Pennsyltuckey Noodlin'

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ricochetrider, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    I ride around here enough that I am frequently posting pix and stories about my rides. After I put this up, I realised this thread would be perfect for me to use for covering my two-wheeled exploits in South Central PA. and wherever I may day-trip out to. Cheers.
    PS: I threw a bunch of links to stuff into the opening chapter last night. Don't get used to that. :muutt

    Sunday Oct 21 2012:
    Had a day off today (YAY [​IMG] ) and after I slept in,the Girlfriend & I went out for a nice ride.

    But first a stop for breakfast... or lunch? What would you call eggs, pancakes, sausages, & home fries at 1:00 PM? If I just woke up (I had), it's STILL breakfast to me. There are a couple diners near us, down along the river. We chose this one today, and yes, Miss C had the pumpkin pancakes with actual REAL maple syrup. [​IMG]

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    After, we began to ride upriver- but I quickly felt the need to just head west off the river route, out into the valley. The sky was bright and sunny, with BIG puffy white clouds. The clouds cast their shadows on the mountainsides, where they danced over the tree tops.

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    We turned north, going up Waggoner's Gap (PA route 74)
    on what we call the North Mountain, which we'd been riding parallel to for several miles. This mountain is actually officially the Blue Mountain.
    Wiki Link Here

    This "gap" at the top of the ridge, is right along the major inland migratory flyway, and is down range from Hawk Mountain which gets all the glory. Check the Raptor Count for today on the Hawk Mountain page to see what kind of numbers I'm talking here in peak migration- it's staggering. The Audobon Society has a presence up at Waggoner's Gap, & with it being peak migration season right now, the parking at the top was too crammed for us to stop for any shots of the valley below. But the mountain was as colorful as I've ever seen it. Indeed- all the "leaf-lookers" were out & about, Sunday driving just like we were. I bet we passed 50 bikes or more during the course of our day's ride, but yeah, there were lots of cars too...

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    Over the ridge, and out into Perry County, PA. Perry County -being largely quite rural- is the brunt of all the incest jokes around these parts. To this day, there isn't a single traffic light to be found in the entire county.

    Back around we went, up and over the same ridge again At Doubling Gap- and out across the Great Cumberland Valley to the South Mountain along PA route 233.

    Doubling Gap Map Here

    This is interesting because the mountain actually doubles back on itself creating a definite "S" shape! there is a spot west of where we were, up on a dirt road where you can see the entire thing. We weren't up there today, but I've provided an aerial view in the above link for you.

    Out across the great Valley we went, back up onto the mountain at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, down into Mount Holly Springs, over to Boiling Springs, Following the good old Yellow Breeches Creek home. By the time we were getting near the end of the ride, the day had grown long, and so had the shadows. As it was actually dangerous to stop along the roadside for pix, due to the amount of cars and bikes out- I took precious few photos along the rest of the ride- but we did have a nice time, and it was really great to be out with my baby in tow.

    The Great Valley Map

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumberland_Valley

    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/pinegrovefurnace/


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    #1
  2. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    A buddy and I took our airhead BMWs out yesterday, and had a nice 80+ mile run around the rural back roads, enjoying the sunshine and fall colors.

    My 1993 R100RS:

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    We took a short hike to get these views:
    The Great Cumberland Valley

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    Perry County PA

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    Got home and had a little Hodgoblin:

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    #2
  3. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    I was out taking pix of my bike (R100RS again) and the local river, which is no small trickle- the Susquehanna. After living here for many years, I've come to regard this river as one of the most beautiful bodies of water I've ever known. (or seen)

    Here I am across from Harrisburg, capitol pf Pennsyltuckey- where the state politicians have actually had fist fights and brawls on the house or senate floor! I mean hey- it didn't get the nickname Pennsyltuckey fer nothin'!

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    Moving upriver, a stop at the Marysville Riffles

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    Here, you can see the great Rockville Bridge in the background. More on that later.

