Phillys Big Trip (Alaska to Chile or is that Argentina)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dean10, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Roanoke to Asheville, Friday, 31 August 2012, Day 88


    Blue Ridge Parkway[/caption]



    Day 2 on the Parkway well I had to find my way back on to it first. Crap breakfast at the motel first and then to the Parkway. I cross a bridge and see that the view is very pretty so do a U turn pull up and start taking photos. I look in my mirrors and what do I see. Red and blue lights unmarked police car ooops you just been nicked my son. Good morning officer (best English accent) license please sir? it is not looking good. I confused him with me being English and having Dutch license and after admitting that U turn was not such a good idea but I thought I could stop anywhere on the Parkway to take pictures seemingly not on bridges. He seemed to warm to me after a while he got all chatty telling me that 25 people had commited suicide of this bridge this year alone! I assured him I was not suicidal (Just a tad grumpy) and then he started talking about a paranormal show on the television that said that there was an entity wandering around below this bridge. By now I am guessing I am getting of with a warning as he handed the license back to me and is now giving me the tourist low down on the Parkway. Next problem I had is how do I turn around and go in the direction I want to so he says just go of the bridge and do a U turn there which is also across a solid white line but that’s OK. Say Tata do another illegal U turn in front of him and head of into the distance. Whilst all this had being going on only one other car had passed so it not as if there was a lot of traffic that I was putting at risk but it was a fair cop I was wrong to do the U turn and stopping on bridge a bit naughty as well so I was lucky to get of with a warning so Thank You officer and you have a good day :-)









    Another excellent day in the saddle, which got better as the day went on. Speed limit today 45mph which is much better than yesterday 35mph and after my run in with the copper I stuck to it quite religiously for most of the day meaning I was not covering a lot of distance quickly but pleasant enough at these speeds load of corners and gorgeous vista and very little traffic. Later in the day it tried to rain on me and did very briefly but it stopped as quickly as it had started the roads where wet so it had been raining and this made the ride a bit more challenging as the road was a mixture of wet then dry and then wet again so not sure how hard to push it in the corners but jolly good fun none the less. Yesterday I decided to have a break in the afternoon high up it the hills, as it was cooler and just enjoy the scenery with a drink and a chocolate bar but problem with pretty places there is always something that spoils them and this time it was mosquitoes and black flies so that break was vey short lived. Tried again today and this was more successful and while enjoying the silence in the middle of nowhere (I jumped every time I heard a twig snap) I put the word hostel into my GPS which was now working again and it threw out a hostel 160 miles away but on the Parkway so I decided that was going to be my new destination further than I was planning to go today but doable it I got a move on however difficult when there is a 45mph speed limited and the scenery just keeps getting better and better with rain and rainbows thrown in for good measure. I reached the hostel at about 7.30pm ish and I was on the road pretty early this morning so long ride today yes they had a bunk for me so I was glad I pushed on through before it started to rain I was falling asleep at the wheel so I should have stopped much earlier but I am here now a short walk to the supermarket to get some tea and then back to the hostel and working on this again. Its is now 11.30pm and I am cross eyed so beddy byes methinks.









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  2. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Asheville to Robbinsville, Saturday, 1 September 2012, Day 89


    Old and New at Wheels through Time[/caption]

    Skyline Park was a nice ride

    Blue Ridge Parkway first 300 miles a pleasant ride

    Blue Ridge Parkway last 150 mile it just got better

    (British Understatement)









    A bloody good day in the saddle I did not too many miles today but they certainly where good ones. I stopped of at a great little museum called Wheels Through Time I was not sure what to expect but it turned out to be an excellent and a fascinating place. I have a confession to make that to be honest I am not a huge fan of Harley Davidson's and this museum was all American motorcycles so I was expecting another Harley Davidson shop type experience fortunately it was nothing like this and I am going to revise the above statement as I actually do like Harley Davidson's but only the old ones and this place certainly had a great collection of these. So I spent an enjoyable hour or so just hanging around this place <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wheelsthroughtime">https://www.facebook.com/wheelsthroughtime</a>









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    I even got an honorable mention on their Facebook Space. The policeman I nearly got nicked by at the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway was certainly right about the last 80 odd miles being the best lovely scenery if I have not already mentioned this.

    I made tracks to a place I had seen on the Horizon Hubb website where they was going to be a rally the following week and saw it was a motorcycle only resort with camping, cabins, hotels and what appealed to me was that they had a bunk house so I made tracks to there.

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    Great Ride[/caption]

    <a href="http://www.ironhorsenc.com">http://www.ironhorsenc.com</a> and yes they had a place in the bunkhouse so in celebration I sign myself up for a steak dinner as well mmm lekker.

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    Motorcycles only lodgings[/caption]

    Interesting place on a little stream large area that was a restaurant and all the cliental all bikers. Pleasant evening round a campfire shooting the breeze with some southern folks passing the jam jar with moonshine in (yes I had a little sip as it would be rude not to so that is yet another month without a drink so not only is Philly dry but the county we are in is also dry so no booze for sale at the resort so everything brought in from the county down the road which I found very strange) Also this place had a large porch with loads of rocking chairs so spent some there trying to understand a conversation about fishing in a southern drawl so not much comprehension on what they are taking about I am not sure if was the topic or the accent I did not get so I hit the sack debating on whether or not should I come back next week for the following rally <a href="http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/meetings/USAEast2012.php">http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/meetings/USAEast2012.php</a>

    But probably not as I am not one for doing U turn or coming back to places straight away I do like to keep rolling forward.
  3. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Robbinsville to Atlanta, Sunday, 2 September 2012, Day 90


    Bikers Nirvana[/caption]

    Todays the bikers Holy Grail I am going to do the tail of the Dragon

    So that is a bit of road that is 11 miles long and has 318 curves crammed into that distance so bring it on.

    <a href="http://www.tailofthedragonmaps.com/maps_ridemeposter.html">http://www.tailofthedragonmaps.com/maps_ridemeposter.html</a>

    I left Iron horse with the intention of getting some breakfast before doing the above route but after a pleasant ride to get to the start I pulled up in the meeting spot at Deals Gap and said bollocks I am going for it and so I did.



