Two Brothers Chasing Dead Morgans across the USA on KLRs

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AHRMA17L, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,013
    Location:
    Off route, recalculating
    Excellent :clap

    In. I live in Wales. Do you know whereabouts your family originated from?
    #21
  2. keithg

    keithg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    SO CAL NUTHOUSE
    I am in!
    #22
  3. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    Friday, July 7:
    NOTE: There will be a couple of days of non motorcycle riding...

    Pick up the Econobox Rental Car in East Stroudsburg—tried to get early but didn’t have a car, otherwise this went as smooth as glass.

    [​IMG]

    Saturday, July 8: Got up at 4:00 a.m. and left for the airport to get Dan. I didn’t check my texts until I was out the door and found out his flight was delayed by about 3 hours. I couldn’t go back in the condo or I would wake everyone up and quite frankly, while I could have used another 3 hours of sleep, it wasn’t worth the hassle. So, I drove to the airport and got there in about two and a half hours. Now what to do?

    I found out the distance to Independence Hall which was about 7 miles away and drove down there to get my bearings. Walked around for a couple of hours. Lots of girls jogging all smiles. It was nice to walk around without all the people. Went back to the airport and got Dan who was extremely tired from the delayed flight.

    Went back down to see if we could do Independence Hall but the tours were too late. Saw the Liberty Bell and walked to the Market to find the cheese sandwich place. Had the recommended sandwich , the Helter Skelter with the pickled green tomatoes--very pungent. It was OK but would not have again.

    [​IMG]

    We then headed out to find the Morgan Cabin. This is our 7th great grandfather's cabin. We found it no problem, and got a detailed personal tour by the curator. He said he would send all the genealogy stuff he had to us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We then went out to the Gwynedd Cemetery—no stones for Morgans, but I didn’t expect there to be any as it is documented that they were buried there, but as you can see, most are broken off and many of the stone have disappeared/deteriorated over that last 300+ years.

    [​IMG]

    From there we stopped by Round Guys Brewing to see if they had any of the Morgan Log House beer left, but no. Had a beer and then headed back to the condo in Stroudsberg.

    Dan slept a lot of the way which was just fine. Siri sent us to the wrong destination over 10 miles from where we were supposed to be. Went to the beer store and had an excellent Vermont Amber Ale. We cooked the left overs and feasted. It was a perfect day.

    Yet…I was not fired up. Like the Mexico trip and the trip last year, I was just not excited. Part of it was the weather. What had been forecasted to be beyond perfect just a few days before turned into a horrid storm coming right where we were supposed to go in Morgantown WV, Ohio, Iowa, etc.

    This should have made me happy because we were forced to go south, but no. One thing about this day, though, no matter what works out with the ride, the die was cast and there’s no use worrying. Whatever will come will come and so far, there have been no issues. In fact, the bike acquisition, preparation, shipping, vacation, Dan flying in has all worked out perfectly without a single snag.
    #23
  4. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    I can look, but Wales for sure.
    #24
  5. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,013
    Location:
    Off route, recalculating
    Have I read this correctly: Daniel Boone was your 5th great grandfather?!
    #25
  6. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    Actually he's a distant uncle. His mother was Sarah Morgan. We a descendants of a brother of Sarah Morgan.
    #26
  7. Hold'erPegged

    Hold'erPegged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Oddometer:
    11
    Tired start indeed. The flight being delayed jacked everything up pretty good on the first day. Getting to see the real Liberty Bell was pretty cool and I wish we could have spent more time in the area, but this trip was more personal for me following the footsteps/wagon ruts of my ancestors.

    When we arrived at the Morgan log cabin the door was locked and we knew this would be maybe our last chance to see it. So, we about knocked the door down knocking on it. Eventually the curator opened it and explained that he was the only staff member there and was finishing up a tour. Sweet!! We sat on a bench near the garden, fought off the fire ants and waited patiently for the door to open. What an experience!! Literally standing in the cabin my ggggg grandparents built!!!

