Having lived in Pennsylvania nearly my entire life, I must confess, I have tended to set my eyes on the south when it comes to travel. However, Pennsylvania has some wonderful roads that are rich with history and scenery; Rt 30 between Chambersburg and Ligonier, and Rt 6 are two of my favorites. On a recent trip to pick up furniture from a family member near Binghamton, NY, I chose, as you would probably expect, to avoid the Interstate system. As usual, it was the right choice!
I planned this trip on Furkot.com, with the only criteria being I wanted to avoid Interstates as much as possible, and I wanted to go through Towanda, PA (a trip years ago left me wanting to see it again). Of course, heading due north out of the Harrisburg area is going to involve Rt 15 in some way. Rt 15 is, in most places, similar to Interstate but there is less traffic, smaller towns, and, along most of it, a view of the Susquehanna River
I wanted to squeeze in one last multi-day trip of the 2016 riding season so I checked out the forecast several days in advance of locations north and south of home. I had hoped to re-visit the Finger Lakes area in NY state as I knew, based on the Fall Foliage Report at Iloveny.com, the leaves would be beautiful in mid-October. However, with a forecast of rain 2 of the 3 days in that area, I decided it would make better sense to head south, to Skyline Drive, VA, where there was only a 10% chance of rain. The real draw was riding some great roads but there were also a few of the planned stops along the way; including Dinosaur Land, at White Post, MD; Skyline Drive National Park, the Pink Cadillac Diner and Natural Bridge State Park, Natural Bridge, VA; Seneca Rocks, WV, and the Earthdog Cafe in Berkeley Springs, VA.
This was the first trip I organized where I was taking other riders (my brother-in-law, Darryl Betts, and our good friend, Gary Rutz) along with me, so I wanted to play it safe and ride two of my favorite roads in Pennsylvania; US Rt 30 and US Rt 6. I love both of these roads, in part because they are some of the oldest roads in the country, so they have a lot of history. And they are, largely, in great condition with very little traffic in most locations.
(DISCLAIMER: For those who look forward to seeing my travel photos, I must apologize. I purchased a new waterproof case for my iPhone and the photos it renders are below my standards. I will be replacing it soon! Fortunately, Darryl and Gary (who took our riding shots) also had their phones to take photos and most of what you see from this trip was taken by them. Thanks to my sister, Kris, for taking the photos of us before we began our trip – I think she wanted good pictures in the event the authorities had to go looking for us at some point.) 😉
I have loved the Smoky Mountains since I first visited them with my wife and sons more than a decade ago as part of a trip to Nashville, TN. The region contains towns that are off the beaten path, away from the hurried life, surrounded by natural beauty, interesting back roads and, well, mountains. I love the mountains. Throw in some fairly common southern hospitality and you have the kind of place I could easily see myself living.
This trip had me covering roughly 1500 miles, over 6 days. I did most of the planning using Furkot.com and, while on the road, relied on Sygic as my iOS GPS app (BTW, in the event you haven’t read it, I gave up on my TomTom iOS GPS app when they moved to a yearly subscription model – so much for “free LIFETIME map updates”). Both Furkot and Sygic proved to be great tools and I trust I will be using this combination again (in fact, I’ve already planned several future trips on Furkot). Continue reading “My First Long Solo Trip – Destination Smoky Mountains”→
Although I had heard about them at some point in my life, I had never been to the Finger Lakes region of New York state, so I thought it was about time to go and check out the area. I wanted to do a “lake ride” for a while and, being only a four-hour ride from my home with a nice weekend forecast, it seemed like a great time to go. Continue reading “A Quick Overnight to the Finger Lakes, NY”→
IMPORTANT NOTE: This trip was originally blogged on TravelPod.com, which has since shut down. Due to the amount of information from this trip it may take a while to get all of it transferred over to BackroadTraveler. Check back in the future to check its status.
I joined my parents to revisit some of the special places they visited on a motorcycle after they retired. Dad is now 77 and Mom is 75. Both have travelled across the USA several times on their Honda Goldwing trike.
Our second motorcycle trip, to Sebring, Florida, was the longest trip Corey and I would take together. Unfortunately, due to his being a growing teen, it was also our last. We found on this trip that he was just getting too tall to ride comfortably on the back of my Honda VTX 1300R.
Another unfortunate thing about this trip is the lack of documentation I had. In 2014, I was still unsure as to whether I wanted to establish a blog or not, so the only thing I did was take some photos with my iPhone along the way.
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.