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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The last two days

Another picture of a train and the Transalp
I admit that I've been tardy in updating my trip info. The last two days after my previous post went quickly and when I arrived home on Friday, the 12th, there were many, many things to catch up on. Not the least of which was entering 287 credit card charges into Quicken.

Kinzua Bridge

The morning after the deluge was bright and warm. I got back onto the Ohio Turnpike to skirt Cleveland and then jumped on US 6 to cross Pennsylvania. If you've never taken this route you are missing one of America's best rides. Two lanes across the northern areas of the state takes you through some pretty areas of the Allegheny Plateau. It's a relaxed ride with plenty of curves and scenery to keep it interesting.

One of the best parts of traveling by motorcycle is that people just walk up to you and start talking. In a car you're anonymous but on a bike, dressed in your battle gear, you stand out as a traveler. Some people just want to tell you about when they had a motorcycle and used to ride but a lot of them want to hear your story and tell you about local points of interest you might enjoy. Such was the case in Smethport PA.

I had been thinking of stopping at the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania but a local person suggested that I might enjoy visiting the Kinzua Bridge nearby. It meant a few miles of backtracking but he seemed enthusiastic so I jumped on the bike and turned it west. A good thing I did, it was a fascinating story. It was originally built of iron and then rebuilt in steel by taking down one pier at a time and replacing it from above with a new, pre-assembled pier. It's partially collapsed now but you can walk to the end of the remaining structure and look down through a glass floor at the gorge below. The fallen piers remain where they fell, all twisted and rusty.

From there it was back on the road to my friend Jay's home. He lives in a "modest" log cabin that he built himself. He single handedly fell and stripped the trees, cut them and moved them into place, and chalked the spaces to make a very nice abode that is the envy of everyone who visits.

Jay and his farm engine
In the morning Jay and I went to an antique tractor and farm equipment rally. Lots of tractors and gear that I would have missed had a local person not pointed the way. Jay was displaying his farm engine that he started up for me. As it is with most farm implements of the time, it is simplicity itself. The valve clearance is set to "approximately ¼ inch".

Leaving Jay I took US 6 to Scranton and then got on I-84 for an express trip east. There is nothing I haven't seen dozens of times before and I was ready to be home. A warm shower and sleeping in my own bed was looking good after 3 weeks on the road!

Tomorrow I'll post some videos and begin a wrap-up of the trip.