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Niagara Falls then Home

Departed for Niagara Falls a bit later than expected: turns out the the rigging I created was not charging the iPhone while riding, a fact I did not notice until hooking up the iPhone to leave and finding it nearly dead.

Technology problems aside, the ride to Niagara was quite beautiful, running along the river. I captured it with the GoPro, but haven’t extracted the video yet.

As for the falls, they are stunning and beautiful, but the place is really a tourist trap, at least on the US side (I didn’t visit the Canadian side). Granted I was there on prime day for visitors – a beautiful Sunday afternoon – but, between the crowd and the rampant commercialism, I tired quickly.

I took a scenic route home thru central New York and Pennsylvania, only partially highway. The afternoon was enjoyable, but by the time the sun set, I was ready to be home (but would not be for another 2 hours).

The overall trip was short but enjoyable and focused mainly on riding. I’ll post a wrap up in the next couple days (hopefully with nice video of the ride to Niagara Falls.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Heading to Niagara Falls

Along the way, I had some trouble with the Vision’s connection to the iPhone. The iPhone provides music and, more importantly, GPS directions. There was a time when I would memorize the directions (or the next few steps), but I’ve become lazy and now depend on spoken instructions.

No store has the needed adaptor cable in stock (because it’s a couple generations old), so I had to rig up a connection from what was available. The rigging was successful, although every once in a while it would cut out and I had to fiddle with it.

Besides the technology issues, I started to feel nauseated during the ride. It was never bad enough that I needed to stop, but I decided to head to the hotel, rest up, and visit Niagara Falls tomorrow morning.

Since I was spending time relaxing, I decided to extract and edit the video from yesterday – when I was picking up items to rig the iPhone, I also bought an SD card reader for the iPad (made video import much faster).

I cut down 2 hours of raw video to a little over 5 minutes. Riding videos can get tedious so I kept the clips short, sped up some of them, and added a few notes. Hopefully it turned out more watchable.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Adirondacks

Lake George

Road thru Adirondack Park, starting on the east side, near Old Forge, and ending up on the west side, Lake George.

I mostly followed Route 28 and finishing the trip on Route 9N. There are a number of construction zones on the west side of Route 28, but they are well managed – only bone required a significant stop – even though the road drops to one lane.

Indian Lake

Even More Plan Changes

The original plan had been to head into Canada today to join a meet up, but the forecast for that area is scattered showers with a highs around 60 F for the entire weekend. If it was chilly & dry, or rainy & warm, I would have proceeded with the plan, but riding cold & wet just isn’t fun, so I’ve updated the plan again.

I considered head to Boston to see friends, but was concerned about the weather (and potential remnants of Dorian). I checked around looking for warm weather and the best bet is to head east; tomorrow’s destination Niagara Falls. I have been there before, but I was very young; additionally, I’m really riding thru rural New York.

Technology

This is my first trip without a laptop – I’m solely using iPad and iPhone to post updates. For photos, it works great, but I captured a lot of video today (2 GoPro Sessions). The cameras are paired to my iPhone, which works great for set up, but now I’m pulling the video over and it’s taking a long time; with the laptop, I would connect the camera directly and pulling the video off was super quick.

I’m planning on capturing more video tomorrow, but probably won’t have any ready to post until after I get home.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Abington to Utica

I choose Utica, NY as my base destination because it was approximately the halfway point and near the Adirondacks. Just by luck, it turned out to be a great ride: the first half, thru central PA, highway (I-476) and I made good time. The last 2-3 hours was a rural road thru the rolling hills and farm land of central New York: beautiful scenery, nice roads and little traffic.

New Friends

I arrived at the hotel to find a couple Gold Wing parking lot. The owners saw me checking out their bikes and came out to introduce themselves. They are from Montreal and heading home tomorrow. We’re planning on meeting up for breakfast, then riding together for at least part of the day: they are planning a number of sightseeing stops; since I have to go about 1.5 – 2 hours further north, I may decide to skip some of them.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Abbreviated Road Trip

ReadyToRollSept2019
Ready to Roll

After too many years without a long ride, I was anxious to get back out on the road. A friend invited me to a small gathering the weekend after Labor Day, about an hour north of Montreal; I’ve wanted to explore New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for some time, so this seemed the perfect opportunity.

