Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thursday September 24th - Hazleton, PA to home

This is my last day on the road for this trip. I've missed seeing Josh, Beth, and B'Eli (as well as Roscoe and Spike - our dog and cat). And off to work tomorrow. Manjo left before me so he could pick up Roscoe before the kennel closed. Just a few pics and a very sweet story.

I stopped for gas in Newburgh, N.Y. and an "old-timing" guy asked me if I was going to visit Orange Country Choppers. I asked him why and he replied because OCC was about 2 miles from the gas station. Well . . . that's a no-brainer and off I go! It's a beautiful store with lots of totally gorgeous "iron" on the floor, hanging from the ceiling, and in the windows. I made a few purchases and at the same time was looking for someone to take my pic in front of OCC. No
luck. As I'm walking back to my bike a mini-van parks and a couple appearing to be in their early 40's got out. I figured they were my golden opportunity and I asked the misses if she would mind taking my pic. She said no problem and quickly handed off the iPhone to her husband (who shot be pic shown below).

Well one thing led to another and they wanted to check out the trike. (The misses is thinking about getting one). During the course of which they share with me that they have a motorcycle ministry in Georgia for the "1% bikers". They shared some really interesting experiences with me. I have a picture of Christ etched on my windshield which they, of course, noticed. They said they needed to move along but would I mind if we prayed for my safe return home. I said I would appreciate it and the next thing we're standing in the middle of the OCC parking lot holding hands and praying for my safe return. They gave me their name and phone number in Atlanta (in case I was ever there and needed a place to stay). I couldn't have asked for a better "end of the road trip" experience and, hopefully, will never forget it.

I am so appreciative of all the support from Manjo, my kids and daughters-in-law, friends AND VROC'ers. I didn't meet one jerk, creep or a-hole on my trip. Perhaps I was just lucky . . . but I think it's much more than that. To quote Michelle (a colleague at the Home) this trip renewed my "faith in human nature" and definitely re-centered me.

I'm already thinking about next summer :>)


Total Mileage for the trip: 6419

Tuesday, September 22nd - Milan, Ohio to Hazelton, Pa. & Wednesday, September 23rd.

Spent the night in Milan, Ohio. Is was pretty late when I got in . . . spent too
much time stopping along the way to take pics . . . most of which I didn't keep!

It was a nice ride through the mountains today. Keeping yesterday in mind,
there are no pics!

Manjo and I arrived within 15 minutes of each other at the Hampton Inn
in Hazleton. He was a welcomed sight!!

Wednesday we rode around the hills, mountains, valleys and little towns
surrounding Hazleton. The leaves were starting to turn and the aroma
of Autumn was in the air. A few pics:

Conyngham, PA.

Death Row Motorcycles-Drum, PA.

Manjo and I at dinner. A handsome couple, if I may say so!

Monday - September 21 Iowa to Milan, Ohio

I'm realizing the the adventure will be over in another few days.
It's been an incredible experience! This is something I've dreamed
about ever since I was a kid when I would be spend hours reading
road maps and planning imaginary road trips. And here I am . . .
on one! It's a beautiful country. And when I arrive safely home
what a wonderful blessing this trip will have been.

The plan is to meet Manjo in Pa. on Tuesday, the 22nd. So my
goal is to get more than half-way there today (Monday).

Sun rising over The Mississippi river early Monday morning.

Harry Dogison eager to get back on the road headed East!

Fremont, Indiana about 5:30PM

Travel good fortune continues! I just missed a
major downpour by about 15 minutes. Swanton,
Ohio about 6:30PM.

Milan, Ohio - about 7:ooPM. Shot from the shoulder of I 80.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20th - MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Sunday, September 20th: Did 475 miles today. Stayed
the night at a Holiday Inn Express right on the Mississippi
in DesMoines, Iowa. That's the good news. The other news
was that the railroad tracks were "spitting distance" from
my room (see below). Oh, the other good news was that I missed a
torrential downpour by about 30 minutes.

The lobby had a huge fish tank with 4 Large Mouth Bass.

A quick trip to a nearby grocery store resulted in
a wonderful gourmet dinner!

Avoca, Iowa (western Iowa in the middle of
nowhere!) Picture taken close of intersection
149th street and I 80 (and, I repeat, in the
middle of nowhere. What's up with 149th street?)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19th WY --> NE

Saturday the 19th:
Stayed at Quality Inn & Suites in Laramie last night. Same place I stayed on the
of homemade brownies for the guys at the HD shop.

This road sign is not uncommon on I 80 in the plaines and mountains. It greeted
me as I began my travels East for the day.

