The "American Tragedy" Tour...Dr. Greg & Wotan head East

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dr. Greg, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. oldgezzer

    oldgezzer Country Rider

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    Dr.Greg,
    Sure do appreciate the kind words! Sweetness is blushing.... Glad you had an enjoyable visit. Welcome anytime...(Anne to, if she is ever up this way ) Hope to see you on your return trip.

    Was the driveway really that "treacherous"? Was it the deer, the spider webs, or "not being able to see the house at the end of the tunnel"?:D

    Ride safe
    #81
  2. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Nah, your drive was no problem. It's only that---especially on a big bike---you always wonder when you go diving off on some fairly narrow (and your driveway IS fairly narrow---exactly what there is at the end. But I was confident. The driveway of my host in Joplin, MO was somewhat similar, if a bit shorter. I had to call him first to see if I was correct in my driveway choice :lol3

    Will definitely catch you folks on the return trip; your hospitality was too good to ever pass up. Thanks very much again.

    --Doc

    #82
  3. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Whew! Made contact with PA RIDER so I'm Forksville-bound...excellent.

    Took PA 147 up the E bank of the Susquehanna River: 2-lanes, low traffic (uh, for the east, that is :evil )

    Stopped for lunch at a Mickey D's in Milton, PA...one of the little towns along 147. Kind of a slice of Americana.

    The highlight (for me) was the excellent oldies soundtrack there. I played keyboard in a garage band in the mid-late 60s but am a fan of the 50s as well.

    Best cut: "Sixteen Reasons" by Connie Stevens...one of my all-time favorites. Right up there with "I Love How You Love Me" by the Paris Sisters.

    Life is good again...

    --Doc
    #83
  4. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    What, no "Angel Baby" by Rosie and the Originals, or, "A thousand Stars" by Cathy Young? Also, are you sure you weren't really a Professor of Geography or maybe American Culture? :nod
    #84
  5. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Dr Greg,

    Nice meeting you in Chambersburg Wed night. Karen and Jeff were very gracious hosts!

    Guess where I was just a few hours before you?

    [​IMG]


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    Looks like you've have a lot of great weather for your ride. Very lucky, considering some of the storms that have come through here the past few weeks. Hope your "weather luck" continues.

    Found about a dozen more historical markers just west of Chambersburg on my way out, then continued on the Lincoln Highway (Old Rt 30) all the way to the Flight 93 Memorial. This was my third visit to that site, and it is still very moving. Then, I cut down SW diagonally into West Virginia. Nice day's ride.

    Hope our paths cross again.

    The other Mike


    .
    #85
  6. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Hey, you've been snoopin' around my website, or sumthin'...

    Yes, "Angle Baby" is wonderful, as is "A Thousand Stars" by Kathy Young (with a K, BTW). You may be confused with Everly Brothers "Cathy's Clown."

    I will have comment about a couple songs in my RR update, which I will be posting shortly. Thanks for your insightful insights.

    --Doc
    #86
  7. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Howdy "other Mike"...

    Yes J & K are good people. Clearly we have a few similar tastes in interesting geology. Yes, weather has been spectacular; prolly get my comeuppance on the ride home. IIRC you offered to show me around WV...maybe next year.

    Later,

    --Doc

    #87
  8. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Thursday, July 17: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania --> Forksville, Pennsylvania.

    Sorry to throw 'er into reverse gear, but let's rewind to Wednesday night at the SoPaRider (and SoPaGuider) house. Gotta get a dinner pic. That's my hosts Jeff (L) and Karen (R)---at least the lower half of their faces. Considering we were eating dinner, I guess the "mouth" part of the face was the important part. And I got that.
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    Good food and good company...

    Leaving Chambersburg, PA...

    Thursday morning couldn't possibly begin without a pic of my host Jeff rustling up my fine breakfast in the kitchen.
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    Jeff just about ready to serve Doc's breakfast...

    He did a darn good job, but I forgot to take a foto of the actual breakfast. Try not to make that mistake again. Although Jeff does a lot of DS riding (I wouldn't want to try to keep up with him) he seems to have at least minimal interest in Wotan...
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    "Hmm, what happens if I push THIS button?"

