The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Motorcycling’

Kinzua Bridge State Park Visit

As is usual on Friday, Bob came home from work at noon. Soon after coming home, we went for a ride on the motorcycle. We rode to Kinzua Bridge State Park, via U.S. Route 6.

Kinzua Bridge State Park is located in McKean County near Mt. Jewett, PA.  The park features remnants of the 2,053-foot railroad bridge (viaduct) that an F1 tornado struck in July 2003. A visitor center is under construction.  Until the visitor center is open, visitors park in the overflow parking area.  From the overflow parking lot it is a short, easy walk to the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk.

Kinzua Park Visitor Center

We walked past the Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center on our way to the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk.  The construction of the new visitor center appears near completion. According to a park brochure dated January 2016 the visitor center will include park staff offices, conference room, gift shop, reception area, lobby, restrooms, classroom, exhibits and vending machines.

A deck wraps around the north and west sides of the visitor center.
The deck will offer views of the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk, debris field and gorge area.

We followed the trail shown in the photograph displayed above to the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk.

Kinzua Bridge Skywalk
(Note the Picture Taking Platform below the skywalk.)

We walked across the skywalk.

Bob walking across the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk

At the end of the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk is a glass floor, through which you can see the forest floor way below you.

We encounter people every time we visit Kinzua Bridge State Park
who are afraid to walk across the glass floor.

Remnants of railroad bridge (viaduct) on forest floor,
as viewed from end of skywalk

We walked back across the skywalk. We saw signage for the Kinzua Creek Trail, which provides access to the bottom of the gorge. We opted not to hike this trail on this visit. The trail is 0.4 mile one way and is described in the park brochure as a “steep, challenging trail”.  We did follow a short side trail from the Kinzua Creek Trail to the Picture Taking Platform. This platform is located under the skywalk and provides a view of the remaining support towers.

View from the Picture Taking Platform

We waited for a short time before taking pictures from the Picture Taking Platform.  When it appeared that the two girls in the photograph displayed above would not be leaving anytime soon, I held up my camera and said “your picture is going to be on the Internet”.  Neither girl moved, and the girl on the right smiled nicely for me.  Having the girls in the photograph does add perspective.  At the time I didn’t know whether or not Bob would climb up there to have his picture taken.  The girls did leave a few minutes, after I took this picture.

The “3D” effect is interesting.

Bob did climb onto the bridge.

 

An overlook of the remnants of the railroad bridge (viaduct) is located a short distance from the Picture Taking Platform.

Railroad Bridge Remnants overlook
(view from the skywalk)

 

We stopped at the overlook on our way back to the parking lot from the Picture Taking Platform.

Railroad Bridge (Viaduct) Remnants Overlook

On our way back home we stopped for lunch at the Barrel House located on U.S. Route 6 at Lantz Corners in Kane, PA. Bob had a prime rib wrap, while I had teriyaki chicken on a bed of wild rice. We each ordered peanut butter pie for dessert.  Our lunches were filling and delicious.

We returned home around 4:30 pm.  It was a very good day for a motorcycle ride.  I am glad that we went for the ride yesterday.  The forecast for today and tomorrow call for rain.  Neither of us like to ride in the rain, unless we have no choice.

Our First Motorcycle Ride this Year

Yesterday Bob and I went on a motorcycle ride, our first 2 up ride this year.  We rode to Sigel, PA to have lunch at Farmer’s Inn.  About an hour before we departed home, I posted on Facebook that we would be riding.  I received several comments about riding safe and to have a good day. One particular comment came to mind several times during the day. Tim, one of our Vulcan Rider & Owner’s Club friends, wrote that he and Dee would be “riding to Danville, In. to have lunch at the ‘Mayberry Cafe’. Will be riding with you in spirit.”  I thought of Tim’s comment throughout the day.


Tim’s comment brought to mind that our VROC friends, though we see them infrequently, are our friends for life.

We didn’t ride straightaway to Farmer’s Inn. We rode through Cook Forest State Park, alongside the Clarion River (River Road) to Route 36.

