Off Again!!!

Real soon I am heading east, to ultimately participate in the Road King Riders Vermont 2011 Rendezvous.  An extra special time is planned for the following weekend, Fathers Day with my son, his girl friend and my two grandsons that I have not seen in two years! (Or is it three?)  I am heading east on non-Interstate highways although I have not yet decided which roads to take.  I will be visiting my brother in Ohio, my aunt in PA and friends along the way!  Stay tuned as I need to relearn posting and getting photos and suck posted!

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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Thoughts for today

Ok so this is the first of my new blog and I am learning how to use it!  So please bear with me….
I plan on making entries as I traverse the USA to attend the Road King Riders Rendevouse in Nashville, IN this June.  Bro Barry is going to also attend which I am really quite excited about.  Barry is a good rider and does have a nose for finding some great places to stop, so this could be very interesting!  Anyway, more later I am just trying this out for now.
Bill
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Talking about Live Vote: Should teachers be provided with arms? – Crime & Punishment – MSNBC.com

 

Quote

Live Vote: Should teachers be provided with arms? – Crime & Punishment – MSNBC.com

The whole idea is concealed weapons.  that means no one knows who is armed, no flashing the weapon.  It only comes out when there is aneed to kill someone to protect another or ones self.  Don’t worry though, the cops nor the liberals will let it go through.  They all expect laws to protect them.  I carry most of the time and nobody knows.  Hopefully never will either!  I think it is time.

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Days 8 through 14

Day 8 through 14

July 25 through July 31, 2006

Ok so I have been remiss in getting the blog posted! Duh? I have been on vacation and just too busy!!

Tuesday AM we were off and riding to Ashland, OH. What a perfect day for a ride through picturesque countryside on rural highway 24 and 30 towards Ashland. We stopped at the Harley shop in Wabash, IN and found the friendly people to be the nicest of the trip so far. That says a lot about them as I have run into some very nice folks on this trip! A lunch stop in Decatur, IL at a 50’s place with a carhop on roller skates! Food was typical and not something to bring one back, but the atmosphere will. After arriving at Barry’s, Cathi had a nice dinner for us including fresh sweet corn picked from the local grocery store!! LOL!

Wednesday we headed for Casey’s on the bikes and a treat at Swenson’s. Seems the burger group demolished the old Wallhaven building and rebuilt in the parking lot a 50’s style drive in, including neon! The burgers were as good as they ever were and I really enjoyed my treo!  I also took the opportunity for the three of us (no not the burgers) to visit mom’s grave, the Weaver’s vault and that of Sam Lesnick.  If he can look down here I know he is smiling about the ride to Ohio!  We also took a ride by the old house in Wadsworth.

Thursday we were off to see Aunt Bev in Pittsburgh and due to the weather forecast we took Cathi’s new Explorer. Good thing we did as when we came home, via the WV casino it rained like crazy. Aunt Bev fed us a very nice salad and barbecue sandwich. Surprise! Cake and ice crème for Barry’s birthday.

Friday we went to the AMA Vintage Motorcycle days at Mid-Ohio in Lexington, OH. It was not that big but very interesting. Perhaps a bit more time should have been spent there but that would have cut into the fantastic riding that Ohio offers. Friday night we went to a party for Barry’s neighbor and I discovered a good old fashioned but updated HODOWN! I also found out that Barry loves to Karaoke and did so a few times during the evening.

Saturday, we went on an excellent adventure to southern Ohio to the Big Muskie bucket. The roads in that area are second to none anywhere in the USA for beauty. There is even one road considered to be the Ohio Dragon, Rt. 555. We rode the upper portion of 555 and we rode a Rt. 666, is that the devil? We stopped in a small town and went into Grandma’s Restaurant and enjoyed FRIED BOLOGNA sandwiches!  I have had them before in small town Ohio but this was the best one yet with a slice of white onion!!  While riding in such beautiful surroundings with the bike running great, one can get into something referred to as "the zone". At one point while in the zone, I turned on my CD player and on comes Linda and my song, Take It Easy. Between that, being in the zone, and the particular stretch of road with about ½ mile of canopy created by large trees, I was emotionally overwhelmed. Tears whetted my eyes and for a short while, perfection was experienced. WOW! Saturday evening was spent with Amy, Lissa, Nate and Braden. Wow is Nate a neat kid. So polite and talks a lot like an adult. He enjoyed my Donald Duck talking and it made him laugh.

