Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Cold and Scenic Travelogue

©LKHunsaker.comThere’s nothing like a cool, crisp morning that turns into a sunny warm day for a day-long ride on the back of a Harley. You see more from a bike than from a car or truck. You see not only the road beneath, but the sides of the road and the birds overhead. You feel the change of the air as it shifts from pavement-reflected warmth along the interstate to cooler and fresher along little tree-lined roads. You know without looking when you’re passing by or bridging over a stream or river because of the sudden moist chill in the air and the smell of the water. You’re more fully connected with and part of nature on a bike, even more so than rolling all four windows of your car down and allowing the wind to gush in and cause a racket.

Of course, then there are those days when a cool, crisp morning turns into a cloudy, colder, rainy day. That’s not great bike weather, and you better hope you’ve remembered to pack your rain gear, but a cold, damp day on a bike is still more soul-refreshing than a day in a car.

This is true even when you’re easily cold and completely un-enamored with being cold and if it takes you two days to warm up again.

Over the weekend, that’s the kind of day my husband and I had when we agreed to meet a friend from New York (state, not city) and have lunch and cruise around in between our two home areas. We started off chilly, drove up into the rain, and kept counting on the weather prediction of clearing skies and 70 degrees. Neither happened.

Ah well. We still put over 340 miles on the bike in one day and I, of course, had my camera in hand. Here’s some of what we saw:

Northwestern PA in September 2010As it’s mid-September, the trees in northwestern PA are turning all shades of fall. The hovering mist and clouds interfere a bit with the crispness of the colors, but it does add a soft variation.

Our meeting point was a little NY town called Hamburg where I had some incredible chocolate chip pancakes (yes, I splurged) and coffee to add fuel for the rest of thealong the road day. From there, we moved down farther south through back roads and farm land and Amish country.   

A tip: while in Amish country on a bike, watch carefully for slippery obstructions from the horses! We managed to avoid this pitfall, thank goodness!

along the roadHeading toward Jamestown, we were treated to a few pretty lakes and ponds. Have I said how much I love water? As we passed by, I thought this would be a wonderful place to set a chair and sit and write or read or daydream (writers must daydream, after all) on a warmer, dryer day.

marina Of course, while riding, you can’t pull out a map and ask your passenger where to go from wherever you are, so at one point we pulled into the parking lot of a little marina and grabbed the map from the tour pack. This is somewhere along route 62 and I think we were still in NY.

Had I known that next door to Jamestown is a little town called Lakewood, NY, I would have asked the guys to take a little buzz over in that direction so I could get a photo of the town sign. Why? Rehearsal is set in Lakewood. Okay, so my Lakewood is actually a fictional town in Massachusetts, but it would still be fun to post the town sign that matches my imaginary town. Yes, I’m easily amused.

I also wished I’d had the camera ready when we passed someone’s yard. They had a sign advertising something that had “Aim High” in big letters. [A- hem.. Highest Aim] *shrug*

at the marinaMoving along, the parking area was bordered by alternating rows of these shrubs. I’ve no idea what they are, but they are beautiful. Aren’t they?

As this was quite the long trip and I’m being rather long-winded about sharing it, I’ll save the rest for tomorrow.



Celia Yeary said...

LORAINE--gorgeous pictures. Absolutely beautiful. I wish I were there. But not on a Harley. My husband and his buddies all bought motocycles about 20 years ago, and off they'd go. It fulfilled some kind of need he had at the time,as it must have for all of them. They rode for about 5-6 years, locally. One was killed on his motorcycle, one got hurt, and one was a daredevil and he even scared himself. They all quit. It was a shame because they had such a good time. This area of Texas is the Hill Country, and it is a gathering spot for huge groups of riders for a rally. Jim still waves at them.
(the one who was killed? One block from home at a redlight.)
Have a great time--it's one of America's pasttimes. Celia

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Celia, thank you. :-)

You know, I used to be terrified of the things, until I started riding with my husband. Much does depend on how trained and natural the driver is on a bike. I wouldn't ride with just anyone. I would never drive one, either. And we always, always wear helmets. Of course, there are plenty of irresponsible car and truck drivers you have to watch for, also (such as the many red light runners). But then, it's just as risky in my little car against a big truck, or even against the weather. Life is risky. Take precautions and keep going. ;-)

liana laverentz said...

Beautiful post, beautiful pictures. What a wonderful way to spend the day. Thank you for sharing this with us, Loraine. You must have passed right by here!

Savanna Kougar said...

LK, yes, you have to watch out for those slippery obstructions... oh, I would so love that kind of adventuring. Thank you for sharing. Once upon a time, I dreamed about owning a motorcycle.

That's one reason I also love riding horses because it's much closer to nature and you see and experience things you never would in a car.

LK Hunsaker said...

Liana, we probably were close. On a more planned day, maybe we can meet up!

Savanna, I bet horses are much the same. I've never been on one. Maybe someday.

Keena Kincaid said...

Lovely post and beautiful photos. Despite the rain and the chill, it sounds like a perfect day.