    The first half-mile leaving Jeff & Karen's house was so pretty I had to take another pic. Sorry I forgot about the impatient car behind me...
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    Green! Pennsylvania is so GREEN!

    Hey, another RIVER comin' up...get the camera set! Oops, almost missed it...
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    I believe this is the Susquehanna River.


    Following the E bank of the Susquehanna River...

    Shortly after leaving the Harrisburg area I took route PA 147 along the E bank of the Susquehanna River. It was 2-lane, and carried a relatively low (for the east) traffic volume. And---surprise!---it was pretty darned GREEN.
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    Following PA hwy 147 on the E bank of the Susquehanna River.

    The small towns along PA 147 were charming, at least to my "dry" New Mexico palate. One had this cool old-fashioned bandstand. And I had to make a U-turn to got back and get this photo. Just to let you know the lengths to which I'll go for ADVrider.com. Nothing is too much for you folks.
    [​IMG]

    They're not makin' any more of these old-timey bandstands (or whatever they're called.)


    At a fuel stop (trucker place) a good ol' boy trucker named "Jeff" strolled over (not to be confused with Jeff my host in Chambersburg) and we started discussing BMW GS's, Triumphs, and riding in general. He assured me that I would have a lovely ride today. Shoulda got a pic of Jeff but I forgot (just like the previous guy...recall the "Red" story). BTW, Jeff was really knowledgeable: for example, he knew the GSW water-cooling was mainly for the cylinder heads. I REALLY enjoy chatting about bikes with people that know their stuff, as I (not tryin' to be immodest) think I do...

    In my "mid-day update" I mentioned my lunch stop in Milton, PA, and the great oldies soundtrack. Anyone else share my taste in music? Didn't think so...


    PA route from Williamsport to Forksville.

    Shortly before Williamsport, PA (I think that's the location of the Little League World Series---didja tell about my 3rd son Keith's time as a Little League pitcher and his 65 mph fastball?) I turned NE on PA 87, which began pretty...
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    Ain't north-central Pennsylvania pretty?

    ...and got even prettier:
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    Man, the country I'm traversing just gets better!

    Y'know, Mrs. Greg has been telling me for 40 years how beautiful Pennsylvania is (she grew up in State College, PA), but every time (OK, I've only been thru PA twice) I've come thru PA it's been RAINING. Not so this time. Not by a long shot. And Mrs. Greg (Annie, BTW) was RIGHT.

    At inmate PA RIDER's place near Forksville, PA...

    From the description of this place: 45 acres on a remote Pennsylvania hilltop...I REALLY wanted to stop here. And I wasn't disappointed.

    This is a foto of the road into PA RIDER's place...even prettier!! I gotta get outta the New Mexico desert and move here...well, there IS January and February. And that big storm a couple weeks ago that tore things up. On second thought...well, getting back to the road, here 'tis:
    [​IMG]

    Howdja like to live at the end of THIS road?

    And I swear...I've died and GONE TO HEAVEN yet again. Check out the view from PA RIDER's balcony? I could look at this for hours (and I just about did...)
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    [​IMG]

    What a view!! And even a gazebo to keep the bugs at bay (there weren't any).

    A few of PA RIDER (John) kids were visiting briefly...riders all.
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    More riders in the family...


    Dinner, etc.

    Naturally we gotta have some dinner pics. Check out the view from the dining table?
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    BTW, that's John's lovely wife Heather in the pic. What a great dinner she made!

    How could I eat?...I was starin' out the window the whole time. Ok, ok, not the whole time; the food was too good. Starting with the salad...
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    The salad was GOOD...

    Then the entree (lasagna)...Heather said the "layering" wasn't proper but my stomach couldn't tell the difference...
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    The entree was BETTER...(as usual, ate some before I remembered the pic...)

    The the dessert (peach cobbler)...I've died and gone to...wait, you've heard this before. Sorry.

    [​IMG]

    The dessert was THE BEST!!

    That's it---I'm stuffed. I'll return home 20 lb heavier (I actually lost 15 lbs during my abdominal illness, but I'd rather not gain it ALL back...)

