Author Topic: Az to: Mount Rushmore, Sturgis, New Mexico, East Coast, NYC, back to Az.  (Read 50583 times)

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Offline Shenanigans

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updates?? you're killin' me smalls

Had to take a little break and still got tons of slides to scan, but here you go.  :) I got my notes with me here so I will write out a bit now before I leave.






   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline Shenanigans

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Finally the rain passed but everything remained wet. It was not too cold so I really did not mind, the front of my jeans were soaked and the back dry. First time I had thought "Hey, dumb ass, maybe you should get some rain gear." To this day I still don't have any. After a while the sun came out and the wind dried me out about as I got into Maryland and then out into Pennsylvania. The country side was full of slight rolling hills and farmland, divided with walls of trees with the single farm houses with silos. It was kind of nice to get to actually see this kind of backdrop in person instead of in a photo or on television. It reminded me of what I think the countryside in England must be like. Hopefully one day I will get to find out firsthand. Its also strange how the names of the towns are so different than back home and the fact that some of these towns had probably been around for a lot longer than my hometown. I made good time and felt pretty good knowing that I was not to far from my goal and that my bike was still working perfectly underneath me. I stuck to the 81 all the way up to Wilkes barre.




Wilkes Barre is a bit larger than a lot of the towns I had been passing so I figured I should take a break and find a library. Since I had no phone it would be a good way to let people know I am still alive and try to find a place to stay in NYC. I descended off the freeway, a surprising distance down, into the valley where the town was. I then realized the town was much to big to try and find the library on my own so I stopped and asked at a store. I got a set of directions I would never remember but at least I had a general direction of it. After stopping a few times I made my way to, I think it was called public square? It was the happenin' district of the town. I took a break and there and watched the locals, that area of town was pretty interesting. There was newer building that seemed to be stuffed in between old, ancient to me, structures. The people were pretty friendly and I remember the place seemed to have a very good vibe to it. Even at night I doubt I would be weary if I was walking down the street. Whenever I talked to different people I always tend to ask the same set of questions and it always amazed me the set of responses. It really helps you get a wider feel of a town and you can almost pick out people who live in the same town by a basic set of questions that dont ask anything to do with where they live.

Lots of one way streets but I eventually found the library a few streets north west of public square. The building was an old church, I wish I knew more about the periods of architecture so I could have know its real age. It was maybe 3 stories tall with the pillars and towers reaching up another few stories. It was covered in fancy stone engraving and statues and a black rod iron fence surround the lot. Which was only feet bigger than the building itself, the only hint of the library was a paper sign on the door about book return dates or something. I walked inside, the roof was very high and all the empty space seemed almost like a waste. It reminded me of a temporary shelter with all the shelves and computers being on mis-matched desks, most of which had wheels to be moved around. There was wood covering the inside of the huge stain glass windows.The whole place had a very personal ambiance to it.  Busy but not crowded and surprisingly noisy for a library, I went up to the front desk and got situated with a computer. I sent a few emails and checked the things I normally check at home (including this site  :D) with no luck for a place to stay, I would have asked here but having no phone really complicates things. I checked the weather and was not faced with anything major. Which was good because I was exhausted. My trip to the town took a lot longer than I expected. So I hurried back to the freeway and I had lost track of how far I had traveled since my last fill up but by the time I had got to the freeway I had neglected to get gas.

All I could do was to keep moving towards New York. I pulled off in Scranton to get gas (and because I am a fan of the office). I could NOT find a freaking gas station and got lost in the roads of neighborhoods. The roads would dead end on the freeway walls and I could not find a on ramp. This went on for about 40 mins when I decided my best bet was to retrace my steps and I finally got back to where I had started with even less gas than when I pulled off. One thing I did miss was the ease of finding my way around in Phoenix. I got gas a few towns later and was one my way. I had to be getting close to New York.

And then FINALLY the New York state line, I triumphantly pulled off at the welcome center. I had made it, it was a horrible idea that I somehow managed to accomplish. I was IN New York, myself and my bike. No more looking at maps and pictures because I was there and could see for myself. I made it and I was alive, somehow!

