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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ricochetrider, Oct 21, 2012.
Beautiful pics Tom. If you ever want to get rid of that Norton, let me know!
Nice try pal!
I'd sell just about any of my bikes. But the Norton's a keeper... It's really pretty much a one-off, so it's not like I could go get another like it. I keep thinking I'd buy another Triumph if the right one presented itself...
Great shots so close to my house, one of your photos was only 2 turns away. The next time your're riding over the Timmon's Mountain on Rt. 641 stop by the vineyard on the mountain just after the truck route split. I'll roll out my R25 for a ride.
Copy that, Denny.
All for one, & one for all!
Oh. Wait, that's another story.... In another time.
This is a meager tale about a day in September that we'll likely remember.... (cue sappy music)
As it's the only day that Wade, Deuce, & I have ridden together this year. What with our schedules never quite lining up... Me running all over the Mid Atlantic region for work, Deuce riding dirt bikes and bicycles, and Wade jerking back n forth between New York and PA... We just don't have much of a chance to ride like we used to do... BUT eventually even the blind squirrel finds an acorn. Sunday evening Wade texted us to say he was on his way to Pennsylvania and had Monday off. Did we want to ride? I said I'm in, and even Deuce was like HMMM. Sounds doable. Then threw the caveat: the earlier the better. Coming from either of these two, any condition involving TIME should be taken with however many grains of salt.... Being the sucker I am, I fell for it. Read on, dear reader. Read on.
Well. I was at a concert in Maryland, knew we wouldn't be home early... AND I've been up for what seems like days making the entertainment industry go round (and round and round)... So I said how about noon?
Deuce countered with 11:00, and I was like OK.... So not without considerable effort, I heaved myself from deep sleep around 10.30 ish, made some coffee and wandered out to the bike pile to begin kicking the Norton. And started calling Deuce. Seems he was on a bit of a "time constraint" last night but suddenly now he's persona non grata? Ducking my calls and ignoring my texts... Oh well, I have time to kill anyway, the Norton never kicks right over after a long period between rides. I'm seriously whooped and a tad bit hung over... And bugger me if the Norton didn't seem as sleepy as I felt! Anyway, it eventually did fire up. After some measure of work on my own part...
To make a long story shorter... It came to pass that around ONE we rolled out of Deuce's alley and headed over to Wade's! It was a glorious day with sunshine all around, and just a wee bit chilly, maybe 70 degrees (F). Perfect. We had an amazing ride thru the rolling hills of Adams County- home of the PA apple "industry" (such as it is- read any can/jar of Musselman's apple sauce and see if it doesn't read "packed by Knouse Foods" or by Rice)... Riding thru the orchards, the apple trees were bent over with fruit, ready for picking- indeed, crews of pickers were working those very orchards, as we rode past.
Out across the valley and up thru the South Mountain we ride- to have a burger and a beer...
After which it was your typical "rinse & repeat"- a zip back to the ranch along those very same wonderful lanes, then a hop, skip, & a jump back to "town" so Deuce could make his meeting... Even the "fast way" around here is scenic and twisty, if not over ridden...
As we walked out of the bar, there was a guy looking over the bikes, so we had a chat with him. As he was about done, two guys rolled in in a truck- headed for the back lot, where the Locals park. He hung his head out the truck and hollered: hang on, I'll be RIGHT BACK! Walks up and says, "I'm Rusty" and we all thought he said "Wow, they're not all rusty"
Turns out he's a guy who has a bunch of Triumphs and BSAs. So we chatted with him for a minute, and were all feeling pretty good about stuff when all three of our bikes started first kick for good ol Rusty, who seemed to have a satisfied grin on his fizzer over it all.
In conclusion, a wonderful afternoon was had by all... Nobody's speedo works but we figured, based solely on gasoline consumption, that we rode about 80 miles out n back. I figured I was about out of petrol, then the bike only took about 2.5 gallons when I filled up back near town.
