Wednesday, 11 September 2013

only 4 more states and then I have ridden them all

I didnt realise how long it had been since I last updated my blog!

Thursday 22nd Aug Cleveland Motel
I was due to check out and get my bike sorted out, however heavy rain was forecast so I booked another night at the motel. I did wake up to heavy rain so I rang the garage and arranged to get the bike done on Friday, however by the afternoon it had brightened up so I re-arranged the bike work and by 6 my bike had a new chain and sprocket and a new rear tyre. Later I checked my service log book and I had only got 11,000 miles out of the rear, normally I would get close to 14,000 but I figured the rough roads of Alaska had reduced the tyre life.

new chain and sprockets and new tyre.... time to get back on the road

Friday 23rd Aug Cleveland to Niagara Falls State park Camped
It felt great to be back on the road and I decided I would not use the toll roads and take the back roads instead. I made it to Niagara falls in good time but really struggled to find a campsite. In the end I ended up in a state park. While trying to get a good deal with my veterans status, the owner took me to a site which was being re-developed. To me there was nothing wrong with it, yes the ground was a bit bumpy but I managed to find a nice flat spot for my tent. The owner let me have the site for free, I was well chuffed !

Saturday 24th Aug Niagara state park to Bridgeport Camped
I headed off to the falls early only to find all the local car parks were full. I did have a stroke of luck and spot a free 2 hour parking spot. That was ideal as I only wanted to view the falls and then get off.
I have to say, the falls were truly spectacular but I was a little dismayed at the amount of tourist tats selling everything and anything! Also the crowds were a bit too much for me, give me Zion National park any day!
Again I was struggling to find a campsite in New York State, I must have been looking for almost 3 hours when I found a Kayak club that the owner kindly let me stay the night. In the morning they brought me coffee and a doughnut which was a very nice surprise !

Posing at Niagara falls

Sunday 25th Aug Bridgeport to Albany Motel
I was desperate for a shower so I grabbed a cheap motel and got clean again. I rode some fantastic forest roads through the Adirondack Mountains.

Monday 26th Aug Albany to Keene Camped
Well I haven’t been keeping my journal up to date, so I am having to back over my maps and try and work out where the hell I have been staying these last few days, I think my mind has been so focused on getting through all the states I have overlooked the fact I can’t remember where I have been!
I think this is were I was looking for a campsite and could only find $44 ones, I did eventually find one and it was $27, so when I got my wallet out the owner told me to put it away and it was on the house!

Tuesday 27th Aug Keene to Concord Motel
Found a cheap motel and settled down to get some washing done. I also think I had a problem with charging my laptop on the motorbike, yes I think that was the reason for a motel, to charge my laptop up.

Wednesday 28th Aug  Concord to Monroe Motel
For the first time in a long time I hit bad weather, it was really hot in the morning and by the afternoon the sky was full of big black clouds. So I opted for a motel and stopped early to miss most of the bad weather.

Thursday 29th Aug Monroe to Lancaster Camped
Well I headed towards Lancaster Pennsylvania, where they film the Amish Mafia in the hope to see some Amish people, well I managed to see 2 ! I think maybe they were all out in the fields working hard.
I ended up once again struggling to find a campsite or cheap motel, in the end I ended up in a state park campground. It was so humid I just lay on my bed in my undies sweating like I was in a sauna!

I have struggled with pain and numbness in my right hand and shoulder in the past few days, I think I might have a trapped nerve as Deep Heat helps relieve it. I think I will have a week somewhere cheap when I head back Westward.

Friday 30th Aug Lancaster to Bowie Motel
I had to settle for a high end Motel as the heat and humidity was just killing me! It seemed lovely to be in a posh motel until I got into bed and noticed blood stains on the pillow, when I reported it in the morning the only girl on the front desk just couldn’t give a shit!
I asked to speak to a manager only to be told there was no manager on at the weekend. I have emailed them and await to hear from them.