Then it hit me that I could almost not get any farther from home, that I had no phone, no backup plan if my 32 year old bike gave out and not to much money left. Hoping that I would be able to stay with a family member, that I had not talked to and still had nowhere to stay in the city, but hey, I was in New York  ;D

And of course it then started to rain.


To be continued







« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 07:34:52 pm by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline Frankenkit

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I'm really loving reading your tour report.  It reminds me of when I graduated high school, put everything I owned in a geo metro and drove from WI to OR...  but with way fewer breakdowns/rains/bags of mystery herbs...  :D  Thanks for letting us live vicariously. :D
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Offline Shenanigans

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Wow thought I skipped a night as something did not seem to line up. I almost skipped one of the highlights of my trip. For some reason I had ripped out these pages and put them in the back of my notebook, maybe because I did not want to lose them. And I think I know why, it was the only time during my trip that I got my machete out. Looking back on it and the possibilities, both humorous and terrifying at the same time.


When I first got into Virginia it was the middle of the night and I needed sleep. I pushed myself farther and farther but I could not put it off anymore. I pulled into a rest stop having not come across any other perspective places to sleep. I did not even have the strength to put my bike on the center stand so I rolled the front wheel up the curb and rolled it back onto the center stand. Now with a level bike I proceeded to fall asleep, slouching forward onto my sleeping bag with full gear on. A helmet can turn anything into a reasonable pillow. I must have got up and used the restroom and then sat down on the bench on the sidewalk next to my bike because thats where I was when the rest stop employee woke me up and told me I could not sleep here. Since I had been caught I could not even climb up on a roof to sleep out of sight. So I got back on my bike and got back on the 81. After a while there was a sign for some campground and I took off the freeway after it. I ended up heading west and after a half hour of riding could not find it. I got lost on the back roads with my brain only half functioning. I made it worse by trying to guess how to get back with no reference (No stars that night because of the clouds, Note to self: buy a compass) and eventually ended up on a dirt road in the middle of the woods.

So I guess I was going to sleep right where I was because really, I had no choice. I found a really nice spot just off the road, I had taken so many turns and back roads that I doubt I would have any problems sleeping where I was. So I unpacked my sleeping bag, laid down my tarp then my padding roll all by light of my flashlight. The sky was starless and there was nothing but pitch black around me. Not even any lights off in the distance. With everything set I walked about 10 feet away from my bike with flashlight in hand, to piss before I went to sleep.

As I am sitting there watering the ground, half asleep holding my flashlight, lost in the middle of some woods when I hear this noise. It sounded like something big was moving along. It was to my right about I would say 10 feet and it instantly startled me and caused me to drop my flashlight. The flashlight was a surefire, I think its the same as the police use. Since I was only holding the button on the end (Instead of twisting the end which causes the light to stay on) As soon as it left my hand it shut off and I was in pitch black. I'm pretty sure I jumped the 10 feet back to my bike with a single bound, I franticly fumbled for my key and jammed it into the switch and turned the headlight on. I then reached down and grabbed my dull, cheap, 8 dollar walmart machete off my bed roll. My headlight was pointing down and to the left because my front end was turned. I sat there frozen, I thought about turning my headlight to see what it was but my body was just not responding to my brain. So I stood there and listened. It sounded pretty big, but it was hard to tell because its movement was all I could hear. Maybe it was a deer? I hoped it was just a deer. As it moved along I noticed that its footsteps did not seem "sharp" like I would have imagined a small hard hoof going along the ground. It seemed duller and more lumbering. So was it a bear? Were there even bears here? I remember thinking "I hope its a dog, I will take a fight with a rabid dog over a bear. I wish I had a .45, #$%*. #$%*." My mind started going a 100 miles an hour trying to remember everything I have ever overheard about bears and what to do and where they lived. All while listening to these steps lumber on, taking no note of me. All I could do was to sit there clenching my machete and standing as close to my gas tank as possible. It lumbered away and then was gone. I stood there with my heart beating in my throat, listening. Focusing on every single sound I could hear. I stood like that until my headlight started to get noticeably dimmer, it seemed like hours but must have only been 20 or so minutes. I finally pointed my headlight at where I was standing when I was startled and walked over and found my flashlight. This took a while of planning and getting myself ready to move and break the statue that I had become. As I was walking to get my flashlight, looking around with my machete the only way I can describe how it felt was like I was deep in enemy territory or something like that. My bike seemed like a safe island that somehow offered a little bit of protection and walking out away from it felt like walking out into a sea full of sharks. I slowly walked back to my sleeping bag, moved it as close as I could to my bike with my back pressing against the kickstand and curled up in it. The machete by my side in the sleeping bag un-sleeved. I figured that limited the sides I could be attacked by at least one.