    Moving upriver to the confluence of the Juniata and the Susquehanna, but FIRST a stop to view a local land mark- Lady Liberty On The Susquehanna:

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    Situated in the river's Dauphin Narrows section, standing on an old railroad pier, this mock-up of Statue Of Liberty is made of solid, flat-stacked 3/4" plywood. It weighs about 4 tons and is covered in fiberglass. She holds a Keystone instead of a bible. She was flown out to her spot on the pier using a HUGE ass helicopter. The short flight was launched from Fort Hunter park on the east side of the river. This current version of Lady Liberty replaced the original- which was made from a 4X4, some plywood "ribs" and a shitload of old metal venetian blind blades. It had an "expanding" foam head, which they sprayed out of cans into a mold! The old statue fell down in an ice storm back in the 90s, after gamely weathering many storms and seasonal changes. It took a few years to replace it, but a shiny new one has enjoyed wide notoriety and reknown since. I know all this because I helped take the old one down, and know the guys who snuck it up there to begin with- in the middle of the night with a technical assault on the pier- which stands over 40 feet from the river's surface. I was on the pier when we flew the new one out, after doing much work on the pier itself to ready it for its new statue. From the very bottom of the pier, on the rocks, a 40 foot extension ladder JUST reaches the top of the pier. I do not recall how many 5 gallon buckets of mortar I carried up that ladder during the remake of the pier top. We laid down some skids and mixed the mortar (by hand) on a work station we built at the bottom of the pier- canoeing buckets of sand and bags of mortar out from the east shore. The guy who ram-rodded the project is now running for a political office in PA.

    Here I am at the confluence of the Juniata and the Susquehanna. To the right is the Juniata, to the left, Susquehanna.

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    Next, I rode up the eat side of the river to try to get onto the Millersburg Ferry- but it's only running on weekends now, I guess they back the schedule off a bit before shutting down for the winter. Instead I rode out east on 209 and headed up towards Carsonville, getting up into the mountains.

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    I had the roads to myself on this fine autumn day.

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    Past Carsonville- NO I didn't stop at the Carsonville Hotel- But did wave to Dennis, who was out sweeping the entrance ramp. I noodled on down the mountain to Clark's Valley Rd. For those who don't know it, Clark's Valley Rd runs a dead straight 15-20? mile line through the woods with very few intersections other than driveways. Tho the state police Do patrol it from time to time, typically you can just FLY up or down it. I turned off CV Rd, turning right on the MUY FAB Goldmine Road, which runs over a couple sweet ridges in very curvy lines, to PA 443, which runs back to the river along Fishing Creek.

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    The very cool Rockville Bridge is one of the longest stone arch bridges anywhere- built, (I think) in the 30s by immigrant stone masons. It's a railroad bridge, and sometimes you can see two trains on it at once.

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    #3
  4. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Nice report!!!
    And with AIRHEADS!!!!:clap:clap:clap
    A small request though,,, if you put up pics of good eating places,,, you really should put up the location!!!:D
    There are a few places I haven't been to yet!
    #4
  5. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

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    Nice pics. I believe Perry County got their first traffic light the other year. Maybe around Marysville area. 850 and 11/15 I think.
    #5
  6. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Good point- I forgot about that light -not sure why, as I go thru it often. I guess I don't think of that as Perry County but it most definitely is.

    Scootac,

    That diner is right in Wormleysburg- next to the Drinkin Bone bar. Upriver from Wormleysburg proper, closer to the Conodoguinet...
    #6
  7. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    Nice reports. Keep them coming.
    I piss and moan a lot about living here (mostly due to the weather), but it does offer good riding.
    The Rockville Bridge is covered in a book written a few years ago. You wouldn't think a book about a bridge would be all that interesting, but I really enjoyed it.
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    #7
  8. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    :lol3 Well, I've lived in worse places for weather- Houston, for but one example. Another good book you might enjoy -
    "Susquehanna: River Of Dreams" by Susan Q Stranahan (IIRC). Details the geology (facts & theories) and historical human interactions with the Susquehanna River, canal systems, etc.- VERY cool.

