Friday, October 7, 2016

Still more to see in Pennsylvania

(I'm so behind.  I hope I get this finished  by the time I leave on my next vacation in March.)

By Tuesday, July 19, we were back in the saddle, and headed to Dubois Harley as I needed a service. 

A grand-looking building of brick.

A mural painted on the wall depicts the owner getting a haircut.  We chatted with him for a bit and found out he's fought to keep this shop the way it is, and to not have to go to a new style.  It's an awesome place, with nooks and crannies containing fun things to see while you're waiting.
We wandered around the shop as it’s a museum in itself, an old-fashioned type of shop, the type you mostly no longer see as so many are now a cookie-cutter style.  The horn on my bike was no longer working, and I was thinking my finger no longer works that well either.  They found a horn on another bike and I was back in business.  Across the street was a restaurant, so we made the most of it while we waited.

Now there's a pancake.  I could only eat half of it.
Once the bike was ready, off we went to the Elk Country Visitor Center. There are about 1,100 in the herd, and they issue 125 hunting permits a year.  While it was a nice ride, and a fun place to visit, there were no elk to be seen as it was too warm.  Oh well.  My mission of seeing a big bull elk in the wild is one that still eludes me. And while it would have been great, the riding in Pennsylvania made it A-okay.  The country is beautiful, with wonderful, winding roads made even better with local friends to go with us.

The big bull elk, but not a live one.  Another time.
We spent our last day riding some great roads, and even found one of my personal favorites, a metal-grated bridge.
Alas, it was time to move along.  We’d been with Greg and Deb for three nights, and my mom always told me that “after three days, both fish and guests stink.”

But the pond that provided so much relaxation was hard to leave behind.

As well as the ducks that provided so much entertainment.

And the home and good friends that had provided us with wonderful hospitality for a few days.  But, I'm sure we'd be back another time because there's still so much Pennsylvania to see and roads to explore.
Rockin’ Rita and I headed off toward Michigan, July 20 (Wednesday).  It was a riding and Harley-shop-visiting kind of day, with us ending up at her and Butch’s friends (Ray and Sylvia) for the evening.  We pulled in just at dark, and I was certainly glad for the GPS on her bike.  We’ve used a combination of maps and GPS’s on her bike and the one on my phone to get us places, and while we’ve wandered around a bit here and there, we’ve always eventually found our way to our destination.  Or some other destination.  And that, my friends, is how we get all those miles.  Haha.

Sylvia and Ray were our wonderful hosts for the evening.  It's been so nice to be taken in, road orphans that we are.

Breakfast with Flat Rocky, Sylvia and Ray, before hitting the road again.
Our visit here was short as we were headed on to Minnesota to my cousin reunion.  Today’s ride (July 21) had us with a donkey butt coming over into our lane deliberately.  I realized my finger was still working as I let him know he was Number 1. 

Once again we found the big storm and sat it out under an awning at a gas station.  We got saddled up again and were looking forward to an early evening with an excellent dinner.  No such luck for us.  We found some construction that was backed up for miles with a single lane.  Good grief, they must have been taught by Alaskan construction crews.  And then the storm hit us again … hurricane-style winds and heavy rain. 

Eighteen miles from our hotel, we sought shelter at yet another gas station.  As it appeared we’d be there for a while, we walked across the street to a bar and grill for some dinner.  There was a young couple holed up there also, 50 miles from their destination.  They had no protection of any kind … no jackets or even hoodies.  The young lady and gentlemen were both wearing tank tops.  They were tougher than I am.  Or just young and dumb.

We finally decided we had to make a run for it as we were tired and needed to get off the road.  Besides, it was only 18 miles.  It was dark now, and the rain was a bit lighter, but still not a great night to be riding.  Trucks were going by us at warp speed.  We were running 60 mph with our flashers hopefully with them lighting us up enough for everyone to see us.  We ended up on a toll road that cost us $1.90.  The price was worth it as the road wasn’t bad. 

The rain stopped, but there was still a lightning show all around us when we chose to take a look.  It was everywhere and often.  But no rain now was a definite plus. 

We finally made it to our home for the night.  Even the cherry Coke, coffee and tea couldn’t keep me awake.  Zzzzzzzzz.

Back on the road (Thursday, July 22), we ran through Hillsboro, the Czech capital of Wisconsin.  Come to find out, Wisconsin is the state with the most “Capitals.”  It claims to have more cities and towns claiming to be the Capital of something or other than any other state.  For instance, there’s the “Jump Rope Capital of the World,” “Muskie Capital of the World,” “Hog Wrestling Capital of the World,” “Toilet Paper Capital of the World (Green Bay),” “UFO Capital of Wisconsin,” “Horse Radish Capital of the World,” and “Buffalo Roast Capital of Wisconsin.”  There are so many I can’t name them all, but it’s pretty cool, and we went through some of these towns. 

And we found yet another town of Galena.

Barn quilts always intrigue me, and Flat Rocky and the gang were pretty impressed, too.
There's nothing like a day of sunshine, cornfields, and a good friend in your rearview mirror.

Unless you find another bridge.  No metal grate this time.

We rode for miles without seeing other cars ... just fields, corn and a cow now and then.

I'd never seen a mail drop like this one before, in memory of a beloved person.
Today I missed the “photo of the day” or perhaps the month or year.  It was an Amish barn-raising.  There was the wood frame of the barn and there were men on top, along the sides.  It was a beautiful sight and one I wish I could have photographed.  But it may have also been an invasion of their privacy, so we rode on.

The barn raising was similar to this photo that I found online by one legged
But I did get a photo of the horse and buggy. 
It was a great day of riding, a one-day streak without riding in the rain.  Yay.  We didn’t make Brainerd but will still have to pay for the room.  I didn’t want to run 170 miles in the dark on roads that would most likely have lots of deer running around.  We made it to Baldwin, just as night fell. 

While we rode late, we did see some a beautiful sunset.

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