Saturday, May 21, 2016

Goin' Home

Rolling Stones, 1966

Sittin in Allentown talking to homie Lee Iacocca about our plans for the day. They are not complicated. Pick up the America on Wheels (how appropriate) and make tracks for home. Today is my daughter's surprise 30th birthday party, so it would be nice to make it there in time. We have only 291 miles to go, easy peasy.

The America on Wheels museum features over 75 bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles and trucks in exhibits telling the story of people and products on the move from the days of the carriage to the vehicles of tomorrow.

With the last spot of the trip done, we hit I-78 to I-287 in Joisey over the Tappanzee Bridge, picked up I-95 along the Connecticut Coast, veered onto I-91 thru Hartford, grabbed I-84 to I-90 (Mass Pike), got off RT146 to RT16 to RT122 and we are home, right around 4pm. There were places we could have grabbed, but I am saving them for another day. We have until at least September for these tours. One thing today's ride was the shortest mileage ride of the trip, but it seemed like it was 3 times longer than any other day. I don't know how many times we stopped just to rest. Must be the anticlimactic syndrome thingy.

Our trip took us just under 4,700 miles (4,683 miles to be exact), used 149 gallons of gasoline 9marking our mark on the environment)(and to think I attended the first Earth Day)spread over 22 states. We made a huge dent into the Americana Grand Tour for captured bonnii, good showing for the Team Strange Strange Election Tour and nailed my 5th Iron Butt Association National Park Tour. Two years ago I thought our touring days on a motorcycle were over and I would just putter around New England on the FJR until I couldn't ride anymore. The SPYDER has changed all of that and we are "On the Road Again"

Friday, May 20, 2016

Let's Roll ~ Never Forget ~ Homeward Bound

We are getting pretty darn close to home, this will be the last day that is chock full of spots to capture. Last night we stayed just outside of Wheeling WV in Saint Clairsville Ohio.

First up is a racetrack, the Wheeling Island Casino and Racetrack. This joint features live greyhound racing, which was outlawed in Massachusetts a couple of years ago. It was known as Wheeling Downs and opened in 1866. The grounds are on a small island on the Ohio River and is part of Wheeling WV.

Before we crossed the historic Wheeling Suspension Bridge we scoffed up this mural. The National Road came thru Wheeling in 1818 which became a gateway to the West. The Wheeling Suspension Bridge was built in 1849 and was a model and learning tool for building the infamous Brooklyn Bridge.

In Wheeling INKED up at the WV Visitor Center for the National Park Tour. Wheeling is a really neat old town.

The Courthouse collar

Elks Memorial to Veterans of WWII

Another mural just is case

And this really COOL vintage movie theater. The Victoria is the oldest operating theater in WV, opening in 1904. It hosted the radio program Jamboree USA. Today it serves as a venue for live acts.

We could have jumped on I-70 but followed US40, the National Road for WV's Madonna of the Trail memorial.

Exiting West Virginia and coming into Pennsylvania finally found a Welcome to WV sign. Didn't need PA, since we picked that up on Day 2.

Centerville PA on US40 (where all of these are located) another Madonna of the Trail memorial.

As we traveled along US40 there seemed to be an awful lot of yard sales, also known as Tag Sales in Mass. At little research found this.

The Historic National Road Yard Sale Days are frequently referred to by several other names: the US 40 Yard Sale, Route 40 Yard Sale, and Route 40 Flea Market. No matter what you call it, the event features more than 800 miles of yard sales, vintage treasures, and antique booths.

The Historic National Road Yard Sale route spans from Baltimore to St. Louis. The event always takes place on an extended weekend that starts the Wednesday following Memorial Day.

Source: Fleamarket

While it is not Memorial Day weekend yet, for a stretch of probably 40 miles or so, these folks decided to get a jump on the competition. Best sale was a guy had 3 Kubota like mini shovels in his front lawn.