Clarion River

We turned right onto Route 36 and rode the short distance to Fire Tower Road. We followed the dirt/gravel road to the parking lot for Seneca Point. We hiked up to the Seneca Point Overlook, from which there is a breathtaking view from more than 850 feet above the Clarion River Valley.

Seneca Point Overlook

view of Clarion River from Seneca Point Overlook

 

As we were leaving Seneca Point Overlook, exposed tree root(s) caught my eye.

Isn’t it amazing how little dirt is needed for a tree to grow?

Before leaving Seneca Point, we walked over to the fire tower.

Bob climbed up the fire tower.

The enclosed structure at the top of the fire tower was locked.

Bob saw only the top of trees from the fire tower.  The view would be spectacular in the autumn. From Seneca Point we returned to Route 36, turning right, and followed it to Route 949. We turned left onto Route 949 and rode the short distance to The Farmer’s Inn.

Goats at The Farmer’s Inn

Llama at The Farmer’s Inn

Goats at The Farmer’s Inn

What?  You don’t have any food for me?

After watching the llama and goats for a short time, we went inside The Farmer’s Inn to eat lunch.  The Farmer’s Inn opened up for the season on Friday.  The restaurant will be open weekends only, until Mother’s Day.  We both ordered burgers and onion rings. For dessert we split an apple dumpling, with soft serve vanilla ice cream. It was 1:30 pm, when we departed Farmer’s Inn en route home. We had the choice of two routes to ride home: PA Route 949 through Ridgway or PA Route 949 back to PA Route 36 through Marienville. We chose the shorter of the two routes, the route that took us through Marienville.

In Marienville we made a bathroom stop at Kwik Fill. Who do I see, when I walk out of the bathroom?  We are 30 miles from home and find a neighbor who lives two blocks away!

Bill and Bob

Bill was returning home from a motorcycle ride.  He rode with us back to Warren.

When we were a few miles from home, we passed by Dairy Delite.  I spotted our friends Jesse and Karen in the parking lot. I waved at them, just before we almost got creamed by a van pulling out of Dairy Delite. I am thankful that the van stopped and that Bob hit his brakes. Bob said it happened so fast that he had no time to blow his horn. In the past week I have read of multiple motorcycle accidents. I am thankful that we were not a statistic!

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Beaver Town Bridge Ride

Today is Day 8 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

Bob and I went for a short motorcycle sightseeing ride this morning.

Today’s route:

 

We rode over Beaver Bridge.

I read that this bridge is referred to as the “Little Golden Gate Bridge”.

The Beaver Bridge is the only suspension bridge open to traffic in Arkansas.  The bridge carries Arkansas Highway 187 over the White River.  The Beaver Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

We followed Arkansas Highway 187 to Beaver Lake.

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake is a man-made reservoir and is formed by a dam across the White River. Beaver Lake has over 450 miles of natural shoreline. We saw only a small part of Beaver Lake.

Very soon after taking the photograph of Beaver Lake shown above, we crossed over the Beaver Dam.

Beaver Dam

We returned to our hotel, the Motel 62, in Eureka Springs around 11:00 am.  We spent rest of the day at the hotel.

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Downtown Eureka Springs

Today is Day 6 of our 13-day vacation.  We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

Bob and I rode to downtown Eureka Springs this morning. Downtown Eureka Springs is an enchanting place.  I love the architecture and the overall quaint feeling of the downtown area.

We parked in a privately-owned lot, along S. Main Street, near the Cathouse.

Neither Bob nor I were familiar with this type of parking meter.  I learned that this parking meter is known as an “honor box”.  Owners monitor honor boxes to make sure that for each space in which a vehicle is located a payment has been made.  Nonpayment at one of the private lots may result in your vehicle being towed.

The Cathouse

The Cathouse is a popular Eureka Springs bar.  It is where the second half of Susan’s bachelorette party was held last night.

I liked this metal motorcycle, located in front of the Cathouse.

Please join Bob and me, as we walk along S. Main and Spring Streets.