As soon as the adrenaline wore off I manged to somehow fall asleep but not after being startled my a few falling leaves landing on me. I was woken up the next morning by the sun, luckily. It was foggy but I got up and packed up and found my way back to a road which lead to a main road which lead to the freeway. I manged to laugh about it to myself, thinking maybe it was only a dog if not something smaller and all that commotion was over nothing.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2008, 11:10:57 pm by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline heffay

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shenanigan man...  they sell these things called quarters.  they cost about 25 cents.  they fit in these things called payphones (usually located along busy streets or near gas stations... i know you're only 19 and might not have ever seen one, but i thought that might help on your next trip.   ;D


keep 'em coming... next time though, shine the damn light on the whatever it is!  inquiring minds want to know!   :D
Today: '73 cb350f, '96 Ducati 900 Supersport
Past Rides: '72 tc125, '94 cbr600f2, '76 rd400, '89 ex500, '93 KTM-125exc, '92 zx7r, '93 Banshee, '83 ATC250R, 77/75 cb400f

Offline andy750

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keep 'em coming... next time though, shine the damn light on the whatever it is!  inquiring minds want to know!   :D


It was his Mum checking he was ok...she had been following him all the time  ;D

Just teasing....  ;)



Current bikes
1. CB750K4: Long distance bike, 17 countries and counting...2001 - Trans-USA-Mexico (CB750K4), 2003 - European Tour (CB750K4), 2004 - SOHC Easy Rider Trip (CB750K4), 2008 - Adirondack Tour 2-up (CB750K4) , 2013 - Tail of the Dragon Tour , 2017: 836 kit install and bottom end rebuild. And rebirth: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,173213.msg2029836.html#msg2029836
2. CB750/810cc K2  - road racer with JMR worked head 71 hp
3. VStrom DL1000 2003
4. XLR650L 2006

Where did you go on your bike today? - http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=45183.2350

Offline alltherightpills

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I am betting it was bigfoot.
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Offline heffay

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it was large and unhooved... we think  :-\ 8)



if i could offer a serious suggestion though... shenanigans, get more sleep while road tripping.  we don't need dead SOHC4ians on our hands... i doubt you would like to be either.   ;)
Today: '73 cb350f, '96 Ducati 900 Supersport
Past Rides: '72 tc125, '94 cbr600f2, '76 rd400, '89 ex500, '93 KTM-125exc, '92 zx7r, '93 Banshee, '83 ATC250R, 77/75 cb400f

Offline Frankenkit

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...and invest in a 2nd tarp so you can make a real tent.  ...or a real tent, so you don't have mosquito problems.
...or a hennessy hammock. (just google it)  2lbs +trees = cozy sleeping.
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Offline my78k

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See, as much as I love my life and would never change of any of it I am indeed envious. I got married at 23 and had my first daughter at 24 (and a second at 27). I never took the time to do this kind of thing...I do kinda regret it. I guess on the bright side though the girls will be off to school and then out of the house early enough that I will be able to hopefully pull off an earlier retirement and do some road tripping on something fully faired and sleep in hotels rather than scary backwoods...alas, something tells me it won't be quite the same  :'(

Dennis

Offline andy750

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it was large and unhooved... we think  :-\ 8)

Oh in that case it must have been Eldar  ;)  ;D


Current bikes
1. CB750K4: Long distance bike, 17 countries and counting...2001 - Trans-USA-Mexico (CB750K4), 2003 - European Tour (CB750K4), 2004 - SOHC Easy Rider Trip (CB750K4), 2008 - Adirondack Tour 2-up (CB750K4) , 2013 - Tail of the Dragon Tour , 2017: 836 kit install and bottom end rebuild. And rebirth: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,173213.msg2029836.html#msg2029836
2. CB750/810cc K2  - road racer with JMR worked head 71 hp
3. VStrom DL1000 2003
4. XLR650L 2006