    I regard PA as having some of the best motorcycling anywhere- mostly mountains, mostly rural, sparsely populated in all the good [mo'cyclin'] parts, and people on bikes virtually everywhere.
    I'm not native to here but lived here most of my adult life.

    Another [major] bonus of life in Central PA- 2 hours to Philly & D.C., 1&1/2 hours to Baltimore, 3 hours to NYC. 20 minutes to pure countryside, and always [comparatively] minimalist rush hour.
    #8
  9. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Gonna be chilly but I might just get out and ride some after voting!
    Y'all DO vote, dontcha? :evil
    #9
  10. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    I've been waiting to get a bike -ANY bike- out on the road this year, and between work and weather, and just plain bad timing, I hadn't had much opportunity. BUT eventually, even a blind squirrel finds a damn nut...

    Today wasn't QUITE as warm as yesterday, so I waited about, killing time by jaunting down to the local Farmer's Market for some breakfast, and kicking it at the house... until FINALLY the temps topped the 40 degree (F) mark. Yesterday, I'd uncovered the good ol R100, and ran it for a few minutes. Today, it was as ready as I was apparently. It fired up with a roar and off we went.

    As I rolled down the hill, the river to my left was as still as glass; the arches of the bridges down there reflecting nicely on the water. The sky was as clear as a bell- it was a gen-u-wine blue bird day, and right Spring-like in all its glory. I popped down thru New Cumberland to see if Deuce was gonna be around, but no. So I headed west and was soon in the country.

    I rolled out across the great Cumberland Valley, following the Yellow Breeches Creek for a ways down to Boiling Springs. It's the 2nd Saturday of trout season, and all the anglers were out- as well as a few danglers, wandering along the roadways at creekside, noodling around in their pick-em-up trucks, gawking about and generally creatin a nuisance. The crowd at the BS lake was fantastic in its proportions, with even some wheelchair-bound folks out there wettin' a hook, tryin to entice a trout to accept the invitation to dinner.

    Having made it thru all that, I swung out to Mt Holly Springs and up into the South Mountain for some... well some more trout fisherpersons, as it turns out. Y'see, there's no shortage of creeks, streams, criks, runs, puddles, drainage ditches, and lakes hereabouts. The South Mountain is no exception to the rule, and the hooks were fairly flyin about the place like so many frisbees. Any bit of water them wily anglers thought there might be a trout lurking, had a gaggle of pick-ups, poles, and people all teeming about.

    Had to pee, so I snapped this pic while stopped:

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    Eventually, the crowd gave way to open roads. Up through the mountain I rode, turning to cross over it, and back out into the Big Valley, riding across PA Rte 233 to cross over the North Mountain into God's Country- Perry County, Pennsyltuckey. Still occasionally dodging trout seekers, passing more than the occasional motorcyclist, I rolled the throttle on and on.

    Zig-zagging out across Perry County, I found myself wondering just exactly how a place so beautiful could SMELL so bad? Well of course it's all farm country, and most of them farmers was spreading what we call manure, I suppose with the end-goal (pun intended) of having all that bovine offal kinda re-fortify the ground that their chemicals have stripped of its original essence... but I digress.

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    Out across God's Country I did ride, smiling in spite of the smell. I meandered along detours, slithered down by-ways, and rolled on into yet another mountain, crossing up over PA rte 850, stopping at the top for some pix.

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    Up and over the ridge I went, down into some other county... Franklin? Hmmm. not sure, actually. I hot-footed it down to PA Rte 75, and turned east. This is pure Amish country here, but somehow, I passed nary a buggy out here where the speed limit also happens to match the hiway number (shhh! don't tell- it's a secret that few are hip to). I flippin FLEW down "75" going, well, you know. I began to measure the sun's angle, combining that with the lengthening shadows and deduced that it was getting on in the day. Exercising SOME good sense, I made a right turn onto hiway 74, and back up over the ridge I went, marveling some more to myself on just how little traffic there ever is out here in God's Country. Guess he don't like cars, or had everyone (and I mean EVERYone) on a mission for trout 50 miles south, or whatever. Anyway, there's a couple of my fave curves over here on this stretch so I stopped again to get a piccie or two.

