Since we did a lot of miles yesterday we only had a couple hundred to do today to reach Niagra Falls. Subsequently, we didn't plan to leave until 10'ish. It was nice to be lazy and sleep in. The bike under the black cover is a nice Indian. The owner uncovered it while we were there and we talked to him for awhile. It stormed during the night. There are a still a few dark clouds here and there but I don't think it will amount to anything.
Mercer, PA. 10:00, mileage 90,305 - We stopped just up the road for fuel. Monty & Stephanie ate a little bit of breakfast.
Today we will pick up US62 in Mercer and ride it most of the day. We rode it some yesterday but it went through some large cities so we chose other roads. If possible I like to ride the US highways. They are usually in good shape...usually wide 2-lanes and go through the more scenic parts of Americana. To me they are the threads of America.
I think it's neat when I ride the same road I've ridden somewhere else. We've ridden US62 a lot in Kentucky on various trips. The hotel is on US19 and is the road we are on at the moment. US19 runs through West Virginia and North Carolina and we've traveled it many times. It runs through Maggie Valley where we vacationed last year.
Rural Pennsylvania looks a lot like rural Indiana. It's already 80* but there are some decent sized clouds floating around to provide some shade.
I've noticed the farther east we go the prettier the towns are. They are clean and have an older architecture. You pass through a town, ride for several miles, then come to another town. Very peaceful and scenic, but not the greatest for covering a lot of ground. That's fine with me. I like to enjoy the ride.
At Franklin we started following the Allegheny River. This area was especially nice. There were several river crossings and railroad tracks also followed the road for several miles until Oil City.
At Tionesta the ride became awesome as we rode along the state forest area. The trees provided a nice canopy to block out the sun. The road was glass smooth with nice sweeping turns as it followed the river. This lasted for about forty miles and is one of the best roads I've ridden for a long time.
At Youngsville US62 merged with US6 and became 4-lane. US6 is another road we've touched many times in our travels. It was kind of disappointing to be on the 4-lane after the great run up the river but it was time for a break.
Warren, PA. 12:16, mileage 90,402 - We stopped in the scenic town of Warren. We had to drive around a little to find a gas station. It is a pretty town. It harkens you to explore and stay longer.
Last night Donna made the sad discovery that she forgot to pack her travel pillow and a hair brush. A GPS search showed a Walmart a few miles up the road. It wouldn't be a vacation without visiting Walmart. We also picked up a few other supplies for the trip.
By now it was deep into the afternoon and past time for lunch. There was a Burger King near Walmart so it got our business.
It didn't take long to reach New York state. The road quality decreased some. I don't like it when they repair a road in strips...a strip down the center and one on the edge. They might as well repave the whole road. We also seemed to make a lot of turns at intersections. The route wasn't as free flowing as it had been earlier.
We noticed a large Amish presence in this area. Donna likes the long clotheslines. I put one up for her last year and she uses it all the time.
Cruising through rural eastern New York. It also has that Indiana feel.
Eden, NY. 15:00, mileage 90,478 - We are getting close to the Buffalo/Niagra Falls area so we stopped to stretch and fuel up. Our next stop will be the motel.
South of Buffalo we left US62 and headed north on I-190. It follows Lake Erie. There were some cool looking structures.
There were also some sad looking buildings standing as a testament to better times past. It's sad to see abandoned American industry.
At one point the GPS routed us off the highway just to have us get back on a couple blocks later. Some of that 'Garmin magic'. There is a black Goldwing in the mirror. It's been following me for hundreds of miles.
Cruising down I-190. Pretty soon we'll take a more interesting road.
I had plotted a course along NY-266. It was also called the River Road and followed the Niagra River. It was a nice deviation from the interstate.
Ahhhhhhh...our home for the next two days. The owners were super nice. They let me park my trailer by the dumpster. I chained it to the sign. The road nerd part of me thought it was neat that this place is on our old friend US62.
Our rooms were in the corner and our parking spots monitored by a camera. I like the 'motor inn' style where you park in front of your room. The rooms here were very nice. Sometimes these kind of motels can be a crapshoot as far as quality accomodations. The first thing Donna does is check for signs of bedbugs and uncleanliness. No complaints here.
After unpacking and some lounging we headed to the American side of the falls. A few years ago Donna came to this area with some friends so she is familiar with the area. We only had to pay for one parking spot...which was $10.
On the way into the park we had to go through a roundabout. These are getting more and more popular and I don't really care for them...especially for places with heavy traffic.
The American portion of the falls with the Canadian side of Niagra Falls in the background. There were a lot of people here. It was nice to see this famous landmark. When you see places on TV or in books you create an image in your mind of how you think it might be. It's nice to actually experience the place.
My Sweetheart and I. You can tell by Donna's hair how much breeze the falls create. From this vantage point you can see the "Maid of the Mist" rides on both sides of the river. You can't see much of the Canadian side of the Niagra Falls.
After checking out the falls it was time for supper, so walked back to the Hard Rock Cafe near the parking lot. Near our table was an Ibanez Iceman guitar used by Paul Stanley of KISS. There were also some items used by Nirvana. After supper we went to some of the nearby shops where we got some souveniors. Donna is looking for gifts for her kids and girlfriends.
When we left the parking lot we pulled up to the ticket booth to pay for the parking. Donna handed the guy $10. The guy said he couldn't accept cash. He said we would have to go to the other end of the lot to pay at a kiosk. What?? Donna started giving the poor guy hell. After about 30 seconds of this he raised the gate and said "Go ahead". Hmmmmm...free parking for us.
Afterwards we stopped at 7-11 for supplies. Donna was shocked to find cigarettes here were almost $10/pack. We picked up some snacks and drinks.
Back at the motel we lounged and watched TV. Donna asked me for the passports to get ready for our trip across the border tomorrow. We had gotten passports specifically for this trip. The lady at the post office suggested making photocopies of them as a backup. I kept them in a folder in my computer case. I got the folder, and pulled out the photocopies we had made of the passports. I pulled out Donna's passport. Hmmmmmmm. Where is my passport? I searched the computer case. No dice. I looked in my suitcase. Nope. I looked in the bike, trailer, anywhere I could think of. Negative. I called the Comfort Inn where we stayed last night but they hadn't found it. Donna called Shanon and she looked in my computer room. The mystery was solved. She found it still in the scanner where I had placed it to make the photocopy.
Well crap! My passport is 600 miles away. Would they accept my photocopy? I did some internet research but didn't find much information. I guess we'll find out tomorrow. What a retarded move!
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