Where did you go on your bike today? - http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=45183.2350

Offline Shenanigans

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it was large and unhooved... we think  :-\ 8)



if i could offer a serious suggestion though... shenanigans, get more sleep while road tripping.  we don't need dead SOHC4ians on our hands... i doubt you would like to be either.   ;)


Yeah, Thats one thing I learned real quick. I tried to avoid getting as tired as I was and you really need your brain to be fully functioning when riding but that goes without saying. There is a long list of goals I got to still still stay alive for.  ;D
As for the quarters I tried a few times but most of the pay phones wont do long distance without a calling card. All these little things that I learned will contribute to a smoother trip next time.

And Kitsure, How did I not know about that kind of hammock before! I wanted to bring a hammock sooooo bad but mine was way too bulky. If I would have only known! Thats being added to the top of the list for the next trip, thanks.

Here a few pictures of whats left of my notebook.








   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline alltherightpills

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Also buy a tougher notebook.  ;)
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Offline Shenanigans

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Back to the New York boarder. I stood under my tarp leaning against my bike while I ate. Waiting for the rain to pass and watching the busy rest stop (lots of Florida plates?). The rain stopped and I continued on my way. In no time I was in downtown Syracuse. If I had my family members numbers I could have just found a pay phone as it was not long distance. I decided my best bet was to find a library. After a while I found one but it turned out to be useless. I left the library and went back out to my bike to check my map. I was trying to remember where they lived from faded memories when I was a lot younger, I used to fly out there every summer and I tried to remember which roads they took from the airport. It had been way to long to get any useful details out of my memory. Then it started raining. Luckily there was a enclosed bridge a few stories up that ran from the building on one side of the street to the building on the other side. Which would provide enough cover to keep me and my stuff dry. It was only maybe 5 feet in front of where I was parked to the dry area provided by the cover of the bridge.

There was a large SUV that so happened to be sitting in the dry area waiting to pick someone up. There was nothing behind her for 15 feet. As the rain started to pick up I walked over to her window. She reluctantly rolled it down, I told her that I needed to get my stuff under the cover from the rain and that if she could back up, not even 4 feet (there was nothing behind her, remember) that I could get my stuff out of the rain and that it would be much appricated. She just replied "I will only be a minute" I told her that my stuff was getting soak now and that in a minute it would be completely soaked, I just needed her to back up 4 feet if that. She just repeated "I will only be a minute" and rolled up her window, seemingly annoyed. I was kind of shocked, are you ****ing kidding me? Your too busy sitting there staring into space to back up 4 feet? There is NOTHING behind you. So I rolled my bike back until it was touching her bumper, with me and my stuff not more than 2 feet from the dry cover. Sitting in the rain, I walked under the cover. Sitting there watching my stuff get needlessly soaked. I had nothing to do but stare at her. She locked her doors, hilarious. Maybe 15 mins later her husband or something came out from a building a few buildings down and got into the truck and they left. Sorry, for trying to suggested moving your car back a few feet, I do not want to interrupt your busy session of sitting in a nice warm covered car doing nothing. I was pretty mad but whatever. The rain did not stop but it let up enough so I headed to the airport seeing how it was a place to start. I knew they lived within a few miles of it. Almost got hit twice on the way there.  I needed the number for my family that lived there as I did not know it. All I had to do was call back home and get their number. Easy right? I hate bumming peoples cell phones but I had no choice. Once I got the number I could collect call. There was a family walking up to the hotel I was in front of. A mother, father and 3 sons, about my age. The mother and 2 of the sons had their phones while they were walking up. By the time they got where I was only one was still on it, must have been texting. They were waiting for a cab so I asked them and said that I am traveling and need to use a phone to get a number, the only problem is that the number is in Az so the call would be long distance. I asked if they would be willing let me make a call and get that number so I could figure out my situation. I also said "if your not comfortable letting me use your phone or you dont have free long distance, no hard feelings just say so" (because I don't like it when people ask to use my phone sometimes either...) Instead of saying that they did not feel comfortable they all said that they coincidently left their phones in their hotel room, and that the phone that one of them had in his hands was dead. I was pretty agitated by now. All I could do was wait, the one son trying to text out of sight as they waited for a cab. It boggled my mind as to why these people just did not give me a straight answer. I had no more patience. As we were all waiting a portley businessman came by. I could tell right away that he would not let me use his phone but by that time I was pretty much over everything. I said to the waiting group "Hey watch, this guy wont let me use his phone either" sure enough he angrly said "I dont do that sort of thing" He was obviously much too busy and important. As he left I said to him "Well good luck!" smileying. Then said ".....with your fight with obesity" under my breath. I then told the group, still waiting for the cab "Atleast that guy was honest!" and walked away into the parking lot to stand in the warm sun.