    #27
    Unstable Rider and EZMoney like this.
  8. Mac-1769

    Mac-1769 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    24
    Looks like a good one, I'm in. Bet that was super cool being in that cabin. They should had let you two spend the night there. ;-)
    #28
  9. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    Sunday, July 9:

    Slept great, got up without an alarm or hassle, had an awesome set of breakfast burritos from the leftovers, cleaned up the condo and headed out to Amish country on backroads. Made it to Lancaster, stopped by the Lancaster Brewery.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We then drove out to York. By this time, it was about 3:00—too late to go to Gettysburg, so we thought we would go out to Daily Direct to see if we could have picked the bikes up early.

    Talked to the security guard there who explained that the guy just left for the day and this is the slowest time of year with only one shift a day. We didn’t expect to be able to get the bikes but it was worth a try since we didn’t have anything else to do.

    We secured out hotel in downtown York within easy walking distance of three microbreweries--a Rodeway Inn if I remember correctly.

    [​IMG]
    The hotel and the Econobox Rental car on the left. The Theater was just too cool not to take a photo.

    We set up the hotel, then headed out for a drink. We stopped by the closest one which wasn’t rated very well, Mud Hook, then decided to do the best on first, Collusion Tap Works.

    [​IMG]

    It didn’t disappoint. We have pulled pork nachos with an amazing local hot sauce, of which I bought a bottle. We had two beers and decided to move on.

    From there we went to Liquid Hero, which was OK.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The place is a little odd and weird. One beer there and we went to Mud Hook.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Something I have never seen before--a breathalyzer at a bar. I think it is a good idea.

    It wasn’t a bad place at all. I think the bad reviews were because of the slow service, but if you are not in a hurry, it is irrelevant. We were getting a little hungry, so we got a bowl of chili and a pork shank appetizer that was supposed to be coated in ghost pepper sauce, but they obviously put the wrong sauce on it because there was zero heat. They tasted good, but no heat.

    After that we went to the “Walmart” of bars as the bartenders at Mud Hook called it for a final beer, which turned out to have the longest name of any beer I have ever had: Purple Monkey Dishwasher Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. Yes, it was tasty.

    [​IMG]

    We watched McGrath, Deegan, and RJ do some truck racing--the more things change, the more they stay the same. McGrath was consitent and methodical, Deegan went fror broke and lost to a flat tire. We then went to hotel and called it a night. The big day starts tomorrow.
    #29
    Max Wedge likes this.
  10. Hold'erPegged

    Hold'erPegged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Oddometer:
    11
    And yes....we staggered back to the room.
    #30
    Unstable Rider and Max Wedge like this.
  11. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    Monday, July 10: York, PA to Troutville, VA.

    We got up and headed out to Daily Direct at about 8:00 after a meal at McD’s. No one was there except for one of the drivers who surprisingly said he could check us out, which went as quickly and smoothly as greased lightning a total of about 5 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bikes started fine but the red one had a stalling issue and a hanging idle. It got a little better as it warmed up and wasn’t something that would be unreliable, just annoying and most likely a plugged pilot jet. I would guess most likely gas that had gone bad over the last month and a half since they were shipped or a maybe a dirty carb since I never pulled it before the trip. Shuttled back and forth between Daily Direct to the Enterprise rental car place where the return took forever. Rode back to the hotel to get the bikes packed, which took about an hour and a half of configuring everything. Left about 10:30 on the journey.

    [​IMG]
    That's me, Jon, on the left and Dan on the right. I have always been a little bigger and Dan used to be a little taller but a mountain bike crash involving a broken base of the skull, a broken neck, a broken back in 4 or 5 places and nearly $200,000 worth of titanium apparatus stabilizing Dan's spine shrunk him a little...and he can has more skill on two wheels of any sort and can still outride anyone I know.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The starting numbers on both bikes...

    We took 30 to Gettysburg. Right before Gettysburg the green bike started to hesitate and stall. Great. It seemed to get a little better, but on the way, out of Gettysburg it started doing it badly. I checked the tank and it was nearly empty. I was certain that I had filled them before shipping since you do not have to drain the tanks. 5.5 gallons later we were full. So much for being “sure” of something.

