Friday, May 16, 2008

Dancing in the Rain Gene Kelly Style

It is 1pm May 16, 2008, Steve and I begin our 3200 mile trek thru the south for INK. Fast forward to 1:10pm. We are pulling over, to put our rain suits on. For the next 10 hours we will ride in various types of rain from drizzle to downright downpours.

Of course the whole purpose of my trip is to grab INK at as many National Park locations as I can. First stop is Weir’s Farm in Wilton, CT [ ]. We arrive right at 5pm, closing time, but manage to scoot into the visitor center and grab INK. First stop accomplished.

We continue south and west trying to make I84 in Newburgh, NY, Steve becomes concerned about a strange sound coming for his Road King. He thinks it is the fuel pump and thinks it is louder than normal. We are in the Bridgeport CT area so we pull into a Dunkin Donuts to make a call to the HD dealer to see if they can look at the bike. Steve simply wanted to listen to another bike to see if the pump was really louder or was it because this was his first real ride of the season and just spent the last 5 hours riding in the rain. My sense is it was the rain against his helmet that he heard. Back to Dunkin Donuts. Steve is inside on the phone and I am outside reaching for my key to remove it from the ignition. Next I heard this... tink tink tink. Yup the key slipped out of my hand and fell down into the fairing. So off comes all the stuff from the bike, pull the left side panel to get access to the inside and I can see the keys. Keep in mind it is pouring out. Into DD’s to see if they have a hangar. Go to the counter and ask the girl if they have a hangar. She gives me this blank stare and asks, “What do you want”. I say a hangar. She exits for a couple of minutes and comes back. Sorry sir we don’t have any hangars. I realize then as I gazed into her eyes, she was STONED out of her mind. . OK, next plan, outside I go and I look around at the stores to see who might have a hangar. Well lookee thar it is a Cleaners…WooHoo. Get my hangar, unravel the hook, bend the tip for the hook and fish the keys out. Life is back in balance and the trip is on. Steve decides to ignore the noise from the pump and enjoy the trip. It never causes a problem for the whole trip

We wait for traffic to die down since it is rush hour, with no hope of the rain dying down. For next 5 hours we ride in the rain and finally arrive at the border of NJ and PA. We pull off and pull into the Phillipsburg Inn at around 10pm. Lady behind the counter asks if I have an AARP card. I said nope. You have a Triple A card, Nope. I plead with her to give me the discount, explaining I definitely qualify for the AARP. I simply refuse to acknowledge that I can have an AARP card and tell her I have RVRoadHelp which is like AAA and have maps like trip tics on the bike and and and on and on…She says all right already, you have AARP. (make note to join AARP the discounts are worthwhile). So ends the first day of travel. Oh, as soon as we checked in and went outside to ride our bikes to the rooms, the rain had stopped and the moon was out. Go figa. Approxmiate route Estimated miles 275 to 300

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