Description: Me and Deuce make ready to roll.
Description: Wade's Big Red and the Rock n Roll Norton a chompin at the proverbial bit.
Description: At the American Road House/Honky Tonk- formerly known as Bobby A's now called something or another... We'll always cal it Bobby A's. Lemme tells ya, it is NOT The Rose And Crown. :laugh
Description: Wade photo bombs my shit.
Description: Love this sign. "BAR"- with an arrow pointing to the door- as if we couldn't find it.
I recently passed through your environs on a long weekend trip from CT to central WV and back. Tons of fun and endless photo ops (I recommend that ride down Rte. 443 between Lehighton and Harrisburg to anyone with some time on their hands--Fort Indiantown Gap is a hoot!).
But about that smell that seems to permeate the lower Cumberland Valley...good gawd I would have it no other way!! I spent my high school years at a little boarding school down there in Mercersburg. Absolutely the best four years of my 60+ life to date. A large part of my fond memories for those years can be attributed to the setting--including "that smell"
I actually stopped, lifted my visor, and drank it in as I passed down Rte 416 between Chambersburg and Mercersburg. It sent me back 45 years (I think the power of our olfactory sense is incredibly underestimated!).
But I believe in our case, the fields were covered in chicken shit?
Whatever you may call it, today was plenty warm. Way warm, in fact; darn near 70 degrees F. So after mucking about all morning, I got out the riding gear and walked out to the bike pile...
Lessee... what to ride?
k1200? Nah, low beam burnt out, heading to the shop tomorro.
R100? Well mmmmmaaaaayyyybbbbeeeee......no. Been on it a lot lately.
Then the wind rustled the cover on the Norton... or was the bike whispering to me?
Whipped back the cover, and there she sat.... Kinda gleaming in spite of it all. Looking quite enticing. I turned the perma-key and gave her a kick. *cough/spit/sputter!!!!
Man it usually takes more than a few kicks to get that first sign of life! Kicked it a few more times... Like about 20 or so before finally deciding I'd soaked the plugs. Changed the [gas soaked] plugs out and bang!
Ended up riding maybe 100 miles or more... The sun was shining, the light was amazing. The air was really fabulous... Everything was spot on. A most magical day it was indeed! Wound up getting a few decent pix- only took the phone, no camera. First stop was to see the newly burned out Dellville Bridge, one of my all time favorite covered bridges; a bridge I've hung out at on many occasions. Doggone vandals, hope they hang em by the balls from the highest tree in the land.
It just kept getting better, more so as the sun started to drop- riding out across the Big Valley, my shadow kept getting longer then shorter again, dancing over the road's edges... Wrapping around every rock, every tree trunk, each cornstalk. At times it appeared to be another rider, it was so stretched out. I was captivated. It was riding beside me, then out front, then it'd really leap out there, then it'd ease off the throttle and be back beside me again. We were having a real good time, just me and my shadow...
I zig zagged all over the place, hopping ridges and ripping valleys, riding thru the mountain for a while and back out thru the orchards. Along the way I stopped to see two old buddies whom I hadn't seen in like forever.
Got home in full darkness, feeling like the universe had indeed aligned itself- all the planets, all the stars, all the world, me, my bike, my heart, my soul and some throttle roll.
Coming back east towards the house, a fine little crescent moon was setting over my shoulder... The crescent was lit but the entire moon was plainly visible. This is my favorite moon. By the time I got home, it was like you could almost reach out and touch it.
Indian summer. F*ck yeah.
Description: Here I am at the dear old Dellville Bridge. Any time anyone comes to visit, I take them there... Over the years, I've taken many people, and also taken lots of great photos here. Alas, some bastards set it completely ablaze. It's a wonder it wasn't burned down to nothing.
Description: Up on the mountain top. South Mountain Sunshine. With halo. Love this.