In Jennerstown grabbed the pic of the Jennerstown Speedway. This race track got its start in 1920 as a flat half-mile dirt track, hosting to "big car" racing the forerunner to NASCAR sprint cars. Thru the years it changed hands, fell in and out of favor as a race track, closed in 2009 to be reopened in 2014.

We switched over from US40 to US30, which is the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway was dedicated October 31, 1913, ran coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City west to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California.

Passed this mural and had to turn around and go back for it.

Our next stop is the most important and significant stop of our whole tour. We have been here at least 5 times to see the change over time. Every time we have visited Flight 93 National Memorial, it has brought tears to my eyes. The new Visitor Center opened on September 11, 2015. If you get a chance take the time to visit this site, it will insure you Never Forget

New Visitor Center

The field looking down at the Memorial Wall with the names of the victims engraved into the wall. Where the sculpture ends there is a mowed section of grass heading straight out. There is a boulder marking where plane was brought down by the American victims, taking back control from the terrorists.

The new Memorial is very elegant, and a worthy dedication to the 40 victims of Flight 93. Our first visit to Flight 93 was before the park was under the direct control of the National Park Service and serviced by volunteers in the area.

This is the picture I took in 2009 and is one of my all time favorites photos. That is Crystal standing at the Memorial. Those hats, pins, badges, shirts, flags and other mementoes have been preserved by the NPS. I was hoping that the NPS would resurrect this memorial at the new VC. It really showed the outpouring of emotions by the American people. The Vietnam Memorial and Holocaust Museum in WDC have a similar effect.

In Chambersburg PA picked up a County Courthouse and Veteran Memorial.

Ended the days capture with this Giant Pretzel in Shillington. Almost time for a beer. Just another 40 miles to Allentown for our room at the Quality Inn. This one was a freebee since we hit the required number of nights on

Our travel path for today, about 370 miles.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

March to the Beat of a Different Drum

As the saying goes...we do things in one's own way regardless of societal norms and conventional expectations.

Up early in Thoroughbred country and our first stop is the Kentucky Horse Park, which is dedicated to "man's relationship with the horse." Open to the public, the park has a twice daily Horses of the World Show, showcasing both common and rare horses from around the globe. The horses are ridden in authentic costume. Each year the park is host to a number of special events and horse shows. (TY Wikipedia)

When we arrived at the park, we pulled up to the gate, which I believe there was a fee for entrance. I spoke with the guard, explaining to him I was on a motorcycle rally and needed to get a picture of the building inside. He said "haven't seen any other motorcycles and no one told me about it". He shrugged his shoulders and let me pass. I then got to thinking the tour would not have anyone have to pay a fee and we went back to the entrance and took the picture.

Out of the park onto some really really nice side roads. It seems the fashion de jour for fences is to stain them a Jacobean color, eliminating the white fences. I see the practicality of this, much less upkeep. There are some green in these estates, both in the form of bluegrass grass and in the safes in the dens of the homes. NASCAR has tar and concrete, HORSE RACING has rolling fields of daisies and green green grass. Both have a beauty in them.

We rolled into Aberdeen Ohio picking up US52. This is the whole history of Aberdeen according to Wikipedia. Aberdeen was platted in 1816. It was incorporated in 1850.

When I was researching border crossings for Welcome to Ohio signs, there was not an abundance of signs and when I did find one they were in the most difficult places. This one was not that easy, just happened to have a drive way across the street.

In Chillicothe got a mural of their history.

Chillicothe was the first and third capital of Ohio and is located in southern Ohio along the Scioto River. The town's name comes from the Shawnee Chala·ka·tha, named after one of the five major divisions of the Shawnee people, as it was the chief settlement of that tribal division. Modern Chillicothe was the center of the ancient Hopewell tradition, which flourished from 200 BCE until 500 CE.

Speaking of Hopewell culture, we stopped at Hopewell Culture National Historic Park for INK. We have been here before on a previous trip.