    Went to the Gettysburg National Park visitors center for a bit then ended up riding the entire auto tour. This was my third time there, but Dan’s first and he was amazed. Red bike was running better and better. Green bike was fine as always.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After Gettysburg we headed south into Virginia.

    We stumbled across this roadside attraction--Dinosaurland, at some random intersection in Virginia.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I bought some souvenirs as my 5 and 8 year old are fanatics about dinosaurs. The 8 year old got a tie-died shirt and has worn it almost everyday since I got home.

    [​IMG]

    The Confederacy lives...

    There was a five flags of the Confederacy bumper sticker among the gimcrack--I considered buying two and plastering them on the green KLR's tank. Mayber a little statue of General Lee to stick on the front fender?

    Wile riding through the Shenandoah Valley, we rode past a billboard for Luray, VA and Cooter's Duke's of Hazzard Museum. It was about 15 miles away, but since we were a little behind schedule, we elected to pass it up. Of all the things we missed on the trip, I really wish we would have said screw it and stopped. I mean, how often do you fund yourself at the Dukes of Hazzard Museum?

    We headed out on 15 to Troutville, VA and stopped by at a Clarion Inn which was $119 a night. Asked about the Quality Inn's rate next door since they are of the same chain but the hotel guy was just being an ass since I wasn’t staying there and said he couldn't say if they were higher or lower. We found a completely renovated, 60s themed Motel 6 for $41 right next door--by far the nicest Motel 6 I have ever stayed at. Get on the bikes to ride over there, hit the starter button on the green bike and nothing. It didn’t work for a few tries. I worked after about 5 pushes like nothing ever happened, but unsettling to say the least.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Lawnmower racing Baby!

    Right next door was a diner called Angell’s where the food was unbelievably good and the beer was cold and cheap. This was Dan’s first experience with someone that was heavily accented, and I must admit it was hard to understand the waitress. Some hillbillies came in a sat behind up to celebrate a birthday and ordered the gumbo all around. Then they proceeded to hit on the youngest waitress there via the older waitress that was serving them, giving message to the older waitress to pass along to the younger waiteress, whci she dutifully did. An entertaining and stomach filling evening to say the least. By the way, the 25 oz Bud Light was $1.95.

    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. FAW3

    FAW3 Old wanderer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,667
    Location:
    No.VA.
    Love the theme of this journey! Safe travels and keep it coming.

    FYI: If I develop a bit of rough running/stumble on my KLR one thing I try to eliminate as a cause is water in fuel. Drain the carb bowl (allen wrench fitting, bottom of bowl, access via right side of MC).

    Water in "ethanol enhanced" fuel is something I deal with about once a year. I suspect poor fuel or a poor seal at gas cap gasket.

    Drain a few cc's and see what happens next time.
    #32
    Unstable Rider likes this.
  13. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    Tuesday, July 11: Troutville, VA to Knoxville, TN.

    Woke up bummed about the starting issue—odd how I have never had a problem like this and it happens on the first day of the ride 4,000 miles from home. Worst case we would just push start it, but still--I consider a mechanical failure a personal afforont on a bike that I have prepped. As we used to say in racing A DNF due to a mechanical is unacceptable. Dan was chipper about it and said it was just part of the story of the trip.

    Rode through Kennersville to Winston/Salem where we stopped at a AAA for maps. It got hot and humid out...chokingly hot. Found out that the Tail of the Dragon was within reach and decided to go for it but it was about 250 miles away and it was already afternoon. The only way to make it was to blast down the freeway for 170 miles to the end of I-40, to 78, then 28, then 129.

    So we hauled ass down 40 in what was one of the most miserable sections of the trip. Hot, humid, just freeway. Stopped at a rest area for a quick break which got drug out for half an hour or so, but we needed it. Jumped back on and pounded out the miles. Got to the end of 40, 78 was a little better, then 28 was good. Stumbled through a great little town of Bryson. The area if full of rafting excursions. Found the bottom of 129.

