Showing posts from June, 2014

GOE XVIII- Day Six: The Final Day, An Old Friend Returns

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The sun broke over the Rural King and poured through the crack in the curtain of the hotel room. It was time to start the finally leg of this year's journey. We had breakfast in the lobby of the Comfort Inn. The bikes were already fueled up, so we just needed to get them packed up, and our legs thrown over the seat.

We started out on 95 heading west, with a short jaunt on 12 to get to 273. It wasn't long before we were taking a south loop around Indian Lake. It was still a bit early, and I could feel the cool air blowing off the water. The last section of the trip around the lake put us on 33, which we stayed on when we crossed Interstate 75.

Wapakoneta sits just west of the Interstate, and now has a place in my heart. We pulled over in the town to take a break, but before we made it to the fuel stop, I had a Kodak Moment to capture. The Black Pearl had hit another milestone: 75,000 miles. We went into town, go gas, and continued on our journey.

County …

GOE XVIII- Day Five: Heading Back Home

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Just as it is exciting to see the bikes roll in for Gathering of Eagles, it is sad to see them pull out and head for home. Lots of these people I won't see for another year in a different place. At the meeting we decided that location would be Lake George, New York.

Before we pack up and mount up, we try to find everyone we can to say good bye to. Some we had wanted to see had left already, but we were able to talk to most of them. The skies looked calm and empty of rain, so it was going to be a good day to get some miles on the tires.

The beginning of our route followed the Poker Run we had embarked on just two days earlier. I had thought the ride to the asylum was more enjoyable, but now as we ride through Wayne National Forest with only the dew lifting as the moisture in the air, I will change my mind. There wasn't anything about this stretch that I didn't like. The smooth pavement that rose and sank, switching back and forth, the lush tree that …

GOE XVIII- Day Four: Hoping They Don't Keep Someone

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

I have been going to Gathering of Eagles since 2000, and only missed a couple since, but this was the first time we were going on a ride that we genuinely feared some of us might not make it bad. It wasn't that we were going to be hitting some bad roads, or the weather was bad, or that we expected lots of traffic with drivers that weren't paying attention. It was all about the destination - An Insane Asylum. Fortunately for most of us, it had not been open for business for several years.

With the sun looking like it was going to burn off the remaining clouds from yesterday's showers, the group for this ride was considerably larger. The bikes and trikes began getting into position in the mid morning.

We headed south on West Virginia State Road 14 that runs right passed the hotel. At Elizabeth, we turned east on State Road 53. Both of these are pretty regular West Virginia State Roads that go up and down as much as they go right and left, meandering…

GOE XVIII- Day Three: Biker Games and Wet Poker Cards

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day Two of Gathering of Eagles Eighteen started out under gray skies. We ran into several of our Cruiser Club brothers and sisters at breakfast, but the whole group began to gather out in the parking lot later that morning. The first item on today's agenda - The Biker Games.

Since the first Gathering I came to, I was always more content to watch the games, usually taking pictures, than I was to play in the games. Since Kasey came along, that had changed, and I had to sign up for at least one of the games if not more. The Games start with the solo slow ride. This is where you try to take the longest to drive a 20 foot section without putting your feet down. The guys from the Virginia Chapter in Farmville does these all year round and about once a month. Needless to say, they quickly eliminate the rest of us. The second event, the slow ride, two up, adds in a passenger. Kasey likes giving this a try, so we usually do, and usually make about the length of the…

GOE XVIII- Day Two: A Proper Adventure

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
So after a disappointing night for Virginia, my brother did try to console her by taking her to the nearby outlet mall, but most of the shops were out of business. Kasey and I had not seen very many good signs of business going well in the year we had been in Central America. Breakfast was awesome, and with our bodies fueled, it was time to hit the road/ Our second and final day to getting Gathering of Eagles, GOE, Cruiser Club, USA’s national gathering would start out with filling the tanks, and then hitting the highway. We shot south on Interstate 75 for a few miles, and then picked up SR 22 again, and headed east. This road continued being a ribbon of asphalt through Bluergrass Country and the little town that are along the way. It ended at SR 10, which continued us east, and also moving us north closer to the Ohio River. Eventually, the banks of the Ohio River would greet us, and we would roll along the curves of the big river. We saw power plants, locks, and a…

GOE XVII – Day One: Where is the Oasis?

Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Took a hiatus from Gathering of Eagles last year, as we were in Costa Rica, and today, I am my second time on The Black Pearl in a year. This time I am loaded down with clothes for two for the week, but I do have my favorite riding partner sitting behind me! This is only the second long trip I have ever taken with my brother, where he is leading. The last trip took us from Lafayette, Indiana to Sandusky and Cleveland, Ohio, and we had some issues. Heck, we were both rookies at this traveling by motorcycle thing. We made our way around town to one of Kevin, my brother, and Virginia’s, his wife, place to have breakfast. It was early, near seven o’clock, and we only had about 250 miles in front of us, so we were looking forward to a leisurely day. After breakfast, we made our way to US 52, and began heading south and east. Eventually, we would get to the site of GOE XVIII, Mineral Wells, West Virginia, but today we would only cover half the trip, and stay the night…

Back in the Saddle, and the Gravel, and the Rain, Again.

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
So after over a year of not being on two wheels, here I am back again! I thought it would feel awkward, but after a few seconds I felt like I was at home. I backed The Black Pearl out of my brother's garage, and turned it around. With the press of the start button, the engine turned, but didn't come to life. I waited a second, then pressed the button again, and with only one turn of the starter motor, the 1800cc's came to life, and my heart paced a little faster.
I followed Kasey, in her Ford Explorer, known as Ivory, out of Lafayette, Indiana, and we headed south down US 52. Near Thorntown, Kasey continued south and east while I headed west on SR 47. I took this road into Thorntown, and then headed south on SR 75. Kasey and I had a different set of errands to run, so we were splitting up to accomplish them.
I know it sounds strange, that one of my stops was the storage unit in Avon, Indiana. I mean, I am the one on the motorcycle with limited luggag…