On the road again

24 Oct

We woke early ( post written October 24 but somehow magically went weird and dissapeared temporarily but the help techies at WordPress were readily available and helped me fix the issue. Those people rock! ), well rested, and looked outside only to be slightly disappointed because it is dark and still raining. The radar shows that by the time we have breakfast and pack up and ride a short distance northerly towards Lexington it should be clear. We have good warm waterproof gear so some rain is ok but the visibility and scenery sucks. We just don’t want to ride long distaces all day on wet roads because of our safety.
During breakfast it stopped raining, and we left on wet roads but didn’t have any rain all day.
Although we were in the “horse capital of the world” we didn’t see many. Today will be remembered for a ride in coloured leaves! I think that we are here at the peak of the colours. Wow, even the major highway I-64 from Lexington was a pleasure to ride. I think it was my first enjoyable and scenic ride on a interstate highway.
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We stopped briefly in Kentucky at the historic Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. The dry stone walling competition was on at the Dry Stone Conservancy.
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Even the leaves on the road, although slippery to ride on, were colourful.
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Crossing over the Kentucky River and the deep canyon was a photographic experience and very twisty and scenic.
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We criss-crossed the Ohio River a few times this afternoon so Sammy can now add Ohio to the states she has ridden in.
We are in the RedRoof Motel in Parkersburg WV for the night.

Today, Monday, we left about 8:30 dressed up for cold weather. The thermometer showed 5°C on the way to Marietta OH for breakfast.image

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Sammy created this reflective picture of the Vstrom while we sat in Tonya’s eating our good food. We recommend this place for many reasons.
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We stopped to photograph some of Harley Warricks work; probably one of his best preserved barn paintings.
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The historic Biehl General Store along highway SR 26 closed about 1990. We stopped, Sam walked over to be in my picture
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and we took lots of photographs but only waved at Dick and Martha Biehl in their window; Sam could hear their music but respectfully didn’t want to disturb them. They waved at us as we left and I figured if they had wanted conversion with strangers they have would come outside. Dick, now in his 80’s, has seen a lifetime of people come and go from his family store since he was a young boy.
For more details of the history of the general store built in 1860 see an article in the local Marietta Times newspaper. Just touch the old doorhandle to open
Biehl's Store, Door Handles of closed General Store,  Ohio SR  26, Moss Run Ohio, 10-2015

We’ve just checked into the Quality Inn at Clarion PA. We’re both a bit chilled and tired. We have gone over many huge bridges today, back and forth from state to state. It’s been another great day of coloured leaves, twisties and meeting some memorable wonderful people. We hope to hear from the couple that we met at the covered bridge who have been married for 72 years. I wish them more years of holding hands together. Their daughter had taken them out for a drive because is was a beautiful sunny fall day.
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It’s the Rinard Covered Bridge over the Little Muskingum Rivet. Built in 1876 but destroyed by a flash flood in 2004 and rebuilt in 2006; along the scenic byway hwy #26 north of Marietta Ohio; for pedestrians and not open to vehicles.
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Sammy doesn’t really like to ride in the dark. She says “that she has a hysterical aversion to crashing into a deer.” She has been counting dead deer carcases along the roadside and her count is12 in the last 2 days.
Ah, Tuesday morning, we are both up early and well rested. I love the pillows, the bed and sheets were great. I went outside at 7:00 and to my surprise there is no frost on the bike but the temperature was only 5℃, cold indeed with a crazy windchill effect at 50mph. Today we rode along mostly minor state highways and backroads to the Finger Lakes in NY. As is often the case I start and end my trips visiting our friends Rich and Carol in their home in the country near Prattsburg. Most likely we will stay over two nights because the weather forecast is for heavy rain and thunderstorms and strong gust winds for Wednesday.
Alas, our trip is coming to an end. I had some cold freezing nights with frost on my ride westbound but always warm daytime temperatures and never any rain. I did see snow some mornings along the roadside and plenty in the distance on the mountain tops. We have been very lucky with the dry warm weather for most of the trip together and we managed to get to the North Rim of the Grand which is often closed by mid October.
We stopped this morning to get some last pictures of coloured leaves, the fall season is very quickly changing to winter as we travel northerly.
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I managed to get a few pics of this forest and some last remaining beautiful leaves
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and just a few miles later ….”Huston, we have a problem” I said to Sam. Lucky for us, Joe Avenali is a capable mechanic and we were so very fortunate to end up at his shop this morning.
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We stopped in Kane PA for fuel and the bike wouldn’t start. I’ve stopped in so many remote places in the past month or so where I could have been stranded and today was just incredibly lucky to be in Kane.
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Only a half a block from Joe’s shop, so we just pushed the bike and pleaded our case, hoping for some compassionate help. It didn’t tale long to diagnose that our problem was probably just a dead battery and that the stator, which charges it, was working properly. In less than 10 minutes the correct size battery was delivered from Napa. Wow, I am a lucky traveler! Joe is an auto mechanic but also an avid rider. I think he was very happy to have a bike in his shop. I would recommend him to anyone needing motorcycle repairs or service. We could have talked and swapped strories for hours but he did have other customers and we neeeded to make up some lost time. After we left Kane we rode non-stop for about an hour and a half to be sure to allow the new battery time to get properly charged. The new battery is great and I now understand that the all the odd problems we’ve been having are all because the battey was weak and the low voltage confused the electronic brains inside the beast. It’s been strange for weeks and I can’t believe that I didn’t come to the conclusion to get a new battery sooner. In Joe’s words, “these simple problems just creep up on you, slowly and imperceptably.” I could easily have had a new battery installed in Stillwater a week ago. Now I know, that a few strange Vstrom behaviors might just be caused by low voltage.
We stopped on the main street in Bolivar NY because I needed a short rest and a fruit snack. This shop was fortunately closed and a decent place to flop down and relax. I wonder if it had been open if the staff, according to the sign could have modified my old body into an improved condition. image

I have to say once again that this bike is amazing; even with an abused and dying battery it kept on running. I can’t say enough about how I am thrilled to own and ride such a durable and dependable Suzuki motorcycle.
We finally did get to our friends house in daylight in plenty of time for dinner. Sammy’s dead deer count along the roadside today was six.

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