    [​IMG]

    Rode north past the dam Harrison Ford jumped off of in The Fugitive...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...and hit the real tail of the dragon and the biker stop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bought some decals and a shirt, and after about a half hour rest, did the dragon. It was a great ride.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    A photo of Dan's tire after The Dragon. As I mentioned, he can ride anything on two whees to the edge, in this case right beyond the edge of the Metezler Tourance tires. As he concluded, " The thing actually handles pretty well, but gets a little loose when pushed." I would say so.

    [​IMG]
    The Shinko on my bike. I am not as aggro as Dan, nor do I have the natural capability and feel for what the bike is capable of doing.

    Coming out of the dragon, we rode past a big reservoir and there were lot of young adults partying near the water, simply an awesome ride.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hit Maryville, found a Motel 6, but it was near the airport and was a “brand new” Motel 6 franchise that was still gold plated and reeked of incense. There was another in Knoxville about 30 miles away and in in rare form, Dan said we rode over 400 miles, what’s another 30? So we went.

    We found it and it was everything we wanted—close to a grocery store, had laundry, etc. but was a horribly rundown hotel, one of the worst we stayed at, with a rather rough clientele (the workers hanging out--literally--on the balconies and having all the pizzas delivered to the pool) and generally creating mayhem. Lots of completely unattended children around.

    Went to the Kroger for dinner, got white bean chili, cornbread and some beer. While walking in we saw the extremely rail thin, tall guy walking a 2-3 year old. He was so tall he had to bend to his side to hold the little guy’s hand. The girl that was with them was a smoking hot blonde, wearing a red dress with most likely nothing underneath it, but something wasn’t right with the picture. Oh well, it is the south and that’s the way it is with poverty.

    Got back to the hotel and got our laundry. Dan put it in while I took a shower. I got done with that, heated up my food, sipped a beer and went to check the laundry. I walked around the corner to the back of the hotel where the laundry area was and was shocked to see the hot girl sitting on the steps of the hotel, smoking, looking in complete and total despair. It was such an unexpected shock to see her, I didn’t really look at anything else. When I walked back past her after checking on the laundry I noticed the guy was getting something out of a completely rusted out, purple, S-10 Chevy that had a flat left front tire and had obviously been sitting for a while. I then walked past what turned out to be the room they were staying in (I could tell because the child was on the floor in there), it was abundantly clear that’s where they actually lived given the amount of their personal belongings and the children’s paraphernalia one has with an infant of that age.

    What do you do in a situation like that? She was so smoking hot that it was like one of those, "What doesn't belong in this picture?" things, but the despair, that broke/poor, with a child, blowing money on cigarettes—the whole forked up mess. Reflecting on trip last year and my experience in Edmond, OK, I thought to myself, "What is it with crap hotels, laundry, and freaky people like this?" I’d rather stay in a hotel rented by the hour than one that allows an extended stay situation. I can’t even imagine the story.
    #33
    EZMoney, Unstable Rider and DC950 like this.
  14. Hold'erPegged

    Hold'erPegged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Oddometer:
    11
    Definitely the most uncomfortable stay of the trip. You forgot to mention what appeared to be a blood trail on the ground that we had to try and avoid while doing laundry...I should have taken a picture:\ All in all...an amazing day of riding!!! You would have never know the town of Bryson existed had we not taken that little detour. The thick vegetation in the region hide so much from view! Very unlike what we are used to in Oregon.
    #34
  15. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    True. There were so many sketchy things about that place and the people that were there it was one of only two places on the trip where we actually locked the bikes up, the other being East St. Louis (a couple of days from now) were we just missed being part of an armed robbery at a Circle K. It may have been better at the first Motel 6, but the clientele weren't any better with the borderline domestic violence situation there.