S. Main Street
Walking toward the Carroll County Courthouse

S. Main Street
Walking toward the Carroll County Courthouse

Downtown Eureka Springs is a shopper’s mecca, a shopping community.  Whether you like to shop for clothes, jewelry, fine art, gourmet food, kitchen supplies or home decor, Eureka Springs has it all.  We explored many stores during our walk along S. Main and Spring Streets.  It took willpower, but we made only one purchase.  I purchased a Route 66 shoulder bag.

Carroll County Courthouse

Carroll County actually has two county seats (Eureka Springs and Berryville) due to the seasonal swelling of the Kings River, which divides the county in a nearly vertical line. Historically, this made the river non-navigable and severed the county in two. Modern bridges solved this problem long ago, but the twin county seat solution remained.

Continuing our walk along S. Main Street, we discovered a mural.

This historic mural (12 feet high by 55 feet wide) dramatizes the early days of Eureka Springs; from the Indians who first camped here and discovered the curative properties of the many springs to the tourism of the early 20th Century. This painting was done by members of the Eureka Springs Guild of Artist and Crafts people. It was designed and supervised by well known artist and muralist Louis Freund, longtime resident.

Located on Spring Street near its intersection with Main Street, Humpty Dumpty sits on a wall.

The Humpty Dumpty sculpture weighs 500+ pounds.
I hope he doesn’t have a great fall!

Continuing our walk along Spring Street, we approach the Basin Spring Park.

Approaching the Basin Spring Park (on the left)

Basin Spring is a legendary Indian healing spring known to Native Americans and early pioneer settlers.  It is now the heart of Eureka Springs.

Basin Spring Park

Basin Spring Park
looking toward Spring Street

Basin Spring Park

Basin Spring Park offers a picture-perfect resting place for busy shoppers. There is often live music performed in the bandshell.

the Doughboy statue at Basin Spring Park

At the intersection of Spring and Center Streets,
we discovered a building that reminded us of a similar building found in our hometown of Warren, PA.

I read that the Flatiron Building is one of the most photographed buildings in Eureka Springs. The original building was built in 1880 and was destroyed by fire in 1890. Shortly after, a new building was erected and also was destroyed by fire. The current building was built in 1987, constructed entirely of concrete. Can you see why this Eureka Springs building reminded me of the flatiron building found in my hometown?

Standing on the corner of Spring and Center Streets

This is the Basin Park Hotel.

Last night’s bachelorette party began here, with dinner at The Balcony Bar & Restaurant.  We ate outside, under the green awning.

 

What follows are six more photographs that I took, while walking up Spring Street.

Looking back to the Spring and Center Streets intersection
You can see a small piece of The Balcony Restaurant’s green awning.

New Orleans Hotel

 


I hope that you enjoyed walking with Bob and me in downtown Eureka Springs.  Bob and I certainly enjoyed our walk and hope to return to downtown Eureka Springs sometime again!

 

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Susan’s Bachelorette Party

This blog post continues Day 5 of our 13-day vacation. We are in Eureka Springs, AR attending the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion motorcycle rally.

 

We had just unpacked the car, when Vicki H. stopped by.  Bob and I met Vicki and her husband Scott in June 2009 at another VROC rally — the Wandering Wolfman’s Rally held in Richmond, KY.  We hadn’t seen each other since that rally, although we had some contact since then via Facebook and email.  Vicki asked if I wanted to come to Susan’s bachelorette party. I grabbed my purse and off we went.

Our mode of transportation was a trolley that stopped in front of our hotel, Motel 62.

Boarding the trolley
(Photograph provided by Shannon Mackey)

Fifteen of us accompanied Susan to her bachelorette party.

Riding the trolley to downtown Eureka Springs
We had the entire trolley to ourselves.

The trolley ride cost $6.00. I believe the pass is good tomorrow as well, given the late hour that the ticket was purchased.  The trolley driver left us off very near to where the bachelorette party festivities would begin.

From the trolley drop-off location we walked to the Balcony Bar & Restaurant,
where we began the evening’s festivities with dinner.
(Photograph provided by Shannon Mackey)

This is the Basin Park Hotel.
The Balcony Bar & Restaurant is located on the second floor.
We ate dinner outside, on the balcony, located under the green awning.