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    Up, over, back down and around I went into Perry County proper, winding south for a ways. I turned east, picking up Rte 850. Towards the river I went, with the sun peering over my shoulder, as if watching my speedo. Following my shadow, I eventually wound up also following some rolling roadblock on a... you guessed it- Hardley Ableson- and lemme tell ya he was moving a LOT slower than my shadow had been just a few happy moments ago. He turned off sooner rather than later, so me and my shadow sped back up, only to run right up on another similar rolling roadlbock... Honestly. I mean what IS it with these @$$holes doing the SPEED LIMIT?!? [​IMG]

    Taking the hint, I veered off onto a pleasant little road that winds thru its own secret valley. I seriously could have been killed, as I came around a bend to find some knucklehead fully and completely on MY SIDE of the road in his BIG ass car... Man if I'd been a few seconds ahead of myself...or if the sun had been lower my shadow coulda been kilt... I mean it was that close. Hmmm, maybe those rolling roadblocks had SOME purpose after all, eh? Anyway I'd slowed down for the run along this valley, eventually coming out at the River's edge, below Marysville. Down river I did ride, with the train tracks betwixt me and the cold water of the Mighty Susquehanna.

    It was a sweet little hop down to Wormleysburg, and back up the big hill to the Sky Pad. I hopped off the bike, and got a pic of this:

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    and this

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    and this

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    Didn't take too many pix, so I had to make a load of shi... er I mean stuff up to add SOME substance to this here yarn.

    Path: Lemoyne to New Cumberland via Bridge St> 114 thru Lisburn> along the Yellow Breeches to Boiling Springs> Mt Holly> 34S veering off towards Michaux State Forest> 233 thru Newville> 850/274 to Blain> over the mountain on 850> 75 to 74> back to 850> New Valley Road> U.S.11/15 back to Wormleysburg. 171.8 miles of smiles.
    #10
  11. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

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    Did you find any of those Perry County scumbags the Harrisburg mayor talks about? She's not too bright!
    #11
  12. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    No I didn't find any but I know a few! :lol3
    A crew of my buddies from up there are now officially calling themselves the Perry County Scumbags.
    #12
  13. chrish4ku

    chrish4ku Been here awhile

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    Nice photos and report! Different than Cali for sure.
    #13
  14. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

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    Nice RR :thumb
    I'm enjoying this thread.
    Home turf.
    Thanks.
    #14
  15. chasbo

    chasbo Long timer

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    Lots of places I haven't been to yet...I am liking this!
    #15
  16. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Glad you got out for a ride,,, Airheads love the cool air!:D
    I've come across a few rolling roadblocks too,,, and as you say,,, sometimes they hold you back just enough to avoid a problem. When I come up on one and get a little antsy,,, I remember that and back off a little and enjoy the ride.
    Oh BTW,,, up here in the northern part of the state,,, Potter County is God's Country!:D
    #16
  17. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Yeah, I hear ya. :rofl Most of PA, really. What a great place to ride a motorcycle. :clap
    #17
  18. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    April 16

    With most of the week off work, I knew I was gonna do some riding. Time to clock some miles. I'd gotten out with a buddy yesterday for a sweet little jaunt of about 74 miles, but today it was time to really roll it on. With a minor threat of rain, I began the day slowly, drinking coffee (our last at the house) and having a small breakfast. It did sprinkle for a minute as I was gearing up, so I decided I'd ride the 93 R100RS instead of taking out the K1200. Not sure how it happened but the newer bikes are FAR less "weatherproof" than the older BMWs. Anyway, it was only a 20% chance of showers... with an 80% chance of fair weather, I took off. I admit, I kinda loaded the bus- took anything and everything I had by way of rain=proof riding gear- virtually guaranteeing a nice day out! [​IMG]

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    First order of business, head up to Linglestown PA from the house (in Lemoyne) to see my man Geoff at St Thomas Coffee Roasters, to replenish the stash of fresh roasted Organic coffee beans. Crossing the Mighty Susquehanna River, I thought "what the heck." and pulled off on City Island to get some shots of the bridges and stuff. There are 7 bridges total spanning the Great River in Harrisburg, from I-81 on the north end, down to I-83 on the south end.

