Bill and Dan's Excellent Adventures

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Dan's last word!! Ok so it's quite long.

Posted by Dan Arsenault on June 3, 2010 at 9:44 PM Comments comments (1)

Well folks, what can I say about this trip? It was everything I thought it would be, plus extras.

I will give a quick summary or observation about the states we visited or drove through, the people we met along the way, etc. I will try to not be boring and also not forget anything important.

 

On Day 1, I left in 7C temps and pouring rain that lasted about 35 minutes and pulled into Bill’s place to cloudy weather and a farewell party happening. It was nice to see so many people there to send us off.

 

Maine is a drive through state for us when we go to Massachusetts. I have driven route 9 many times but on a bike you see more for some reason. It got to around 11C by the time we hit our stopping point of Augusta for the night. We left Augusta with a temp of around 10C and it got about 2 degrees warmer every 45KM until it hit 30C and that is the temps we had for the first 2 ½ weeks.

 

New Hampshire on the way down is a road I travelled many times on my way to Worcester, MA to see my family down there, so it was nothing special. But on the way back, we came at it from the Vermont and North Massachusetts side, it was beautiful, scenic mountains, and good roads. I will have to go back there to explore some more.

 

Massachusetts was the same, coming in from Vermont on Route 2 through a little town called Florida, it was so scenic. I can’t believe my cousins never told me about this.

 

Rhode Island was not to be seen this time. We drove in for about a KM or so to get the picture. When I head back to Worcester, I will definitely make a day trip there.

 

Connecticut was just a drive through state so I did not have time to explore what it has to offer for scenic routes.

 

New York. What can I say? I loved Manhattan. It is a going concern with lots of shops, people and food. We were there when they got the call for the bomb. We did not know what was going on so I was not scared. But I have never seen so many police mobilize so fast. We visited Niagara Falls on our return trip and while it is not as spectacular to view from the U S side, the park was nice and offered some good stuff to do for the tourist.

 

New Jersey. Our hotel was in NJ and we were close to the airport so I got to see lots of planes. We drove some nice roads there as we headed to Atlantic City. Will visit again someday.

 

Pennsylvania was next on the journey. Philadelphia is a city I would have loved to visit, time permitting. The bridges leading into the city are very nice, even at $4 a pop. A few days later we could have been there for a Canadiens hockey game. On the eastern trek we drove through Erie and got some great views of the lake and all the landscape around it. Very nice beaches too.

 

Delaware was another state that we just drove through. The shore area would be quite nice I am sure.

 

Maryland was Interstates all the way and bumper to bumper walk your bike traffic leading into Baltimore. We were warned to expect that. I am sure some of the back roads there are scenic but we did not get to enjoy.

 

Washington DC came about when Maryland and Virginia gave part of their state property to establish the District of Columbia for the U S Capitol. The big thing about DC residents is they have taxation without representation. That means they do not elect any congress or senate people to represent them, but pay taxes like everyone else. They even have a counter that shows year to date taxes paid by the residents. I thought this to be a neat piece of trivia. We did some sightseeing here. I was impressed that the subway system actually passes and stops at the Pentagon. Very very weird.

 

Virginia was the start of the scenic part of this trip. We started relaxing a bit here with emphasis on finding non interstate routes for a few days. We were not disappointed by the beauty of the back country roads, mountains and rivers. Totally awesome.

 

West Virginia was much of the same. Scenic au bout, to use a French slang. Means scenic all the way. The biggest difference in the 2 states would have to be the name as I could not really tell the difference from one state to the next.

 

North Carolina was also quite scenic. The back roads in the U S for the most part put our own TCH to shame. Originally our track through NC, and SC was suppose to be coastal but I am glad we opted for the mountains and country side. We hit the Deals Gap on our way back east. After all the other mountain twisty roads we did during this trip, this part of the trip was a letdown. Because of all the advertising for this road, the traffic congestion here takes away from the fun.

 

South Carolina was interstate all the way. Scenery was good but traffic was interstate traffic.