    Finally, I'm gonna throw in three more pictures of John's house to make you all jealous that YOU don't live here. Makes me jealous, too. No, not jealous, just happy that SOMEONE gets to live in such a beautiful place.
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    Again, this place is just, well, it's just gorgeous.


    Conclusion and plans for the morrow...

    Once again, I'm at a loss for words regarding the hospitality of people like John and Heather. I'm so truly grateful to them for putting up a heathen like me. I was kinda down this morning, but every time that happens, something GOOD happens to turn me around. Kind of a law of karma or something.

    The only BUMMER is that John's WiFi network is down, and AT&T doesn't see fit to support this area, so I have no connectivity. I'm writing this RR Thursday night, but I can't post it till probably lunch Friday. So you'll just have to wait.

    Wotan's runnin' great, the weather is still unbelievably good (high temp today was maybe 75 F), and my spirit is once again on track.

    Not sure about tomorrow. There are two inmates I could stay with in Oneonta and Cooperstown and longtime friend Colin in East Meredity (NY). But after all the "human interaction" I might just stay by myself. Yeah, I'll be by myself for a whole week (well, six day, since I'll get to Vermont a day late), so I suppose I should try to stay with someone.

    That's it for tonight.

    --Doc
    #88
  9. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Friday morning update: Forksville, Pennsylvania.

    Friday morning dawned a little cloudy (or so I thought), but turned into yet ANOTHER gorgeous morning. Lit bit of fog in the valleys to give us some diversity:
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    Is that the valley of the Withywindle out there?

    Unfortunately, Heather spied a forest rat; I felt obligated to snap a pic. They are THICK around here. "O Lord, protect Dr. Greg from the forest rats..."
    [​IMG]

    Nice forest rat; just stay off the road.

    As you know---if you've followed this RR---I'm getting used to breakfast cooked to order. Heather didn't disappoint, although she didn't center the egg yolk (funny story about that for later...)
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    Mmmm, good. Dr. Greg is pampered yet again.

    Finally, I'd given Heather some dirty clothes to wash (she suggested it, bless her heart). She pointed to a pile of folded clothes...FOLDED! When I DO finally get to my resort in Vermont, I'm gonna have to take care of myself. Thanks gonna be TOUGH...
    [​IMG]

    She even FOLDED my clothes...

    Dunno where I'm gonna stop tonight; the "hosting" possibilities are not really as far as I'd like to go, so I might...well, I might stay somewhere else.

    I absolutely cannot believe my wonderful luck with the weather, the hospitality I've been shown, and all the great stuff I have (e.g. Wotan).

    Maybe I've said this before, but we are SO BLESSED (or lucky, or whatever) to have such a beautiful country AND the freedom to travel within it.

    See ya down the road...

    --Doc


    Friday mid-day update (since I couldn't post any of the previous content till now)

    Just a few notes...

    1. I am ticked off at the Depts. of Transportation in their approach to historical markers. In particular, here in NY, there is NO WARNING for a historical marker---there is NO WAY you could ever stop in time (cuz here in the east there's always someone on yer tail...). Humph.

    2. It occured to me one reason I like "Sixteen Reasons" by Connie Stevens and "I Love How You Love Me" by the Paris Sisters: Both of those songs are in the key of B-flat. You may recall that I have perfect (I can tell a note/chord/key by hearing it). Ah yes, good ol' B-flat...you can read about the Paris Sisters Here. Sherrel, Albeth, and Priscilla Paris...I love 'em all. OK, ok, enough.

    3. Traveling alone people talk to you. When I stopped for a break somewhere in NY, I noticed a rather elderly gentleman (sitting in the passenger seat) of an SUV at a gas pump...he was eyeing me closely. Rather than take offense, I waved and strolled over to chat. "Hey young feller, I used to ride a Henderson..." And the conversation was on. What a cool old guy! I love those chance encounters.

    All right, I'm done. Prolly not gonna get to my lodge in Vermont tonight (spent too much time at lunch working on this crummy RR). I could make it, but I hate riding too late in the day (and the latter part of the ride would be in the mountains). Dadgum FOREST RATS, of course. I'm absolutely paranoid.

    OK fellers, almost there. Then I'm gonna take a day off the bike. Ridden approximately 2,500 miles so far. Oh yeah, the BMW R1200GSW turned over 20,000 miles this morning, but I missed it. Oh, well...