 

Susan, the bride-to-be

Susan was showered with a few gifts.

There was lots of laughter during dinner.

After dinner we walked to the Cathouse, where we enjoyed more fun and laughter.  I had only my mobile phone with me, with very little charge remaining by the time we arrived at the Pied Piper Pub.  I am happy that I had sufficient battery power remaining to capture a photograph of everyone who attended Susan’s bachelorette party.

?, Vicki, and Evelyn

Sheila, Katie and Sandy

Susan and I

Carolyn and Melanie

Susan and her bridesmaids, Melanie and Margo

Shannon, Kay, Vickie, Debbie and Traci

There was some discussion as to how we would get back to our hotel from downtown Eureka Springs.  The trolley stopped running at 6:00 pm, I believe.  It was mentioned that we could telephone a couple of the guys back at the hotel to come pick us up.  We decided, though, to find the way back on our own.  We rode back to the hotel in style, via limousine service!

 Susan and the pink limousine

What a surprise when we discovered our mode of transportation back to the hotel would be in a pink limousine!  Pink is Susan’s favorite color.  Well, not really.  You would think so, though, based on the amount of comments and shared pictures Susan receives on Facebook.  I don’t know when or why Susan gets teased about pink.  I thought how appropriate, though, that we would be riding back to the hotel in a pink limousine.

The limousine cost $6.25+tip each and made two trips back to our hotel. Ten of us, including the bride-to-be, went on the first trip to the hotel. When we pulled into the parking lot, we were greeted by camera flashes. I think everyone thought it cool that we returned to the hotel by limousine. Bob was nowhere to be found. I called him on the phone. He was in our hotel room. Someone told me that he had “turned in” a while ago. Given the location of our room in the back of the hotel, we can’t look out the window or open the door to see what is going on.  After I telephoned Bob, he come out front and did see the pink limousine when it returned to the hotel for the second time. The bachelorette party was a good time, full of fun and laughter. I am happy that I attended the party.

Shannon, who gave me permission to use a couple of her photographs, also uploaded a blog post about Susan’s bachelorette party.  You may read Shannon’s account of the party by clicking here.

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Getting There – Dyersburg TN to Eureka Springs AR

[Please note that this blog post is backdated to September 15; the post was published on October 2.]

 

Today is Day 5 of our 13-day vacation.  We are traveling to Eureka Springs, AR to attend the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion rally.  We have met up with 13 VROC friends in the past two days.  We now have riders from Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky.  All 15 of us (8 motorcycles, one car and one truck) are riding together to the VROC Reunion Rally.

We awakened earlier than planned this morning. Bob set the alarm for 6:00 am. We awakened at 5:00 am. I asked Bob what time it was. Bob’s response was that the alarm would be going off so he turned it off. At least this is what I heard him say. Bob said he told me it was 5:00 am. Thinking it was 6:00 am, I got up and took a shower and got dressed. I noticed then that it was not yet 5:30 am! It is going to be a long day.

We departed the hotel at 9:00 am and fueled up at a nearby gas station.

Preparing to leave Hampton Inn Dyersburg

There are 15 of us in the group today: eight motorcycles, my car and pulling up the rear is Toby in a truck pulling a trailer. We took I-155 out of Dyersburg, TN and crossed over the Mississippi River into Missouri.

This is the bridge that crosses over the Mississippi River.

In Missouri we saw a couple yellow crop dusters flying low over yellow fields, with a bright blue sky as a backdrop. This was a cool thing to see, in addition to being picturesque. I wish I had been able to take a picture. We followed U.S. Routes 412, 412/62 and 62 most of the way to Eureka Springs.

Riding through Impoden, Arkansas

 

Riding through Hardy, Arkansas

Of all the towns that we rode through on the way to Eureka Springs, Hardy was a town that I most wanted to stop in and check out.  Bob and I did stop in Hardy on our way back home from Eureka Springs!

We stopped every 100 miles or so en route Eureka Springs. We ate lunch in Ash Flat, Arkansas — our last stop before arriving in Eureka Springs.  Bob and I had a picnic lunch of chicken salad with crackers, cookies and a Snickers candy bar.

