2016 Niagra Falls motorcycle trip

Day 5

August 29

Today is another leisurely morning. The storms of last night are long gone. There is a nice 'mid trip' feeling in the air. We've done a lot already and there is plenty more vacation to come.

A better view of the Econolodge. I love parking in front of our rooms. It makes for easy loading and unloading. I can also peek out the window and check on the bike.

Nice temperatures for the morning.

Our destination for the day is Hazlet, NJ, on the north Jersey shore. When I map our routes I prefer to take the US highways. When I was developing today's route I was kind of handicapped since there are no US highways in most of the areas we will be traveling. The only main thoroughfare is I-81 but that's not our bag, baby. Our route today will consist of state highways that run east of I-81. We'll take the interstate when we get closer to our destination. It's the quickest way through the city mess.

We left Cortland on NY-41. A very nice road to ride. Today it's all about the ride.

I've noticed the farther east we go the road quality generally decreases. Broken pavement, expansion joints, and heaves are becoming more common. Can't complain about the views.

Greene, NY. 10:14, mileage 90,824 - Fuel stop. Monty normally gets a lottery ticket or two. He's been fairly consistent about winning his money back. Donna got some ice and drinks for the cooler.

We continued east on NY-41. At Conventry we turned south on NY-235.

Entering Nineveh we saw this tall trestle. It would look even better with a big ole train on it.

South of Harpursville we turned off NY-79 and crossed the Susquehanna River. The mapping software screwed us a little here. NY-79 is on the west side of the river. NY-233 is on the east side. Both are 55 mph roads so the mapping software sees them as being equal with NY-233 being the shorter route, so that is the route it chose for us. They are not equal. NY-233 is narrow and of marginal quality. NY-79 would have been a much better choice. However, by the time we realized how poor the road was there was no use turning around. We were on this road all the way to Susquehanna. Somewhere along the way we crossed into Pennsylvania.

At Susquehanna I was paying attention to another huge train trestle and didn't notice the GPS telling me to turn onto PA-171. We ventured into town and turned around at a senior citizen's center.

A few miles down the road near Comfort Pond we had a five minute delay for road construction. When they let us through we had to play chicken with a few trucks. We followed a couple triaxle trucks and they left us in the dust on this nice road.

One thing I've noticed about Pennsylvania is their slow speed limits. Good roads are 45 mph and lesser roads 35 mph. We never followed a car going over the speed limit so they must heavily enforce the speed limit. It makes for slow going.

We were on PA-171 for nearly 20 miles. Near Herrick Center we turned east onto PA-371 and then south on PA-670. Well, kind of...
Immediately before the turn onto PA-670 we crested a hill and hit a big dip. Big dip! The tailpipes scraped and I think Donna went airborne. It also made her neck sore. I was talking to her about the dip and missed the turn, so we had to turn around at a fire station.

We took PA-296 the rest of the way to our fuel stop. The roads are small and slow. Love the big barns and silos!

Waymart, PA. 12:13, mileage 90,896 - After we'd fueled the bikes and pulled to the side Donna verbalized what the rest of us were thinking..."these roads suck". The slow Pennsylvania speed limits and poor road quality was sucking the joy out of riding the 2-lanes.

I pulled out a paper map and looked at what our options were. Slim to none. We were at a crossroads with US-6 but it wasn't going in our direction. Our only realistic option was to continue south and hope for the best. The GPS showed the road we would be on as a thicker red line than the others. Hopefully that meant better quality.

For the most part the route we took (PA-296 to 191 to 447) to Stroudsburg was decent. Several miles north of Stroudsburg the road had some curvy elevation changes. That would normally be a good thing except the road had a lot of badly broken up pavement. By now it was past lunch time and getting hot. As we rode through town we looked for a place to eat but nothing appeared. As we got close to I-80 some construction was causing a traffic jam. Luckily Donna spied a KFC so we went there to avoid the traffic jam.

While we ate I used my phone to check out the road situation. We decided to hit the interstate early so we could get to the hotel sooner. Road weariness had set in. I would have the GPS plot a course to the hotel. As we got back to the bikes the construction crew wrapped up what they were doing and removed the cones. Traffic started moving normally. How convenient for us.

To get onto I-80 east from here turned out to be a mess. We followed the signs across I-80 down Broad Street then back over to Park Avenue. Park Avenue led us back into the town where we got mired in a web of one-way streets. Eventually we got back on Park Avenue south where signs directed us onto I-80 east. The problem before is there were no signs telling us to turn on I-80 when we were headed north on Park Avenue.

I-80 follows the Delaware River so there was some pretty scenery to look at. There were train tracks on the other side of the river...but alas...no trains.

At Netcong we turned south on US206. Donna is checking things on her phone. She is wearing the Cortland shirt she bought last night. It also gave her enough clean clothes to last her until we can do laundry at the Holiday Inn tonight. She's a master of vacation logistics.

Welcome to New Jersey. Another new state for our travels.

Great travel buddies! Stephanie is either waving or getting ready to smack Monty. Ha!

Donna loves the ocean. Seeing it gives her energy.

Arriving at the Hazlet, NJ, Holiday Inn. It felt good to be here after our weary day. The others loaded a cart while I checked in.

Tomorrow we will be using public transportation so the bikes were tucked away for a couple days. Monty is able to see them from his room.

The first thing the girls did was laundry. Donna used my last clean shirt to wear to do the laundry so I laid in bed and watched TV. After the laundry was done we walked next door to a drugstore for some supplies. There weren't any restaurants nearby so we decided to try room service.

We had a hard time getting room service. They didn't answer their phone so Donna got ahold of them through the front desk. When we tried to place our order they said the menus in the rooms were old and no longer valid. I went downstairs to the bar and the bartender gave me a new menu. It took a few calls to reach them but we eventually placed our order. The bartender brought the food. My food was okay but Donna wasn't so thrilled about her's. In all, a so-so experience. At least we did better than Monty & Stephanie. When they couldn't get through to room service they gave up and ate vending machine food. Poor guys!

I was disappointed with some of the road selections today. Normally the mapping software will choose a good route when there are good roads to choose from. Cruising down a nice 2-lane road is what motorcycle dreams are made of. Poking down crappy roads are not. I'll have to scrutinize the routes better when the choices involve state and local roads. Lesson learned.

243 miles.

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