Sunday morning came early and off I went, back on the road. A major rain storm with lighting caused a ne hour delay under the gas station canopy at the IN rest stop before Chicago. Another two hours was lost due to road construction and thousands of cars needing to pay a measly $.60 toll for IL on I-80. One would think they could either keep more lanes than the two open or just remove the tolls for the months it takes to build the new road. Then double up for that many months on the back end! What a waste. Plus it caused the Harley to overheat which meant I had to pull off the road for a while to let it cool down. I ended up stopping at Joliet, IL for the night as there were severe heat warnings being issued and the humidity was quite high. In short I only covered about 348 miles but still took 9 hours to do so!

Monday, July 31, 2006 whch is today when I am writing this, was bright and sunny. I made it to Lincoln, NE or 500 miles. Not too much eventful today other than heat warnings and the wind advisory. It was windy as all get out today! The forecast for the next couple of days show rain so looks like Frogg Togg time!

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Day 7

Day seven

July 24, 2006

 

Today is Monday July 24, 2006 and will be the longest ride of the trip so far, 580 miles from Sauk Centre MN to El Paso, IL.  Brother Barry will be riding to El Paso to meet up with me for the return ride to Ashland on Tuesday.

 

Interesting and somewhat startling occurrence this morning let me explain.  Last evening, the front desk / bartender, Tony, at the Palmer house asked what time I was leaving.  Seems he goes home at one AM and locks up the hotel, someone can get out but cannot get back in until the morning crew comes on duty at 7 AM.  Which means there will be only myself and the other patron of the hotel, in the hotel during the wee hours, and as I think I mentioned earlier, the “other world” visitors!!  Yikes!!  Not wanting to have to stop at a laundry, (to get my jeans cleaned!) I decided that I would not be leaving at 4 AM.  I did not want to have to walk thru the dark hotel and back and forth to the room the four trips it takes to get the bike loaded. 

 

Just to clarify, according to Tony, it would me, the other guest and no other living souls in the hotel until maybe 6:30 AM when the 7 AM shift shows up.  I left the room about 6:15, wanting to be loading when the next shift showed up, but with it also being DAYLIGHT out.  I have my hands loaded down with two bags and I start down the hallway.  So far so good, as I turn down the creaking steps, there are no visitors.  As I round the landing and start down the last flight, I see a older man figure heading into the restaurant doorway.  Yikes is that a ghost??  The night before the cook explained to me that the ghosts are not at all like Hollywood portrays.  They appear as solid, physical beings, not the wispy “see through” creatures of movie fame.  I continued down the steps and across the lobby toward my exit, lobby key and room key in my pocket, thinking would I want to return?  As I passed the restaurant doorway I glanced to my left to see this aberration “fixing” a stool at the fountain bar.  I said good morning and got a glance and a grunt in return, not rally a word, but a sound.  I headed for the door, quickly.

 

Upon reaching the door, I laid down my load and thought I would go get the bike from the rear lot and park on the deserted street, right outside the door.  Closer for me to not walk around the building with the stuff, and maybe a bit more security from the unknown!  I dutifully removed the bike’s cover, unlocked the bags, the steering head and ignition lock.  I mounted my American Iron, my security, turned the ignition, pushed the start button wholly expecting the beast (a good beast) to come to life.  Alas, a click, my heart sank.  DEAD battery!  Not a “ghost” of a chance it was going to start the bike.  Now what?  Oh yeah, I have jumper cables, not the big auto kind but special ones for motorcycles!  Just then my elderly grunt comes waling around the building and gets into his truck.  Not a word.  As he begins to back out, I muster the courage to approach his vehicle and ask for a jump.  He pulls up toward the bike and proceeded to get open the hood and get the rubber cover off the positive terminal as I dig out the jumpers.  So far just a grunt and an ok (can ghosts speak?).  As I connect up the cables, he walks away and starts looking at the A/C running nearby.  There is not enough juice to start the bike, like everyone knows that you have to rev the engine, everyone but “George”.  I ask him to do so, he quietly gets in the truck and revs it.  Bingo the bike starts!! Yes!  Am I glad or what?  He gets into the truck as I disconnect and close the hood.  I tell him thanks with a smile on my face and he nods, and backs on out and drives off.  Was he a ghost, or perhaps as was suggested, an angel, a guardian angel?  You decide, I have.