    Jeepers talk about hard work corner after corner some banked some very tight. There is a speed limit of 30mph on the road but at certain points you cannot even get close to that, as the road is so tight and twisty. Having fun slower cars pulling over to let you through and sometimes you wish they did not as they helped in keeping your speed down and they stop you getting to carried away then I hit more traffic that would not pull over and wished they would pull over and let the faster traffic through so you can say I am never happy. And there where photographers on a couple of the bends which you would try and pose for but all this does is put you out of your rhythm so instead of looking cool you look like a bit of prick. But off course I am going to order some of these prints

    <a href="http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0QAK019P0D0299&amp;po=14&amp;pc=1148&amp;sf=1">http://www.photoreflect.com/store/O...019P0D0299&amp;po=14&amp;pc=1148&amp;sf=1</a>

    So I get to the end of the road going a bit slower as the bikers coming the other way are giving me the universal tap on the helmet sign meaning slow down coppers down the road as the road was being patrolled by 3 cop cars and cop bike that I saw to keep the idiots in check. So a quick rest then I do a U turn (legal one this time) find a gap in the traffic and go for it. Arms are doing overtime with the continued change of direction hard on the brakes then back hard on the throttle using the engine and the gears and trying to pick the perfect lines. The trick is to be as smooth as silk. Meanwhile in the real world I was probably lurching all over the road (my part of the road) either overcooking it or under cooking each bend in the wrong gear and looking like a right twat but I did not give a fig as in my head I was Valentino Rossi. A lot faster run on the way back concentration ruined and knickers soiled this time by prats coming in the opposite direction on my side of the road as they where using both lanes because either they had no clue what danger and risks they where adding to all concerned or where out of control going to fast or just selfish twats and they really pissed me off as I am okay in hurting myself through my own incompetence but not by someone else’s.



    Got back to Deals Gap the place where everyone congregated and it was already 12am and I still had not got round to breakfast so grabbed a pulled pork sandwich (local delicacy) and a coffee and took a look at the Tree of Shame which had all the debris hanging of it from the the many crashes that happen on this fun but treacherous piece of road.


    Tree of Shame[/caption]



    After a quick breakfast/lunch I was still pumped full of adrenaline I was keen to get back on the road this time the Cherohala Highway another road similar to the Blue Ridge and the Skyline Parkway which also had a 45mph speed limit but todays it was more difficult to adhere to this as I was all pumped up and all I wanted to do was race.




    Cherohala Skyway[/caption]






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    Managed to contain myself and completed the route in one piece :-) and then I put my head down as I wanted to be in Atlanta that evening.

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    Its not all sunshine![/caption]

    I was heading for a Hostel, which I sort of already knew, had no place but then again you never know. I got there and rang on the bell and yes there where no places. Bugger hot and tired after a seriously physical day in the saddle did he perhaps know of any other places nope but he would ask Suzie. Suzie heard my accent and suddenly there was a spot as she was also a Brit from South Kensington and it got better as the room had no AC she would do me deal and then she changed her mind and she found a bed in a room with AC but I could have it at the special rate. Result next issue in large cities is the parking no problem I could park round the side even though it said no hostel guest but it belonged to the place so not only did I have a bed in a full hostel and a safe place for the bike the piece de resistance was that WIFI was normally 5 bucks a night I could have for free. Cor Blimey guv never has my accent been as useful as it was tonight and thank you Suzie at the Woodruff B&amp;B Atlanta International Hostel for treating me like a prince much appreciated and great end to a pretty excellent day.

    It just got better just round the corner was a decent supermarket so a chicken tika masala for me tea to crown a good day. Its days like this that make me get why I am out here on the road as at times I do sometimes wonder why I am doing this.
  4. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Atlanta, Monday, 3 September 2012, Day 91


    Atlanta[/caption]

    Oops I am nearly a week behind with this naughty boy I must have been a very busy boy. Hot night last night the AC was sort of working however there was a window open that could not be shut! , So in the end the AC is a complete waste of time. Bit of a slow day I cannot say that I was too impressed with Atlanta. The reason why I was here was that I liked the sound of it and I had an image in my head from the Gone with the Wind film that I have seen nearly a million times (not really).

    Today was Labour Day and in town was Dragon-con an event similar to Comic-con so the town was full a geeks and nerds all dressed up in silly costumes. Which was entertaining as there where so many of them that they where the norm and I probably looked like the geek and nerd as I did not have a comic figure costume on. (Geeks and nerds in a positive sense not negative I am probably could be classified as a geek or a nerd when it comes to motorcycling I guess these folks feel the same about their comics dragons and wizard so vive le difference is what I say) Interspersed amongst the geeks and nerds occasionally was a seriously hot babe dressed up in some sexy outfits so from a people watching perspective highly entertaining but the town itself was nothing special. The first thing I did was wander around the lobbies of the Dragon-con trying to see if I could blag my way in as it was the last day I did not manage this till much later in the day when I went back and I walked straight into one of the locations feeling very proud of myself thinking I done something very clever I found out later that they stopped checking tickets at 3pm so could have got in a lot earlier and I was not as cool as I thought I was. They where charging 30 bucks for a ticket today and as I was not that interested only curious I was not going to shell out that kind of money and as you probably have guessed from reading this blog the real reason is I am just a tight arse bastard and I am always looking for freebies!

    Atlanta is home of CNN so I had a quick look there but they where also charging for tours so I decided to head to the Coke Cola exhibition as Atlanta is also the home of Coke and I thought I can treat myself to one tour today it would be the Coke Tour. I used to be a Diet Coke addict for years I used to drink about a 1.5 liters a day 7 days a week for about 10 years so thought I would go back to the source of my addiction. I had heard things about the Coke exhibition so I was expecting a lot more so let say it was also a bit of a disappointment nothing spectacular. Maybe I need to adjust my expectations or lower them a bit to avoid this disappointment but that is easier said than done and its these place fault as they are the ones hyping themselves up into something they are not so maybe they should do something about that. So the Coke tour ended up with in a room with loads of drink fountains with about 60 Coke drink products which you can sample so it was like being a kid being let loose in a sweet shop or a scene from Charlie and the chocolate factory I must say this was probably my favourite bit as an ex addict probably not my wisest move but enjoyable none the less burp. My favourite was a vanilla flavour and soda melt tasting one did like one called Beverly bigger Burp.