A great place to stop for gas and a snack is Waverly, NE. It's about 3 miles
north of I 80. Took this pic leaving Waverly.

BIG winds, some dust, lots of BSTs (big, scary trucks) and a few
construction slow downs. A lot of bikers headed West. I did around
420 miles and stopped for the day in Grand Island.

Eastern Wyoming wind farm. There's something elegant about the wind

OK . . . I've been warned. Rest area Kimball, Ne.

I don't see any rattlers . . do you?

Marker at eastern Wy. rest area. In the late afternoon
the sagebrush looks faintly purple.

(Purple Heart marker) Sincere thanks from Manjo and
myself to all you who have served our country and given
so much.

Not a great pic. A small SUV pulling a trailer w/3
pristine, well decked out Harleys pulled up in front
of me at a rest area (about 300 miles east of Omaha).
One by one 3 youngish guys and3 women climb out
of the car. One guy - on his way back from the men's
room (I'm assuming) -asks me in his big biker voice
"where you going?".I replied, "Atlantic ocean. Where
you going?" I asked."Omaha" he says in a not so big
biker voice and walked away.

Thursday, September 17th and Friday the 18th - SLC to Laramie, WY.

DAY 3 - September 17th - on the road to Ma. I stayed over in SLC. Slept just about the entire day. Felt good!

Delicious (?) chicken offerings in a
vending machine at the Airport
Quality Inn in SLC.

Day 4 - September 18th- Up and out early! Only took me 10-15 minutes to get thru SLC. No construction to speak of between SLC and Laramie. I had planned to get to Cheyenne. But was hard-pressed to figure out what the upside would be to riding through Cheyenne on a Friday afternoon. Beautiful day! Big winds! I'm estimating well over 30 knots. The high plains in the early morning and later afternoon are serene. Saw a number of antelope grazing. Crossed the Continental Divide 3 time. The 3rd time at 7,000 feet. FYI : a great stop is I 80 east exit 5, Evanston, Wy.: Chevron, Maverick, McDonalds, Arby's and Starbucks.
A few pics from today's travels:

Marker at rest area 50 miles west of Laramie. I'm
almost positive this is the same rest area Manjo and
I stopped here several years ago on our way back
east. We saw a caravan that included a stage coach
and covered wagons. Everybody was in period dress.

Manjo dug up this picture of the travelers (taken 2
summers ago).

Wy. high plaines late afternoon.

Shooting for the Iowa-Nebraska border tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tuesday, September 15th Leave for home/Rt. 50 Nevada & Wednesday the16th: Eureka, NV to SLC &

Left Sunnyvale around 6:30AM.
My route for Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009:

Sunrise, shoulder of 680-Fremont, Ca. around 7AM.
I didn't read VSP's very excellent directions carefully
and ended up with a brief tour of Vacaville.

Gassing up at a Pilot in Fernley, Nv. before we start
Rt.50. I told VSP I wouldpay for his meals if he
rode Rt. 50 with me.So we had lunch at the
Wendy's (located at the Pilot Station).

It looks desolate. But in person
Rt. 50 is absolutely stunning, stark,
with wonderfully sweet desert
aromas. For additional info see:

I'm standing in the middle of Rt. 50
around 3:30 in the afternoon.
Don VSP shot this.

A picture of Roadqueen taken from Don's

Austin, Nevada: A little "town"
we passed through on our way
to Eureka.

More pics of Rt. 50. I shot these in
late afternoon/early evening on our
way to Eureka.


Wednesday, September 16th. We're in Eureka.
Cute little town in the middle of nowhere.
(Pics courtesy of Don VSP.)
For additional info, see:

Court house

Looking east to west on "Main Street".

Looking east. You can see the court house in the background.

Don VSP and I had a nice steak dinner Wednesday night at the Owl Casino and Restaurant.

Then the next morning I wanted a burrito for breakfast, but there are no burritos on the menu. The waitress asked George the cook if he will make a burrito, but George is the only cook this week and with only four hours sleep he wasn't in a very good mood. So I ordered the stuff for a burrito and a flour tortilla and made it myself.
George looking blurred and tired.

After breakfast we hit the road. Today we will ride to Ely, NV and then leave Hwy 50 and head back to I-80 at Wendover, NV right on the Utah border.

At Ely we stop to look over the Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall. Then the ride along NV
93 and NV Hwy 93 Alt was the most boring road that I have ever ridden. It is worse than the road from Wendover to Salt Lake City, UT.

We gas up and have a Junior Whopper at the adjacent Burger King. After lunch we say our good byes and VSP heads west and I head east.

This is my route for Wednesday the 16th:

Picture of the Salt Lake Desert headed east on I 80.
Shot around 6:30 PM