so we watched the seahwks get stomped and finished up our bottle of scotch (with fancy plastic cups this time.) the motel was pretty bad...bare bulbs where there were lights...no outlets...((quick side-note, just watched another "indie-rocker" influenced commercial...you know, the ones with a whispering obscure band--that won't be anymore. this time it was for subaru and one of their wagon/adventure models. young couple (tighter pants, and the appropriate thift-store ansemble) on a road adventure...scene: subaru on side of road in rain...narrative: ":we could've taken the planned route (or something like that) but it wouldn't have been as memorable"....give me a break...i'm not saying we're the shackleton crew or anything but, damn.))
motel had a pretty methed out looking "maid" who chris said was asking for money from the manager for "supplies" but was turned down with a worn, exasperated tone that showed annoyance and familiarity with the situation...
we left the next morning around 8:30 or so (typical) and headed to niagra falls (canadian side), where it took us a little driving to find the entrance...parking was $18 if you didn't want to walk the 1/4 mile...we walked the 1/4 mile and paid $4...it was kind of like the grand canyon to me...really beautiful/enormous and photogenic...but like all places like this, i selfishly can't stand the people and hotels/shops "ruining" the view. it's pretty hard to ruin that place, but it was kind of a let down...for example the seemingly permanent rainbow that asked to be photographed so you can email it to your mom had a massive hotel that took up the background...yeah i know whine, whine...just being honest
after shooting there for about an hour we went across the rainbow bridge to enter the u.s. where we expected to have the bike stripped down and possible ourselves...we talked with the first guyt for about 5 minutes and were told to have a nice day....so psyched, extra time to get to the allegany national park.
to get there we had to go through buffalo, ny...it was hot, it stunk, and the roads were filled with potholes. most people exaggerratedly pointed at us and laughed (which made me laugh), some people seemed genuinely offfended and perplexed...there was another nice u.d.f...i don't remember if i explained u.d.f...if you have a ural then you know...the bike is "different" enough to warrant interest from random people everywhere you go and stop (grocery store, gas station, etc.)...the typical u.d.f is about 5 min. if you sort of rush it, but with the way ms laru looks iot can last up to 15 min....i'm convinced, by the way, that this is the reason that at the end of an 8 hour day of driving the beautiful beast that i'm flabbergasted that we only went as far as 230 miles or so....
after potholes and stink, we made it to the allegany national park...nobody there (sweet) but there were a shit ton of flies that tried to get in every orifice. as i set up my tent i had full motorcycle gear on (including goggles)...the priest in amityville with the bees kept going through my mind...the fire (which chris seems to like to start) and smoke got rid of them eventually...and it was another early night with reading in yet another beautiful park...tracy ridge was the campground.
the next morning i shot the best road footage (that still hasn't been seen by anyone) of the trip so far...coming off the ridge on route 321 in penn. was a ridiculously amazing welcome to the appalachians...the locals said it had been dry and that's why the leaves had started to change.
we stayed in mexico, penn. (for chris) at buttonwood campground...private site that cost $25 for the night...no problem since we got a ton of wood for $5...the place was clean, right on the the river...but it would have been nice to know that there would be a train blasting by right across the river every couple of hours...the moon was so bright that when i set shot the star-trail photos, it looked like 11:00 in the morning.
the next morning we drove through pennsylvania-dutch-amish country to gettysburg where i dropped chris off to spend the next couple hours gathering what he needed to begin the civil war section that would inform his pursuit of his master's degree...while he did this i rode to hagerstown, md to pick up supplies from the fed ex...when i returned 2 hours later to pick him up i saw clouds i hadn't seen since i was in the south last...huge, dark, ominous clouds...the kind that don't let you prepare for what's about to come out of them...chris was loading in and i was just finishing black-bagging everyhting when it started to come down in sheets...we made it about 2 miles before the lack of seeing the car in front of me forced us off the road and into the another motel room....this prevented us from seeing antitem battle grounds, and staying in harper's ferry national park....pretty dissapointing...after drying everything off with the heat in the room at 85 degrees we left the next morning early to get into washington d.c. after an hour of riding we were in the stifling heat of d.c to get laru worked on...