    "Me To"[/caption]







    I wandered around Atlanta a bit more and as mentioned I went back to Dragon-con and then back to the Hostel and I just spent the evening hanging there ended up talking to some of the folks who were there for Dragon-con so trying to get a better understanding what it's all about as from the bit I saw it was just a place selling load of merchandise so I am still not sure what it all about. One of the folks I was chatting to was worked in a Zoo looking after penguins, which for me was very fascinating and interesting.

  5. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Atlanta to Nashville, Tuesday, 4 September 2012, Day 92


    Lynchburg Jack Daniels Factory[/caption]

    I found out last night that Atlanta was not only the birthplace of coke but also of Martin Luther King and that there was a state park and a memorial in town so I have a feeling that I should have done this yesterday (I should really do more research god knows what other things I may have missed in the last 4 months :-)) so this was my first port of call this morning. I need to add the chap who told me about it was also mugged by a large dark fella and relieved of his camera.



    So with some trepidation I made my way to the rough side of town fortunately it was early and not too many folk around but when I got there it did not seem the safest place to leave a fully loaded motorcycle with all my current worldly possession on it so took a photograph from the outside punched in Supriya address into the GPS and started of towards Nashville.



    Pretty dull day weather dull and overcast scenery nothing special so I was a bit bored when I saw a sign to the Jack Daniels Distillery so change of plan quick detour there. Just as I started to head for this new destination the heavens opened and it was pissing down I was only a couple of miles away from Jack Daniels so I decided to push on as these rain storms end as quick as they start so when I arrived it had stopped raining but I was sopping wet. There was a tour starting as I walked in so rushed onto that as it was free! Rammed my wet gear in a locker and spent the next hour or so being shown around the distillery. Very interesting strangest fact is that Lynchburg where the distillery is located is in a dry county so they are not allowed to sell their own product there and we could not sample the goods either because of this all they could offer us was a lemonade (Good for me as I am still on the wagon so that is a month since I have had a drink and I promised myself a beer when I get to Houston with John R to celebrate the successful completion of the first part of my trip!)















    I pulled my wet gear out of the locker and headed for Nashville drying myself as I went along roads and scenery more pleasant than earlier that day and I finally pulled into Supriya driveway at I am not sure at what time as I had lost or gained an hour between Georgia and Tennessee. I had not seen Supriya since I was about 16 so that more than 30 years ago fortunately she had not changed so I was able to recognise her :-). Met the family so that was Neal, Rajiv, Maja and the 2 dogs Max and Riley. Straight to dinner table so guessing my timing was out as usual and a pleasant evening getting to know the Patel family :-)

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    Whizzed through Alabama on my way to Tennessee
  6. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Nashville, Wednesday, 5 September 2012 to Friday, 7 September 2012, Day 93 to Day 95


    Nashville[/caption]

    As I am playing catch up this entry covers Wednesday 5th September to Friday 7th September.

    Wow 4 nights in a row in the same bed that is the longest I have stayed anywhere on this trip and a very comfortable bed it was to compared to some that I have slept in so I was glad that Alyssa is away at college and I get her bedroom thanks Alyssa for the use of your bedroom much appreciated I think this old fellow been on the road to long and it was great just to stop for while with a great friendly family who looked after me like a king for the past 4 days if Supriya dad had not been turning up and needed the bed I would probably still be there :-)

    Luckily for me Supriya was not working so we spent the first day looking around Nashville and later that day we went to watch her daughter who is 12 years old play volleyball at her school. Cripes they take their sport seriously there I have never seen so many nervous kids playing sport and the coaches from both teams giving them hell from the sidelines. Maya team unfortunately lost and as a punishment the coach made them do star jumps, just to remind you they are only 12 they should be having a laugh and not taking it all to seriously but guess that’s the way things are these day which is a shame as I did not see much joie de vive out there today.







    That evening I was taken to Swett’s a Southern Restaurant and I drove down with Rajiv Supriya son in his cool old Jeep Cherokee and there was one hell of storm and at one stage we could hardly see where we going because the rain was so hard but it did not last long. As well as the rain there was one hell of an electrical storm I have never seen anything quite like it the bolts of lightning where thicker than I had ever seen. When we got to the restaurant Supriya asked us if we had stopped when it was really started chucking it down. Me and Rajiv just looked at each other as neither one of us had thought of that as an option all we had done was slow down and moved to the central lane away from the still standing water but kept on going it never crossed our minds that stopping for a while was probably the most sensible thing to do it must be a boy thing! Neal Supriya husband was working the night shift so we had a pleasant Meal with just the 4 of us with the kids explaining the various stuff they had on the menu. Lekker eten :-)

    Day 2 did not quite work out as planned Maya needed to be taken to ER with a Migraine an issue she has been struggling with for a while and she needed a procedure doing that could only be done in the ER we did not know what time this was so me and Supriya did a short trip up the Natchez Trace Parkway while waiting for the appointment for the ER we also had lunch at the famous Loveless Motel and I experienced grits and biscuits for the first time. The biscuits where nice a bit like our scones embarrassing situation at the end when the waitress asked me how I like my grits and I was very politically correct and said they where interesting but to be honest I was not to enamoured by them.