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    Riding thru the city, I stopped again to get a couple more shots, deciding formally to take lots of pix today, for a full-on RR. Not much happening here... must'a been just prior to lunch.

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    Here's our State Capitol Building

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    It's actually really beautiful.

    I cut thru the city and jumped on I-81 for a quickie hop up to Linglestown. The small burg is distinct for having not one, but TWO round-a-bouts.

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    These are pretty rare in South Central PA- but PENNDOT is doing studies and looking to add more & more of them in the future around PA.

    Now, stopping at the Coffee roaster's...
    Geoff is such a nice guy- Here he is, seeing a little old lady into her car!

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    And some shots from inside- the roaster, etc.

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    Yep. The Mother Lode!

    Riding out of Linglestown, I headed down towards the river, thinking I'd head basically west today. Popped onto US 322 W and ran up to Dauphin.

    I rode down to the river to get some shots. Here's Stony Creek, where it merges with the Susquehanna.

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    Here's one of our primary local Landmarks- a 25 foot tall, 4 ton mock-up of the Statue Of Liberty- Lady Liberty On The Susquehanna.

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    She sits atop an old bridge pier from way back- WITH permission from the pier's owners. I actually helped put her there. This shiny "new" statue replaced the original. This one went up in 1996 or so... it got there via helicopter. The old one fell over in a storm. It was made of a heavy base, a 16' 4X4, some expanding foam, and venetian blinds. This one is MUCH sturdier- solid plywood with a fiberglass outer shell. The original got out there when these crazy guys I know snuck her up in a sort of "technical assault" on the pier under the cover of darkness- about 0300 hours one morning back in the late 80s. She kinda became an instant hit, and the NBC, or CBS guy who replaced Charles Curralt did a piece on her one night a couple years ago on the National news!

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    Here's the old Gazebo/Bandstand in Dauphin's town center. Love the detail.

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    From here, I rode upriver, once again hopping on US 322 W to hurry up, getting off in Duncannon and crossing the Juniata to ride PA 849 up to Newport. Here's a couple shots from high on a hill top, along 849- a really great road. Looking basically West:

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    Here's some shots from Newport, of the4 old steel bridge over the Juniata River. The bridge has one of those old steel grates as the road surface. These are slowly being replaced throughout PA. This bridge is the longest I know of with this type of surface.

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    Down river:

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    Up river:

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    Everyone's spoofing on Harrisburg's Mayor, Linda Thompson- she recently made some remark about Perry County "scumbags" messing up her town... or some such. She has a real knack for opening her mouth wide enough to get both feet into. She ain't the sharpest blade in the drawer.

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    Rolling out of Newport, I wanted to ride Middle Ridge Road down towards Ickesburg. This is a fantastic road that runs the entire length of a high ridge. I guess it more less runs E-W, and it's maybe 10-12 miles long. Superb, with views off both sides. Looking North (ish)

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    I got over to Ickesburg, and headed north on PA 74- I'd just ridden it coming the other way, and some pix are to be seen above. I knew I was gonna head west on PA rte 75, I wanted to go out all the way to Fort Loudon, and ride up US 30 to the top of the mountain and have a beer. From where 74 hits 75, it's about 10 miles (+/-) west of Port Royal, on the Juniata, and a whopping 59 or so miles out to the end of the massive valley that 75 runs down thru. There's just nobody here, ever. In general, traffic is so light around Central PA that it really makes for pleasant riding!