 

Georgia was another drive through get to your destination state. I am told that there are some nice roads on the north western part. We saw the Mobile area on the SW part which was quite nice. Lots of water as there are on the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Florida was our destination state for a few days where we visited with some new snowbirds enjoying their new place in Haines City. We were so very well received by Keith and Maureen that we actually stayed another night. Actually that was just so I could fix Maureen burnt headlight. Key West with Keith was fun and the weather was also great. We were complaining a bit about the heat and humidity. Little did we know that we had only a few days left of great weather then the skies would open up and the freezer door would open. We had planned to meet up with Gene, a Goldwing forum member but the timing was there. Maybe next time Gene.

 

Mississippi is another one of those states that we did not get to enjoy to the fullest on the run through. The scenery along the Gulf is also excellent here and there are lots of little towns and cities that would be nice to explore.

 

Louisiana was our next destination state and we were not disappointed. Once we got off I-10 we got to see some nice scenery heading to New Orleans. New Orleans was everything I saw or read about, except to experience Bourbon street at night was spectacular. I even got beads . This is where we got to meet Dave, a goldwing forum member. He knew the area well and showed us around until it was time for him to drive home. Actually he could not keep up with Bill and I. HAHA. We met up with him the next day just outside N-O and he showed us all the back roads in his area along with some gators, swing bridges, bayous, etc. Thanks for a memorable experience Dave.

 

Texas brought us into Scott’s part of the world. He is another goldwing forum member and really took good care of us. He brought us to Hooters and even picked up the tab. I know in most sports like hunting and fishing, you have to pay your tour guide. And they don’t bring you to Hooters. I love riding. His house was washed away in 2008 during Hurricane Ike. We had read about the storm here in Canada but to actually see the destruction and the rebuilding going on, CNN cannot make you appreciate this. I will always remember this part of my trip. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it now. Thanks for sharing this with us Scott. God bless. Texas got a lot of weather on this trip. In San Antonio we got our first rain since we left and also were a few minutes behind a twister. In Amarillo, it was 7 hours of lightning and a tornado warning horn going off all night.

 

The next day brought us to the border of Mexico. Seems the drug lords have been leaving bodies behind everywhere and it is a dangerous area to enter. But anything for Bill’s ABC’s of Harley. I am not scared of a bunch of army guys with machine guns at the border. No way not this guy. I took the picture, got out of there fast and changed underwear. Our whole time that we were on the border states to Mexico, there were lots of border patrol SUV’s. And I mean lots.

 

New Mexico was desert like and dry. And this is where the altitude started to get higher. We stayed above 4000 feet for the next few days.

 

Arizona. You see a lot of movies that mention all these states that we have visited, and Arizona is one of them. Going through Phoenix was awesome as the airplane passes overhead the highway to land. Not to be disappointed one passed about 500 ft ahead of me. I even have it on video. The most memorable part of this state was our visit to the City of Tombstone. You can find out all the information about the city here http://www.cityoftombstone.com/ . I had never heard of it but one of the old locals at the gas station asked us if we were planning to go there. I looked at him funny, and Bill looked at me funny. He was surprised that I had never heard of it. I vaguely remember a Flintstone show that revolved around that I think. This is also the last state that would give us summer like temperatures on our west bound journey. The new bridge they are building at the Hoover Dam is quite impressive to see. It should be quite nice driving on it. Heading east through the Grand Canyon however, things were warming up a bit. The canyon is definitely worth a visit, but with Bill’s ankle, the walking was taking it’s toll on him. And the dust storms heading towards 4 corners took it’s toll on both of us and the bikes. Sand blasted legs, faces, and the bikes with sand all over including our locks and ignitions certainly does not do anyone good. When it snows, we sometimes like to swallow snowflakes, but somehow sand just doesn’t do the same thing for me.

