I got a text from Dan that he made it home to Vernon NJ at 12:59 am That meant he had to ride thru fog and drizzle with the temperature dropping and be worried about icing on the roads and bridges. No thanks No way I could do that.
I slept like a baby after that terrific buffet dinner next to the Comfort Inn and around 7 I started packing up the bike and had the free hot breakfast in the motel. Well to be more truthful I had half a plate of eggs and some orange juice and hit the road by 8am. Some fog for half an hour then sunny skies.
Took a gas stop around 142 miles (4.3 gallons) and called Stacy to find out my morning messages and also let her know I would be in to work later in the afternoon.
Made terrific time and always was able to see hidden troopers well in advance and move right so as to be out of their radar behind other cars. I have been taking the eye drops as ordered and using the special ointment in my eyes at night and as the trip progressed I felt my vision getting more stable and that is a very good thing. I had been diagnosed with corneal dystrophy in my left (my good one) eye and had a week before the trip where I could not read hardly at all. The eye dr told me if I took these drops and ointment in the eye right before bed I should be fine for this trip and she was right ! Her name is Bonnie also, seems that Bonnie’s are lucky for me in so many ways.
Anyway as I hit the top of 287 at the NYS Thruway I was running around 80 or so and really getting into the sweepers on the mostly empty highway. The few cars were running my speed and the day was feeling sweet indeed.
If you like Cherahola Skyway between Tennessee and North Caroline you would love the top 40 miles of 287 with its climbs dips and views and of course speeds over 65 mph.
Rounding the entrance ramp I saw this really unique cloud that looked like it had a hand pointing down so I let go of my throttle and slowed temporarily to 70 moving back to the center lane from the left lane
Less than a minute later a state trooper blew by me at around 90 so I pulled out several hundred yards behind him as he zoomed down south on the Thruway (its really east but the road sign says south)
Crossed the 3 mile long Tappan Zee bridge in light traffic and got off for the Saw Mill Parkway north to the Taconic Parkway and then home just before 1pm In fact it was 12:59 when I backed down my driveway exactly 12 hrs after Dan arrived at his home.
Gave Bonnie a nice long kiss, showered and drove to work for several hours and was back home before 6pm. We just got back from a great dinner at Paese Restaurant in Briarcliff and Anthony made me his version of Veal Evan that was VERY good. Thanks Anthony !!
So did I learn anything on this trip? Yes. I learned that having a plan B and plan C (which I always try to do) is not just an expression, it is often the difference between success and failure. I also confirmed that sometimes the only way to win is not to play a bad hand if that is a high wind sandstorm. The objective was to ride the states of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama that I had not yet ridden thru and I succeeded. My second objective was to ride to the Gathering of the Fools fundraiser for the Lions club camp and eat BBQ and see my friends and that was also a success.
My motorcycle took some wear and tear and also suffered from the road in Alabama but nothing that cant be replaced. The 13 year old machine which is my Honda Valkyrie Interstate is an amazing machine. It has a 1520 cc six cylinder engine that is really bulletproof and is stable passing trucks and in winds up to about 35-40 mph. Above that any bike will move in a crosswind and depending on how strong you are or how fatigued is where the danger line exists. I found that line, crossed it and surely memorized where it is for future reference. The motorcycle is perfectly capable of carving canyon and mountain roads if one is so inclined and also capable of speeds around 135 however I did not see the need for any triple digit speeds on this trip, and I certainly would not say if I had as my mom is going to read this blog,
I hope all of you reading this enjoyed my journey. Certainly I had a great time and want to thank Charliemac and Diane, Valker and Kim, Bonnie and Frank, Connie and Mike, and my cousin Elizabeth for their kindly putting me up for one or more nights during this trip. Also thanks to Czuch and Tammy for riding with me to the Caverns in Arizona, Wiz for leading the Galvaston ride (even tho I didn’t get to walk in the Gulf) and Shadowdragon for the company and dinner in Conway Arkansas. Also Big Ferguson (Big BF) for working thru the night on my repairs and tire change,
I met lots of great folks and honestly can not say I met one person who was disagreeable in any way. Also had the pleasure of seeing lots of member across the country and sharing stories, food and wind.
America is a terrific country, if you have a chance explore it even better ride it on a motorcycle because when you are on a motorcycle you are PART of the picture instead of looking at a picture thru a car window
Bonnie, its good to be home, but I think I need a vacation from the 7300 + miles I rode these 17 days
Tomorrow is your birthday, enjoy the roses. See y’all in the VRCC at Inzane in Ashville in June.