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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are in the middle of our eastern tour. Here are the highlights thus far.

The road from North Dakota to South Carolina: This was basically a "get there" run of 1900 miles in 2 1/2 days mostly on interstates. Not that fun but saw lots of beautiful farmland. Did my first run over The Dragon. As I approached The Dragon I met an ambulance followed by a tow truck hauling a Gold Wing. Hmmm? The Dragon was fun although the hype didn't quite live up to reality for me. Regardless, we scraped a peg or two. Perhaps it's not an ideal road for a fully loaded Gold Wing pulling a trailer.

Blue Ridge Parkway: Beautiful? Yes. Fun? Yes. Unfortunately, much of the BRP is just another curvy drive through the forest. Traffic on the BRP was mostly light with just as many bikes as cars. Everybody seemed to be behaving. It seemed as if whenever we exited the parkway we were subjected to traffic problems.

Shenandoah National Park/Skyline Drive: We enjoyed this segment more than BRP because there are scenic overlooks almost every mile and the road surface is perfect. This is a very relaxing ride. The only downside was the 35 mph speed limit but I cruised at 40 and had no issues. For the most part, 40 is fast enough.

We're now just east of Baltimore and will continue northward to take in parts of the northeastern states before we head for home across the northern tier of the US and possibly southern Canada as well.
 

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Continue having a relaxed tour - have fun and be safe! :yes1:
 

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Enjoy the trip. Take it at a pace your will enjoy.....BE SAFE !!!!
 

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Glad to hear you came through my neck of the woods.

Blue Ridge Parkway - you are so right. The parkway is falling into disrepair and really needs some tree clearing at overlooks. The views are vanishing because of no maintenance. Pity. No... Tragedy.

Skyline Drive - the roads ARE perfect! Just paved and the overlooks are superior to BRP, imo.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here we are in central Maine on the coast and still having a good, relaxing ride. We're covering about 300 miles per day and that's enough for us on these scenic backroads. We've now wound our way through every state north of South Carolina on this trip and enjoyed every one.

We got into some good lobster at supper this evening and plan on consuming several more before we leave the coast in a couple of days. Yummy!

The weather has been pretty good with only a few light rain showers. The roads have been variable with some rough areas mostly in NH and ME but they're nothing that the Wing, trailer and we don't handle easily.

We've found a lot of nice scenery even after we left Skyline drive. This part of the country has a lot of well-kept the towns, farms and yards and, in their own way, these proud communities are just as scenic as any mountain grandeur. That, plus all of the American flags flying everywhere we go. We just love that!!! :flg:

Talk to you again in a few days.
 

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Gizmo,
Justa thought,... If ya make a stop through Niagara Falls, NY, That's a good place to enter Canada and reenter the US at Port Huron, MI. A straight shot through.
From Port Huron head for the Bridge between Michigan's lower & upper Peninsula's. From there, US 2 will take you back home to ND. One of my favorite roads to get from here to there or there to here.
thecruiser
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gizmo,
Justa thought,... If ya make a stop through Niagara Falls, NY, That's a good place to enter Canada and reenter the US at Port Huron, MI. A straight shot through.
From Port Huron head for the Bridge between Michigan's lower & upper Peninsula's. From there, US 2 will take you back home to ND. One of my favorite roads to get from here to there or there to here.
thecruiser
Your idea pretty much mirrors my route plan so :agree:!

Tonight we're in Bar Harbor, ME after spending much of the day exploring Acadia NP. Acadia is such a beautiful place and the weather is perfect so we really enjoyed our day. Bar Harbor is, of course, excessively touristy but it's still nice.

There are a lot of bikes around but not many Gold Wings....mostly HD and BMW. With the amount of HD guys around here it makes me wonder if there might be a convention of orthodontists going on or something. :shrug:
 

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Gizmo,
If you make it around Grand Rapids, Mich. and are in need of a place for the night,... your welcome here. Spot for a camper if your pullin' one or if you prefer Air Conditioning,... a spare bedroom.
We've hosted Wingers from as far away as BC, Canada. You'd be welcomed.
I'm in the Gold Book or PM me.
thecruiser
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gizmo,
If you make it around Grand Rapids, Mich. and are in need of a place for the night,... your welcome here. Spot for a camper if your pullin' one or if you prefer Air Conditioning,... a spare bedroom.
We've hosted Wingers from as far away as BC, Canada. You'd be welcomed.
I'm in the Gold Book or PM me.
thecruiser

Wow, thanks for the offer cruiser! Very nice! Right now our plans are to remain along Lake Superior but if we decide to come your way we'll give you a shout.
 

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Gizmo,
Your Welcome.
I hope your able to keep up your posts and let us know where you are and how your Ride is going.
I'm a fan of cross country Riding also. In 2012 I have a Ride to Alaska in mind.
thecruiser
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Today was not the most fun day, unfortunately. My penchant for picking the "small" roads backfired today as the roads I chose just seemed to get rougher and rougher. It was very frustrating and we were not able to enjoy the beautiful countryside. The bad roads started west of Augusta, ME (#118 and continued for most of the way across NH. It appears that these states haven't done anything to maintain these backroads for many years. These roads are for adventure bikes, not Gold Wings. I suppose I shouldn't pass judgment on the condition of the majority of the backroads in ME and NH from our limited experience but right now, I'm giving them a big :no:.