I know I shouldn't have been such an #$%* but that chain of events really got under my skin. That plus the prospect of maybe sleeping in the rain and cold less than a mile away from my goal.

Anyways some one finally came up to me and asked if I needed directions (because I was sitting there looking at a map) and he let me use his phone, I got directions to the house. I think they were a bit surprised when I showed up on my bike.

For a while I stayed with them and found some work, I spent most of my time exploring the state and finding cool places to read.

























There is kind of a cool story to that key ring. When I bought my 750 the guy went into his house and dug this out. He got it from the dealership when he bought his 750. Its pretty dirty in the picture but in the center of the white thing is a Honda emblem. So anyone who got new bikes from that dealership got one. He said that the first day he had it he put his bike key on it and that thats where it stayed for years and years.








To be continued
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline seaweb11

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I LOVE that 1st photo:
                               from the rear of your plate 8)

Offline Shenanigans

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I LOVE that 1st photo:
                               from the rear of your plate 8)

One of my favorites from that roll

   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline Shenanigans

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Escape from New York?

After a while I decided I wanted to go to the city "for a day". So I packed up my stuff and left full of excitement, it is the big NYC after all. In my mind New York was mainly that, the city. Not really knowing how long it would take to get there, I left in the afternoon. Which was far to late. I took the expressway all the way there, what a boring ride. After the boring ride I made it to the outskirts, I had neglected to think about the fact the city itself is actually huge and complex with many many bridges and islands. I neglected to look at a map and the roads here were the most complicated road system I had ever been on. All I wanted to do was get to Manhattan. As I was riding along in the heavy traffic the roads made me nervous, if I were to break down here there is not even anywhere to pull my bike off into. The cars behind me would have to stop, what if I blow a tire or cant move my bike. All this when the sun was starting to set and I was not even at the island yet. There is one thing that can transform a city into a foreboding mass and thats nightfall. In my mind at least, the sketchy places in all the other places I had been paled in comparison to here. Its the same kind of feeling of being alone that you get in the middle of the desert or woods. Its very strange. All I could do was try and follow the roads. After much fret I finally got on the island and was in the bronx. How I did this I could honestly not tell you. I had lost all sense of direction. Even now, while looking at a map, I still don't have my bearings of that place. I thought it would be straight forward but it was far from it.  I filtered up the roads and eventually found myself along side central park. For the second time it hit me, "What the hell now". It was getting dark and I really wanted to be out of there already. Where do I go now?

Riding with the traffic in NYC is an experience. The taxi cabs and traffic weaving in and out. Slamming on your brakes and then making a dash for a small opening between two cars. I was in love for the next hour I just ran up and down the main roads on either side of central park that run the length of Manhattan. Its amazing the rush of activity on the road and then the lights as far down the road as you can see all turn red and all the cars freeze. Then masses of people flow across the street then vanish as the light turns green, then its the cars turn to burst back on their way. I finally stopped and took this photo with my film camera (only one I had on me) before it got too dark. I was so lost and the clock was ticking as the sun set. What it was ticking down to I have no idea. I did not really even get a chance to walk around because I was worried about all my stuff on my bike. I wanted to stay the night in the city so bad. I thought about trying my luck with some people, but what would work with the girls in the small towns I doubt would work here. The people here seem to all be busy and in a hurry. There was this constant flood of people, making any one person seem almost unapproachable. I did not even know where to start. It reminded me of the tactics herd animals use against predators. So I laughed about it.