    "
    Natchez Trace with Supriya[/caption]



    That afternoon I was left to my own devices which was nice so I caught up with me admin booked a flight home and did a Skype call with John R to sort out Houston part of my trip. Also I was left in charge of Max and Riley Supriya’s dogs and at one stage I thought I had lost one as I had let them out into the back garden for a pee when I saw the fence was open and one was missing just as the others where getting back from the ER. Bollocks that is all that they need a missing dog to add to everything else happening today fortunately the dog was in the front garden and there is an audio fence that they will not pass. Phew I wish I had known this earlier. It was late and everyone had had a tough day so Neal came home with pizza and we watched Obama speech to the Democratic Convention.( I kept objecting every time the called the US the greatest country in the world :-) )

    Day 3 I had been talked into staying another night to experience Friday night High School Football as Rajiv was playing. I did not take too much persuading as I was living the life of Riley at the Patel’s. Maya was feeling a lot better and was back at School so Supriya and me spent the day wandering around Downtown Nashville looking at the cowboy boots (Buy 1 get 2 free! Wish I had more luggage space) and cowboy hats shop and just wondering around also we went to a place called Franklin as well.








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    Downtown Nashville[/caption]

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    Franklin[/caption]

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    Just weird[/caption]

    A very relaxing day and then that evening off to the football match with Neal. Well remember when I said they take their sport very seriously here well Friday night football took this to a whole other level. This is school football (American) their stadium is full the team is huge two cheerleader teams a huge television screen yes the whole thing is being filmed. Walking round in a daze never seen anything like this before. Great evening Rajiv team slaughtered the opposition I had no clue what was going on but very sociable in the stands being introduced to all of Neal’s football mates as well as them trying to explain to me what was going on the field as well.
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    At the end one of Neal’s friend asked us back to his place for a drink and that is what really blew my poor brain. I was just trying to get my head around all I had seen that evening so we followed his mate back to his. We pulled up at a gated community so I am guessing most be a bit of a posh house but then we pulled up to what looked like a castle through a gate that was like a portcullis and into the kitchen. Now most kitchens have a single island well this one had 2 it was huge. After saying hello to Neal’s friend wife (forget both there names :-( god I am crap with names) we went down the Den which had another kitchen with a fridge stocked with only drinks and a pool table as well as an air hockey table and a large television. At first I thought for the size of the house that the television where rather on the small size (probably they where quite large only dwarfed by the size of the rooms) when Neal pointed to a large door with Theatre written above the door. This was the piece de resistance we went in and there was a large home cinema with about 10 huge leather seats that where reclinable by the touch of a button so we adjourned to the comfy seats and Neal’s mate put on the huge screen and we ended up chilling and watching one of the old Rambo films. I just sat there in awe as Neal and his mate talked shop, which was also fascinating as Neal is paediatric Doctor in charge of the ICU at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville and his mate who told me did something in IT seemingly writes very sophisticated software programs for the operating theatres hence the big house me thinks.

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    Me and Neal living the life[/caption]

    Quite a late night and hitting the road again tomorrow of to see Elvis

    Thank you very much you been a wonderful audience and good night!

    Sure I missed loads here but that was happens when you do not do this blog ASAP rather than a couple of days later especially with my memory that is not being fully utilised at the moment.

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    The Patels
  7. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Nashville to Memphis, Saturday, 8 September 2012, Day 96


    Natchez Trace Parkway[/caption]

    It is time to say goodbye to my wonderful hosts the Patel Family. I have had a great time with you guys and you made me feel most welcome and part of your family while I was here.. Supriya it was great to reconnect after more than 30 years lets see if we can touch base again sometime soon as in 30 years I will be 78 and would be great if we could do something before then.

    Back in the saddle and it has been raining and the weather is dull and overcast. Fortunately it stays dry and it is a nice change that it is somewhat cooler as to be honest I am getting tired of the heat I know I should not be complaining about the weather but when you are in full motorcycle clobber it tends to be a bit hot and sweaty and also for me the heat sucks the energy out of me making progress hard work (I will be complaining about being cold and wet in a couple of months time so watch this space so at least I am constant in my whinging and not biased in any shape or form :-))

















    The plan is to drive the Natchez Trace Parkway a 480-mile road similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway built in the great depression to create work and only reason for it is for the scenery. Unlike the Blue Ridge this is an old trade route so a lot more history. Additionally doing a short ish detour to go and visit Elvis and Graceland.

    So 120 miles on the Parkway with very little to none traffic and then back on the normal roads for my quick sortie to Memphis.

    I passed a huge house fire today the worrying part was that it was very close to a petrol station but looks like they had it under control but some unfortunate soul has lost there home, as it looked completely destroyed.

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    Mississippi Burning![/caption]

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    The other disgusting thing that happened to me today was that I was following this truck which was carrying some hay that was loose so I was getting covered with it so I decided to overtake it. As I was passing the truck I noticed a snake crossing the road and it did not look like it was going to make it. This was all in slow motion so I saw the snake being squished under the wheels of the truck just as I was passing and then I felt the splatters all down my leg. Yuk I cannot believe I have just been splattered by snake guts and insides I feel quite queasy :-(

    I got into Memphis quite late and then the usual ritual of trying to find somewhere to sleep started, I found a dive of a motel outside by the airport the cost of beds in town and around Graceland are a bit to steep for my budget so this would have to do. I was planning on doing two nights in Memphis but soon changed my mind as for some reason I really did not like the place I was staying at. I have stayed in some holes and this was no worse than some of them but for some reason I did not feel comfortable there so that evening I just holed up in the room no energy to go out and get some dinner I and I was really glad to leave the following morning. The only other time I had planned to stay more than one night in a place and moved on to somewhere else was in a Hostel In Fairbanks I cannot explain what it is about these 2 places only to say I just did not like them or I had a bad feeling about staying there.
  8. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

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    Memphis to Tupelo, Sunday, 9 September 2012, Day 97


    Elvis and Fan[/caption]

    I have a new morning ritual I plug-in Subway into my GPS and head to the nearest one as they are all over the place here so they is always one or more within a couple of miles away. I then order a 6-inch flatbread black forest ham cheese and egg sandwich to which I add tomatoes, onions, pickle, green peppers, and black olive and topped of with a Honey Mustard sauce. If I am lucky they still have coffee on the go if not I have a chocolate milk. So a fine replacement has been found for my Tim Horton’s breakfast cheddar bagel but I guess not the most slimming! But this normally doubles up for lunch so 2 meals a day in theory (we shall ignore all the little snack in between) I am curious to see if I have lost any weight in the last 4 months probably not as I have done very little in the way of exercise other than walking so I am also interested on how fit I am actually am. I have ridden about 30,000km so I am hoping that this counts for something on the scales and on the fitness front.