A really lame picture of the VC and one of the mounds. Crystal heard the comment from the Spyderlovers forum and held the Americana Tour card up in front of her face. I bet she is not grinning behind it.

Made our way up to Circleville for the Civil War Monument

This awesome mural (sure beats the one from Chillicothe) is so good that Crystal at first thought it was the view down Main Street from a distance. It wasn't until we got closer she realized it was painted.

The city was originally laid out after 1810 within the 1100-foot diameter of a circle of a Hopewell tradition earthwork dating to the early centuries of the Common Era. The county courthouse was built in the center of the innermost circle. By the late 1830s residents had tired of this design and gained authorization from the state legislature to change the layout to a standard grid, which was accomplished by the mid-1850s. All traces of the Hopewell earthwork were destroyed here, although hundreds of other monuments may be found in the Ohio Valley.

Source: Wikipedia

I am sensing a remake of Poltergeist, ya think !!

In Lancaster, seized (getting sick of the word grabbed) the Fairfield County Courthouse.

Scorched Earth General William Tecumseh Sherman was born here. Green Grass of Wyoming was filmed here.

Moving on to National Trial Raceway. National Trail Raceway is a quarter-mile dragstrip located between Hebron and Kirkersville. The racetrack was completed in 1964. In 1976, Shirley Muldowney became the first female to ever win a national event in the Top Fuel Dragster category. In 1982, the first ever all-female professional final took place between Shirley and Lucille Lee.

Crystal kept yelling out that I was Goof Ball at this stop. Me, being hard of hearing, I thought she was referring to the Golf Ball.

Last visit of the day was a visit to John Clem, the Youngest Drummer in the Civil War.

John Lincoln Clem (August 13, 1851 – May 13, 1937) was a United States Army general who served as a drummer boy in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He gained fame for his bravery on the battlefield, becoming the youngest noncommissioned officer in Army history. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1915, having attained the rank of brigadier general in the Quartermaster Corps, he was the last veteran of the American Civil War still on duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. By special act of Congress on August 29, 1916, he was promoted to major general one year after his retirement.

Source: Wikepedia

Around 350 miles for the day ending up at the Super 8 in Saint Clairsville. As we pulled in both of us had a deja vu moment. The driveway / parking lot has this really steep off camber road that I remember from being in the FJR. A real uneasy feeling navigating to a parking place. Right next door in walking distance is the West Texas Roadhouse. I said it is walking distance which Crystal did walk. I had the key to the SPYDER so I rode. Call me lazy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ooh La La Holy Catfish Corvette Caves

After a great rest in Metropolis we head back out on the road with a much nice Mother Nature. Right across the Ohio River is Padukah Kentucky, home to Bluegrass Downs. I doubt anyone is going to confuse this place with Churchill Downs. Open in 1984 as a quarter horse track, then converted to thoroughbreds and finally to harness racing. It is still open, but only 3 weekends a year, probably just enough to qualify with the IRS.

Grabbed a mural that outlines the history of Puducah in multiple panels.

I really like the sound of say PA DUUU CAH. If Ray Charles was born here he could of sang" I have PA DUUU CAH on my mind". This was the land once controlled by the Paducah Indians, who had Chief Paduke to lead them. Puducah has an uranium enrichment plant built in 1950. On April 25, 1991, the National Quilt Museum opened in downtown Paducah. The Museum is a cultural destination that annually attracts an international collection of more than 40,000 quilters and art enthusiasts to the Paducah area. The Museum features professional quilt and fiber art exhibits that are rotated throughout the year. It is the largest single tourist attraction in the city.For over 30 years, Paducah has been host to one of the largest Quilt Shows in North America, QuiltWeek Paducah. On November 21, 2013, UNESCO designated Paducah the world's seventh City of Crafts and Folk Art

Some information is taken from Wikipedia.