50iso film is a pain.




It was getting dark and I decided I needed to get the hell out of there and so it began. To make matters worse as I was stopped at a light and looking behind me I saw smoke shooting out of my #1 pipe. Blue smoke, the bad smoke as far as I was concerned. Not ten minutes later my bike started making a noise, it sounding like maybe my chain rubbing my engine case but my chain was not loose. Pressing on the cover with my foot I could not "feel" it hitting so It must have been coming from something else. This was all happening while I was navigating the freeways, lost and fighting with the traffic. The drivers there are insane. Worse yet again the roads them self were horrible, I would hit bump that would cause my rear tire to bottom out on my fender and then pogo the rear end of my bike. A lot of the roads were soaked and barriered off from construction with no way to get out of the way of the cars barreling along. There was huge cracks and mismatches in the pavement which I had to avoid like land mines. Once I hit a patch and my rear pogo'ed, it seemed inches. I felt like everything went into slow motion as I looked down at an angle because of the rear of my bike being in the air. It drifted to the right a little bit and when it came down it gave me a minor tank slap. All these thing happening at the same time was making for an intense ride on a 30 year old bike and I imagine would even on a new bike. I was working at full capacity just trying to not get killed while going freeway speeds. I had no more toll money so that farther limited my options. I had completely lost any direction and what little understanding of the area I did have, using Manhattan as a reference point was wrong (My north south was switched) This went on for I have no idea how long, too long, and got to the point where my body was letting out some adrenaline. I had to backtrack a few times and make split second decisions on where to go and was worried I would run out of gas. As Keith code would put it, I must have been a few hundred bucks in debt. I ended up east of the island, breathing heavy but out of the chaos. I had long lost trusting the directions on the freeway signs and even though it said east all I cared was that it took me away from the city. I figured it cant really go east because of the ocean! I got maybe 20 minutes out into the big island that reaches out east. When I realize after checking my map, that I was heading into a dead end and that the only way out was back pass the city I fought so hard to escape from. It then hit me that it was Freezing, too. I rested for a little in the parking lot of some hige building. Then headed right back into the city.

Its worth noting that when I was resting I wrote a little in my notes. And by "a little" I mean I wrote "SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT" only with more I's.


On the way back I got pretty lucky and took the queens midtown tunnel? and it spit me out back on the island and it was easy to get across to the other side of Manhattan and follow road (9A)? to the far side of the island and up to the 95 and I ended up on the 80. With only the cold to fight with. It was not exactly how I envisioned my visit to be, which of course meant I would have to go back again. The cold was horrible about an hour or two later I had to stop to let myself warm up. I stopped at a rest stop and walked inside and turned out the hand dryer and put my cuff around it so it blew directly into my jacket. After that I tried to warm up my legs with it but it was no use. They were chilled all the way through and it would take a few hours to warm them back up. As I walked out 2 pretty girls walked by and I smiled and turned my head as they past. Probably a bit older than me I thought.

I got back to my bike and stood there shivering, it was cold even out of the wind. I saw a man fast approaching and its pretty easy to describe him, he was almost a dead match for the kind of characters that Dave Mann drew. I mean down to the vest, jeans and beard and combed back hair. The only difference was he was quite tall and thinner. oh god, I hope its not the father of those girls father Lucky for me he had come up to me to talk about my bike. (it turned out they WERE his daughters) He had been a biker all his life and used to build bikes for a shop in the city. I noticed he had tattoos of bikes on his arms, but none of them were harleys, one was a Guzzi and one was an MV Agusta race bike. He told me about all these tricks that he used to do back when "they would go out on runs". One being putting newspaper in your jacket and another being wearing womens stockings to keep your legs warm  ;D ;D He said a lot of the cops used to do that too back in the day and that "I shouldn't crash and die while wearing them because then people will think stuff" We talked for a while and when his daughters came back out they all got in their car and left, as he was leaving he was telling me good careers that make a lot of money as he leaned out his window and was then gone. The cold was horrible but I got back to Syracuse at about 5am and thought, "Well that did not go as planned".


