Sunday, February 5, 2017

Detroit to Outer Banks - Day 1

52,474 - ODOMETER

The first stop will be in Surry, Virginia to visit my Dad.
Over the years I have taken many different routes to and from the Hampton roads area to visit him.
He works in the shipyards in Newport News on the Aircraft Carriers as a Tool and Die Maker/Machinest.
He has lived in Norfolk, Newport News and now Surry County just across the James River from Historic Jamestown where it all started in this country in 1607.

Although I loath riding near Washington DC, that is the fastest route to his location, and the one I will ride on the way down.


Sometimes great rides must begin in adverse conditions.
That is what I kept telling myself anyway.
It figures.
All night there is not a drop - but as I get ready to leave on a big trip it starts to rain.
I considered going back to bed for a couple of hours and see if it passed, but decided instead to stay on schedule and just suck it up and ride on.
By the time I reached Ohio it was really coming down.
60 degrees-rain-dark-poor visibility and a huge spray coming off of the semi trucks on the turnpike as I passed them.
But having been here before, I knew it would just make the ride that much sweeter when the conditions changed in my favor.
That probably holds true in all things, especially if you can manage to stay positive.
And change they did. The sun rose and the rain stopped and I was blessed with almost perfect weather the rest of the trip !

The KLIM Traverse Gore-Tex gear once again saved the day and kept me dry along with safe.
It has been an awsome experience ever since I finally upgraded to the KLIM gear and no longer have to second guess the weather and climb into and out of rain gear throughout the day.

Coffee and food were now needed, so I pulled into a service plaza on the Ohio Turnpike for a break at Panera bread.
Often, I like to get a hundred or so miles under my belt in the morning before Coffee and food.

Shortly after crossing into Pennsylvania I stop for fuel.
I still don't know how far I can push the ST past the fuel countdown or how accurate it is, so I have been playing it safe.
But from the looks of what I am putting in I think it will go quite a bit farther. (Fuel capacity is rated at 7.7 gallons.)
Someday I need to strap a 1 gallon can on and run the bike empty to see.

52,757 - ODOMETER
283.7 - FUEL TRIP
46.56 - MPG
9:39 AM

Since day 1 is going to be about mostly droning Interstate and Turnpike miles to quickly and efficiently cover the 700 miles to my Dad's house, I thought I would make it interesting by keeping track of the trip data and seeing what kind of overall(including stops) MPH average I could maintain.

Someday I would like to attempt a Bun Burner Gold ride (1500 miles in 24 hours) which you must maintain a 62.5 MPH overall average to accomplish, so I will see how close I can come to this over approximately half the distance.

The only real visual highlight of todays ride was the Mountains through Pennsylvania and Maryland along with riding through the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel.

It was built in 1939 and is 6,070 feet long.
It is a twin-bore tunnel with four lanes, of which two go in each direction.

In the pocket of my tank bag is a point and shoot camera; this is my go-to method of capturing scenes while on the fly.

Even though the bypass is taken around Washington D.C. - the traffic still comes to a slow crawl multiple times !

Now in Virginia and not too far from Richmond it's time for fuel and a sub for lunch.

53,032 - ODOMETER
274.2 - FUEL TRIP
46.56 - MPG

Not long after getting back on the road, traffic comes to an abrupt halt !

A trucker up ahead comes over the CB radio stating that somebody has dumped a load of gravel in the right lane, so traffic has to funnel into the left lane.

It's really helpfull being connected to the road with a CB radio while having tunes from a Sirius satelite radio available in between transmissions.

Finally rolling again, I bypass Richmond on 295 and follow that to the exit for route 10, which runs the remaining distance via rural roads and a few small towns to Surry, Virginia.

It's 12 hours into the ride and I'm riding down the dirt two track driveway leading back into the woods to the old house my Dad rents.
It's actually an unfinished addition on the back of the eccentric owners house.
It's a shack really.:D
He was more or less forced to move out here to accomodate the 6 cats he now has !
Before this he always stayed at various efficiency motels until he brought BABY (A feral cat from Detroit that he befriended) home from a visit in Detroit.
She was pregnant, so he would not leave her, and even paid someone $500.00 plus fuel to drive him and the cat back to Virginia instead of taking the Amtrak train as usual.

She had 5 kittens, and he kept them all !
Needless to say, it was not long before he had to find somewhere that allowed the cats.

He deals with the place pretty well, but then again he is a pretty rough old hombre.
If you look up the definition of vagabond, there just might be a picture of him.:rofl
He is the real deal, in this regard.
For the last 30 years he has lived a nomadic life from coast to coast.

I spent years on the road with him in the 80's and early 90's.

There were many interesting times and experiences and I'm sure his influence helped shape my adventurous spirit and desire to travel but there was just too much chaos due to alcohol and drug abuse which caused alot of unneccesary hardship, violence, and homelessness.

So I had to break away for awhile and get my life going in the right direction which caused some strife between us for awhile due to his state of mind at the time.

Now, we are finally both old enough to have a few beers together and act like human beings and not animals.:clap

He finally slowed down a few years ago after a heart attack and double bypass.

He is 65 now - down to just meds and chainsmoking ! :D

So it is often bittersweet going to visit him, with old emotions and history coming back to the surface.

But he is my Dad. I love him and there is a bond there. It is what it is.

But I digress.



I knew I would not make the 62.5 MPH overall average considering the pitfalls like all the toll booths and not having an Eazy-Pass, traffic around D.C., starting in the rain and just routing to the East coast in general.

But I just wanted to get close and I am satisfied with 57.16 MPH overall average.

I think a route West may be doable for me.

The 1 marks the spot on the map of his location.
You can see the close proximity to the James river and the Jamestown-Scottland Ferry system.

In the morning I will be taking the Ferry over to explore the Historic triangle of Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown via the Colonial Parkway.


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