Day 10 - June 15 Thump's bike is still in the shop so more time with the family. Hail karaoke!! Niece Melanie came over with her two boys to visit. Funny how boys are drawn to motorcycles. These two's interest is just a bit too keen. They figured out how to turn it on so no more playing with Auntie's motorcycle!
Day 11 - June 16 Thump's bike is out of the shop. Hooray!! Off to the Eagle's club to celebrate, hear brother Bill do his gig and then hit the sheets for the next day's ride.
Day 12 - June 17 Huber Heights to Rochester, NY KOA. Well, it's a good 887 miles from Huber Heights to Laconia, NH so we gotta push and get in as close to 500 miles for the day. No time for socializing. Just a day of pounding pavement and quick glances at the passing landscape. But we've got sunshine! Unfortunately, after having spent the prior evening at the local Eagles, I woke up with no voice. Here's hoping it clears up. Eventually, we stop at another Harley Dealership. By this time, I can't recall what city they're in anymore - we've "visited" so many of them by now. This time, it's me. My bike just didn't have that "right" feeling going down the road. Running a bit rough. So, I have the guys change the oil and check the spark plugs. Ahhem..remember those little boys from the day before? Seems they musta tried to pull on my spark plug wires. Shop fixed it right up. Maggie runs like a dream again.
Day 13 - June 18 Rochester, NY to Cascade Campground, Loudon, NY We got in 457 miles the day before. That leaves a bunch of miles yet to get in. We're supposed to be in Laconia by 12noon. We hit the road by 8a. Things are rolling fine. Nope. I take that back. Just as we are coming out of Troy to connect to US 7, we pass a Harley dealership. Whoop! Thump does an about face and goes back to the Shop. OMG! Now his bike has a whine noise he wants checked out. After a couple of hours, it is discovered the nut has come off on the other side of his rotor and, his primary fluid was in dire need of changing. Plus a little clutch adjusting. In the meantime, the store has closed, 3p, and we're still waiting for the shop guy to finish up.
If you ever get the chance to ride US7 and VT9 DO IT!! Beautiful twisties through some of God's prettiest artwork.
About an hour before dark, we pull up to CAMP CANADA!! And the crowd roared. Literally. And then I yelped Brian! I'm falling over!!!!!!!! (Camp Canada sits on a knoll from the other campsites. Seems every time I pull in, my bike tips over. Stupid hill.) Brian gets there in time and the falling over failed. *grins* Hugs all around. Kisses all around. Two guys unload my gear and stash it in a tent. A cold beer is thrust in my hand and my ass is shoved into a camp chair by the bon fire. Wow! Talk about being princessed!! Whoo Hoo!! Don and Kathy had bought the beer earlier for us but had to get on home for the night and would be back the next day. So many familiar faces. So many new faces! Brian, Jules, Suzanne, John (6-Pack), my sweet petite French man, and so many names I can't remember. Nettie, my dearest friend, could not come down this year from Canada. Sometimes ya just gotta take care of life 1st. By time I get the 3rd beer down and a hot burger off the grill, I slip off to my tent. By now my voice is down to barely a whisper so it's down time for me.
Day 14 - June 19 Camp Canada, NH It's not quite dawn. There's a gentle rain on the tent roofs and tree canopy. The only other sound is someone snoring. I go back to sleep. The sun has broken the horizon when I awake the second time. Camp is quiet. In a hush, everyone is breaking down the site. The lights, the toys, the clever pics, coolers, camp chairs, the flags. We all pitch in to help. We write in the annual Laconia journal our thoughts and feelings. We give long looks and deep sighs to each other. For some, the next time we meet will be many moons. Others, a short few days. It still all boils down to one thing. Good bye. Farewell. Don and Kathy show up on the the 'stealth' bike (the BSA chopper). I love it!! They pitch in and help too. Now the group has dwindled down to Jules, Brian, and us. Brian walks over, shrugs, and pulls me in for The Hug. It is damn hard not to start bawling. As Brian & Jules' truck disappears into the horizon, we head out following Don & Kathy to catch the last dregs of Bike Week. T-shirts are going for 5 for $30. Don buys us a round of root beer served in a really cool souvenir metal cup. Pins and Patches are snatched up before the dealers pack them away. We lunch at the Lobster Pound (there are better places to spend your money). And, make a stop at the official Rally Tent and place our pins on the map. Hmmm...there are 3 others pins besides our from the upper NW of the US. Wonder who they were? It's getting late and time to head back to Don's & Kathy's in Hampton. Their family is waiting for their return. Don takes us home through what appears to be residential streets but everyone seems to be taking the same route. Lots of twists and turns. It's a mellow ride home. Peaceful.
Day 15 - June 20 Hampton, NH. Sick. By now I have resorted to paper and pencil to communicate. Time for a call to the doc to get a Z-Pack. Off to bed I go.
Day 16 - June 21 Hampton, NH. The Z-Pack is working already. Time to do a little housework and laundry. Got bags to pack. While out and about, we get to talking about Salem and all the witches in the NH & MA area. Hello! Salem is an hour's drive from their house. After dinner we all pile into the car and head for Salem. It's after 7p but there's a couple of places still open. Come to find out, Salem does night tours. For $10 a piece we all get a little green sticker and the opportunity to follow a charming narrator wearing a top hat, some kind of black frock coat with a silver skull headed walking cane. Boy, was he informative. I learned stuff about Salem, politics' and all kinds of stuff that played into the Witch Trials. Afterwards we shopped in the little store that sponsored the tour with a 15% discount. A book and some mini black cauldrons later, we were off back home with a short stop at McDonald's for ice cream. Earlier in the day we'd sorted threw our purchases and boxed up a bunch of stuff to ship home. No room to pack goodies on these bikes!
Day 17 - June 22 Hampton, NH to Middletown, NY. We hit the road about 10;30a after a long round of hugs and kisses. I will miss Don's dad. He has the most gentle soul. Gosh, I'm gonna miss their whole dang family. Don and Kathy have done a great job raising their kids. I hope we all get to be close friends over time.
With our directions to Reign in Philadelphia, PA taped to Thumps windscreen, we try to stay on track. Unfortunately, we miss Exit 9, 84W. By now, Thump is fairly agitated and just takes off. I have to ditch going to see Reign and change plans. We're now headed for Dad's instead. After catching up and regrouping, we get back on the Thruway. And, there's the rain. At least it's warm. After a bit, we start wondering when it's gonna let up. We can barely see and are driving about 50 mph. I keep seeing flashes around me but I think it's the car lights. However, when a crack of finger lightning touches off, I now know better. I pull off at the 1st opportunity and yes, there's a God (or Goddess)..a Super 8! We pull in and drag our wet selves off the bikes and slosh into the motel. We're dripping so badly they give us a towel to mop up. Thump gets the room this time. I get the cart and we unload our gear. I spy a tucked away spot under the entry way to stash our bikes. We quickly cover them and run to our room to get into something dry. A few minutes later we call for food delivery. We hang up our wet gear and try to figure out how to get our gloves dry. We went through all the spare gloves on this trip. By now it's almost 9p. Time to snooze.
Day 18 - June 23 Middletown, PA to Alexandria, VA. Come morning, it's nothing but fog and wet streets. We don our rain gear just in case. Another day of just traveling highway to get to point B. We roll in late afternoon. Time to breathe and take a short break. Catch up with y'all in a few days!