back through the Poconos, and Amish country. Into West Virginia, and into the Ohio hill country. West Virginia was awesome, great curves, pretty scenery, friendly people.
    I camped along a river somewhere in Ohio close to the Kentucky state line.
    The next day, I rolled along hwy 52 which follows the Ohio river, then hwy 60 to Paducah.
    I continued on 60/62 the next day, across southern Missouri. What an excellent road. Great scenery, great curves, but the heat and humidity was starting to get to me. Where's that rain to help cool things off? 60 turned into 160 and the curves got tighter as I closed in on the Ozarks.
    (big thumbs up)
    By the time I got to hwy 65, I had had enough of the sweltering heat, and made the decision I was close enough to home, and the curves were giving way to long straight roads, to hit the freeway and make some time.
    Going through Tulsa, I saw the temperature hit 101, and oh my god, that dang humidity! I could not wait to get home to my "dry heat" of New Mexico. I made it halfway to the texas/OK state line before I called it a day and got a room for the first time this trip.
    I was up before the sunrise, gassed up and ready to roll when I notice the yellow triangle on my dash! What now? The bike has ran flawlessly this trip. My low beam had burnt out, great, just when I need it to ride in the dark. Oh well high beams it is...
    I locked the cruise on 5 over the limit and just ate up the miles, freeways can be so boring, expecially in the west. 500 miles later, and I was closing in on the Sandia Mountains. I was surprised to see, a police escort waiting for me as I came to the pass leading into Albuquerque. WTF?
    6 state police were rolling down the freeway, blocking all three lanes, at about 45 mph. Grrrrrr
    In front of them were a long line of tow trucks, fire trucks, and a few news vans. I had no idea what the procession was about, and looked for it on the evening news, but no mention of this strange motorcade with escort.
    I manage to finally get by them, and made it home by noon. yay!

    So, I hope you enjoyed my little story of how I spent my summer vacation.
    Lots of miles, lots of smiles, and tons of gorgeous scenery, and great roads.

    JasonQ, terry847, ray2 and 6 others like this.
  2. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the report and pics.
    Your link opened for me.
    I also spent some of my boyhood years in Pa and NH.
  3. Brian Kelley

    Brian Kelley New Member

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    Thanks for the pics. The Barbers museum looks great. It reminds me of visiting Porsche and Mercedes museums in Stuttgart Germany. Do you like the Nav and what version of it do you have? I need to get myself a trip planned.
  4. darrell

    darrell Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Nice job on that slide show. I need to revisit the Barber Museum as it has been expanded since I was last there.
  5. buelligan

    buelligan Member

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    Thanks for the compliments
    I have the nav5, I like it a lot, the system integration and that wonder wheel is great.
    Really helps when trying to search for gas or camp grounds, and the trip log is a nice touch.
  6. Leon.P.

    Leon.P. Well-Known Member

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    Great photos and write up.:)
  7. fischetg

    fischetg Active Member

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    A great trip! The BRP is one of my favorite roads in the US.
  8. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Very nice trip.
    Buell - great pictures and one of my favorites, but never seemed to get all the support and love needed to make it into my garage as a sport touring bike.... (My wife only lets me have one motorcycle at at time.)
    Buell and Motus, our most exciting American bikes.... Too bad a lack of modern electronics/ABS have simply turned them into glorified muscle bikes/cruisers. The Motus - close to 600 pounds, 165 HP, heated seats, over $30,000, but no ABS.... What does that mean?
    Still waiting for a modern American-built sport bike to take on the long road....
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    buelligan likes this.

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