Today's experience will definitely affect our choice of roads tomorrow in VT and NY because now that we're on the way home we have to cover more miles every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Greetings from northern Wisconsin, another beautiful place! Finally, a cool day.

We found better going on upstate New York's backroads. It's beautiful country but the drought has most of the field crops there very close to total failure.

We ended up at Niagara Falls and all I can say about it is that the Niagara experience exceeded our expectations and it will definitely be the highlight of our trip. A visit to the falls should be on everybody's bucket list.

We cut across southern Ontario and saw the same drought stricken crops. Sad.

The border crossing into the US was slow but uneventful. Even though our visit to Canada only lasted half a day it was nice to get back into the USA. Nothing against Canada, it's just nice to come "home".

We rode across Michigan south to north and east to west....it's a beautiful state! Some good news is that the drought appears to be limited to areas east of Michigan and the crops here look fabulous. Michigan marked the 49th state my wife has visited and now only New Mexico is left for her to visit. I've been to all 50 and most of them more than once. By the time we get home we will have touched 26 states and covered 6500 miles on this tour. I guess you could say we get around!

With 800 miles to go we'll take 1 1/2 days to get home. The roads are almost all familiar from here but the excitement to get home is now evident. It's been a great ride!
 

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Gizmo,
Did you do secondary roads between NC and Maine? If so, I'd love to hear any ideas/feedback on likes and dislikes.
Thanks!
ob
 

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Gizmo,
By the time you see this I assume you'll be HOME! :congrats:

And, planning your NEXT Ride.... (he he he) :wrong:

Did you go home by way of US2?
We rode US2 home from Washington State a couple of years ago. A nice way to 'cross the country'. :popcorn:

Glad you had a wonderful Ride and enjoyed The Falls too.
Beenthere/donethat
thecruiser

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gizmo,
Did you do secondary roads between NC and Maine? If so, I'd love to hear any ideas/feedback on likes and dislikes.
Thanks!
ob
I'll get back to you on that in a day or two.
 

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Gizmo, I have enjoyed reading this thread on your trip and hope you are almost or already home. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Gizmo,
Did you do secondary roads between NC and Maine? If so, I'd love to hear any ideas/feedback on likes and dislikes.
Thanks!
ob
Ok ob, here are the primary roads as far as I can remember...there were a lot of roads! I apologize for the length but you asked!

Going south/east: In order to cover a lot of miles quickly, I rode interstates from western North Dakota to Indianapolis. I got on 135 south of Indy and followed that into KY. I somehow made it to Danville and London, KY before heading south on I75 to Knoxville. A quick ride over The Dragon and ending up on I40 and eventually Charlotte.

Going north: We got on the BRP near Asheville and followed it pretty much all the way through NC to Galax, VA. Then north 221, I77, I81, VA100 to Pearlsburg. North on US219 to I64, east to Buena Vista, N on BRP to Skyline Drive and Shenandoah NP to Front Royal. Then, because we wanted to touch Delaware and New Jersey we took interstates and whatever else got in the way until we ended up in Port Jervis, NY. US209 north to
Kingston, NY. Various roads east to East Canaan, CT. Various roads east (mostly CT190 and 197 to junction of RI100 (just to say we were in RI). We then headed north across MA on mostly freeways and entered NH on US202 and remianed on that road all the way to ME. We took I95/295 north to Bath and then basically followed US1 ro Bar Harbor with several detours to the coast along the way.

Going west: After Acadia NP we backtracked on US1 to Bucksport, then the really "small roads" came as we eventually ended up in Norway (Maine). I don't remember every road number for certain, it's just where Greta (Garmin, my GPS) told me to go. Our last town in ME was Fryeburg. Wwe took NH112 to Lincoln and then 118 and 25c to Piermont, NH. 10, 12a,12 south to Keene. 9 west across VT. 7 west to Troy, NY. I90 to Rome. 49 w to Fulton. Then we followed Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls. The remainder of the ride home consisted of a half day 2-lane run across southern ON returning to the US in Port Huron, MI. We remained on 2-lanes across northern MI, WI and MN hugging great Lakes shorelines as much as possible. We didn't return to interstate until ND for the final leg home on I94.

Favorite roads: Probably Skyline Drive and Acadia NP but there were so many others that I could mention as well. Nearly, every 2-lane road we were on after Indianapolis was a top-notch touring road. Even most of the interstates were enjoyable except in those areas where traffic was just too much.

Least favorite roads: I have to rank the obscure 2 lanes we encountered in ME, NH and VT as poor roads just because the surface was in such bad condition that it made riding unpleasant.

Other likes: We had little problem finding good motel accommodations in most places and usually at fair rates. Very little rain. The vast majority of roads were in good to excellent condition. Good, courteous drivers for the most part and only one close call. :thumbup:

Pet peeve: Having to pay extra on toll roads because we were pulling a trailer. :roll:

That was it...in a nutshell!

P.S. AS I said in an earlier post, Niagara Falls was the absolute highlight of the trip. Don't miss it!
 
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