To be continued


   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline UnCrash

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Great read,  some great photos too.

I'm living vicariously though your memories of this epic adventure and looking forward to future posts.
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Offline mrbreeze

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Good stuff Shenanigans.Like Andy's road report,your's is also a good read.You are a good writer.
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Offline Shenanigans

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After getting back from New York I hung out and kept seeing as much of the state as I could. Including going to the New York state fair which I was unaware was so massive. So that was a shock and kind of cool to walk into unexpectedly. I had a friend in Buffalo so I figured I would head over there and stay a while, maybe there were some better jobs around over there.

The drive was pretty easy, the scenery in New York is pretty consistent so nothing new to report in that regard. No planned route just heading west. I found a few cool abandon buildings along the way. I parked my bike in sort of enclave in a corn field to check out this multilayer barn in the middle of a field which looked like it had survived a war. I remember thinking that I needed to find some way to be able to just do this for the rest of my life. The barn was disappointing and I almost fell through the rotted wood floor. I thought about how long it would probably be until someone found me if I impaled myself or something in there.  I ended running into the town of Fort Niagara a bit north of buffalo. I made my way down to Buffalo, taking the bridge onto and off of Grand Island and was in Buffalo about an hour after dark.

As I was trying to find my friends house I ended up taking a wrong road and going into the "wrong" part of town. I think this was the only time on my trip where I felt so nervous solely because of the area. As soon as I went down the road I knew it was a mistake. As I crept down the poorly lit road I noticed the buildings along the left side of the wide street. It was lined with maybe 10 of the exact same rectangle'd  apartment buildings that were maybe 6 stories tall. The outsides were grimy with flaking red paint. All the buildings seemed unkempt. The area had quite a lot of people, most of which were just sort of standing around being idle. I must have stuck out like a sore thumb as I could feel the eyes watching me. I lowered my blue bandanna below my nose, just in case. The right side of the street had the only street lamps and the sidewalk boarder a tall chain link fence. It gave me that bad gut feeling. Under each of the spread out light posts there was a group of people both shiftless and shady.  As I went down the road all I could do was hope that I did not break down. Breaking down in the middle of a rainstorm in the middle of nowhere? Sure, but not here. As I went down the road I got glimpses in between the apartment buildings which were no more than 8 feet apart. The dim lights above the doors showed even more people sitting around drinking. Some were playing dice and some where listening to the radio. The truck in front of me which was driving slow to begain with stopped. I slowly went around and noticed that the driver was talking to what was obviously a hooker. As I past she got into the truck. A few streets more and I made it to the main road and got my bearings straight. Soon I found my friends place not too far from where I was. There was a huge juxtapose between the neighborhood where he lived and the one that I had just past.

I hung out for a few days but decided to soon leave after. For whatever reason I was just not feeling buffalo. Sorry to anyone who lives there but it was just a place I did not want to spend my time. Heres my bike outside of his house.


So after days and days of doing nothing I decided to cut my losses and go to Canada. I did not have a passport but my friend assured my that it was not necessary for a day trip and that he has done it before. My goal was to see the Canadian side of the falls and get lunch in Toronto. I drove around a bit by the falls and then crossed the "Rainbow" bridge to go to Canada. The toll was I think 3.50 and I soon realized that I had only 2 dollars cash left on me. I had to pay the rest in change. I hoped that it did not charge to go from the Canadian side back. What would they do, just not let me pass? I shut off my bike and waited in the line. There was a couple on a road king in front of me. Rolling it forward with my feet when the lined moved. I finally got up to the booth and was then instructed to pull up next to the building. Was it because I only had my drivers license or because when he asked me to declare any weapons I said "One machete" I am not sure. I pulled up to the quiet attractive looking female officer waiting for me. I liked Canada already. Then I gave her my machete and license. She escorted me into the building and I had a seat in a waiting area with a few other people. Some tourists from Germany, a family from the mid west and the couple on the road king. As I waited I looked out the window behind me and saw the road just on the other side of the glass.

