Tuesday, July 24, 2012

3146 miles on the motorcycle!

It's official:  we put 3146 miles on the BMW motorcycle on our trip to Sedalia, MO. We finished with just under 12 hours today, following winding, twisting, up-and-down-rollercoaster hilly roads from Oil City, PA in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, through the Finger Lakes region of New York, and finally into the Mohawk River-Erie Canal - Saratoga Springs area and across the border back home into Vermont.

Pennsylvania Route 62

We like to get on the road by 7am, when there is very little traffic and Mike can zoom around the twists and turns. This part of the Alleghenies is densely wooded, and we caught glimpses of the Allegheny River along the way.

Allegheny River

Allegheny means 'most beautiful stream' in the Delaware Indian language, and it remains a lovely area for a motorcycle ride. After we crossed into New York state, we somehow veered off our planned route, but thanks to our Garmin GPS system we weren't truly lost. We traveled farther north than we originally planned, which was a lucky mistake since we rode through the Finger Lakes region.

Canandaigua Lake

This area, home to eleven lakes that run north/south like the fingers on your hand, was originally formed two million years ago by the glaciers. The lakes fill deep gorges, which are surrounded by high ridge lines. All of this glacier activity makes for a roller coaster motorycle ride as we speed down a steep incline only to immediately head back up the other side of the hill. The ridge lines seem to be a perfect location for wind turbines, since we saw at least three different wind farms during today's ride.

The cloudy skies turned dark, so we stopped and put on our raingear. We only rode through a few sprinkles, and off came the raingear when we stopped for lunch at a small diner in Waterloo, NY. According to several signs in the town center, a local druggist came up with the original idea for Memorial Day to honor the casulaties from the Civil War in 1866.

I was thrilled to find a fresh fruit and vegetable stand next to the diner. Most restaurants have salads on their menu, but I haven't had a piece of fresh fruit since we left home last Tuesday. The farmer was kind enough to sell me just one juicy-ripe peach that was the perfect dessert.

We've often talked about spending a weekend on the bike in the Finger Lakes area, and as we rode through small villages, larger tourist towns, past vineyards and wineries we decided that this area defiitely needs more time for exploration. Our 'places to go on the motorcycle' list just gets longer.

We kept riding east, finally reaching familiar towns:  Amsterdam, Ballston Spa, Saratoga. The skies grew dark once again, and this time it started raining before Mike could pull over. Pros at getting our raingear on quickly, we suited up and were back on the road, riding through a pelting, cold rain. When the rain stopped, we left the raingear on for warmth, and to avoid stopping since we were close to Vermont.

heading into Vermont

After we unloaded the bike, Mike said it was a great trip, but he was glad to be home. I thought about the unpacking, laundry, and piles of work on my desk and commented that I'd rather be on the road. It's not all work at home:  as I sit at my desk tonight, the cats take turns begging to be petted.

My legs and butt are sore and cramped from hours sitting on the bike, I long for home-cooked meals and clean clothes, and the cats purr their welcome. Yet hearing the wind whistle through my helmet, riding with the rising sun in my face, and meeting friendly people along the road continue to beckon.  Our next motorcycle trip is in one week, and I'm already looking forward to riding on the left side of the road in Ireland.


  1. You made it! Not that I had any doubts but I am excited you made it home. 3,146 miles is a lot. Thank you so much for the lunch at Miss Kitty's Mike and Lynn! You two are great and I wish we could have spent more time together. Enjoy your next trip and I will be watching your blog so keep writing Lynn. Miss you guys!

  2. There's a chance you are eligible for a new solar energy program.
    Click here and find out if you qualify now!