    Why the sudden interest in breakfast and health well today I am visiting Graceland and Elvis Presley famous for his breakfast of peanut butter and banana-toasted sandwich and for dyeing of unknown causes and allegedly he could also sing a bit as well.

    So after my breakfast I rode into Graceland car park where there was sign saying cars USD10.00 big cars and RV USD15.00 so following that logic I start with the patter well a bike must be USD5.00 or even better free. So after a bit of banter with lady at the kiosk trying to blag my way into free parking. When she leans forwards and says “Honey you did not hear this from me but if you go to the lot next door at the Harley Davidson shop you can park there free” I love it when they call me honey love it even more when I hear the words free. So thank you lovely lady at the kiosk parked my bike practically in the Graceland Car Park but it cost me nothing. Must something about this place as I had a great banter with another lady at the tickets office as well they seem to be very happy employees at this place and up for a laugh and a giggle which is nice.









    So the next couple of hours was spent wandering around Graceland. To be honest not much to see but they have organised it so that it seem like there is a lot and with what little they have to show it is presented very well so an enjoyable way to spend a good 3 to 4 hours. If I was a hard-core fan I could have spent longer and I most confess that evening I listened to all the Elvis stuff I have on my iPod not much I must think about getting some more downloaded as I quite like the King or maybe it was just the setting.









    As I mentioned earlier I was planning on staying 2 nights in Memphis but not liking the place I stayed at last night I was going to head back to the Natchez Trace Parkway and I reckoned Tupelo birthplace of Elvis would be a nice place to hole up for the night but before that I had to at least have a look at downtown Memphis. It actually looked like quite a nice place I wish I had been bothered to take a look last night but when you’re not in the mood you’re are just not in the mood. This time it was the heat that made me not hang around as it was getting hotter by the minute so time to get moving shame as I think Memphis deserved another night but onwards and forwards.



    [​IMG]
    Sun Studio Memphis[/caption]

    That night found a motel in Tupelo on the quality stakes identical to place I stayed in Memphis however I quite liked this place had a totally different vibe so I am still trying to figure out what my aversion to last night place was. Spent the evening trying to get this up to date and like the last couple of weeks and failed miserably as I keep getting distracted :-) by what I have no idea.

    [​IMG]
    New Albany[/caption]
  9. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Tupelo to Jackson, Monday, 10 September 2012, Day 98


    Natchez Trace Parkway[/caption]

    I had a slow start to day a bit of a lie in some minor maintenance on the bike Subway for breakfast at about 11am. Why the slow start well had planned a reasonably short day with regards to riding as the heat was exhausting me and I was not in hurry to get anywhere. Last night I had also seen a sign or a leaflet and a website for the Tupelo Automobile Museum so that was added on my list of things to do that day so after my breakfast I plugged that into my GPS as it was just round the corner.

    Huge place full of all sort of cars American and European and to top it all it was totally empty it looks like I was only visitor that morning. So I did a quick whizz around the whole place to get a feel of it and see what was there and then repeated the exercise at a slower pace taking more time to look at the exhibits. Fascinating place thoroughly enjoyed myself.


















    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Back on to the Natchez Trace Parkway heading for Jackson.


    [​IMG]
    Elvis Birthplace[/caption]

    Pleasant enough ride however I prefer my roads to have more corners this one was very straight and even though the scenery was stunning in places found myself getting bored (Wow is there no pleasing this fella :-) ) I could not found any cheap motels so headed for a Motel 6 which are usually reasonably priced and went to look for some food. There was a mall within walking distance put they only had posh restaurants and was I not really in the mood for posh so ended up at pizza hut express in Target having pasta with chicken and bread sticks which was all I really fancied so that worked out well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Natchez Trace Parkway[/caption]
  10. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Jackson to New Orleans, Tuesday, 11 September 2012, Day 99


    Natchez Trace Parkway[/caption]



    Today the final stretch of the Natchez Trace into Natchez which took me a while to find my way back on it. Todays highlight was a couple of dear and I saw a fox which I spent a while watching (from a distance).


    Natchez Trace Parkway[/caption]








    The plan was to reach New Orleans that evening but it was much further than anticipated (Where have you heard that before) so I spent the last couple of hours riding in the dark which I keep saying I will not do but end up doing it anyhow. So another long day in the saddle but I had already had a couple of addresses for the night so one less thing to worry about. Arrived at Hostel number 1 after being directed through some seriously dodgy neighbourhoods by my GPS and it turned out to be a place that I had stayed on my last trip to New Orleans called India House Hostel. So that was about 15 years ago. It had grown somewhat since I was last there and luckily they had a bed available as I really did not have the energy to go and look at the next place on my list and it was about 9pm ish. I walked to the supermarket for my supper and was surprised at how much I remembered from last time I was here and I spent the rest of the evening chatting with the folks at the hostel.
  11. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    New Orleans, Wednesday, 12 September 2012, Day 100


    New Orleans[/caption]

    Today is my century so that is 100 days on the road so another milestone achieved. Plan today is to wander around New Orleans so that is what I did. Since the last time I was there, there was now a tram that stopped by the hostel as I think I walked into town last time I was here. To be honest cannot say I was overly impressed with the place pleasant enough but by midday I had seen most of it and it was getting very déjà vu and it was also quite hot. So I needed another plan and that was that I had brought a one day travel card so spent the rest of the day on the trams seeing different parts of the city and then back to the hostel via the supermarket to get some dinner.



