Description: Atop another ridge, sun getting lower. The light was crazy, the shadows sublime... Standing here taking pix, in the middle of nowhere, a guy I haven't seen in maybe 10 years drove by and waved. I had my helmet on, he had no idea who I was.
Description: This is so cool. I rode past this barn, and got to thinking how cool the wall was. Went down the road a piece, then said what the heck. Turned the bike around and went back to get some pix.
Description: Filtered this one just a wee bit. Great shot.
Digging this thread. I live just over the river from Harrisburg, so you and I travel the same roads. I recognized probably 90% of your pics and comments, especially Perry County, the streams, and Mike the barkeep at BST. nice RR.
I'm actually in Lemoyne so we probably pass each other from time to time.
Almost time for another season of noodling around in good ol Pennsyltuckey.
This past Sunday was the annual Gathering Of The Nortons, up along the PA/NJ border, beside the Delaware River at Washingtons Corssing. I went last year and it was a gas. I have friends up that way, so had somebody to hang out with and also a place to stay for Saturday night, so I could meet my NJ buds for brekkie early, and get to the meet among the first of those to show up.
Here is a quick, more or less chronological photographic run-thru.
Met my friends early Sunday AM for breakfast a this local NJ diner- It's Nutts. It's awesome in that special way of most NJ diners. That's my white 74 Commando, and my buddy's Royal Enfield (Interceptor?)
Here's a shot of a few of the vintage bikes at the diner
After eating, we hung about the lot for a minute or three shooting the breeze and ogling various bikes. The joint was jumping, whether it was folks all going across the river to the meet or just guys out on their bikes on a sunny Spring Sunday, I don't know- but the place was fairly popping.
Soon enough we rode just afcross the river to the park where this great single day ride-in is held. We were early, and the Delaware Valley Norton Riders were doing their best to keep things tidy, parking these bikes here, those bikes there, with little signs and whatnot designating space for assorted makes of vintage Brit bikes. In the end, all that blew out the window; so many people showed up in such short order that it was all anyone could do just to park their bikes in any available spot!
Here's a great Matchless parked near the main Norton parking zone. as it IS a RIDE-IN, this dude, like everyone else, rode his bike to the event.
My buddy Brian, and his buddy Keene's bikes. A guy on another exactly like theirs puled in betweenst them!
There were an estimated 100 +/- Nortons, that many or more Triumphs, a bunch of BSas, and a whole world of Italian, German, & Japanese VINTAGE bikes, there, not to mention a shitload of bikes in general- one person guessed at around 1300 or so motorcycles RIDDEN in that day.
I took a BUNCH of pics but *only* uploaded about 180 or so.
Out buzzing around today in the sunshine. Riding the Rock N Roll Norton.
It was awesome even if only for a short spin.
Had the Big Rig out for a bit of a ride, after a good run of work, I had the day off so might as well, right?
The K1200RS sits waiting. It seems to know I'll chose it for the day. Well, and obviously, I've left the cover off from last night. So it's the Easy Choice.
We in the USA are gradually getting around to acknowledging that round-a-bouts are a far more traffic friendly and safe way to build an intersection. This massive circle just got finished recently. Haven't been up here in rush hour but I can only imagine its an improvement over the way it used to be.
Note the elevation: 930 feet! Not one your higher mountain "passes".
I've probably said it before but riding surface roads around here, you mostly are either going up and over a mountain, or riding thru a long valley. This is deep farming country. Here you can see church steeples of the town of Blain, and silos from a pretty good sized farm practically right next to one another in the distance. It's been a weird Spring. The corn in this pic is slow in getting started. It'll be 9-10 feet tall later this summer- if all goes well.
looking back the other way...
Some of the ridges are pretty "sharp"- sometimes the word knife is to be found among descriptive adjectives used when speaking of them.
*Gratuitous* bike pic
The local mountains are ablaze with the laurel bloom.