The County Courthouse

Great Vietnam Memorial

We were crossing back over into Tennessee and got the border crossing for Kentucky. Already had the Tennessee one from a couple of days ago.

I assume this statue / silhouette is Davey Crocket shaking hands with Daniel Boone. This is right on the state line, but I think I can use it as a Kentucky Something Cool for the Americana Tour

We Pulled into Ooh La La Paris Tennesse who claims the "World's Biggest Fish Fry". Who am I to argue and grabbed it for the Americana Tour. This was in one of those spots where Crystal said, "where are you gonna stop". To which I said, "Watch". As we are getting back on the SPYDER she said "where are you gonna turn around" I said "Watch" and proceeded to go straight across the street, up and over a small medium strip and pointed us in the right direction. I love this SPYDER and would probably never had attempted that on the FJR.

Paris is home of the "World's Biggest Fish Fry". The festival is held every year and culminates on a weekend, on the last full week in April, with a parade, an art and craft fair, a rodeo and a fun fair. Part of the festivities include the "catfish races." There is a sign which features a roughly 20-foot (6.1 m) long catfish that can be seen when entering the town from the south on U.S. Route 79. As Kentucky Lake is only a 20-minute drive from downtown, fishing is a popular activity.

Source: Wikipedia

Hank Williams Jr. has a home near Paris.

Paris has it's own Eiffel Tower, originally built in wood by the Christian Brothers University in the early 90's. It was replaced with the current medal structure and is 60' tall. This was one of the Specific spots on the Americana Tour.

Steward County Courthouse and Veteran Memorial. These were in Dover, TN. Right before this, we stopped at Fort Donelson for INK. Fort Donelson was a Civil War Battlefield and control was wrestled from the Confederate Army by the Union Army enabling control of the Tennessee River and Cumberland River. The Visitor Center is in a temporary building and not on the National Park land.

In Clarksville got this mural about the history of the town. This Tennessee's first incorporated city in 1785.

The Monkees 1966 #1 song "Last Train to Clarksville" is sometimes said to reference the city's train depot and a soldier from Fort Campbell during the Vietnam War era, but Clarksville was actually picked just for its euphonious sound. The band filmed parts of the song's music video in Clarksville.

Jimi Hendrix moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs on the chitlin' circuit, earning a place in the Isley Brothers' backing band and later with Little Richard, with whom he continued to work through mid-1965.

Source: WIkipedia

The Roxy Theater is in Clarksville. I love these vintage movie theaters. Originally the Lillian was on this location and when it burned the theater was totally rebuilt and named the Roxy in 1947.

Clarksville also has a racetrack for the Americana Tour. Finding a suitable sign was a drive around and keep looking deal. Has both a drag strip and a clay oval and a bunch of other things to do, like 3D archery.

Crossed back into Kentucky, hitting Bowling Green. Great Veteran Memorial downtown.

Bowling Green sports the National Corvette Museum opened in 1994. It is located a quarter mile from GM's Corvette assembly plant. This was the place where the sinkhole opened up and swallowed a few priceless Corvettes. This is one of those "We shall return" places.

We hit Mammoth Cave for both the National Park Tour and the Americana Tour. This is our fourth time hear and intended to spend about 4 hours here, walking thru the caves. Well my ankle has gotten pretty bad and Crystal's back was bothering her, so once I get the ankle fixed (which involves being in a cast for something like 8 weeks)(which is a winter project) we will come back and take the tour.

Last scheduled stop for the day was Jim Beam Distillery for the Americana Tour. JB has been making bourbon since 1795, only interrupted briefly during Prohibition. James B Bean rebuilt the business in 1933 and the company was the brand was named in his honor. Today the Jim Bean Bourbon brand is owned by Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan. REALLY !! Dang all of our brands are not belonging to US (pun intended) anymore. We'll have to declare Pottsville, PA and National Heritage Site or something.

Today's ride, a chock full 401 miles. We stayed in Frankfort for the night.