The blood stain! still heard nothing from my email

Saturday 31st Aug Bowie to Front Royal Motel
I took a ride through Washington DC with a view of seeing the White House, I never really thought about it but riding a fully loaded bike into a Secret Service gatepost just outside the White House wasn’t really a good idea!
The guys were great once they moved me back onto the road.

the closet I could get to the White House

The ride through Washington was really quiet and I was pleasantly surprised. Then I headed West to Virginia. By 2 in the afternoon the humidity was killing me, not to mention my right arm was playing up despite doing stretching exercise. So I had an early finish and got a cheap motel, at least the bedding was clean here!

Sunday 1st September  decided to have another night at this motel, hopefully to sort out my shoulder problem

Monday 2nd September Front Royal to Anderson
It was labor day here and I thought the roads would be really busy but they were not. I took the Skyline drive through the Shenandoah Park, it was a nice ride but it had a blanket 35 MPH speed limit, which was a great shame as it had some fantastic twisty corners.

Stunning views from Skyline Drive

I once again struggled to find somewhere to camp. Eventually around 7 I found a campsite, just after setting up my tent and getting my tea on I noticed the railway line across the river from me. Of course the trains ran all night long and I could swear that some of them had more than 200 carriages on them. On top of it all, it was so humid all I could do was lie in my undies and sweat a lot !

The ground shook every time a train passed!

Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th Anderson to Charleston
I managed to find a cheap clean motel and booked for 2 nights in the hope I can sort out this dammed shoulder problem, its causing me real pain as I ride and sometimes it feels like the whole arm goes to sleep. My arm is still playing up so I have booked a 3rd night and not riding the bike to see if the rest helps.

Friday 6th Sep 2013 Charleston to Evansville
Well after resting up for a few days and doing lots of stretching I found out that it didn’t help one bit! My arm still freezes up and is very painful, so I have decided where possible to stick to the interstate roads, that way I can put my throttle lock on and stretch my arm off on the go. Mind you I am getting some strange stares off the other drivers!
I also thought it was cooler and decided to save money and camp, how wrong I was, it was like a sauna again in the tent and in the morning the tent was soaking due to the heavy overnight dew.

Saturday 7th Sep 2013 Evansville to St Clair
Well it was hot and sticky this morning so I got on the road early, at least once on the interstates I was able to ride and stay fairly cool until I hit really bad traffic in St Louis. They were doing bridge works and the traffic was at a standstill. As it hit almost 90 degrees I decided to ride the outside hard shoulder, it was either that or faint from the heat.
Managed to find a decent motel, which I thought was cheap but because I had a room with a fridge and microwave she charged me an extra $5! I was a bit pissed at that and wished I had looked elsewhere now. Still I suppose it’s better than lying in the tent sweating the night away. The weather looks like it’s going to get even hotter in the next few days!

Another state added to the list

Sunday  8th  and Monday 9th Sep 2013, St Clair to Springfield
I woke up to rain! First in many months, so I decided to stick my waterproofs on and brave it out. Luckily the rain dried up within 30 minutes and I was soon whizzing down the road towards Kansas but the heat started to become unbearable again. So it was an early finish and I was still in Missouri. The motel was nice and clean and decided to stay another night, hoping that my shoulder and hand would have a chance to sort its self out.

Tuesday 10th Sep 2013, Springfield to Joplin
Well I made it to Kansas, I was intending to ride a bit further West before heading back East but to be honest, Kansas was so boring! Roads as straight as rulers and only crop fields to look at. So after riding 70 miles in Kansas it was time to ride back East. Stayed in a dingy motel rang by Indians, I must say I was impressed with the security, 2 bits of wood jammed together to prevent the bathroom window to be opened!

Wednesday 11th Sep 2013 Joplin to Clarksville Arkansas

I decided I would venture back towards Kansas and ride into Oklahoma on the old route 66, to be honest, it looked like most of the smaller back roads I have been riding.
The temp just got hotter and hotter, it was soon in the 90’s and then it looked like a thunderstorm was coming through however it turned out to be only a few drops of rain. Any way’s I decided to stop early and got a decent motel with cheap washing machine so it was time to catch up on the laundry.