Sunday, June 7, 2009

Update Part Two.

I kept heading north on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but on the second day (after losing the tent poles), the luck that I've had with the weather so far on this trip finally let out. It started to rain around 10am, and while it would let up occasionally, it was mostly wet and lousy for the rest of the day.

Fortunately, this was still at a lower section of the parkway, so while it was rainy, it was still scenic.

Most all of the scenic overlooks would have some sort of informational plaque. Usually it was about the local wildlife, or construction of the parkway, or something like that. But sometimes they were just kinda weird.

And we were still high enough that clouds would still form and get stuck in valleys.

Just to put things in scale, that little white dot lower-left of center is a pickup truck.

Eventually, the parkway started to climb again, and we quickly got into some of the thickest fog I've ever been in. Not only was there MAYBE 50 feet of psudo-visibility, but the extreme humidity made the visor fog up that no amount of airflow would clear. So after flipping it up, after about thirty seconds, my glasses fogged up as well. BLARG. At this point, I actually got off the parkway and just booked in north on 81, passing through Roanoke, and after pushing another 80 miles north, I reach the house of someone from the ADVrider forums, who was kind enough to lend me a room and an air mattress for the night.

The next day, I headed to an Autozone to change the oil, and . . . well, you know what happened there.

Changing the oil took much longer then I thought it would, and I didn't get on the road until almost 1pm. It was raining and crappy, so I took US 65 back to where I knew it would intersect the Blue Ridge Parkway again, hoping to take it north into Pennsylvania. I headed into Shenandoah National Park, taking the opportunity to pay the $80 for a one-year pass into all the national parks. Hey, most of the entrance fees are between $10 and $20, and I have a feeling I'll be heading through plenty of national parks on other various parts of this trip.

That day, though, it wasn't money very well spent. The fog and rain had gotten worse overnight, and it was a good deal colder. I couldn't have the visor or my glasses on if I wanted to be able to see anything at all, and even then the fog was SO thick that going much faster then 30mph was simply idiotic. I stuck it out for a bit, but eventually realized that it was just full of suck. So I got off the Parkway and onto Rt 33, heading east and out of the mountains. The rain continued, but at least the fog let up so I could see where the hell I was going.

I didn't take any pictures for the rest of that day, because it was really un-interesting. I was cold, wet, and generally not having a great time. My rain jacket did a great job, but the pants are leaking like a sieve. I spent most of the time fantasizing about my Olympia Phantom suit that I had waiting for me in NYC. I rolled through some town west of D.C., where I grabbed a hotel, got rid of the beard, and dried out.

The next day I rolled through DC, not doing much besides just taking some pictures of my bike in front of famous places. Couldn't get the bike in front of the White House, unfortunately, and I didn't feel like parking it and walking. I snapped this, and then headed up to NYC.

Nothing much to note of the ride from DC to NYC, besides maybe how crappy it was. Stuck toI-95 the whole way, and it rained unceasingly. The pants were soaked through in an hour or so, and my expensive Tourmaster gloves that advertised themselves as being waterproof were very, very not.

Oh, and really? Fuck New Jersey. Seriously, fuck that whole state right in the ear. You can take your $12 in tolls and shove them somewhere very uncomfortable (like the backseat of a Volkswagen?). Besides that, it's just generally ugly and the top half of the state smells weird.

. . . Of course, being on a bike, and generally not giving a crap, I didn't pay a single of the zillions of toll booths that I passed through. Yay for the EZ-Pass lanes! And even once I got to NYC, where even the EZ-Pass lanes had gates for the various $5 tolls for bridges and tunnels . . . well, bikes don't have much problem going around those gates. I think I collectively jipped the city of NY as well as New Jersey out of about $25 in tolls in one day. Let's hope that doesn't come back to bite me later.

That's about all the pictures I have. I'm in NYC now, and have mostly just hung out with friends, although we did swing by the Apple store on Fifth Ave just to be amused by the insanity of it all. (As my friend pointed out, the above-ground structure is very symbolic of Apple itself. Very expensive, shiny and unique-looking, but completely empty on the inside)

The plan is to head north tomorrow, and see how far I can get. Still planning on hitting the Dust 2 Dawson motorcycle rally in the Yukon Territory on June 26th. Lets hope I make it.

1 comment:

  1. Ya know, you could still swing through here, four hours From NYC headed north. Look it up, it is a nice ride. Towanda, PA.