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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ride2ADV, Jun 5, 2016.
Nice rambling! Best of luck on the trip!
Good going, nice RR. you will love the trip thought the Yukon. Try to find a travel type fishing rod, great trout streams/rivers up there. To bad you can't get a Ronco Pocket Fisherman anymore, they would be great.
The sun cast its rays
Through the vastness
Upon a blue orb
That could not resist
Its searing embrace
It was hot. Way too hot for this early in the summer. As we packed our bikes in the garage of our friends, I was already soaking wet. These were good friends, one we had ridden with in Argentina and Chile. Although we did not want to rush out the door, we needed to get moving to get some relief from the heat. We took a few pictures, hugged our friends and got under way.
We rode along with a gusty wind that did not give much relief and bounced us from one our desired tracks. But we were still having a great time and enjoying every minute. Around noon we decided to stop for lunch at a state park. We pulled into a small parking area with picnic tables and unpacked our meal from the bike.
Choosing a nicely shaded picnic table, we walked to a shaded table to eat. As I sat there, I looked down at the ground and noticed a number of holes. When I looked a bit more, I saw these same holes surrounded us.
The cause of the holes soon became clear. While we sat there munching on our lunch, we could hear loud buzzing from the trees. Slowly floating out of the trees and flitting onto the table and us were cicadas. Flying insects with big red eyes were everywhere. Ugly but harmless, they were everywhere. We quickly finished our lunch and prepared to get back on the bikes. It was then that I found this hitchhiker sitting on my tank bag waiting for a free ride.
He wasn't going to pay a fare, so I flicked him off the bike to hang out with his friends.
We rode for a couple more hours and decided that we needed a break from the heat. We decided to stop at a small country store in Nova, OH to hopefully take advantage of potential air conditioning and get something to cool us off.
As we walked in, a cool air surrounded us. Not only did the cool air surround us, but we were also surrounded by forest creatures.
After all, we were in a country store in rural Ohio. It just seemed to fit. Then more evidence of where we were presented itself when a tractor pulled up to the gas pumps in front of the store.
We settled in at a little lunch counter at the window and walked around to look for something to help us cool off.
It didn't take long to find something and ended up sharing this...
Just what the doctor ordered!!!
We spent an entire hour in the store sitting, eating and chatting with the locals. This is what this whole trip was about. Seeing, feeling and experiencing what America is all about. In this brief hour, we had seen great swaths of farmland, met the locals and gained just a tiny glimpse of what it is like to live in rural Ohio.
All cooled off, we passed through small rural town after small rural town. For us, it was a delight.
One town even had a tack shop for women.
This day would soon end, but we felt in some way, we had a connection with this part of the world.
A Farmall pulling up to the gas pump IS small town Ohio farm land, and you'll probably see some more of it in Indiana. Great pic!
I once thought
I knew it all
But as I learned
I was so small
It was another hot day of riding although it was a relatively short one. We thought that while we were in the Dayton area, we'd like to stop at the Museum of the US Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. I enjoyed aircraft and flying and I hadn't been to the museum in over 25 years. At that time it was on a business trip so I really didn't have much time to explore the museum. This time, I would have much more.
As we got underway, we passed more farms with more indications of all the hard work that farmers do to allow us to eat each day. Some were more in better condition and modern than others but they all had that same, "I work hard everyday, and these are the fruits of my labor" feel.
Every few miles we would pass through a different small town, each with their own feel. When we reached the town of Bellefontaine, OH, we passed something that made us pause and turn around. Above one of the side streets, a high metal banner proclaimed, "Court Avenue, The Oldest Concrete Street In America". I thought it was an excellent example of roadside America. It had that "Worlds Largest Ball of Twine" feel and I had to see it.
Turned around and parked at the side of the road, we found this...
To get a better picture of the sign, I walked across the street to take some photos. To my amazement, people driving by stopped so as not to block my pictures. I was amazed and grateful at what the locals did for me. I walked back across the street and sat with Kim on a conveniently placed bench. While we were there, a man walked around our bikes took pictures. We introduced ourselves and we all had a great conversation about bikes as well as the town we were in. It was just a great experience.
As I sat there thinking about small town Ohio, I looked up and noticed a storefront that I didn't think would be in a small town. Well I guess that Bellefontaine isn't that small.
I didn't even notice the prone woman in the window when I originally took the photo.
Little town or big city, people are similar.