I made a good sized loop. I rode out from Harrisburg on route 944, up to Sterrett's gap, up 34 North to 850, over to Blain and up over the ridge to highway 75. From there I rode over 641 and down into Shippensburg. Out of Ship, I rode over Big Flat to PA 233 on down to Mount Holly and into Carlisle on 34 going North again. Out of Carlisle it was north yet again on 34, to 944 Eastbound.
If you love a good chili dog like I love a good chili dog, then do yourself a flavor and get to Carlisle to the Hamilton Restaurant at High & Pitt streets.
Their "Hot-Chee Dogs" are THE BEST in the area. They aren't chintsy with the chili sauce and oinions either,, as you can plainly see.
AS I can't seem to just go straight home, I popped by the observation bridge overlooking the Enola Railroad Yard. Being the epicenter of East Coast Industrial Transportation, there are LOTS and lots of trucks and trains flying about here. There are train tracks running up and down both sides of the Susquehanna River (well OK only on the east side going South).
Being that I drive the freeways a lot, I don't care much for the truck traffic- but hey, those guys gotta make a living too, and lots and lots of stuff comes to our local stores via truck.
But I do love the trains. Today's trains are LOOOOONNNNGGGG. don't know exactly but I bet the trains are at least a mile long these days, maybe longer. As far as I know, trains are really an efficient way to transport many thousands of tons of goods with a minimum of fuel and effort. I guess trains are being used more and more for transporting oil and liquid fossil fuels- not always a good thing when it comes to safety- as we all know the oil industry isn't going to actively "self regulate" . None the less, however, trains are -always have been/will be- fascinating.
WOO WOO. I think I can.
If you like trains, you should see them out in Wyoming & Nebraska!
Loooonnnngggg trains hauling coal, to power plants I was told.
20 June 2015 Sunday
Today I had a really nice ride on the Norton. I rode along and crossed many creeks. All were muddy and swollen from the punishing rain storms of Saturday night, with the single exception of the Big Spring in Newville, it was mildly clouded up but otherwise, still pretty clear!
The first couple photo stops were along the Yellow Breeches. Here there is this really neat old mill. The people who own it seem to have taken pride in it. You can see they glassed in the arch under which runs the mill race. Inside you can see some structure- hopefully the mill's working bits are intact within.
Rode upstream a ways and stopped along these tracks. The Yellow Breeches creek is really gnarled up pretty good, as you can see. I guess we got Ohio's week of rain all in one night! Actually, tho, the creeks were already running muddy- we've had some rain this past week as well, mostly passing storms.
Bumped down into Boiling Springs, and found the joint fairly jumping. Pool was jammed, folks were all,out by the lake... Didn't stop to soak in the mayhem, just kept on rollin. Out to Mount Holly and up into the mountain I went.
Stopped further along, when I got to alone Grove Furnace State Park, and shot a couple pix at Laurel Lake. Here's the dam and spillway- this lake is actually the man made kind- the dammed (ha ha) Laurel Run.
And the lake itself
There are a couple big stands of pine around here. Back in the early stages of Pennsylvania's occupation, when the loggers basically stripped the entire state of its grand forests, they were cutting massive white lines for the European market. No more. The state was originally 99% forested. It was cut bare, down to an amazing 1 or 2%! Today, PA is about 40-50% forested. Pretty sure these tall pines, seen on the left side of the road, were planted here, not naturally occurring.
From here I rode up and over the South Mountain and out across the Great Cumberland Valley to Newville on PA route 233. When 233 first comes into town it crosses the Big Spring. Big Spring is exactly that- a massive natural spring wich forms a good sized creek. At the top of it there is a trout hatchery. Pennsylvania has made an industry out of fishing (and hunting) and has pioneered the raising of trout to stock in our 5000 or so miles of streams. I guess there's some sand in the Big Spring creek bottom, but no mud for the rains to stir up, apparently- as the steam was only mildly cloudy!
This mimosa tree is in full bloom! I had some fun trying to take close ups of the blooms which were waving around in the wind!
