2021 Ohio motorcycle trip

Day 1

This spring Donna and I started pondering another motorcycle trip. I've spoken for years about liking to watch trains so Donna suggested somewhere that has good train watching. The place that came to my mind was northern Ohio, so I started looking at places in that area. I watched a travel video on YouTube where the couple visited the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH, where "The Shawshank Redemption" was filmed. It looked interesting so that figured into the plans.

Over the course of a few weeks I used Google maps and Garmin map data to find a bunch of antique stores in the area to help me define a travel region. I put them in a spreadsheet and used Google searchs to weed out the ones that were closed, and I listed the hours of the ones that were open. I then used Garmin Mapsource to plot the stores to give me a visual idea.

Mid-Ohio antique stores.

Donna likes wineries, so I also looked for some of those. It was odd. They only seemed to be open in the evenings and most were closed Sunday thru Tuesday. Ohio Covid rules? We like staying in motel or motor lodge type places. I found a place in Galion, OH...since that area was centrally located. It had good reviews and was only $68/night with taxes.

With loose plans we sent out invitations to several people. The Potters already had other travel plans. Debby just completed TWO masters degrees so they are taking a celebatory vacation at Kentucky Lake. The Kurdzioleks pondered going, but had too many prior commitments. It would be Donna and I.

Sidenote: Mike recently traded his 2014 Goldwing trike for an Indian Roadmaster. He missed 'the lean'.

There wasn't a lot to do as far as bike preparation. Change the oil. Clean out the trunk and trailer. Grease the trailer wheel bearings. One issue I seem to have at the start of every riding season is getting the cradle to charge the GPS. Last year I removed the Garmin fuse holder because it seemed to be intermittent and I thought the problem was solved. However, when I installed the GPS it wasn't charging. I tried the other 276CX GPS from the Sequoia. It wouldn't charge either. But...both GPSs would charge in the Sequoia cradle. The motorcycle cradle had 12V at the pins like it should. I messed with it for awhile and eventually the GPS started charging. I don't know if the cradle connection was iffy and jiggling it helped or what. The GPS charged as it should for the whole trip.

May 13

The bike and trailer ready to go.

Donna had her bags packed before leaving for work that day. I lazily packed throughout the day. When she got home we put it in the trailer. We did an intercom check, pulled the bike out, closed the garage door, and headed down the driveway. We made the mistake of looking back and seeing Buford's sad face staring at us through the window. It always hurts our hearts. Donna's daughter Kenya is coming over later with her kids and her dog Scrappy, and Buford will have almost as many adventures as we do.

The weather is perfect. Upper 60's and sunny. Best of all, I get to spend the next several days with my Sweetheart.

Bedford, IN. 16:37, initial mileage 106,344 - Our first stop on every trip is Revere's. I filled the tank with some 93 octane while Donna grabbed some drinks and ice. She does a great job of keeping the cooler ready to go. There were a bunch of other bikes parked near the back. A couple came in and had to rev their loud pipes. Unimpressive. Pulling out of Revere's is the symbolic start of the trip and it feels good to get some wind in your face.

Headed east on 16th Street in Bedford. On the right is the hospital where Donna works as an ambulance dispatcher. On the left, back behind Taco Bell, is the ambulance station. My brother will be there at 8pm tonight, and I worked there as a part-timer for over twenty years. That is how Donna and I met.

A few miles east of Bedford we passed the Potter compound. Tomorrow they leave for their trip to Kentucky Lake.

Headed east on US50...the 'Loneliest Road in America'. It ties our community with the rest of America and is often the beginning of our road to adventure.

This place often has nice trucks and now they have a cool looking cabover.

Brownstown, IN. We sometimes stop at the Dairy Queeen, but not today. We have other plans, and their lobby still isn't open.

Seymour, IN. I always hope to see a train here. None today.

North Vernon, IN. A few years ago they built a bypass around the town, but I prefer to ride through the town. It's more interesting than the boring bypass and I'm not sure the bypass saves you any time.

Bulterville, IN. I always lust over the 180-foot radio tower. I was surprised to see the fire department building next to it was gone. It looks like CSX is storing hopper cars.

Down the road is this new fire station. I wonder if this replaced the vanished one in Butlerville?

Our supper destination for tonight is the Crossroads Restaurant in Versailles. It was nice that it wasn't busy.

If the weather is nice we prefer to sit outside. Look at that happy face. I love her to death.

Orange and the Dumpster patiently waiting to hit the road.

A nice looking truck pulled in while we were eating. I wonder if he is coming home or heading out?

The water tower west of Aurora is a sign that Ohio is near. Also in this area is a guy with a two-car garage and a four-car garage. Gotta love a four-car garage.

This majestic fire station sets on the hill before you drop down into Aurora. Aurora is a pretty town...complete with railroad tracks.

The old Seagrams Distillery in Lawrenceburg. It was shut down for years but is now owned by MGP Distilleries.

We are officially out of state. Always a nice goal for the first evening. From here it is about 25 miles of boring I-275 until our exit to US-42.

Mason, OH. 20:18, mileage 106,488 - Restroom break and gas. It's been a great ride. The bike is running strong and shifting smooth with its fresh oil. The weather is perfect. Best of all is Donna sitting behind me.

While I was looking for something to drink a guy came up and asked me about my trailer. How does it pull? Do you feel it back there? Did I build it myself? He said he wanted to get a trailer. I get these questions a lot. I'm always happy to answer them.

I was shocked when Donna recognized this railroad crossing from a Jaw Tooth YouTube video we watched. I didn't think she paid that much attention.

Cruising through Mason, OH.

At dusk we pulled into the Creekwood Motel in Waynesville. I walked to the office at the end of building. Well...it looked like an office. It was the room for the ice maker. A guy sitting nearby said the office was in the drugstore next door...but that the office was closed. Hmmmmmmmm...that doesn't sound good. I walked to the office to investigate. There was a note in the window saying if you have reservations the keys to your room would be hanging on the laundry room door. Hmmmmmmm...wonder where the laundry room is? I walked to the other end of the motel. A guy was sitting there reading and his sandals revealed painted toenails. Hmmmmmmm. I found a door with an envelope taped to it. On it was my name and inside were room keys. Whew!

I like parking in front of your room. It's a short haul for luggage and easy to check on the bike. Donna moved a bench down so she could smoke by our door.

The bike covered for the night.

Donna took a shower and I did my normal computer stuff. We watched TV for awhile. We missed the final episode of 'Mom' but caught most of 'Clarice'. Donna fell asleep and I watched several episodes of 'King of Queens' and munched on some complimentary chips. A guy sat outside our window talking on his phone. There are a couple antique stores up the road that don't open until 11am, so we can sleep in.


161 miles.

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