Monday, September 27, 2010

so far

we've gone about 6 thousand kilometers and it's been 3 weeks...we're not going any further south and east, so should make it back to seattle after going through mesa verde, canyonlands, arches and yellowstone national parks in about 14 days...hopefully...barring any major bad weather or mechanical mileage should be about 10-11 thousand kilometers

sat morning

on our way out to n.c. we wanted to check out robert e. lee's house for wise...we rolled up and found out there was some kind of wine tasting deal, but asked the parking dude if we could not pay and just take a couple photos real quick...he gave us the go ahead and we pulled around to the house where a bunch of wealthy southern patrons were going in for the wine...chris unloaded with camera in tow and made it up 2 stairs before a couple of "fancy" people asked him to pay the $10 to enter...he explained we just wanted a couple photos and would be out in a few minutes...they refused and we had to leave (our first taste of southern hospitality) we had the $10 but we weren't going to drink and at it became a matter of principle...that really left a bad taste in my mouth for about 50 miles and i finally let it go...we blasted to the outer banks and finally got our first jolly rogers flag, a couple postcards and water...lots of water...damn hot.  we were going to stay in kill devil's hill, but it was a little busy, and i felt like riding another 60 miles or so to a nice little campsite in hatteras....we stayed next to a pond that was the home to a billion turtles, cooked more dogs (no fire ban), charged everything, fixed the flags, drank some beer and went to bed to read...

we left early on sun morning to get to the 1st of 2 ferries that would getr us back to the mainland...a little bummed we didn't have the time to check out kittyhawk..but we had to make time and the timing was off...the first ferrry was right on and right off...we rode for 12 miles to the next ferry where we would have to wait about 4 hours for the 3:30- ferry...the 12:30 was booked...they take reservations for the small $10 2 hour ferry ride to cedar island, and we didn't know as we were heading to the long wait for our reserved 3:30 ferry we were discussing how late we were going to get into wilmington, n.c. where we would stay with mutual friends josh (moped rescuer: and mellisa's ( )house...we thought maybe we would pay someone to let us on in their place for the 12:30.  so without the details so no one gets into trouble we slid a fifty to get on....all of the big storms that should've hit us the day before had not shown up...but about 8 miles away from their house we could actually see the low pressure and high pressure meet and form a stormy rain that would not stop (even now, the next night)... it's dropped about 10 inches so far and roads are closed due to flooding here in wilmington, n.c.  we've been delayed a day because of this, and decided to organize, catch up blog, photos, wash ourselves and clothes,'s a nice unexpected break (lazy t.v....moday night football) but dissapointing because i may now not be able to make it to daytona bch., florida to see my mom, uncle and family...not just because of time but the next 4 days say thunderstorms and we just can't take that time....i'm really bummed out... love you mom...take care of yourself uncle rich...and give my mom a hug for me john

tomorrow we hope to leave around 12:00 (i have to take care of bank issues) and head to augusta, georgia, about 275 miles...we'll be going through the middle of south carolina...

about to have dinner and then work on more photos...

oh yeah...the earlier i needed to go to a bank that's a shared branch with mine in seattle...i caught a, what should've been an $8, cab...after "getting lost" and driving through 3 foot deep flood waters, the cab dropped me off at the bank...i go up to the doors and it's locked..the tellers inside point at the rising waters and say there closed from behind the counter...(i had just called there and no one explained those plans, even though the weather hadn't changed in 12 hours...and why the hell couldn't you have given me the courtesy of at least coming to the door and telling me this to my drenched self?)  after calling cabs and being told it would be a couple hours i then proceeded to walk the 2 1/2 miles back to the house....i was pissed, but decided to embrace the wetness and had a beer and a shot at every place i could as walked back...oh yeah and i got to see the entrance to unc campus...woo weee

d.c. on

so d.c. was really hot...98 degrees...hotter than anyplace so far.  we called ahead to modern classics the day before and dropped laru off there around 11:00 am on last thursday...just want say hell yeah thanks again to wellesley and greg at modern classics for squeezing us into their booked schedule (5 weeks out!!).  they're new to the ural game and i would guess about 75% of their focus is on scooters (vespa, etc.)  chris and i checked the sites around our nations capitol on thursday and booked the nearest but certainly not the cheapest motel (motel 6 $130 for a single.)  after taking the efficient metro to ford's theater to see the lincoln assassination display and walking about 5 miles around the obvious places, i headed back to the motel while chris took in more sights.  i was able to try a five guys burger and fries, and man was it good...chris got back around 8pm.  we watched the office and fell asleep early where we promptly received bed-bug bites that night...even though they could've been shady and rip us off, (because the nearest ural dealer was in richmond, va. and the rear tire wouldn't have made it), they didn't...and greg knows his shit....this was greg's first time servicing a ural and it didn't show....they changed the rubber on the back, i also grabbed another tire that's now strapped to the front of the sidecar, and they did the 10k service which included spark plugs, all fluids changed, adjusting the brakes, tightening all cables, etc.  after we paid and took a couple photos they hooked us up with a cooler of beer....after shotgunning a hile life we headed out into the comnstruction-plagued, heat-stifling city streets around 1:00 on friday....

the alignment on the bike is still an issue, but i've given up on body is startinmg to adjust the constant amount of force to keep laru on track....later friday night we landed in west moreland state campground (near the birth places of george washington and robert e. lee).  as we rode around to pick our site for the night we couldn't believe it but we saw another ural gear-up and pulled into the site next to it....turns out a biker named greg was there with his 2 daughters...they weren't there but as we began to unload greg and his daughteres come running over from another site kind of frantic...the daughters thought we were on their dad's bike and he wanted to know what the hell was going on.  after the initial meeting the daughters were bummed out and kept saying "hey no copying!!"  we haven't seen a ural yet!!  his ural was rad and had some nice tweaks to it (custom seat, large axe and mount, etc.)  they were a really nice family, and greg saved our asses that night by letting us borrow his compact camping stove to cook our dogs...after a couple beers we were starving and almost burned down the park not once but twice trying to get my stove lit....apparently a gas fire due to the ban, so after dogs we went right to bed to read...the next morning we took off early said goodbyes to greg and family and headed to the outerbanks (obx) of north carolina


Sunday, September 26, 2010

photos from niagara and so forth

portrait of steve

 south of the northern pennsylvania border

buffalo, ny
for moms
buttonwood, penn

michael @ the falls...informative german

caution...trains every 2 hours
the early masses

ms. laru doing 60 on the curvy 555 in penn...super fun
 night shot buttonwood

mexico, penn

 leaving ny

favorite night shot @ buttonwood in mexico...almost full moon made it seem like late morning