Finished messing around and rode on outta town, out PA 233 into Doubling Gap, as seen here:
The Blue Mountain, known locally as the North Mountain- runs a long ways but makes a surprising zig zag. There is a spot along the western ridge where you can view the dramatic bends of the "Doubling Gap".
Up, over the mountain I went to Landisburg. There are so many little roads around this area. Even having lived here for ages, I've not ridden lots of these tiny lanes. Occasionally, I get the urge to just follow the front wheel. Even the roads I don't know will eventually connect to some I've ridden. Today, I turned down Kennedy Valley Road. Years ago, somebody told me there was a covered bridge down there, crossing Sherman's Creek. I buzzed on down there to find it.
Boy what a really beautiful example of a single arch structured bridge! I hung out there taking pictures for a while, waving to the nearly constant stream of people coming by in cars and trucks- seems the whole doggone world was out n about. One guy came thru with his window down, driving slowly as you would over such a bridge. He admired the Norton, and gave me some directions for winding back up into the hollow and finding my way back out again.
Without further ado, I present Rice's Bridge
View of Sherman's Creek, looking downstream out one of the windows
It's not a big bridge, but boy is it a beauty!
I crossed the North (Blue) Mountain again at Waggoner's Gap on PA 74 then turned Left, heading eastward back towards the Susquehanna, homeward bound on PA 944. As I moved east, a big cloud came up behind me, darkening the western skies. There were really dramatic sunbeams streaming down out of the clouds along various points, as the sun shone strong and true above the cloud cover. I stopped for gas going home and got this last shot. Glorious, simply glorious.
Thanks for riding along.
Today, I was out again, on the -ahem- cough cough... K12huh huh hund... on the Big Rig.
This time, I went north and eastwards. Up the west side of the river, past the railroad yard and across the Susquehanna on I-81, up front Street and hopped on US322 W for a short minute to get to PA 225. Stopped at the top of First Mountain, right near where the Appalachian Trail crosses- where there is really a spectacular view.
It was super bright out, with just a wee bit of haze hanging in the air. But I had the entire afternoon, So I made the best of it, kind of exploring a little, with a particular destination in mind for lunch. I originally planned to ride upriver but as there was a detour, I went with the flow... of traffic. out across a wide valley, through wonderful farm country. I Know, not much news there, right? Everywhere you go around Pennsylvania is either farm country, mountains and woods, or cities, villages, or towns.
This field of Winter Wheat is about ready for cutting. in the distance, you can see the gap in the mountain where 225 crosses thru. I rode up that way, but made a right to follow the ridge east- as I could see another cut in the ridge. it's visible in the pic, waaayyy down to the right. I figgered there'd be a road going thru there, and of course there's no such thing as "lost" when you're only following the front wheel...
Pennsylvania had a really big boom roughly the middle 1800s. A great many of the "old" farm houses and Victorian homes were built in this time frame. I came across this place today. As it seemed to be deserted, I stopped to take some pix of this truly wonderful example of ornate architecture. If I had to guess, I'd say this is more mid-late 1800s. Not knowing, really, I'd place it for various reasons as having been built around 1870-1880. Anyone wanna chime in with facts or details, please do- I'm only going on a hunch here. This place needs some TLC but just look at the details and work! Built by a master, and no doubt.
Everything built and made by hand. No power tools. Wow. Never ceases to just blow my mind.
I zig zagged around riding hither and yon.
The world was hyper real;
to the Nth degree.
The wind was whipping about,
the corn was waving at me.
The trees were whispering their wind song,
the wheat sang harmony.
The tires hummed along
to the highway heartbeat,
the motor of the bike ticking like a metronome.
And the clouds danced across the sky.
Nobody was out.
I had it all to myself.
The bike & I were one with the universe.
Alone in the universe.
Almost spooky how there just isn't anybody. How does this happen, I always wonder? Where the heck IS everybody?