 

California was a state I had been to in 1989. It was on business and aside from going to Disney, I had only seen the hotel and convention center. I had not seen the Hollywood sign. Well I did not see it this time either darn it. I-10 going into Palm Springs is home to hundreds of wind turbines. And I know why. The winds here when we went through were gusting in excess of 60MPH. And I mean gusting. It was hard to keep the bikes on the road. Rubbing your floorboards on a straight stretch of road. And the temperature started to drop here. And it kept dropping, dropping until it reach 10C by the time we were at Santa Monica peer. And that my friends, was going to be the HIGH of the 2 weeks with a few exceptions. The highlight beside the pier, Big Sur and San Francisco was visiting BUB Industries in Grass Valley. They are a premiere maker of motorcycle muffler systems. Thanks for the hospitality folks, it was fun. We did a 3 hour mountain ride that put us 10 miles further down the road than when we entered. But I would do it again tomorrow. It beats Deals Gap by 50 miles and much more scenic.

 

Nevada is the home of Las Vegas. We were not disappointed by NV, except Bill did not like the snow on the side of the roads. The temp was 8C at best for the most part but the scenery in the snow covered mountains was WOW. Little did we know that we would be riding through those nice cold far away mountains within an hour and then for hours on end. Temps went to 3C in Carson City and reached 35+ in Death Valley. Night life in Vegas is just like on TV. Lots of people, travelling billboards, little pimps trying to get you to their clubs and girls, etc. We behaved however, walked the strip both ways then headed back to the hotel. Since we were not in the gambling mood, we decided against staying the next night as was originally planned and headed east to towards Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.

 

The famous Four Corners covers Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. It is supposedly a great spot and during our 4 hour dust storm ride to it, that is what we kept telling ourselves. Little did we know that once we got there we would face a sign that said: “Closed for Renovations”. WOW, all that for nothing. But it was an experience.

 

Oklahoma is another state that I would like to veer off the interstate to visit. The people here seem so nice. I did not get to experience the real charm of the area. A place to spend more time next visit.

 

Arkansas it quite scenic, even as the interstate goes. Lots of trucks on these roads. Not sure why though. We went into Ozark for lunch and had a decent view of the mountains. I am sure that the back roads there would offer some great rides.

 

Tennessee greeted us with heavy rain on the interstate just as we arriving in Memphis. We did not have time to suit up so we were soaked to the bones by the time we got to the hotel. A visit to Graceland was in the cards. No disappointment here except that the concessions are very expensive. Out of all the tourist areas we saw in the U S, this is more expensive by at least 40-50%. Chattanooga offered some great scenery from lookout mountain before we left Tennessee.

 

Kentucky is a state that we did a bit of back road riding. It looks a lot like our area, it has some farmland and is quite green.

 

Indiana was just touched for the picture. I think it would be nice to do a trip from Chicago and cover Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Do the Monopoly red states. Maybe someday.

 

Ohio is Tony’s state and we came calling but he was working. Imagine that, a friend drives 10000 miles to see him, and he opts to go work. Columbus looks like a nice place but we did not take the time needed to visit it since our host was not home. We headed towards New York instead. Next time Parrotboy.

 

Vermont was our last new state on our journey. It is quite rural and reminded me a bit of home except for the mountains. There are some very nice motorcycle friendly roads here, and it is so close to home. This is a must see if you want to do a 3 day weekend trip sometime.

 

Well this will probably be the last thing I write about this trip. Taking pictures and writing about this trip made it all that more fun.

 

The site will stay up and feel free to use it. The photos will be up and I will be adding more when I have time as well as some videos once they are edited. If you are a site member, I will send an email out if any good content is posted.

 

I want to thank my family for their support in this trip. My employer Source Atlantic for giving me the freedom to take the time needed for this trip. I want to thank all of you, our friends, for logging in to our site and checking up on us, for the messages we received. It was nice to check every night we got to the hotel. To the motorcycle shops that serviced our bikes on the road, thanks for your attention and expedient services. I have your contact information that I will be sure to pass along as needed.

 

Last but not least, to my good friend Bill. We certainly had our disagreements on this trip but I cannot think of someone more committed to this trip than you. I thank you for everything. It was a blast. I would not have wanted to this trip with anyone else. Ok, the Hooters girls would have been fun too I’m sure. But Lyne would not have let me go with them.

 

Too bad that you were injured for the last 10 days or so because I could tell that you were hurting every time you got on and off your bike. Heal well my friend. It was fun to help you get your ABC’s of Harley and I do hope that you get to the plateau you set for yourself. Good Luck.

 

Dan