Saturday, May 12, 2012

Torked Off in Joisey

Today is the start. Grab a picture of the odometer to mark our start miles. Now all I gotta do is remember to take the end picture in 17 days. I deleted a bunch of stops for the day, keeping in mind the most important agenda item was the IBA National Park Tour. We will also make stops in CT, NY, and NJ for the 15/15/15 Smoke Chasing side dish. For the most part we are just going to get out of New England and get this tour underway, so slabs will be used including the Garden State Parkway for the most part. The 15/15/15 is 15 BBQ joints in 15 states in 15 days. (All pictures are clickable and will auto enlarge.)

First stop is Smokin with Chris in Southington CT. As part of the 15/15/15 one must have a receipt from the joint or a nearby gas station to document you were there on such and such date.

We grabbed breakfast here, which was right next to a BBQ place.

She kept us company at breakfast

First National Park stop is Weirs Farm in CT. We have been here multiple times, so it was a simple grab and run. The farm commemorates the work of J Alden Weir and American Impressionist.

As we get down into the New York area we grabbed a BBQ joint in Armonk.

Paterson Falls in Paterson NJ is our newest National Park. The museum acts as the visitor center and has the NP Stamp we need. I walked around the museum, which has alot of memorabilia from the town. They had this really neat model train set, which to this day fascinates me.


Outside they had some full size trains too.

A brief walk up the street and we get to the Falls. This is also a National Historic Landmark known as S.U.M which stands for Society for Establishing Useful Manufacture and dates back to 1792 to harness the power of the Passaic River for the surrounding mills. It was the first attempt in the US to harness the power of a major river. Alexander Hamilton was one of the primary promoters.

The Falls
The Power Plant

A brief stop a Edison's Lab in West Orange, NJ. This is the town that I grew up in and I went on the tour when I was 10 or so. We have stopped here 3 times and the next time it will be to take the tour.

Black Maria - First Movie Studio at Edison Labs

Made a couple more stops at BBQ joints and jumped on the GSP heading for Atlantic City, which is 130+ miles away. Our primary purpose will be to get a photo of the Mourning Soldier, Korean Conflict which is right on the boardwalk.

Atlantic City from afar

Grabbed the Atlantic City Gold Exchange for the USA tour. Seemed appropriate for the town. Atlantic City was the model for Monopoly and we passed all the high end and low end properties as we rode thru AC.

Atlantic City Gold Exchange

We have a bunch of stops schedules such as Stone Harbor and Sea Isle City for the USA Tour, however we decided to blow these off for another date and head to Wildwood, NJ where we would be staying for the night.

Wildwood is known as the Doo-Wop town because during the 1950 and 60’s there was over 2,000 motels built to accommodate the summer tourists. There is a ton, and I mean a ton of Neon in this city and I will have to get back here just for the lights. Our place would be the Skylark Motel, which is fairly typical for motels in Wildwood.

Check-in went without a hitch. We unpacked the top case. I inserted the key into the left side bag, turned the key and the whole key cylinder came out. WTF and the problems started. I finally discovered what the FJR Forum had been talking about loctiting the screws in the side bags meant. I had looked, but never could figure it out. Now I was the victim.

No biggie, simply take the case off, bring it to the room and put the screws back in. Sounds simple enough, right ??. Well the hex wrenches I carry on the FJR were useless. The 2 was too small and the 2.5 was too big. WTF. The sweat begins to spew out as my blood pressure goes up. Must be a Phillips head screw. Nope, not that either.
When I say these screws are small, I mean small. I really can’t make out what type a head these are. We head for dinner at the Pink Cadillac, which is just down the street from us. I gobbled down my food, forced MeAsWe to eat faster than usual and head back to the room to head out for some tools. I figured duct tape would be a fix.
At 9:45 I arrive at a Loews, which is closing at 10pm. More sweat. Once I am in the store, I figure I got a little more time. I show the screws to a guy and we look for some placement screws as a temp fix. Loews does not have anything this small.
We head over to the tool department and he shows the screws to another guy. He says come this way, we follow; he reaches down and pulls off a package of 6 TORX bits. We test the smallest one and it is the solution to the problem. I bought duct tape just in case an additional support system is needed and some blue Loctite. Just before we left this morning I was going over the stuff I packed for emergency tools and stuff. You know fuses, screw driver, multi hex tool. I had some loctite in my hand and said, I am not going to need this and threw it on the kitchen counter. Go figa

Back at the Skylark, the fix is swift, seamless and complete. The sweat eases off and so does my blood pressure. I retrieved the left side case, backed off the 2 screws, and dropped some Loctite on these, just to make sure it doesn’t happen to the other bag. I was lucky that the screws didn’t fall off somewhere on the GSP or the Tappan Zee Bridge.

the Fix
( the screw in this picture is not the real one
but they are about this size)

If I understand TORX bits, they are sometimes used as a tamper resistant screw, but I think considering the size and location of the screws. This was a bit of overkill on Yamaha’s part.

We stayed in Wildwood in 2008 and the weekend we were there was some kind of car club gathering. This must be an annual event, because 4 years later the same gathering is going on . This year is much smaller than 2008, probably because of the economy and high unemployment has taken it’s toll on the tourist industry. But just like last time there were cars doing burn outs 1 block from the boardwalk, so we headed out to get some pictures of Neon and watch the cars.

The boardwalk had shut down and that brightly lit Ferris wheel was dark, so we hung around abit and snapped off some pictures of the crowds

People edging on the drivers of cars to burn out
We returned to the Skylark and called it a night. As I pounded the pillow into shape, I wondered if this is the start of the Tour of Torture and Horrors or the second Trail of Tears, due to the side case episode It is only day one after all.

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