(cue Twilight Zone theme song)
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Of course, the illusion of solitary existence
Reality rears its countenance once again... an Amish buggy goes by, or you get stuck behind a tractor or logging truck. You come into a small town and see a human. It's the USA East Coast after all, the Mid Atlantic Region. It ain't Xangxing, New York, Tokyo or Gay Pair-ee, but you know, a lot of people live here. Still and all, we get these Twilight Zone moments often, out here in Farm Country. I'll take em every time with a big grin and a twist of the throttle.
I could'a taken more pix, I admit it.
the old tractors...
But the sun was getting hotter and I was getting hungrier.
And thirsty. er.
So I rolled on towards my destination: lunch. There's this "BBQ" spot upriver from home. Skeeters is a standard Company Stop with these guys I work with. So I've been there a few times already and was over my natcherl tendency towards suspicion of "yankee" "BBQ", in the case of Skeeters.
Now, Bar-B-Que is a Multi Faceted Phenom.
A Coat of Many Colors.
A Many Splendored Thing.
This ain't The South, where proper Bar-B-Que, in all its glory, is King.
This here is Pennsyltuckey, and it's BBQ.
Burn! ye blaspheemers.
with a pile of Hickory
and a dead pig
a dead cow
some road kill deer
and a box of matches
a can of gas
and some sheet iron
and a welder
to build a smoker...
Well, let's face it.
Even a blind pig sniffs up the occasional corn cob.
It ain't Rocket Surgery.
Add in some Pennsyltuckey Micro Brews, cole slaw & beans... and VOILA.
What we have here is LUNCH.
FIRST, however, I had to get across the Mighty Susquehanna River. No mean feat, as there happened to be a convenient bridge. I mean hey- this IS Pennsyltuckey; it's both backwards and forwards at the same time. But this IS the 21st Century (yes PA, even for you) after all, and there is still a bridge or three that hasn't crumbled away (YET).
But I digress.
I sat up on the hill enjoying my Brookie Brown Ale from Elk Creek Brewery, listening to the truck traffic and harleys passing by below, feeling the cool-ish wind blowing, and enjoying the view of the River. As I had the outside seating to myself, it was quite relaxing and peaceful. If not somewhat loud from the traffic.
Afterwards, I rode south for a short, hot distance on US 11/15 to Selinsgrove and picked up US 522, where I went "south"
(nobody goes south like I go south )
directly into the sun and wind. When I say "wind" it was probably blowing around 25 MPH or stronger- beyond a mere breeze.
As it was, by now, around 3-330-4 ish in the PM -temps ranging up'ards of about 90-ish- there was, admittedly, & quite literally, one "hot minute" when I kinda wisht I'd'a took another route. But soon enough I got out to Beaver Springs on 522 and turned true (or more truer) south onto PA 235, one of my favorite roads which meanders thru fields, along streams, and over mountains and thru the woods as it winds down to its terminus at PA 17, a few miles off US 11/15 near Liverpool. A fast shot downriver on the "Big Road" and boom. Done.
And I mean seriously. Done. As in done baking. Could'a stuck a fork in me at this point.
But I'd had a great ride of about 150-160 some-odd miles, and enjoyed
as I Did It My Way.
(apologies to Frank)
Some damn fine pics... and words to go with!!!
I take it you've been in PA for awhile?
Seems you have to be here awhile to appreciate what surrounds us.
I agree.Well done Sir.
Thanks for the kind words, guys!
I moved to Pennsylvania in October 1973. Not a native born child of PA, but been here a long time.
I like the Harrisburg area for many reasons, but largely because it's 2 hours to Philly, 2+ to DC, 1 1/2 hours to Baltimore, and 3 hours to NYC. You can be at the epicenter of east coast and world culture, etc in no time flat- yet it's not expensive to live here, and traffic etc is pretty low key. I'm in the suburbs now, but it's still only about 15-20 minutes to [reasonably] open country.
Just like a natural born son.
Nice write up.