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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mightymatt43, Nov 6, 2011.
What an adventure you have in store.....I'm along for the ride too!
Just read through your blog Sunday and found this post today, FANTASTIC!!!
So sorry for your loss!! I am however, glade you are able to honor him in this way!!!
If you ever find yourself in northern Aakansas we would love to show you around!!!
I've always loved your ride reports. Always inspiring with great pictures, and great writing!
The decision was actually very hard and I can admit I've doubted it since we've been gone but overall, I think it was the right choice for us right now. We have years and years to settle down...later.
Thanks! We'll take that under advisement and be sure to look you up if we head that way...
Do it! We're having a blast right now and it sounds like you would too...
Thanks for following along!
I agree. Claude and team did an awesome job. Thanks for the encouragement!
I would love to meet you and the wife and especially Barley...I'm having serious dog withdrawal. We're in PA at the moment, when we get finished up here we'll take a serious look at the weather...
Not sure yet but we'll try and give everybody a heads up beforehand as we'd like to meet as many folks as we can.
I've been jealous of so many other guys on this site before... so I'll take that as a compliment and no, I don't feel bad about it!
I think the BMW will fit our needs more than the Ural. Do I think the Ural could have done this kind of travel? Sure. Would I have enjoyed it? No doubt. And there may even come a time when I wish we were on the Ural rig (I may miss that 2WD at some point and man, I really miss the reverse), but for now I feel confident that we made the right decision.
Good to have you along! Thanks for the encouragement. It's well received!
You are very right about that. The colors really blew our mind. Pretty amazing compared to central Texas. I am missing Mexican food, however...
Thank you. And thanks for following along in any capacity... good to have a community surrounding via the world wide web.
Thanks! Good to have you along!
We have talked at length about that and we really feel like our traveling is honoring to his memory - he was a wild man, himself!
We'll let you know if we come around your neck of the woods...
Thanks, Tom! Encouragement is always received and encouraged!
We have several friends that live in Manhattan and so a side trip to the city was necessary after we left Rhode Island. We had no intention of doing so before we headed to NY, but we ended up spending 10 days there!
Before we headed to the city, however, we were invited to spend a couple of days at a cabin in the Catskills owned by the boss of a close friend of ours. It was a bit more of a "mansion" and less of a "cabin"...
The place is has a long history of owners and is 130 years old. Before we could even unload the bike, our friend Shannon and a group of her friends surrounded our rig and a photoshoot ensued. I've only had the thing for a couple of weeks, but I've already forgotten how unusual it is! We walked in and were met with a plate-full of waffles, veggies, bacon, and some of the most magical eggs I've ever tasted.
Most of our time there was getting to know all the people that were staying at the cabin, but we did spend some time to go and do a bit of hiking to see a pretty spectacular waterfall.
We were both very encouraged by how intrigued everyone was by our travels. All were young professionals working extremely hard in NYC and as far as I could tell, all were doing very well for themselves, many working the financial sector. But as we talked about what we were planning to do, I could see in their eyes that they wanted to do something as irresponsible as we were. I am quite convinced that every one has a longing for adventure. At some point, I suppose it just seems too confusing to move forward and away from the "normal" life.
We eventually had to say goodbye to the cabin and head into the city. I need to mention this 2 hour stretch of riding because it confirmed what I had been thinking since we arrived in this part of the country. Nobody follows posted speed limits. I'm not even sure why they have them. I feel like every highway I've been on up here has been filled with drivers that get legitimately mad if you go the speed limit. Thankfully, this new rig can hold its own and keep up with traffic...
We ended up using Kristen's Google Maps on her iPhone to route us to another friend's apartment in Soho that we were going to stay at for several days. It immediately took us to the Lincoln Tunnel and through a ton of the popular tourist attractions that NYC is known for. It was not a quick ride. I'm only half complaining because it was actually pretty fun with people photographing us, we had one guy follow us on a bicycle and a video camera to do an interview, and every traffic light was a conversation with several different pedestrians.
We parked on the street for a few while we unloaded some things into Branigan's apartment - I unfortunately couldn't help much due to fans of the sidecar passing by. The amount of attention our rig demands is pretty insane, as in we can hardly go anywhere without someone coming to talk with us. We eventually rode off to find a parking garage and found one only a couple of blocks away. I mention this only because the parking attendant moved a Ferrari and two Land Rovers to get us a prime spot in the garage. He must have been a fan...
Space is at a premium in NYC and so we were so grateful for Branigan giving up his room and bed for us. He's Marine but now works in the financial district and is really a hell of a guy.
Our first 5 days in New York City were absolutely insane with activity and we hardly slept. I now understand why people from this city never stop moving. There is so much to do and see and experience. It's a really unique place and up until this trip, I can admit that I didn't really understand the appeal. Looking back now, I get it. I don't ever want to live there (the buildings overwhelm and the subways underwhelm personal space, which I enjoy) but it is a wonderful place to visit.
Saw an acoustic set with Kevin Griffin from Better than Ezra and Ed Roland from Collective Soul (yeah, '90s alternative):
So many interesting people to photograph:
It really is a photographer's land of opportunity:
We walked a ton to several pretty interesting shops:
This place has a reality TV show and sells some really bizarre stuff:
Branigan's roof was finished out with handmade furniture and fake grass and lights from his designer girlfriend. It was really well done and afforded a pretty amazing spot to escape the confinement of the city:
I really miss having a guitar around. I'm trying to figure out a way I could maybe fit one on the bike:
We also made sure to make some time to go and see the 9/11 Memorial, which I highly suggest to anyone making a trip here.
The "Occupy" Protesters were located very closely to the entrance to the site, their drumming and chanting echoing through the streets:
There is pretty heavy security and a long series of lines to walk through to get to the Memorial. Be sure to make a reservation online:
The original site of one of the Towers is easily visible through chain link once you finally enter the site.
A good reminder:
The nearly finished Freedom Tower in the background:
The name of Todd Beamer who famously said, "Let's Roll", before an attempt to take back Flight 93:
It really was a sobering experience to be at the memorial. A strange quiet loomed over the entire site despite the eternal motion and noise of the city outside the walls. Some people wept openly at names they obviously recognized. Some just walked while let their fingers glide across the illuminated letters. Some just wept at the enormity of the whole thing. Definitely a moment I won't forget in the near future...
We eventually left Branigan's place for Shannon's, who lived on the Upper West Side. Like Branigan, she gave up her room and bed. Just awesome.
More New York later: snow storm and Halloween.
Going back in time a bit, we made a video with some footage from the majestic Niagara Falls. There is a reason why it's so touristy...
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