    --Doc
    #89
  10. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Dr. Greg is in Killington, Vermont!

    That was my destination, and I've made it. Kind of a long ride, and not the best strategic planning, given the traffic from NYC up to upstate NY on a Friday afternoon. Nevertheless, I made it.

    Lovely place in Killington, VT...don't even wanna use my Bose headphones cuz I'd rather hear the beautiful stream out back.

    Lotsa pics tomorrow. I'm gonna relax tonight---really the next two days---and then head out and get to the bottom of the Grace Brown murder case (the American Tragedy). Stay tuned...

    --Doc
    #90
  11. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Friday, July 18: Forksville, Pennsylvania --> Killington, Vermont.

    As I indicated in my "brief update"...I made it! Didn't really expect to get as far as the resort in Killington in one day, but I resorted to "direct" roads and made it. My friend Colin in East Meredity, NY was unable to host me (I'll stay with him on the return) so I would've had to camp or motel. And nobody to take care of me...


    Leaving PA RIDER at Forksville, PA...

    Before I left John & Heather I had to get a pic of them:
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    The nicest folks you could possibly hope to meet...

    And John is no slouch on his FJR.
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    At age 79 on this FJR, John is my "role model" for aging...what a guy.

    We had some excellent conversations about bikes (remember, I like talking to knowledgeable people), and John said he's been looking at a new bike (he has like 80K miles on his FJR), but seems like nothing is an improvement over the FJR. I agreed---it's a "cult bike" and still has a large, enthusiastic following.


    A LANDMARK for Wotan---and I missed it!

    A while after leaving Forksville (more great roads, BTW), Wotan rolled over 20,000 miles. But I missed it:
    [​IMG]

    Missed it by 14 miles...oh, well.

    BTW, note the external temperature. Fine riding weather yet again...I'm gonna pay for this, I know.


    Entering New York...

    Somewhere I crossed into New York, but the border was not marked that I could see. When you enter New Mexico, there is a sign proudly proclaiming "The Land of Enchantment." Now New York is the "Empire State" but---outside of their license plates---they don't seem to brag about it too much. I guess the traffic speaks for itself...

    But it was nice enough country...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Another pretty day in Dr. Greg's "American Tragedy"...


    Motorcycles and Toll Roads...

    Like many of you, I avoid toll roads. There usually boring, and paying the toll is a pain (uh, for those few of us who wear gloves). But I really wanted to get to Vermont that day, and it looked like the toll road was the best choice. I approached the toll booths along with a few others...
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    Little did I know I could've avoided this...

    While waiting in line I saw another rider zip right thru the "EZ-Pass" lane, but...when I got to the toll booth the gal waved me thru and said "Free!" At least that's what I think she said, having earplugs in...man, gloves, earplugs, boots, and even a helmet! Doc is GEARED UP! Like he's scared of crashing or somethin'...


    Rush Hour.

    Wasn't that a Jackie Chan movie? I was a big fan of JC. Anyway, it became clear that leaving the Albany area for the Adirondacks area at 1600 hours on a beautiful Friday afternoon in July was questionable strategy. A lot of other folks had the same idea. Oh, well, it was only "slow 'n go" for about a half hour. And traffic never actually stopped.

    And I finally made it. This was where I staying for a week near Killington, Vermont. Nice enough place. My little apartment has TWO TV's...oughta be enough.
    [​IMG]

    This will be Doc's home for a week.

    But the BEST thing is that there's a little creek out back, with a perfect area to sit and read. See?
    [​IMG]

    A good book (er, iPad), a good creek, time to relax.

    BTW, I am wearing my customary blue shorts in that pic. After all, I've got some neighbors. And I've just started reading The Dog Stars by Peter Heller...


    Plan for next week.

    So I'm gonna relax for the weekend, let the visitors head back to Albany, NYC, wherever they all poured out of. Then on Monday I'm gonna ride back W to the Adirondacks, for sure go to Big Moose Lake; that's where Grace Brown was murdered (?) by Chester Gillette in 1906. That's the real "American Tragedy" and the whole reason for this trip. I would also like to visit the tiny town of South Otselic, which is where the Brown farm was (well, three miles away) but we'll see.

