February 10th 2015 – Day 28
I had a great short visit with my best friend from undergrad and her partner. Ann Marie and Allison are two very genuine people who do amazing things within their own careers. As always gracious hosts and a place I could call home. Thanks guys for the hospitality and welcome.
I am posting this on February 11th, the last day of what I am going to label as my own “Epic” one way tour of the USA. At the end of this trip, today, 😌 I will have traveled just over 13,000 KM’s about 8000 miles. My two other X Country X’ings were about 14,400 and 13, 500 KM’s round trip. Just shows how far south I sent to get my bike to Long Island. I have been sooooo very fortunate that the Winter weather across the nation has been relatively kind to me. Not sure I could have asked Mother Nature for anything more. I am LUCKY to have not run into weather I could not handle.
Every trip of mine has a special meaning. Well, at least I like to think they do. Riding has been a form of therapy for me when my life has felt out of control. Each trip I feel as though I figure something else out about myself that may help me as I adjust to starting over. My “new” life back in the USA after 18 years in BC, Canada. Trust me as I have traveled and hear stories about healthcare in the USA, more about politics from the front line and just over all culture that I have not been a part of physically in so long, I know it will take time to adjust. I have not converted 100% to being a “Canadian” but I have absorb some values that Canada stands by for their citizens.
Nope…not going to go there..not going to make this a political post. Both countries have their pros and cons…and what I will say is I am also fortunate to have had to opportunity to work in Canada for just about my entire healthcare career and look forward to re-entering healthcare in the USA. Enough said eh?
When I left Williamsburg it was cold and wet. The cold in the air on the east coast is a damp cold. Feels chillier than in the west for sure. At freezing temps I was certain I would see some snow. I did but not until I got to the DC area where I saw just a few flakes. I was not very concerned despite the temperatures about getting hit with snow because I have been researching weather patterns all along this trip. Planning my rides accordingly. Plus, the online community and friends all have been giving me real-time updates wherever I decided to go. BTW…this trip has had no rhyme or reason to it other than today I feel like going???? Day to-day as always which seems to be how I ride alone. I am really liking picking and choosing my destinations on a whim. Makes for an interesting day and throughout this trip I played with my GPS avoidance set up to varie the roads I have taken.
Yesterday I was getting messages about where I was heading and a few thought I was taking a really long way to Chestertown, MD. I did that on purpose to see DC again, I rode through the capital city on my 2014 X Country but wanted to see if from a different angle this time. I took Independence Ave? and rode past the Pentagon and Memorial from the other side. Went past the Mint, Smithsonian and other great majestic buildings.
So, yeah I took the long way round but saw amazing sights and rode beautiful country back roads. I even missed the tolls. 👍
My gripe for this day was all the cars texting while driving. Seriously, I am going to make myself a sign, put it in my tank bag that says, “STOP Texting you are trying to KILL ME”. This was by far the worst day where I felt cagers were out to get me. I am not sure why so many States DO NOT have a no texting law no less no talking on their phones as well. I see very expensive cars that I know have BT and why do these people choose to hold their phones and talk and TM at the same time is beyond me. My rant for this post.
The rain stopped as soon as I got out of Virginia but it was still around freezing. I actually stayed very warm on the bike and as far as the over cast skies? I like riding when it’s not too sunny. I ride much longer without heat and sun. As I rode towards my destination for the night it did get beautiful out I must say with white fluffy clouds and sun which was fine for the back roads.
I forget how close Baltimore is to DC because before I knew it I was in Baltimore. Again did this route last year but just different roads yet I still ended up riding by John’s Hopkins which for me is a treat.
I even got the hospital this time around while riding in traffic. I suppose cars might be saying about me, “Why is that motorcycle rider taking one-handed pictures? Isn’t that dangerous and distracted riding?” Hmmmm…tables turn.