 

The ride turned out to be long today but I was looking forward to seeing Barry so the time went by pretty fast.  Traffic was heavier than it has been, I guess because of the proximity to Chicago, but still not like Vegas! 

 

Upon arrival, Barry was at the motel, the Days Inn at El Paso, IL.  A nice place for the money and even had an indoor pool.  Not much else there besides a McDonalds, a Hardy’s and gas station.  After a swim Barry and I went to the other place to eat within walking distance, a Woody’s Restaurant.  If you are ever even near El Paso, IL I suggest you DO NOT stop at Woody’s!  Run as fast as you can.  Keep driving what ever it takes!!  Even eat at McDonald’s but stay away from this local place.  The food was horrendous!  The service was WORSE… 

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Day six

Day Six

July 23, 2006

 

Wow what a day!  Sarah came to the Palmer House Hotel at 10 AM and we drove to St Cloud.  After a visit to Kinko’s for internet use, we had lunch at one of Sarah’s suggested Mexican restaurant.  It was very good especially considering that it was in MN instead of the southwest!  After lunch we went to the movies and thoroughly enjoyed Garrison Keiler’s Prairie Home Companion.  I won’t review it here, just suffice it to say go see it.  After quick stop at Home Depot for a kitchen ceiling fan we were back to Sauk Centre.  The best thing of the entire day was just spending time with Sarah.  How proud I am of her and what she is doing.

 

After Sarah went back to her work, Linda reminded me that I had a scarf for Sarah in my luggage.  I called Sarah and we figured that I could leave it at the front desk and someone from Camphill would pick it up in the next few days.  As it turned out, there were four coworkers of Sarah’s in the lobby, playing Scrabble (yes this is a very small town), they knew I was there and had told the cook/bartender that they wanted to meet me.  So I got to meet them and they ferried the scarf to Sarah too.

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Day Five

Day Five

July 22, 2006

Well today is the day! I will be seeing Sarah this afternoon once I reach Sauk Center and Long Prairie, MN. A short ride today only about 250 miles and the weather is beautiful! Lots of bikes out on the road today, more than any day so far, it must be the weather….

As I crossed into MN, the number of farms seemed to increase. Actually I got off the interstate highway and onto US and state routes. The rural flavor is much better suited for a ride of this nature and the great weather, neither too cool nor too hot, makes it perfect. As I pull into Sauk Center I ride to the Palmer House Hotel, my temporary home for the next two nights.

The Palmer House Hotel was built on the sight of a its’ forerunner (which burned to the ground) in 1901. The claim to fame for Sauk Center and the hotel is its’ favorite son, Sinclair Lewis. Mr. Lewis penned "Main Street" and subsequently won the Nobel prize for Literature. The Palmer House is said to be haunted!!! Well, as I understand it, I out loud requested the ghosts leave me alone for my stay. The hotel has had ghost hunters/paranormal investigators there and they have acquired audio and video proof of the haunting. I have not investigated further to find out who the ghosts are, guess I don’t wannnt to knooow.!

Today, the highlight is seeing Sarah and the place she has worked and lived for the last six years. I met many of the fellow workers and some of the villagers that Sarah lives with. Those I met were, Angela, Jan, Lois, Karen, Regina, Kate, Tal, Maryann, which are all fellow workers. The villagers I met were David, Mathew, Brenda, Martha, Sarah, Ben and Jeffery. My observation is that all these workers are fantastic people that are making a real contribution to their world and society. The villagers are very polite and very fun people too. Anytime you are in the area of Long Prairie, MN I would suggest you contact Sarah and visit the farms. You will see what a real difference a group of dedicated and sincere folks can make. Happiness permeates the entire village!