    That said, both had a WAFFLE HOUSE within a couple hundred yards! Tomorrow--Dan's first experience at a Waffle House!
    #35
  16. Hold'erPegged

    Hold'erPegged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Oddometer:
    11
    Other than the Waffle House, another plus to staying there was that the nearby Kroeger, where we bumped into our would be "neighbors", has build your own 6 packs, with some fairly good brews.
    #36
  17. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    162
    Wednesday, July 12: Knoxville, TV to Jackson, TN. Had a talk about the trip. After yesterday’s 170+ miles of freeway, even though we were way off the original route and making no real headway west, we decided to make a concerted effort to stop hardcoring and take the rural highways no matter what. The goal today was to head west with the end goal of Dyersburg, TN.

    First though, we had to stop at The Waffle House. I don’t know why, but I love The Waffle House. Maybe it is that we don’t have them in the west, or maybe it is that I associate it with traveling, or it might be that the food is just plain good.

    [​IMG]
    Dan, a Waffle House virgin...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Notice the jalapenos, it will be a theme of the trip...

    The Waffle House did not disappoint. I think I only ate about half of the scattered, peppererd, smothered, diced, country, etc. hashbrowns. It was interesting; a waitress there had some official Waffle House spandex sleeves on here arms. I asked about those and they are to cover up tattoos. I guess they are sticking to the original wholesome message.

    From Knoxville, we took the “First State Highway” in Tennessee making to Nashville for the AAA and maps. It was hot again, right at 100, and while there were huge puddles on the road the worst we got was a little sprinkled on, but nothing serious. The road was nice, though.

    Got to the AAA and sat there for an hour or so deciding the route, deciding on a destination of Dyersburg, TN. The map was vague, and we were trying to find Highway 70. We ended up blowing about an hour and a half riding through Brentwood and what was probably the nicest part of Nashville, past a huge plantation. Ate at a Kroger in Brentwood. We were way out of place in out nasty riding gear and KLRs

    We finally found 70 and figured out that we rode about 50 miles in a direction we really didn’t need to go to get there. Oh well. We wouldn’t have seen that part of Nashville if we hadn’t wasted the time. So much for maps lacking detail and a GPS that shows a road intersecting the highway. We rode to where we were supposed to be an could see the highway about 50 feet in front of us, but there was a ded end and an impassable fence.

    So we finally got on 70 and much for a casual ride as it was once again getting late in the day; we started to hardcore. We were doing pretty well but took another wrong turn that put us in the wrong direction, south. This turned out to be rather fortuitous, seeing there was a red radar storm between us and Dyersburg on the original route we planned. The new destination was south to Jackson where we found a Quality Inn. Nice place with a huge room even though it was a little expensive, but it had a full breakfast. For some reason all the hotels were booked and we got one of the last rooms—a smoking room. At least we had a place to stay, we were dry and we dodged the intense storm to the north.

    Went again to the Kroger about 4 miles away for dinner/food/beer. I stopped by the Subway for my dinner asked for the Turkey Jalapeno Melt, a specialty sandwich Subway offered several years ago. Surprisingly, the guy who was in hid mid-60s knew what it was. It turned out that he had been working there for 25 years—25 years as a sandwich artist! The country is hurting. Anyway, made it back to the hotel, feasted, and looked at the weather. The next day actually looked great so we decided to head for Burlington, Iowa the next day—it would be a push, but would put us somewhat back on schedule and closer to where we originally wanted to be. Plan was made, maps were set up, we were ready to go.

    By the way, on the way into Jackson, there was a huge turtle crossing a four lane boulevard.
    #37
    EZMoney and DC950 like this.
  18. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,157
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    unless you want to end up on Live Leak or World Star Hip Hop, stay out of Waffle Houses after midnight!

    Nice thread BTW.
    #38
  19. Hold'erPegged

    Hold'erPegged Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Oddometer:
    11
    That was a great day of riding to start. Hwy 70 was awesome right out of Knoxville. After Nashville it was unreasonably hot...so hot I though I might just pass out. Went through all the water in my camelback that day. Jon played drag racer and "pulled the chute" at one point. One of the rain covers on his saddle bags caught a gust and blew right off! luckily it didn't end up getting wrangled by the back wheel! I thought for sure we were going to get hassled by the federalés in Brentwood! Crazy!!!
    #39
    EZMoney likes this.
  20. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fartografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,893
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    Sub-scribed.
    #40