Not much later we had arrived at the Museum of the Air Force. As we got nearer the gate, it became clear that the museum was a very popular place. There were cars everywhere, and people were being parked in fields a great distance from the museum entrance. It wasn't this crowded when I visited so long ago. We sat in a long line of traffic, but as we neared the building, an attendant waved us over to a small area reserved for motorcycles merely steps from the entrance. How lucky was that!
Shortly thereafter, we learned for the reason of the size of the crowd. Only two dates earlier, the museum had opened a new building with many more exhibits. This visit was going to be epic!
We waited in line for about 10 minutes and entered. Amazing is all I can say. I'll post a lot of pictures later, but to wet your appetite, here are a few...
Safe Travels and Cheers! from John and Dominic in CT
Metal, heavy and crude
Lies in the ground
Until touched by flame
Kindled by man's hand
To soar in the sky
All we can say is spending the day in the museum of the Air Force was incredible. There were so many things to see that we actually exited as they were locking the doors. Since there was so much to see, I won't bore you with the details other than a couple of pics that I thought were significant.
Bockscar, the actual aircraft that delivered the 2nd bomb on Nagasaki that effectively ended the second World War.
A Consolidated PB-Y, saved many downed airman and sailors.
One of the docents dressed as a World War 1 Aviator
Quilt of the Air Force' closed bases
Photo of WASP pilots. Women who flew aircraft from factories to delivery locations including to Europe. They only recently received veterans status.
Col. Brian Griffin who flew the very same F-4 you see here
B-2 Spirit bomber. It looks like it should be in a movie.
XB-70, a mach 3 strategic bomber built during the cold war. Only two examples were built and one was lost in a photo taking flight. This is the last remaining example.
Boeing 707 used as Air Force One
Cockpit photo of above Air Force One
It's been really hot up until this point and yesterday, I didn't stop to take many pictures so I apologize in advance. We did make a few stops including this one to find some shade and take off our Roadcrafters for a while.
Our rest stop was in the town of
Where there was some old but pretty cool architecture.
We did stop to check out this grain elevator. If you look closely, you'll see the grain falling into the truck from the elevator.
Well that's about it for this day. Sorry for the lack of pics.
Today we rode only about 125 miles. We hit heavy rain and thunderstorms, so no pictures other than this snippet taken from my helmet cam.
The rain continued to increase in intensity with visibilty dropping to nil. We stopped a couple of times to let the thunderstorms pass and we would then pass into more weather. We spent a couple of hours at a local gas station to let the line of storms pass.
At our second gas station stop we took the time to have lunch and watch TV. Sort of...
The TV never resumed before we left. But the rain ultimately decreased in intensity
and we made our way to our final stop of the evening.
The weather forecast indicated that stronger storms were due the following day with damaging winds and hail, so we decided to make the best of the situation and stay an extra night in Indy.
We walked to a bar and grill next to the hotel and found that they were running a drink special.
The following morning dawned cloudy without storms, and we wondered whether we should have started out as originally planned. But we had already booked a room for another night so we decided to make the best of it and head out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. We used Uber for the first time and got a ride to the museum.
It was a pretty cool sight.
When we got inside, there was a good mix of Indy Cars from many eras as well as cars from other forms of motorsports. Since I have a lot of pics, I'll include a few here and it you want, you can click HERE to see them all.
Turbine engine from the above car.
Diesel power for above car.
While we were there, the track opened for a couple of Vintage Racing practice sessions.
Many different types of vintage cars were on the track during the same session. It was quite a mix!
All in all we had a great time at Indy. We also lucked out in that shortly after we returned to the hotel, some severe storms passed through the area leaving about 10,000 people without power and some significant flooding.
The following day the weather turned super hot and muggy, but storm free.
We rolled into Libertyville, IL to visit with one of Kim's childhood friends Lori
and her husband Jeff. Jeff had to leave early the following morning so we unfortunately didn't have much time to visit with him. But before he left for the evening, we went to visit their new home that is presently under construction. It was really nice. When do we move in?
That evening, we went to Libertyville's town fair and as we walked around the town, we saw this place.
Not my style, but very nice looking.
The following day we spent off the bikes but did get a chance to check out some nice sights. First we walked to Libertyville's park on Lake Michigan. It was a very happening place.
On the way back to the car, I found this little gem,
A 1982 Suzuki GS1000E. I had this same bike way back in the day. It was even the same color.
We enjoyed our brief stay and then got back on the road. We rode directly to Iowa and ended up in LeClaire. LeClaire has become somewhat of a phenomenon because of a TV show that Kim likes to watch. So we stopped at
Inside of their stores were some of the finds seen on TV, but mostly the stores were filled with show paraphernalia.