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    This is deep Amish country. I passed several buggies. I always wave to them. The younger girls and kids will always wave, the young boys giving enthusiastic responses to seeing the bike, but the old folks always just glower. Oh well, I wave anyway! [​IMG] At one point today, I even saw an Amish guy plowing his field- he had a team of 6 massive mules pulling his plow! It really isn't polite to be all stopping to take pix of these folks. I used to keep my camera in my hand as I rode, but not so much any more. If a chance for a pic presents itself when I'm stopped, then OK. No such luck today tho. I eventually made my way all the way down to Fort Loudon. I saw a clock along the way saying it was 3:30, so getting on in the day. The sun was coming out tho! YAY!

    I turned right onto US rte 30- The Lincoln Highway, and headed up the mountain to the Mountain House Bar... Wasn't nobody there except the bartender, and a couple guys having a beer after work. Man, on a summer Saturday or Sunday, this place is PACKED with bikes and bikers... Not so much today, tho.

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    I sat out on the deck with those couple guys, and enjoyed a Shiner Bock beer. They were mostly talkin about snakes (copperheads) and sharks. Kinda refreshing compared to your typical chit chat about deer huntin and trout fishin... They busted on outta there, and so did I.

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    Think they'll bless a BMW?

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    Heading back down the mountain, I decided to ride thru Chambersburg. Here's a shot off 30, looking more or less east:

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    My idea originally was to hotshot out across the Great Cumberland Valley on US 30, and break off on PA rte 233 towards home (ish). Coming into Chambersburg, however, I recalled several years back, when I'd had a micro brew from this town. Back then, the guy was brewing beer in his basement, or garage. At the edge of town, I hopped off the bike and did a quickie Google search- turning up the Roy-Pitz Brewery! Nothing for it, then, other than to pop by for an ale. It was superb! They've only just now opened up a "bar", and eventually will sell food, local wines, and everything. I had a red ale and a blonde.

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    Definitely must get back there some summer's afternoon. For anyone who's into it, get off I-81 south at US 30, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp, heading into Chambersburg. Look for Third St, and turn right. Go about a block, and Third will bear right at a stop sign. Go straight thru into a kind of alley, and look for the big brick building pretty much dead ahead. Third St parallels US 11.

    By now, it was getting to be too late to be taking the really scenic route I'd envisioned... So I hopped on 81 Northbound for a ways, getting off the King St exit, at Shippensburg- to ride 174 down to Boiling Springs.

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    Stopped at Boiling Springs to get a couple pix...

    Trout & ducks in the lake

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    The lake

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    one of the springs feeding the lake...

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    AND the world famous Boiling Springs Tavern (NO- I did NOT stop for another beer!)

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    If you're ever in Boiling Springs, pop into the tavern and tell the bartender Micheal, I said hello. Have a crabcake sandwich. a cup of The Bisque, and a Stoudt's on draft. The place has been there forever, and it has kind of grown up along with all of us, I suppose... It's come a mighty long way from an old honky tonk with a dirt parking lot to the place it is today. Anyway, that's pretty much it for today's ride... I rode just darn near 200 miles. Hope y'all enjoy the RR and pix! Look for more RRs here from my exploits in Central PA!
    #18
  19. Beezer Josh

    Beezer Josh Moto-Amish

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,525
    Location:
    15.6 miles from the U.S. Capitol
    Nice pics and write up Tom! I was up in Hanover, PA last week. I always love going there as Pennsylvania is beautiful. Last week I still had the beautiful view, but the manure smell was horrendous driving through the country. Oh, and I hit three roundabouts in Maryland just before hitting the Pennsylvania border. Maybe MDOT has infiltrated PennDOT...
    #19
  20. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Out There Somewhere
    Maryland has some great riding too. Sometimes I ride down thru Michaux State Forest towards the Cacoctin Mtn/Frederick area. One of those roads takes you right past Camp David. Sweet riding. Also, in the fall, there's a vintage meet down near frederick. I've been to that, and will likely attend some other time.
    #20