…musings of one easily amused



The woodpecker/aluminum gutter alarm went off around 6 a.m.  I rolled over hoping to catch another half hour snooze but after fifteen minutes it was clear that I was up for the day.  I commenced with the pack up procedure, punching my bag and pillow into their dedicated stuff sacks followed by the slow roll of the thermarest before exiting the tent.  My gear included a new dry bag, an “Expedition” model from Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage.  The new bag opens from the top instead of the side like my old bag, giving easier access to stuff on the bottom.

Bruce and Allyson were already up stowing away the “Taj-Ma-Halleran”.  They were headed back home to Factoryville to swap out some gear before pointing westward to the International in Wisconsin.  My destination today, Dillon State Park in Ohio, was only 430 miles away so I was not in any rush.  I fired up the jetboil, made some coffee and reviewed the route.  There were a few squiggly lines on the map to follow before I’d hit the Interstate for a monotonous stretch though PA.

The most exciting part was the tunnels.

Yup. See what I mean? 🙂

I arrived at Dillon S.P. around 5 p.m. The campground has everything you could possibly want when travelling by bike. A complete laundry facility, a well stocked camp store that has everything from hatchets to hotdogs (I bought both) and the sites are grass covered with paved driveways to them. Not bad considering I chose this park only because of it’s proximity to the AMA museum.

I setup and people watched for a while, witnessing what has to be the most inept attempt at trailer parking I had every seen. This husband – wife team were as dysfunctional as the U.S. Senate and House combined. After 30 minutes of forward, back, move it this way, no the other way, too far, too crooked, too tilted, the husband yells out the window to his equally directional challenged wife, “Shut the Fuck up”. And with that, the show was over.

Brian and Jeff rolled into the campground 8 p.m., having started their ride 11 hours earlier from the Boston area. They said very little as they unpacked and setup. That much seat time in a single run takes allot out of you. I got the fire going for the wiener roast and made some Tai noodles and beans for dinner. We burned the rest of the firewood as the clouds rolled in and rain slowly increased from a drizzle to a steady shower. That was our signal to call it a day.

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Next – AMA Museum and Illinois

Art of the Bike

I awoke to a woodpecker beating the hell out of John’s aluminum gutters.  Apparently they like to mark out their territory with the loudest sound they can muster and this guy has the neighborhood to himself.  He positions himself in the center of the house to obtain the best resonance and then goes at it.

Bruce and Allyson along with the rest of the Halleran gang pulled in around 9:00 a.m. and we suited up and rode into town for breakfast before heading across the river to Tinicum Park in PA.  The Frenchtown Cafe was packed but somehow managed to seat us quite quickly.  Belly’s full, it was time to check out some classic bikes across the river.

Art of the Bike – Classic Bikes and Blues was started by a couple of local marketing guys that happened to ride motorcycles as well.  The first year it was held the turnout overwhelmed the tiny area of downtown Frenchtown so they moved it across the river to Tinicum Park.

We arrived, parked and after paying the $5 and being branded I made a beeline to the concourse area where all the old bikes were assembling. Every few minutes another owner would turn in off the road and make his way to the lineup.  Out of all the bikes there for judging I only saw two roll off trailers.  All the rest had plates and registrations and were ridden there and parked.

I need another bike project.

Previous – To Frenchtown

Next – Westbound

To Frenchtown

Yesterday’s ride was enjoyable despite a midday thunderstorm and a few showers along the way.  Route 301 out of Carmel, 9D along the Hudson and Seven Lakes Parkway through Bear Mountain S.P. and Harriman S.P. were beautiful even with a dull gray overcast sky.

I stopped for lunch a new place called “The Pizza Pit” in Sloatsburg and had an incredibly tasty potato and cheddar slice.  This is where the heaviest rain began just as I was sitting down to eat.  I took my time and watched the sheets of water pummel the road, quickly overwhelming the sewer drains and creating an impressive lake between the curbed edges.

I picked up 72 then 511 headed south that eventually ran into 287.  From there I stayed on the highway finally exiting onto 513 that took right to the IGA in Frenchtown.

A bag of ice, some sun dried tomato and basil spiced sausage and a six-pack of A&W root beer and I was set for the evening. I was the first to arrive at John & Carols, followed by Bill about ten minutes later.

Bill made the mistake of blindly following his GPS that was bent on having him go through the Holland tunnel.  Unfortunately, he was towing a trailer and because of that was considered a truck.  They turned him around and sent him off to find the truck entrance to the Lincoln.  An hour and a half later he located the proper entry and proceeded to sit in traffic.  Needless to say Bill was a bit frazzelled upon arrival.  We setup, relaxed and enjoyed some of John’s excellent home brew.  Carol arrived and taxied us to “The Ship” restauant in Milford.  They are celebrating thier hundredth anniversary and had a band playing in the local bank parking lot and store vendors has thier wares out on the street.

The dinner at The Ship was great, as usual.  Upon our returned we found Pat had arrived and was sitting quietly in the dark (probably dozing).  His trip down was not nearly as exciting as Bills.  We spent another hour or so fixing the problems of the world and finally turned in.

Previous – Departure

Next – Art of the Bike


The route out –

The ride out is at a leisurely pace averaging between 300 and 400 miles a day.  I’ll be camping in Frenchtown, NJ tonight with some fellow IBMC’ers and attending the annual Classic Bikes and Blues Festival at Tinicum Park in Erwinna, PA on Saturday.  Sunday I ride out to Dillon State Park in Ohio to put me in early morning striking distance of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington.  Monday afternoon I’ll point the bike west for a night at Kickapoo State Park in Oakwood, IL.  Tuesday morning will be the final leg to New Lisbon, WI for the IBMC International Campout.

The route back…

…is anything but leisurely.  I and a few other like-minded (some would say “challenged”) individuals plan on completing a 1,500 mile IBA ride by completing all 1,500 miles in under 24 hours.

Weather this morning in Connecticut is typical for any of my departures, steady rain, thunderstorms and winds likely.  At least I’ll be able to test the new “waterproof” boots.

Next – To Frenchtown



Spring Raindance

The first IBMC campout of the season once again dodged the New England weather bullet.  The rain came through long after the midnight hour last night when Dave and I left the campfire coals and I hit the therm-a-rest.

Friday afternoon was beautiful and even Saturday, albeit overcast most of the day, was a definite keeper as the temps were in the mid sixties and we actually saw the Sun poke through early afternoon on our way back from the Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret.

We met some new members from St. Mary, Pennsylvania that endured a flat on one bike and an incident with a wayward spare trailer tire on the other bike as they made their way from western PA.  Even after all of that Dave and Cindy were in decent spirits on arrival.

During Saturday night’s cookout Pat rolled in followed shortly thereafter by Phil, still somewhat hobbled by last years crash but under his own power and unaided by any artificial hardware.  A brief shower pushed us all under the canopy momentarily but being a fast mover we were back around the campfire soon thereafter.  New stories were told and old stories were embellished as Dave kept the fire fed.

Last night’s showers waited for all of us to abandon the coals and even stayed away while we all packed up and went our separate ways.