    [​IMG]

    I decided that I needed to see the city by night so back on the Tram to Bourbon Street again not to impressed but I kept on wandering and I found a more interesting part of town on Frenchman Street away from the tourist bars on Bourbon street which had a more interesting vibe about It. Back to the Hostel and again late evening chatting to an interesting chap who was a musician and he was doing recordings in 10 cities across the US for a project for a radio program I did not catch his name or maybe I forgot to ask but seemingly he also had had a hit single in the charts a couple of years ago in the UK.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    New Orleans to Houston, Thursday, 12 September 2012, Day 101


    Louisiana Swamps[/caption]



    I was checking the maps and I was a bit confused on the distance between New Orleans and Houston as I wanted to do a scenic route out of the bottom through the swamps and along the gulf coast so I was thinking of doing this in two days as it was more than 600km and the idea I had in my mind was a route that went off through the fascinating swamplands with a gorgeous run along the gulf of Mexico and then finding a nice B&amp;B in Port Arthur before my final push to John and Angela’s in Houston. Reality was something completely different as I did not find the fascinating swamps and the coast run was not that interesting and as for Port Arthur it was a huge industrial refinery town. And to add to this it decided to rain on me as well so very rapid change of plan was called for and I am now heading for the home comforts of Houston.

    Just because the day did not turn out how I had imagined it to be does not mean it was all bad it was actually quite eventual and interesting. I saw some dolphins whilst on a ferry crossing in Cameron and later a strange thing in the water which when I got closer turned out to be a crocodile or alligator buggered if I know the difference swimming alongside me in a canal next to the road.













    I had a hairy experience on the bike when it started to rain I finally found a place to pull of the road to put my waterproof's on (As I said before in the US very difficult to stop as there is no sides to a road in most places) and where I stopped it was on bit of a slant so when I put the side stand down the bike was not very well-balanced as the angle was all wrong so after a bit of faffing trying to move the bike around so that I could get the stand down properly so that is was stable enough for me to get off (This has been an issue all trip as I had put a large metal foot on the bottom of the stand which is great when muddy or sandy and stops it sinking to far into the ground however the conditions need to be perfect for it to work on tarmac or in other words you need a perfectly level road which in reality you rarely get) So this in combination with my inadequate length of my legs (me being a serious short arse) somehow today I managed to get the stand down but as mention it was not yet stable however to get the stand up I needed to lean the bike over the other way which you can imagine is difficult with my little short legs with a fully loaded bike and to add my issues it was bloody hot and pissing down with rain. So I did not have the strength to do what was needed so I tried manoeuvring the bike and this dug the side stand further into the tarmac making the situation even trickier. So you would think all I needed to do was start the engine and use that to move me to a better position but Suzuki in their wisdom had built a kill switch that turned the engine off if you tried to ride with the side stand down so it was left to a tired Philly to manhandle the bike to a place that I could get of without dropping the bike. More than 30,000km and the last day of riding of part 1 of my trip and I was going to end up on my arse in an ungainly mess. After what seems like ages of man handling the bike I managed to get the side stand up so that could move the bike to a place where I could get off safely without dropping the bike. Nice little workout Not! So after regaining my composure waterproof's on and that’s it I am heading straight to Houston.

    So a long and challenging day in the saddle also I had a strange feeling as I knew this would be last day doing this for a while as I am heading back to the Netherlands to sort out my redundancy which comes final on the 1<sup>st</sup> October and I am not sure I can trust them to do this without me hovering in the background and being on hand to smooth the path if things go wrong (I was right as I already got a note from them saying that they had not yet received my choices form which I put in the internal post in June so I am expecting them to screw things up as that is all they are good at!)

    After tackling Houston Rush hour on crap roads and in the rain I got to John and Angela and as I had promised myself it is time to fall of the wagon again so after a French shower (Douse yourself with deodorant) me John and Angela Rowley headed to a nice little local pub called the Petrol Station for some beer and food.

    Nice end to a long day in the saddle I must admit I had been dreaming about my first beer in a month for the last 200km or so well if I am honest a little longer than that :-)

    Lekker beer, Lekker food and Good Company looking forward to the next couple of days :-)

  13. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Houston, Friday, 14 September 2012 to Monday, 17 September, Day 102 to Day 105


    Behind the scene at the Hay market in Houston[/caption]

    As I am playing catch up this entry covers Friday 14th September to Monday 17th September.

    So on Friday I slept in and then the idea was to go and check out some local motorcycle dealers and organise some serious TLC for my bike making sure that it would be ready for the rest my journey as I am expecting things to get tougher as I headed further South. I had the addresses of 2 so I headed to the one closest to Johns to check it out. When I got there I could not locate the service department and when I did the guy I spoke to was so laxidasical and not interested that I did feel like doing business with these guys so I headed to the other address I had for Stubbs Motorcycle and the difference between this and the first one was enormous the guy I spoke to Nef could not have been more helpful totally professional so it looks like this where my bike is heading when I get back to Houston. We ordered all the consumables that we thought we would need so that is a set tyres (fourth set so far) a chain and sprocket kit not sure if required but after 33,000km I thought it prudent as then in theory will not have worry about this for a while same story on the front brake pads they have still got some life in them but this is probably the best place to get the work done ready for the big push South in October.









    So with the above sorted back to Johns and to put the Bike in his garage its a strange feeling as I have been riding it for miles everyday for the last 4 months and it was my companion through rain and sunshine and now it was being mothballed for a month I could get all sentimental here instead me and John went to the pub to drink lashing of beer at the Haymarket the place where Angela was working. The Haymarket is a beer focused bar having a choice of 80 plus different beers on tap and I think we got to sample a fair few that evening so it looks like I am officially off the wagon again and its great. I got the grand tour of the keg and cool rooms which was fascinating there were beer barrels and pipes everywhere organised chaos and it was like being a kid who has been given the keys to a sweetie shop. Later that evening we tried find a suitable location to take some night shots of the Houston skyline by night. Mine all turned out crap could it be because I had too much to drink or the bad light I blame the latter.

    Next couple of days was made up of good food, good food supermarkets, good beer and good company. We ate and drank well and visited some supermarkets one was an Asian, which was huge spent hours just wandering around and being amazed at the weird and wonderful collection of different foods on offer. Also did the same in a middle eastern and a world supermarkets on different days.


    The Ginger Man[/caption]









    Houston is not the first place one thinks about when visiting the US and I doubt many tourist go there but the restaurants and bar scene and the ethnic mix of the population making that every conceivable food preference was available either at a restaurant and or at the shops making this a foodies heaven. I can see why John has been here so long and still enjoying it as I think from what I saw not a fantastic pretty place but it has some great hidden gems.