One interesting thing was this outboard motor. What was unusual was that it was manufactured by Indian (yes, that Indian)
All in all, it was interesting, but a bit of a letdown.
The following morning forecasted temps once again in the nineties with humidity. It was time to take extreme measures. It would not be pretty for the general public, but we needed to cool off a bit. So under our Aerostich Roadcrafter suits we rigged for high temperatures.
See, I told you it wasn't pretty, but extreme temps call for extreme action.
Before we left LeClaire, we wanted to visit the Buffalo Bill Museum that had a real paddle wheel ship inside.
We pulled into the almost empty parking lot thinking how lucky we were. Unfortunately, luck wasn't with us since the museum didn't open for another hour and a half. We decided we couldn't wait for the tardy Buffalo Bill and decided not to wait. We did however, decide to walk down to the Mississippi River to check it out up close. Sure to its roots, on the dock behind the museum was a stern paddle wheeler.
It was really the Mississippi...
We got back underway and decided to sample some of Iowa's gravel roads. It looked like the towns had just refurbished them all, which was good and bad. There were no washboards whatsoever, but there was also an abundance of deep gravel in sections. Still, wandering through the cornfields on straight and curvy gravel roads.
It was great fun.
Ultimately we got back on the pavement and started to look for a place to have lunch which was not as easy as we are used to. The beautiful roads cross miles and miles of farmland. You can go several miles and not hit another farm. I have never seen fields of corn like this. They were truly an ocean of corn, rolling with the wind.
We finally rolled into the small town of Anamosa and at the side of the road was a Subway sub shop. We turned into the parking lot and as we made the turn, we made the strangest discovery. Behind the Subway was a large building and it had a large fabric banner at the top which read:
National Motorcycle Museum
What, the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa? We never heard of the place but it looked like an interesting stop.
We scarfed down a quick salad and virtually ran over to the museum. Inside, was a large entrance hall with a gift shop and some memorabilia from times passed. Directly in front of us was a view to a room with many, many motorcycles.
This place was exciting. We paid our admission and headed inside. Wow! What a collection of bikes! Antique, modern, racing, show... every type of bike you could think of was there. In fact there was way too many bikes for me to list individually, so I'll just clump them together by "type". Here goes...
Antique, including many makes of which I had never heard of:
(Damn! Do I love these board track racing bikes. The diorama they put them on was awesome!)
And with this Vincent, I will stop for the night. Tomorrow, I will post more modern machines, as well as some of the excellent presentations they had. Believe me, if you are in the area, or can get out to Anamosa, get there! Soon!
Outstanding images in the museum, wow!
Anamosa, Iowa? Who knew?
All those bikes look like they just came out of the factory. Who cleans all those things? Fantastic pictures!
If you're really curious about Buffalo Bill, and your travels take you to Cody, WY, I HIGHLY recommend the museum located there. Don't miss the rodeo if you stop there for the night.
I an really enjoying this! Great Trip!
OK, I have some time to post before dinner. I'll try to finish the museum up in this post and start more rambling later tonight. But there's one caveat. This hotel has very slow connectivity. We'll see if I can actually finish the museum in this try. Here goes!
"Well known" machines:
(This is a replica of the Captain America bike. The original was stolen and never recovered.)
Purpose Built Racing/Speed/Competition Machines
(This is Elmer Trett's Top Fuel drag bike. I remember him as a kid attempting to be the first to over 200 MPH in the quarter mile. It was is an awesome machine!)
(Hmm... Kim and I are going to have to try one of these things out one of these days!)
Choppers and Customs
"Modern" Era Bikes:
Well everyone, I have more pics to post but the internet here keeps crashing. I'm going to stop for now and try again in a while.
Let's start this again...
(The first "motorcycle" I ever rode. Hard tailed mini-bike. Loved it. If my parents ever found out...)
Some of the Exhibits:
Bikes and Movies:
I love this one...
Yup, that's me, laying waste to the flesh and blood of American daughters. Rotten bikers!
(Oh yeah, so weren't the daughters apparently)
And finally, the only "adventure" bike in the museum...
The mighty KLR!
Well that's it for the museum. Back to rambling shortly.
Enjoying the heck out of these pics. I think if you were riding ANY of those bikes, it would be an adventure - it doesn't have to be a KLR.
...and FWIW, if you've never seen the badlands before, you're in for a treat. It's one of my all time favorite destinations.