This was the first long motorcycle trip I took with my son, Corey. It totaled, roughly, 675 miles; primarily in the state of Pennsylvania. The first leg of our trip took us west, across the Historic Lincoln Highway (US Rt 30), through Gettysburg, Chambersburg, and Bedford. We then proceeded north on backroads of western Pennsylvania, through Johnstown, Indiana, Kittanning, Conneaut Lake, and, finally, Meadville, at I-79, where we spent two nights due to storms.
After a day of being holed up due to heavy rains, we woke the third morning of our trip and hopped on I-79, heading north, to reach our goal of Presque Isle, in Erie, PA. This was Corey’s first trip to Erie, so we made it a point to ride the loop around Presque Isle, walk the beach, photograph the lighthouse and gaze in awe as small waves broke on the shore of the massive Lake Erie. Leaving Erie, our GPS took us into New York state, where we rode through the beautiful little town of Findley Lake, New York (I think I could almost live there… ALMOST, were it not for the fact lake effect snows are common in the winter). From Findley Lake, we meandered south, to historic Rt. 6 in Pennsylvania, going through Corry, PA (where we had lunch at Gigi’s Diner — well worth it!), Our travel east on Rt 6 took us through the towns of Warren, Kane (where we got off of Rt 6 to visit the Kinzua Viaduct – a side trip you won’t want to miss!), Smethport, and Coudersport, where we spent our third night on the road; this time at Paul’s Motel and Citgo. Paul’s wife, who is very sweet and, I’m guessing, is in her 80’s, still runs the place. The motel is definitely classic “mom & pop”. We enjoyed our night at Paul’s after having dinner at Fezz’s Diner, a short jaunt further east on Rt 6. Fezz’s is a Silk City-style diner, complete with mini juke boxes at each table. The food at Fezz’s was filling and the price was right!
We left Paul’s Motel & Citgo the following morning, continuing our travel east on Rt 6. Rt 6 is a wonderful road to ride. Traffic is generally light, the road surface very good, and the scenery features small towns, rural countrysides, and forested mountains. Near Wellsboro we began heading south, through more mountains and countryside, eventually meeting up with US Rt 15, which led us to Williamsport and, finally, home.
We were unable to cover all the ground we had intended due to construction and GPS apps struggling with some of the back roads in western PA, but we were pleasantly surprised by several unexpected places we saw as a result. The goal of this trip, ultimately, was to avoid Interstates, chain motels, and restaurants as much as possible; experiencing diners, mom & pop motels, etc were our objective. I was hoping Corey would have an opportunity to get a taste of what the world was like when I was a kid. I think he enjoyed the adventure and being able to do something out of the ordinary. I know I did. Mission accomplished!
The next motorcycle road trip? Florida, maybe? After that… across the USA??? I’m already researching Rt 66, and coast to coast routes US 6 and US 30, or the Old Spanish Trail Highway, to name a few cross-country possibilities. I was born to travel and I have come to find there’s nothing like traveling by motorcycle!