    So in short an excellent couple of days great finale for the first part of my trip and also will be the opening act for the 2<sup>nd</sup> part of my trip and I think its is living up to its billing.

    [​IMG]
    1 month R&R in JR Garage[/caption]
  14. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Houston to Den Haag, Tuesday, 18 September 2012, Day 106


    onward and forward[/caption]

    Well folks that is it for a while. Angela took me to the airport and I am now sitting on my couch back at home in the Netherlands trying to digest what I have just achieved.

    Canada so that’s Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Colombia and The Yukon

    United States of America so that’s Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York State, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana

    +-32,00km so that is about 300km a day for 106 days

    Coldest 2 degrees centigrade

    Hottest 47 degrees centigrade

    Loads of other statistics to many to list here, I am a numbers geek but for me it was not about the numbers what it was it all about well that is the question? People ask me why I am doing this and to be honest the best response I can come with is because I can. It will take a better wordsmith than me to put it into words the real reason and what I am really getting out of doing this so the response because I can will have to do for now who knows all may be revealed in part 2 of Phillys big trip coming soon in a Cinema near you in October 2012 this time the star is a yellow Suzuki DL650A Registration MZ-XZ-03 that will be attempting to complete this epic Journey featuring;

    Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cost Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

    Oh yes and there also will be a chubby fellow on the back hanging on for dear life wondering what he is doing there!

    But first some serious R &amp; R to recharge me batteries and then as per my motto onward and forward!
  15. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    [QUOTE People ask me why I am doing this and to be honest the best response I can come with is because I can. It will take a better wordsmith than me to put into words the real reason and what I am really get out of doing this so the response because I can will have to do for now[/QUOTE]

    "because I can" is very succinctly stated, perfectly appropriate, and comes from the owner of the experience. I can not imagine a better wordsmith more qualified to provide an explanation, if indeed one is required. I find reading your account provides insight into the reasons, my love of travel explains all else.
    Please, continue just "because you can". And thanks because you have.
  16. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands

    30,888km[/caption]

    Above is the Zig Zag I did across North America 33,888km Central and and South Americas still to come :clap
  17. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Den Haag Tuesday, 19 September 2012 to Wednesday, 17 October 2012


    Bit of Culture in Den Haag[/caption]

    So I have been back in the Netherlands for a month. When I arrived back I had a load of good intentions and plans to do loads of stuff and see loads of people. Well we all know about plans and how fickle they can be :-) so I spent the first couple of weeks back sleeping I guess I am more tired than I thought I was truth be told I was absolutely cream crackered so those hours I spent catching up with my sleep was an absolutely most. The last couple of weeks I was slightly more active but not by much and a final mad rush during the last week as I had put everything of that needed to do until then and they where turning out to take up more time than I originally intended oh well I can do some of these activities on the road thanks to the wonder that is the internet.

    Couple of things that I did during the last month:
    • I closed things out with my old employer Shell I think this is all done and dusted and the redundancy monies is all in my account so let the slagging of Shell commence :-) I will no longer be defending there honour.
    • I went to the Koln Motorcycle show 4 hours there and 4 hours back on the train slightly disappointed with the whole thing as I have been wanting to go there for years but either missed it or I was working so no real excuses this time so of I went but what I did not realise was that it was a Trades show where the public where allowed to visit but there was nobody selling anything and on the whole very sterile with loads of Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese factories stands selling widgets and very specific motorcycle components which I did not find in the least bit interesting oh well I can at least cross this one of my bucket list.
    • A day out with the VVE (The flat where I live home owners association) to the old town hall in The Hague with a nice lunch afterwards
    • Leiden Ontzet (3 October festival in a town near me) lashing of alcohol and catching up with folks I only ever seem to meet up with once a year at this festival as well meeting up with the usual suspects.
    • A couple of good nights round my parents house putting a serious dent in my old mans good wine collection hic!
    • Many a good night out catching up with friends over a beer or two.
    • Sorting out my finances can I really afford Phillys Big Trip part 2 it just dawned on me I have no money coming in any more, which is scary!
    • Loads of work on my computer filing and sorting photos, maps, a new operating system and creating a completely interactive new blog.
    • A day at the US embassy sorting out visas to get back into the States I now have a 10 year visa! In a passport that only has 2 years left on it.
    • I promised myself that I would seriously work on my condition and fitness levels while I was back as I had let this slide whilst I was on the road. Well I did bugger all so guess I am going to suffer when I hit the road again as it’s a lot easier doing what I am doing when you have a reasonable level of fitness which I did before I left last time so it is going to hurt for the first couple of days.
    • ----------------etc.

    And loads more that I cannot readily recall all in all glad I went back as I needed the break and opportunity to recharge my batteries and the fact that is was cold and wet for 4 weeks was just an added bonus as I was getting a bit sick and tired of being hot and sweaty all of the time and I do enjoy the cold and wet for a change.
  18. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Den Haag to Houston, Thursday, 18 October 2012, Day 107


    Large Steak mmmm lekker[/caption]

    Up at 5am to catch a plane back to US the trains are not running between Leiden and Schiphol due to maintenance work so a bit of detour around Harlem to get to the Airport.A bit of hassle checking in which I was expecting as I did not have a return ticket and the airlines get a bit nervous if they think they will have to pay if I am refused entry into the US but I flash me new 10 year visa and everyone is happy so that day spent at the US embassy definatley worth it.

    John was there to meet me in Houston so back to his place ASAP we pulled the bike out of the garage and then straight of to <a href="http://www.stubbscycles.com">http://www.stubbscycles.com</a> as the plan was to get it serviced there and to change a whole lot of the consumables such as new tyres front and back, new disc pads front, new chain and sprockets and a full service.

    The bike had been sitting for a month so we had a bit of a moment when it did not want to start straight away and she was a bit rough once it did get started so some serious TLC is needed me thinks and that is what she was going to get.