    In the meantime I'm tickled to be able to have some solitude (the people I stayed with were wonderful but sometimes it's nice to be alone), gonna check over Wotan tomorrow, and get ready for riding on Monday.

    After Monday there won't be much exciting around here, so I won't update the RR until I leave on Friday. So it'll prolly fade back about five pages by then...oh yeah, the length of the ride so far: 2,669 miles.

    Later alligator,

    --Doc
    #91
  12. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    You don't by chance have a Google route showing your roads?
    #92
  13. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Nossir. Just wingin' it. After I get home I could go back and create such an artifact, but that sounds like a lotta work :lol3

    And I gotta get started on GS wrenching before the PNW trip...:D

    --Doc
    #93
  14. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    Gee Dr. Greg, if only your former engineering students could hear you now. :huh

    :rofl
    #94
  15. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Hey, gimme a break...until I retired, I had NO IDEA how hard I really worked. Surely you know that any kind of university faculty position is about the (1) research money you acquire, (2) the journal publications you accrue, and (3) only secondarily about teaching. What a profession!...

    However, I do congratulate you on choice of a screen name: the Rolls-Royce Merlin is one of my all-time favorite IC engines. IIRC it was continued as a "Packard" version. But the "Merlin" name (to me) is just magic.

    --Doc

    #95
  16. PA RIDER

    PA RIDER Adventurer

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    Dr. Greg was the perfect guest. He neglected mentioning I was a lazy host who never left his recliner (due to a still unknown med. condition). I never even saw the famous stead he rides. The good Dr. promised to stay with us on his return leg. Hopefully I will be in better shape to be a proper host to a very interesting traveler. Enjoy VT. Dr. Greg.
    #96
  17. jphish

    jphish Been here awhile

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    Greetings Doc - Well...some of us on the leading edge of the boomers demographic probably DO share your interest / taste in music. But it seriously dates us to the Phil Spector "wall of sound" genre, so some may perhaps refrain due to certain maturation 'sensitivities'. I however am not one of those, bring on the B flats. Someday want to hear the 'rest of the story' regarding your geologist FIL - so put that on the list. As a former soil scientist I had a few disagreements with my geo' compatriots - they viewed productive soil (over burden) as something to simply be removed & tossed to get to the good stuff. ARGGG !! Broke my soil lovin heart! Show me the reclamation plan...please. Anyway... awaiting the Big Moose Lake leg - enjoy your respite in VT - looks like a fine little spot to R&R with blue shorts. Cheers, jp
    #97
  18. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Hey my friend PA RIDER,

    You couldn't keep me away from that place. Like I said, Mrs. Greg said all we need is 1/2-acre off of the corner of your big hilltop. Lemme see, "interesting traveler"...how should I take that? I think I'll take it as a compliment. Back atcha big fella; countin' on you bein' a little spryer when I come thru in a week or so...

    --Doc

    #98
  19. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Wow, someone who actually remembers those songs? COOL!! Seems like ol' Phil Spector got into trouble a while back...wasn't that right?

    Hey when I rendezvous with you this fall during my PNW trip I'll relate the rest of the "geologist" story...till the, thanks for following and bring on Big Moose Lake...

    --Doc

    #99
  20. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Speaking of Big Moose Lake (scene of the real "American Tragedy" :eek1)...it's quite a ways from my current location. Looks like to ride over to BML and back tomorrow will be upwards of 350 miles. And likely SLOWISH miles.

    Better get an early start. But...an early start means forest rats. Man, I'm not sure what to do. Wisht I coulda found a closer place to stay...oh well, it is what it is. I'm a little edgy about the ride tomorrow. Be glad when I'm back.

    Took a few pics around my neighborhood while walkin' around today, but not worth posting here. Hopefully get some better ones Monday.

    BTW, had my first "bike problem" today---while checking tire pressure I noticed the connector I installed for my 12V "tire inflator" had broken (my fault). Luckily the connector I fitted for charging iPhone, iPad, etc. was the same, and I could inflate my tires (they were just a tad low). Whew! Guess if that's the worst that happens I'll consider myself lucky...

    --Doc