Back to the Palmer House for the evening. Nice folks there too. I tought the bartender, Derk, how to make a Lemon Splash martini, of which I had two! Enjoyed a Walleye sandwich before retiring for the night.

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Day Four

Day Four

July 21, 2006

The Black Hills of SD are extremely good for riding, no wonder tht the Sturgis Rally is so famous! Today I visited Mount Rushmore Memorial and the Crazy Horse monument.

Mt Rushmore Memorial is spectacular in person. The walk from the visitors center to the viewing area is lined with flags from every state in the union. To see this caving up close and in person is moving to say the least. The roads leading to the memorial are nicely maintained sweepers, not at all the twisties that I had expected. The climate is very much like Lake Tahoe with the sweet scent of pine permeating the entire area. Our government gets $8.00 to park at the memorial so the various National Park passes are totally useless. You have to pay to park, but entrance is free. I had breakfast on the outdoor patio at the visitors center in view of the memorial.

Crazy Horse is a lot less finished than I thought it would be, but then again it is so large that the Rushmore Memorial would fit in Crazy Horse’s head! The visitos center is beautiful with an Indian museum, restaurant, furnishings from the sculptors’ home and his studio. This project was desired by the Lakota Indian hierarchy back in June of 1948. Being carved from a granite mountain, the first 7 or so years the gentleman that carved it worked by himself! He was a citizen of Polish decent and had won a major award for sculpture prior to starting the Crazy Horse project. His widow and 7 of their 10 children are still working the project. The project receives NO government money, all funds are private donations!

After touring this AM I headed out for Sioux Falls, SD around 12:20 PM. 428 miles at an average of 67.9 mph and I arrived around 8 PM in Sioux Falls. I dawned on me that SD feels very familiar since most of the 400 miles traversed was grassland or farm land. It felt like "home". Corn and farms, hope it is ready in Ohio!

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Day Three

Day Three

July 20, 2006

Today started out cloudy and basically went down hill from there! Riding across WY from Casper, WY to Rapid City, SD. Since the bike is under wraps now, and it is raining outside I will estimate the mileage at 322 miles per the computer, going the way I went.

Breakfast today was at a place called Casper in, imagine, Casper, WY! A great $3.99 biscuit and grave, egg and two bacon strips. Well it is not Vegas pricing for value but good for Road Food!

Pretty uneventful day. It all started out with wonderful intentions of seeing Mt Rushmore etc but ended up quite the wash out. Just before the SD border I ran into high winds from the south and torrential rain. Never has a ride been so much pain as the wind blown rain struck my face. Next time I will remember the face shield no matter how hot it is when I leave. The good news is that it lasted only about 10 minutes or so. When I arrived in Rapid City, as I was talking to the motel manager, it started to rain. Lucky for me the bike was under the portico so I was able to get it unloaded and covered for the night. AT 3 in the afternoon!! And the manager told me they have had a 7 year drought!! HA HA! They should pay my way since I seem to always bring the rain. In anycase, maybe if it clears up tomorrow I will go to Mt Rushmore as it is only 30 miles way from here. If not it will have to wait until the next time.

Highlight of the day was the visit to MECCA! At least for bikers, Harley MECCA that is…. Sturgis, SD and the Sturgis Harley Davidson store. Photos are attached. What I found interesting is that they have a large pakring lot, two actually, a big tent set up for the rally and not one motorcycle for sale. Nope not one, not a used one, not a new one. When I asked they explained that the Rapid City store is theirs and that is where they sell the bikes! Of course I wanted to ge there today but the rains came and you know the rest of the story.

The landscape photos you have to look real hard to see the sheep running toward their shepherd. I had just stopped to adjust something and heard a call, whistle or something that caught my attention. When I looked I saw all the sheep running across the hillside like it was feeding time or something. Too far away for me to go ask so I just took some pictures!

Plans are for tomorrow on to Sioux Falls, SD and then on into Sauk Centre, MN Saturday to see Sarah. I am really looking forward to the visit.

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