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=43.092265,-79.07013&spn=0.001444,0.002414&t=h&z=19

I waited and waited and struck up a conversation with the couple on the bike. I forgot where they told me they were headed but they were from some place along the east coast. I kept hearing them whispering to each other about something obviously a bit nervous. I overhead them say "I hope they don't find out" They got called, one at a time, into a back office and for some reason where not allowed to go into Canada. After a total of about 2 hours I got called up to the desk. They explained that, with what I had on me, The USA would not let me back in. I figured it was not a good idea to get stuck in Canada with no passport and only spare change on me and half a tank of gas. So another female officer led me back out to my bike and gave me my machete back. She showed me out to a road that ran back to the US and gave me a paper to give to the US boarder agents that state I never actually entered Canada. Surprisingly she asked the year of the bike and I had a conversation with her for about 15 minutes. As I got to the American side the agent ran though a list of carefully engineered questions. Asking why Canada did not let me in and such but I had no other problems. I got gas and I headed back to Syracuse. It was starting to get colder and colder. I had to head south soon.

To be continued...


« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 07:17:02 pm by Shenanigans »
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.

Offline my78k

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Well, it's a shame you couldn't make it across the border but I am not at all surprised. We have much tighter weapons laws up here...ofcourse had it been some sort of ceremonial dagger they would have had no problem with it! We definitely have the better half of the Falls and I think you would have liked Toronto. Through my limited travelling experience in the US Toronto is definitely a bit different. It is a massive city (both in population but also in sheer size) but can still have a very small town feel. Showing up on Queen St with a bike and a backpack you would have fit right in. There are backpackers hostels etc and tons to see and do. Since you are oviously into photography and writing you would love some of the architecture etc.

You should try to make it back here one day...if you do I would be happy to spring for a beer or 2. Heck if you need a place to stay I even have a tent trailer in my driveway that I barely have a chance to use and a double garage to keep the bike safe when you are not riding.

Dennis


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Oh in that case it must have been Eldar

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Offline edbikerii

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Shenanigans, I think it was a year or two ago that the US made it mandatory to have your passport when crossing back in from Canada.  Don't think you need a visa, but you definitely need a passport.

Back in 2005 I went to Niagara Falls with my family, and I've got to tell you, you really missed out.  The NY side just plain sucks.  The Canada side has the better view, the better hotels, better touristy stuff, IMO.

Also, dude, you've got to get your butt back to NYC.  You didn't even stop!?  What the hell is that?  You have endured days and days (weeks?) of mindless tree-and-rock-gazing, then you don't bother to spend a couple hours in New Yawk Freakin' City?  Man, you've got to save some cash and do this trip all over again the right way! ;)

Honestly, I'm a little jealous reading about your journey.  I love the idea of riding around the country flat broke, just to see how far I can get.  On the other hand, I must say I've enjoyed my global journeys pretty well with cash. ;D
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Offline azuredesign

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Man, I hope your trip doesn't end, as I look forward to the next chapter. Keep it coming, will ya?

Offline Shenanigans

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Well, it's a shame you couldn't make it across the border but I am not at all surprised. We have much tighter weapons laws up here...ofcourse had it been some sort of ceremonial dagger they would have had no problem with it! We definitely have the better half of the Falls and I think you would have liked Toronto. Through my limited travelling experience in the US Toronto is definitely a bit different. It is a massive city (both in population but also in sheer size) but can still have a very small town feel. Showing up on Queen St with a bike and a backpack you would have fit right in. There are backpackers hostels etc and tons to see and do. Since you are oviously into photography and writing you would love some of the architecture etc.

You should try to make it back here one day...if you do I would be happy to spring for a beer or 2. Heck if you need a place to stay I even have a tent trailer in my driveway that I barely have a chance to use and a double garage to keep the bike safe when you are not riding.

Dennis



I might take you up on that offer. I plan to do a longer trip as soon as I can get the money, which right now is hard because of the job situation every place seems to be in but one day its going to happen... When is it not freezing up there?

And Edbikerii, I luckily did visit the city again on my way south. It really did seem that the Canadian side was much better of a place to be. But hey, that means I just have to go back one day ;D to see for myself
   This pretty much sums it up.   76' CB592 cafe. 69 750 project, 03 CBR954, 75 750 super sport.