I think Bill and Jim A. are happy that we are nearing our final destination!

We arrived at Motel 62 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas around 4:30 pm.  As I approached the hotel I saw smoke and could smell burning rubber. I learned that Butch locked his tires, when he braked hard in front of the hotel (the hotel came up on him sooner than expected). Thankfully no one was injured. Pulling into the hotel parking lot, we were greeted by many of our VROC family members.

To the best of my recollection, this is the route that we followed today.

We drove 296 miles today.

Bob and I checked into room 119, our home for the next 5 nights.  Our room is located on the first floor in the back of the motel. There is a steep driveway to the back of the hotel. I parked my car there.  Our hotel room is a bit on the shabby side, compared with the other hotels that we stayed in on our way to Eureka Springs. The ironing board is missing; the refrigerator door is missing the bar that keeps the beverages from falling off; one lamp is missing a switch knob so the lamp cannot be turned on/off without borrowing a switch knob from another lamp; and the coffee maker is missing. The air conditioner works, though, as do the TV and refrigerator. We have two queen beds, both of which are comfortable. I can borrow an ironing board, if needed. We brought a tea kettle with us, along with coffee and tea makings. Being in the back of the motel has its advantages.  Owing to lots of shade trees, the temperature is at least 10 degrees cooler than in the front.  Also, it is much quieter in the back than in the front of the hotel.

As of this evening, when we pulled into Motel 62, I have 1,322 miles on the trip odometer.

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Getting There – Greenfield IN to Central City KY

Today is Day 3 of our 13-day vacation.  We are traveling to Eureka Springs, AR to attend the annual Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Reunion rally.

Bob awakened at 4:30 this morning, which is normal for him as this is the time he awakens in the morning to get ready for work. I stayed in bed until 5:45 am. I was showered and dressed by 6:30 am. We ate breakfast at 7:00 am. We each had a cheese omelet, one waffle and a Danish pastry. In addition I had an orange juice and a banana. Bob drank coffee, and I drank hot tea.

It was a chilly morning. It was only 46 degrees in Greenfield IN at 7:30 this morning. I checked the weather in Central City, KY – what will be today’s final destination. The high temperature will be in the low 70s. Bob said he is happy that he has chaps to wear, while riding.

We met up with some VROC friends at the Speedway gas station at Exit 96 on I-70 (one exit west of Greenfield IN) for a 3-day group ride to Eureka Springs, AR .

Bob, Jim T., Bradley T., and Tim and Dee W. at Speedway gas station

We departed the Speedway gas station at 9:45 am, en route Central City, KY via New Salisbury, IN.  We would pick up two more riders in New Salisbury, IN.

En route New Salisbury, IN
There are 4 motorcycles and 5 riders.

We made one fuel stop on the way to New Salisbury, IN.

Fuel stop in Brownstown, IN

We arrived at Jim and Katie A.’s house around 12:45 pm.

Jim and Katie’s house

We were back on the road about 30 minutes later, with Jim and Katie riding with us.  Not quite 3 weeks ago, Jim had a heart attack.  It was wonderful that Jim and Katie could ride with us!

Back on the road again
There are now 5 motorcycles and 7 riders.

We crossed over the Ohio River from Indiana to Kentucky around 1:45 pm.

 

We stopped for lunch at Subway in Brandenburg, KY.

Brandenburg, KY
Lunch stop at Subway

Before leaving Brandenburg, we made a fuel stop at a gas station near Subway.

We made a rest stop at the Dollar General in Fordsville, KY.

Bradley made good use of the rest stop!

From Fordsville we rode to Central City, KY, arriving there around 5:00 pm Central time.

Today’s route is displayed in the map shown below.

We drove 263 miles today.

We checked into the Best Western Plus Venture Inn.  We have a two queen room. It is spacious and nicely furnished. The bathroom is larger than the ones we have had the past two nights.

We ate dinner at El Bracero, a Mexican restaurant located next door to the hotel.  Bob and I ordered taco salads, with beef.

The taco salad was uniquely shaped,
like an over-sized taco.

Dinner was delicious!


 

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