Going East! Which direction was the question? In years past around this point, I would have said the trip was over. It would end with me riding a fairly straight line back to NYC. I was ready to to that again, but I stayed north to give myself options. I was tired. I decided I’d go to Erie, PA where I had been before. I figured I’d visit a place called the Quaker Steak & Lube where I dunked a girl in one of those baseball throwing booths back in 2008. I thought maybe this place could spark my desire to continue. I ended up missing the exit. I took this as a sign and felt I was ready to go home. I pulled off at the next exit and stopped for gas.
I got to talking to a couple guys at the gas station. These were cool seventies era guys. I knew it when we saw a car go by with fancy new style large mag wheels and one of the dudes said, “I’m still a Cragar man myself.” Cragar‘s, the classic 70’s hot rod mag wheel. I told them I had been riding on the Interstate all day and I was sick of it. One of the guys said, “Hey, you should take route 5. It goes all the way to Buffalo and it rolls through the wine country along the lake.” The other dude, jumped in, “Oh yeah man, that’s a nice road!” I said, “Thank you gentlemen, you may have just rejuvenated my journey.” That’s just what they did!
I followed their directions and was suddenly rolling through miles of vineyards with views of Lake Erie to my left as I moved east. It was just what I needed to stay motivated.
I felt renewed as I zipped along the vineyards of green and purple grapes. I am not sure what this 17th century ship recreation was for, but it looked cool.
I stopped at Lake Erie State Park. I was a bit weary of state parks after the $30 Michigan fiasco. When I entered, the booth to register was closed. They didn’t have a self registration kiosk either. So I went in to investigate the campsite anyway.
I was seeking a primitive site, but then noticed a place right on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the lake. This site had electricity. I decided I would pay the extra for the view. Plus, I could get everything charged up. Once I pulled in, I asked my neighbor campers if there was a camp host or someone I could speak to about the site I wanted. They said their site was paid for through tomorrow and they were leaving. They gave me their pass and said I could have it for free. Really? This was terrific! Thank you!
The sun setting on the lake was tremendous. I was very happy to feel like I could keep this adventure going when I was ready to pack it in only hours before.
A room with a view.
Those are the lights of the Canadian shore on the horizon.
Clouds rolled in adding another effect.
The beach below the campsite by day.
I saw a sign for a Frank Lloyd Wright house called Greycliff Estate. I went to have a look. The only building of his I had visited up to this point was the Guggenheim Museum in NYC. Greycliff Manor was pretty cool. They have been restoring it slowly for years now. It’s a work in progress. They don’t allow photos on the inside.
I went to Niagra Falls. This was one of those situations where I couldn’t comfortably linger because I fell uncomfortable leaving my bags open in such a populated area. But I still abandoned them to go have a look.
I came here once when I was a kid. Back then you could travel to Canada without a passport. The view from Canada is better due to the angle of the falls.
After the falls I continued my eastern path, but now I was riding along Lake Ontario and the vineyards had turned to orchards.
I stopped for the night at another NY State Park along Lake Ontario. My site wasn’t along the lake this time, but I ran over and caught the sunset just after the sun dropped.
That night I heard some scurrying about off in the dark and went to have a look where I found this little stinker.
From here I decided I was going further east and north. I was headed for Maine.
Seemed like people were living in this old church. In fact, I saw another church for sale along the way. Considering the population isn’t that great here, it does seem that there are a lot of churches.
This 1953 Ford tractor pulled up behind me at the gas station.
This Ford Econoline was for sale. I may call to inquire.
Because of the fire bans throughout many of the states I had been to, I hadn’t been able to cook a steak until now.
That night at the lake I think my camera picked up something that I couldn’t see with the naked eye. I do believe that green haze is aurora borealis! While I was taking some star shots I had a raccoon visit the campsite. He grabbed a bag with 3 peaches and ran off.
This is the Hudson River in the Adirondacks.
There was an old train sitting still on the tracks along the Hudson. I stopped to investigate.
This one rock has been enhanced with paint for a startling effect as you round the corner.
Fort Ticonderoga. I was going to visit, but they wanted $17.50. Considering the price and the time it would take, I skipped it.
A falls in the town of Ticonderoga.
I like when when states are separated by a bridge. It defines the crossing into a new environment.
In Vermont things looked noticeably different. Cleaner, more manicured.
Texas Falls, VT.
I crossed into New Hampshire and camped out in the White Mountains. I have no idea what these anomalies are in my photos.
Then I got a visitor. This sucker was bold. He would have taken the food from my hands.
I’d chase him off and he’d just hide behind a tree before making another advance. This guy was way too comfortable and relentless. He was down right rude. With the assistance of nice size pebble and a good arm I taught him some courtesy. He did not return.
In the morning I took a dip in the cold waters of the Pemigewasset River.
I noticed many different mushrooms in the woods.
This road seemed to be along the path for the annual monarch migration.
I made it into Maine. Soon I would be seeing the Atlantic Ocean completing the coast to coast journey.
My plan was to stay in Acadia National Park. When I arrived at the visitor center I heard what I expected to hear. Campsites full!
At first I was discouraged by the news of the park’s campsites being full, but then I arrived at the Bass Harbor Campground. It was a comfortable place.
They had many conveniences yet they separated the RV’s and such from the tent camping. So You have the solitude of camping under the stars in a private section with the conveniences of a pool, WIFI, laundry, a rec room, and a small store right across the road.
Also the staff is very friendly. They directed me to Sawyer’s Lobster Pound for my dinner.
I ordered my grub then went for a beer run. I got a local micro brew and returned for my feast. The lady inside said, “Pat, we have a problem”. “Lay it on me”, I said. She said she had run out of 1 1/2 pound lobsters, so she had to give me two 1 pounders instead. Yes!
Mount Desert Island was a great place to wind down from a long journey.
Acadia National Park is spread out across the island. It’s not just one big park. In fact it’s campsites are not “in” the park and they are not on the water either. I made the right choice with the private campsite.
I pulled over and explored a bit by foot.
A ride up Cadillac Mountain will give you a view of the entire island and it’s surroundings. This is the view of Bar Harbor.
This is my campsite aglow with a blazing fire.
I have really enjoyed the night sky this trip. Besides photographing it, I have gotten to know it better. Not the names that have been given to the stars, but I now have a better understanding of their placement in the sky and where I can expect them to be at different times of the night. I am able to get my sense of direction just by looking up now. I like that.
This peach tree and mushrooms are all on the campsite.
These berries were growing along the road at Seal Cove. Yum.
I saw these guys zipping around town earlier in the day. I did not notice the little guy in the front until I stopped to take a photo.
There is an auto museum at Seal Cove. The Bel Air is parked outside. It’s not really part of the museum.
The museum caters to the brass age of autos. The very early days of automobiles.
They had some bikes of the era as well.
Maine was serene and calming. I did not expect to spend three days here, but it was the perfect place to chill after another epic ride.
Maine’s soothing atmosphere also offered opportunity for self reflection.
When I woke up that third morning in Bass Harbor, I knew the journey was complete. I just had to make it back to NYC. I did it in one shot. Over 520 miles I rode. From Maine, through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut I went, bringing me back home to New York City. In doing so I achieved another milestone in my motorcycle journey. I have now ridden in all of the lower 48 states.
I parked Bonnie, unloaded her and headed upstairs. Bonnie deserved some rest and I needed some. When I awoke the next day, I looked out my window and saw this. Bonnie sandwiched. Welcome home baby!