This is where I “went” out of my way. Rode north and then had to go south to get to Chestertown. Never heard of Chestertown, MD…never knew there was a Mary Washington College or a Washington College either. When I arrived at Mark and Jay’s house, my virtual hosts for the evening, Mark informed me that Washington College is the oldest college in USA? I think that is what he said. They both live in a restored old Victorian home that truly is amazing. Old but new. They also have 3 labs that they rescued. Just like a couple I stayed with back in AZ, Terry and Heather….riders and rescue animals. That you can trust. I have been asked many times about my over niters with “strangers”. Don’t I worry? Nope…maybe I am naive but I go with my instincts as to where I decide to stay. Also, who may fall on my route. Very rarely, and I mean rarely has my gut said “STAY AWAY”, but when it does I do politely.
As I rode towards Chestertown, Jay one of my hosts was even confused as to why I was routing this way. In the end I came across some beautiful back roads, crossed rivers, dams and bridges by the time I got to their home. Despite taking the long way it was well worth it and I got to my end point before dark.
I was riding right next to the Chesapeake Bay and through some waterfront towns.
The Chesapeake Bay (/ˈtʃɛsəpiːk/ CHESS-ə-peek) is an estuary lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean, and surrounded by the North American mainland to the West, and the Delmarva Peninsula to the East. It is the largest such body in the US. The northern bay is within Maryland, the southern portion within Virginia, and is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the bay’s 64,299-square-mile (166,534 km2) drainage basin, which covers parts of six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) plus all of the District of Columbia.
Went over the Susquehanna Bridge which was very cool and windy. I LOVE bridges I don’t know why.
The bay is approximately 200 miles (320 km) long from its northern headwaters in the Susquehanna River to its outlet in the Atlantic Ocean. It is 2.8 miles (4.5 km) wide at its narrowest (between Kent County’s Plum Point near Newtown and the Harford County shore near Romney Creek) and 30 miles (48 km) at its widest (just south of the mouth of the Potomac River). Total shoreline including tributaries is 11,684 miles (18,804 km), circumnavigating a surface area of 4,479 square miles (11,601 km2). Average depth is 21 feet (6.4 m), reaching a maximum of 174 feet (53 m). The bay is spanned twice, in Maryland by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Sandy Point (near Annapolis) to Kent Island and in Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel connecting Virginia Beach to Cape Charles. Known for both its beauty and bounty, the bay is becoming “emptier”, with fewer crabs, oysters and watermen in recent years.
As I got closer to Chestertown, the farms were stunning with huge homes. Does not look like there hurting here for crops and money to be honest.
Just before I got to Jay and Mark’s house I saw a swarm of snow geese. Seemed like thousands migrating to this corn field. I stopped and just listened and they were LOUD. I tried to take a video but the wind was blowing me almost off my bike so this was the best I could do.
My favorite picture of the day is this one. Sums up what I saw as I rode south on the coast.
Met Jay who greeted me as I pulled up to his house. Mark came home later from work. We instantly hit it off as well as loving their dogs. Mark relaxes by cooking and made us a fabulous steak dinner compete with home made Yukon Gold fries and salad. Some beer and wine made for a nice way to end the day along with good conversations. Both a new to the motorcycle riding world but seemed to LOVE it and want to explore the States more on 2 wheels.
This is Louie…not a usual Lab…probably a mix and reminds of how my Beagle, Cruizer used to be. Such a MUSH.
and they have Toby who is 15 and needs quite a bit of support but the guys do everything they can to make his life worth living. On that note I will end this post and I am just about to get ready to depart from Chestertown to get to Long Island.
While I will try and stay off the interstates again I think I have to at times to get myself to Bridgeport. I am not riding past NYC. I want to take the ferry across the LI Sound to avoid city traffic and construction. That’s where I am heading soon and hope to pull into my parents garage late afternoon. That will complete my goal for this trip…one way to LI in the Winter. Until next update…looks to be a beautiful but cold day out.