    "
    Pulling the bike out of the garage.[/caption]

    It was good to be back on the bike again crossing Houston however I was starting to flag a bit as it had already been a long day for me. We got their well before they had to shut so we went through the list of things that needed doing with Nef added all the discounts which we missed last time and then with that all that sorted me and John headed to the Ginger Man pub for a couple of beers.

    Then back to Johns via the butchers where we brought 3 huge steaks which was going to be tonight suppers and as they where so large breakfast as well. These where barbequed on tricky barbeque/oven thingy that John and Angela have in the garden so an excellent meal catching up with John and Angela and finally we called it quits at about 11pm ish Houston time as for me it was a lot later and I had been going since 5am NL time so I was a tired little bear.


    Big steaks lekker![/caption]
  19. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Houston, Friday, 19 October 2012 to Sunday, 21 October 2012, Day 108 to Day 110


    Battleship Texas[/caption]






    I am already falling behind with this blog so I have grouped these days together to help me get back up to date :-)

    So what did I get up to in Houston except drink lashing of beer and eat extremely well.

    On the Friday I went for a day trip with John first to check out his sailing club as some ropes needed to be changed on his dingy. We chilled out on the deck of the clubhouse enjoying the view over the gulf. I was invited to a party tomorrow which was nice the only problem was it was a 4 year old girl who asked me so I am not sure I will be able to make it!

    On the way back we stopped of at San Jacinto Battleground where there is huge monument and an old WW1 battleship called The Texas. We wandered around there for a bit before being eaten alive by mosquitoes so it is of to the Hay Merchant to see Angela and some more beers then back to the house to chill out in front the goggle box


    No Comment or hello sailor![/caption]







    On Saturday I went to pick up the bike from <a href="http://www.stubbscycles.com">http://www.stubbscycles.com</a> . All the work had been done and they even gave me a goodie bag which had 2 t-shirts and 2 cup coolers in it which was a nice surprise. I must give a special thank you to Nef Delgado who looked after me sorted out everything answered all my dumb question and was very good on the pricing and discounts it was a pleasure doing business with you sir. I would recommend anyone needing work doing in the Houston area to pop by and ask for Nef a great lad and great fun to deal with.

    So back to Johns and straight out as we had a party to go to at some friends of John called Steve and Leigh Ellen. The reason for the party was that there was a barrel of beer that needed finishing off so this looks like something I could help with.

    After emptying the barrel I had promised to take John and Angela out for a meal for looking after me so well so we headed to the Big Red Cock yes the place is actually called that. Unfortunately fully booked so we ended across the road at another place having loads of different appetisers as none of us was that hungry as we had been well fed and filled full of beer at Steve and Leigh’s but we did manage to order quite a lot of interesting stuff.I had my first taste of oysters that surprisingly I actually liked as not being a big fan of fishy tasty food. I will be trying these again in the future icky but nice.

    No rest for the wicked as to end the evening we had arranged to meet up with some other friends of John at the Ginger Man Pub so onward and forward and of there for yet more beer. It was another late night but all in all a very productive and enjoyable day, time for bed hic!

    I was a bit rough after yesterday’s session so a slow start to the day we headed to a Vietnamese café for brunch of noodle soup which is an excellent hangover cure. Then back to the Hay Merchant to pick up Angela who was working there after getting John's Mini a MOT or State tested as they call it here. I do like the fact that Sunday here is same as any other day and you can get thing done as everything is open it suits me a 24/7 world as long as its not me working the weird shifts. Talking of shifts we picked up Angela up who had just finished hers and we walked down the street to another bar called the Anvil which specialised in cocktails so you guessed it we had to sample a few!


    The Anvil afternoon Cocktails[/caption]

    Later friends of John and Angela turned up same gang as last night and so we headed to another bar called Catbirds and eventually as it was a school night John and me called it quits and headed home. He had to work tomorrow and I was hitting the road again.

    Well another great couple of days in Houston this mainly due to my great hosts Angela and John. Thanks for everything picking me up chauffeuring me around feeding me with excellent food and filling me full of multitudes of different types of alcohol I am not sure if I can keep this up but it sure was fun trying. I really like Houston I think this is because the Houston you guys shared with me was excellent fun. I will most definitely be back so thank you for making me feel so welcome :-)

  20. dean10

    dean10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Houston to Austin, Monday, 22 October 2012, Day 111


    Austin Public Art[/caption]

    Back on the road again I am feeling a bit rough which is not really surprising seen as I have been burning the candle at both ends for the last couple of days.I packed the bike, which was easy as I have a system now and everything has a place. I did some tweaking on the layout which when thinking about seemed obvious and a big improvement why it has taking me 111 days to figure this out amazes me and its that embarrassing I am not going to tell you what it is that I did.


    where the tears I am leaving![/caption]

    After a tearful goodbye with my Houston Hosts, (I was tearful they where just glad to be shot of me :-)) it was time to hit the road again. A short day planned as I had not been on the bike for a month so I thought I break myself in slowly. Destination Austin and Texas Hill Country. Not a very inspiring run but nice to be back in the saddle. I arrived in Austin at about 4pm and made tracks for a Hostel just outside of town I booked in there and I headed into town on the bus to see the sights. Austin is the state capitol of Texas so the first port of call was to the Capitol building and I wandered around there for a bit. In the house of senates there was a senator giving a show and tell to a group of cub scouts which was very interesting and I actually learned something. I wandered around town for a while it was hot and I had a hangover so I was not to impressed with Austin it could be the state I was in or maybe as a place it was not that appealing. I had enough so I headed back to the hostel via a supermarket to get some supper and spent the rest of the evening procrastinating. I should be updating this but I did not get round to it.




    Austin Texas State Capital[/caption]



    It was quite a late night doing what I have no idea I am back to my dorm room sharing with 14 others and sleeping in a bunk bed which even for a short arse like me I am to big for! I woke up in the middle of the night wondering what John was doing in my room it turned out to be somebody else rolling back from the pub drunk but when I woke I was certain I was back in John and Angela’s spare bedroom. I am missing Houston and the home comforts already :-(


    Cool Bike[/caption]