I scheduled a 10 day vacation, starting a few days before the holiday weekend. The plan was to head south to visit friends & family, then reverse course and head for Canada.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Before heading out on the for a long ride, I usually only have the vaguest of plans, deciding most things as I go. This decide on the fly approach is one of the things I love about road trips, but it does invite the possibility for things to go off course.

In this case, a number of forces conspired to derail my plans. First, HVAC issues at home pushed my departure date from Friday to Saturday, then from Saturday to Sunday. At the same time the trip was being delayed, Hurricane Dorian’s track was being updated, looking like it was going to hook north to make landfall around Georgia or the Carolinas. (This was before it was clear it was going to stall over the Bahamas – help if you can.)

With the possibility of driving into a serious storm and my bank account taking a hit from the HVAC repairs, I dropped the first portion of my trip and decided to focus on the ride to the event. As a straight shot, it’s about an 8 hour drive to the event, but I’m allowing 2 days on either side for wandering and sight seeing.

Mostly packed, and with the Vision freshly washed, I’ll be heading out tomorrow. It should be a fairly leisurely ride thru some beautiful country.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Badlands & Wyoming

Day 4: 359 miles

I had driven along the edge of Badlands National Park during Sturgis a few years ago, but this was this the first time I rode thru the park.  The park is beautiful, but, as an extra bonus, there was a classic car rally going traveling thru the park at the same time.

Badlands1Badlands2Badlands3

Wyoming

On my first cross-country road trip, I came out of Nebraska and into Wyoming.  In Nebraska, at 4 PM, the temperature was 70-80 degrees (F); by 5 PM, in Wyoming the temperature had dropped into the 40’s (even though it was August) and I had forgotten my cold weather riding gear.  Ultimately, I made it to Laramie, WY wearing sock mittens on my hands.  My exact words describing the experience were Wyoming kicked my ass and made me its bitch.

This time Wyoming tried to crush me with heat: heading to Buffalo, WY the temperature was 100+ degrees and the sun was beating down.  About an hour away from the hotel, I did run into a little bit of rain, which was refreshing, but it came with high winds (gusts of up to 35 MPH).

This ride was not as rough of as that original trip, but by the time I reached the hotel, I was dehydrated and exhausted.

Next

My original plan was to stay in Buffalo and drive to Yellowstone, then return to Buffalo.  As it turned out, I had misjudged the proximity and had to come with a new plan; details to follow.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Spirt Lake & Hotel Problems

Day 3: 565 miles

My goal for the day was to visit the Victory factory in Spirit Lake, IA, then continue toward Yellowstone National Park.

Spirit Lake

The route to Spirit Lake took me thru the beautiful green plains of Iowa on two lane  country roads.  The weather was perfect for riding – sunny & breezy, but not too hot – and except for the occasionally pick-up or tracker trailer, the roads were pretty much empty.

File Jun 24, 10 15 52 PM

I stopped for lunch in Estherville, a beautiful small town about 15 minutes east of Spirit Lake.  The town square is dominated by the public library fronted by small park and bordering on a storybook main street.

File Jun 24, 10 16 34 PM

I finally reached the factory around 1:30 PM local time.  I tried my best to be persuasive, the receptionist was politely adamant: no visitors can enter the factor or take tours while the new model year is being created; tours would restart in August around the time of American Victory Rally.

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Not getting into the factory was a little disappointing, but it was still an amazing morning riding thru the countryside.

The Hotel Issue

Leaving Spirit Lake, I got back on the highway.  Unfortunately much of I-90 is South Dakota is under construction / repair.  I was debating on how far I wanted to drive and eventually settled on Murdo, SD, but found there were no vacancies anywhere in town.

The next major town on I-90 is Wall, SD, which is a bit of tourist trap, although it is right by the entrance to Badlands National Park.  I reserved a room online and settled in for another hour of riding thru construction.

Arriving at the hotel, I found the hotel receptionist in quite a state.  I quickly learned the source of her stress:

  • There was corvette show in the area and pretty much ever town on I-90 was fully booked.
  • They were having a problem with the online booking system and did not have room for me. Ugh!

Contemplating how far I would have to drive to find hotel was putting me in the same state as the receptionist, but this kind woman came to my rescue: she called a friend ran another hotel in town; the hotel was being renovated, but he opened & gave me a room (a couple other desperate travelers also got rooms).

Despite the renovations, the room was clean, well-appointed and less than half the price of the room I originally reserved.  The only downside was the lack of WiFi, but I was grateful just to have a place to stay.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading to town outside of Yellowstone and visiting the park on Saturday.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized