Friday, May 29, 2009

Update to Map

Adding states to the previous map. New additions are Mississippi, Louisana and Florida

Free, personalized travel maps at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Battleships, Forts and Plantations - Day Four

It’s Tuesday, a beautiful day for traveling, and MeAsWe and Me are getting into the swing of quickly packing the bike up and getting underway. Today’s first stop is the USS North Carolina, a National Landmark. The NC was the most decorated warship of WWII with 15 battle stars. We arrived at the NC early and opted to head for Moores Creek before the boat was allowing land lubbers aboard.

Moores Creek National Battlefield was a Revolutionary war site between North Carolinian Patriots and Scottish Loyalists (British). We grabbed oru INK and walked to the first monument, to which I said, my knees are killing me. The paths we made of dyed chopped up rubber pieces that looked very natural and were cushy to walk on. They actually looked nice.

Next stop was Fort Fisher, a Confederate Fort located on one of the outlets of the Cape Fear River to the Atlantic Ocean. I managed to walk around the fort, even if it was slow and painful.

We found ourselves waiting for a ferry at Fort Fisher. This ferry was unscheduled, since MapSource allowed the Connie to cross water on its air tires. I knew were getting further and further south by the frequent sightings of Pelicans.

The week we choose to head south also coincided with Bike Week in Myrtle Beach. MB essentially squashed the traditional bike week, by enforcing a helmet law, noise ordinance and not issuing permits to the various vendors that showed up year to year. The town leaders did an effective job, since the town looked relatively dead. We found out later when we were in New Orleans that NOrleans welcomed bikers the week before and they had well over 20,000 visitors, which they were more than happy to take their money. Myrtle Beach claims to be the Golf capital of the world and also claims to be the Minature Golf Capital as well. I believe it, there were a ton of themed based mini golf places

Arriving in Georgetown, SC we picked up a couple of Landmarks, with the most notable being the Rainey – Camlin House. Joseph Rainey was the first black US Congressman elected. He was a former slave until his father bought his freedom. He served in Congress from 1868 to 1879.

We have fallen behind our schedule and since we were not going to make our next scheduled stop we backed off on our urgency and floated down the road. Sometimes the missed moments create new opportunities which was the case here. Traveling down RT 17, I see some Treasure Chests popping up on the radar screen (GPS waymarks), I stop the current runnng route and punch up the waymark I see. We find ourselves making a right turn, heading for Hampton Plantation.

What a gem of a place. It is after 6pm and all visitors have left the park, and we didn’t even see any park personnel. We had the place to ourselves. We park the bike and begin the walk to the mansion. It was not silent by any means but the sounds of birds and the bugs are far different than the sound of tires against asphalt. This place was serene. I think of all the places we visited on our trip, this was MeAsWe’s favorite place.

The road to Hampton

The actual mansion

The plantation has quite few of these enormous trees. MeAsWe is standing in front of it. This particular tree was saved by George Washington according to the plaque. The pictures really do not do them justice.

MeAsWe is standing to the left of the main trunk. A little further to the left is a telephone pole that is supporting one of the branches coming off the trunk. Unreal huh ??

Back on the bike and heading for Charleston SC, another Landmark pops up and we head off the beaten path again into the little town of McClennanville. We stop and take pictures of St James Sanatee Episcopal Church to find out this was not the National Landmark site we were seeking. The Landmark was across the way, however was affiliated with St James. Google revealed it was on a soft sandy road. It is just as well that we didn’t venture down that road.

Our last stop of the day is complete and we high tailed it to Charleston, SC for the night.

We traveled somewhere in the neighborhood of 240 miles. Not a long day but a fulfilling one.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Loop de Loops with the Wright Brothers - Day Three

Edenton, NC was picked to stay at, not because it was a great stopping place. Edenton has 3 National Landmarks that we can pick up before we really get on the road. Well as it turns out we got 2 of the 3 landmarks, because one of them was behind closed gates.

The agenda for the day is Wrights National Monument at Kill Devils Hills and then a ride down Cape Hatteras, picking up INK, lighthouses and just enjoying the views. Getting to Cape Hat was pretty breezy at times and the Connie got shoved around a little. I even considered not going down the cape, but heck I know I would have been sorry if I didn’t ride the outer banks.

The first ferry is a free one from Hatteras to Oracoke Island. This is to trap you on the island. There is a ferry from Oracoke to Cedar Swamp which is only 14 miles away, but (there is always a but in stories like this) but if you don’t time this right you can get stuck on the island over night. I am sure the inn keepers just love this. Well along with the wind, we had some light to moderate precipitation to add to the drama. Let’s just say when we disembarked; we did not have enough time to make the 2pm ferry within the prescribed speed limits. The route is straight, but there are cars, LEO’s, sand blown onto the RT 12, which kept my speed to under triple numbers. I never asked We if she was at all nervous.

Waiting to board the ferry from Hatteras to Oracoke Island

As we pulled up the gates to the ferry were closed and I saw guys tossing ropes on the ferry. Dang, we just missed it and will have to wait til 5. Sitting at the gates, a guy strolls down from the ferry and says "Go get your ticket", and starts opening the gates for me. So the excess MPH’s didn’t go for naught, because we were gonna be nautical in a few moments.
As we boarded the mates told me that the ride is going to be quite rough in places and I have to stay by the bike to make sure it doesn’t fall over. I complied, but I thought if it is going to be that bad, me standing next to the bike, isn’t going to prevent an 800 pound bike from tipping over.

We resting and hiding from the wind

The trip was choppy, but not so bad, that the bike was ever in danger of tipping. We stayed with me on deck, with the wind whipping thru the car bay, I finally said only one of us should suffer and being the gallant fellow I am, I sent her upstairs to the closed, calm, heated deck room. After we got off the ferry she told me she had taken a nap.

On land we headed out stopping at one of the restaurants from Road Side America,Clawsons. We had dinner here, having the special for the night; Dirigibles (baked potato with stuff all over it). It was 2 for 1 night, so dinner was relatively cheap, but some how no matter what always turns out to be $25.

Dinner consumed, we headed out for Wilmington NC for the night, a mere 100 miles away. Miles for the day was about 300 with an additional 30 miles on ferries.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Playin the Ponies with Cornwallis and McArthur - Day Two

Today we need to make it to the Cape May Ferry to jump over to Delaware and Maryland, so we are up bright and early ( 6am or so ) (only the 2nd day ) but of course there are some places that I just have to get before we go.

Both of these locations are on the National Register of Historic Places

We blast out of Wildwood heading for the ferry. We arrive in plenty of time for a cup of coffee and a Danish while waiting to board the ferry. The couple in this picture was heading for Myrtle Beach for bike week and I sure hope they weren’t disappointed. They were not at ALL friendly and barely responded with any conversation we tried to start up. So much for cycle camaraderie, maybe I just didn’t have the right gear on or the right kind of bike.

The ride on the ferry lasts about for about 80 minutes and cuts off quite abit of road and avoids the Baltimore / DC area. The immediate destination after the ferry is Assateague National Seashore. Here the horses are born into and run wild.

Entrance to Assategue

Wild Horses feeding. Everytime I lifted the camera this guy would wonder behind a dune. I left and came back to catch him off guard. Assateague Lighthouse

We throttle up to visit the last major battle of the Revolutionary War, where Lord Cornwallis surrendered to Washington. Yorktown is part of the Colonial National Park and of course it is an INKING location.

On the way to our final day resting spt we stopped at the McArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA. This was in the book Road Trip America and a place to chase.

Our final destination for the night is the Super 8 in Edenton, NC arriving sometime after 9pm. Miles for the day was just shy of 400.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pounding Sand at the Joisey Showa – Day One

Today’s objective is to get on the road by 5am and get the hell out of New England and thru New York. The initial mileage beginning log was 33,227. Of course this is vacation and mother nature tried to mess with us by making the weather not ideal, but MeAsWe and my enthusiasm could not be dampened. We are going to be on the road for 17 days and we should expect rain during some of this trip, so it might as well be right from the git go.

Needing gas and a bathroom break around Greenwich, I just couldn’t resist picking up an OSJ Treasure Hunt item, one of the 4 corner bonus locations.

Initial roads were slabs from Uxbridge to our first scheduled stop, the Horn Antenna in Holmdel, NJ, a National Landmark. This supposedly is located right off the GSP; however we never did find it. Next was the Thomas Fortune house (another LM) located in Red Bank. We drove up and down the street and finally came stopped to review the info in the GPS. Where we were stopped was suppose to be Tom’s house, all that was here was a run down house, boarded up and looked like an ideal place for a crack house. We are batting 0 for 2 in our quest for Landmarks. Off to the next one, keeping our fingers crossed that we can at least make a hit on this one.

All Saints Memorial Church in Navesink, NJ was a hit.
With 1 out of 3 we were off to Shadow Lawn in West Long Branch. This was built for the president of Woolworth’s who ended up selling it for $100 because of the Great Depression (sounds familiar doesn’t it) and now is part of Monmouth College

We are on a roll here, but have fallen behind in my carefully created schedule, but this is vacation; not work, so the heck with schedules. Right around the corner is the Navesink Light Station (yes a Landmark), where we grabbed some pics of the Twin Lights.

Next stop is Sandy Hook a National Park for our first INK of the trip and the first INK of the IBA National Park Tour. We stopped at the entrance for the must have pic and then off to the visitor center for the INK. I had been to Sandy Hook last year, so I was familiar with the place, but MeAsWe had never been here so we drove to the Sandy Hook Light House (a LM) and then around Fort Hancock .

We are waaaaaaaaaaayyy behind schedule and we were supposed to stop at 2 more NP stamping locations. I really wanted to make one of these, since I did not have the INK for the locations from last year’s tour. We arrived at Warren E Fox just before closing time and grabbed INK for Great Egg Harbor and Maurice Scenic River. With the other VC (visitor center) closed, all time constraints we off and we could leisurely ride to our next stop.

What would a trip to South Joisey be without a stop in Atlantic City? We didn’t go here for the gambling. We were here for the old convention center, where all of the Miss America Pageants were held until 2004. Yup it's a Landmark

Lucy the Margate Elephant (LM) is a 6 story architecture folly built by James Lafferty in 1882 to sell real estate and attract tourism to the area. Lucy is a gift shop or trinket store now, but it was closed when we got there.

Next stop is in the town of Wildwood, NJ where we will be staying for the night, but before we hit our motel I just had to stop at the Lollipop Motel that was in the book Road Trip USA ( a great reference book for trips like this).

Having traveled somewhere just over 400 miles for the day, we arrived at our final destination the Caribbean Motel. This place is on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the motels in Wildwood were built during the Doo Wop Era of the 50 and 60’s and they have been restored to the original glamour of the era. The Caribbean is an example of this and they have done a very good job at their own restoration. The town is full of neon, Googie architecture and has one of the infamous Joisey Showa boardwalks, complete with rides for all ages.
Remember that boarded up crack house. In the motel that evening I logged onto the internet and found out that place was Tom’s house after all. I didn’t take pictures of the place because how could one of our National Landmarks be in such shambles. Many of the NL’s are privately owned, and it is not the particular building that makes it a landmark but the person or event that lived or occurred there that makes it special. One day the local or state historical society will grab hold of the property and restore it, one would hope.

This is the general route we took on Day 1