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Posts tagged ‘WWR3 and our Kentucky Vacation’

Kentucky Vacation – Day 10 of ELEVEN DAYS

Our Kentucky vacation is drawing to a close, but there is still much to tell.

In my last blog post I wrote about our unexpected layover in Dry Ridge, KY. The oil cap fell off Bob’s motorcycle. The oil blowing out the fill hole contaminated the rear brakes. We successfully plugged the fill hole with a compression plug; however, we need to replace the rear brake pads before we can complete our trip back home. There is a Kawasaki dealer near Dry Ridge; however, it was closed on Sunday but will open on Monday at 9:00AM.

Early in the morning on the 10th day of our vacation — Monday, June 15th — Bob got to wondering if spraying the whole rear brake assembly with brake cleaner to degrease the pads might help. He posed the question to the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) web forum. The replies that he received essentially said that the brake cleaner was worth a try. After breakfast Bob drove to the local Wal-Mart and purchased brake cleaner.

When Bob returned to the hotel, he sprayed the rear brake assembly with the brake cleaner. He was careful to keep the brake cleaner off of stuff that it might adversely affect. The brake cleaner had no effect on the rear brakes.

The plan on Sunday was to telephone the Kawasaki dealer on Monday morning to find out if they had an oil cap and rear brake pads in stock. We decided to drive/ride there instead. The compression plug will hold, and Bob felt confident enough that he would have some rear braking power during the 20 or so miles to the Kawasaki dealer. We left the hotel around 8:30AM and arrived at the Kawasaki dealer in Florence, KY, soon after it had opened. We lucked out. The Kawasaki dealer had brake pads in stock. Bob contemplated replacing the brake pads himself in the parking lot; however, when he asked they said they could squeeze him in and get the pads on for about $20.00. They replaced the brake pads and had us on our way in less than half an hour! They located an oil cap, too, which they gave to Bob. The oil cap was off a Kawasaki MeanStreak, but it fit Bob’s motorcycle.

We could have made it home from Richmond, KY, in one day. We wanted to take our time, though, and do the ride home in two days. We never planned on taking three days to come back home! But that is what happened. When we left the Kawasaki dealer, we stuck mainly to rural roadways rest of the day. By the time we reached Mount Vernon, OH, I was tired of driving. We had driven approximately 226 miles from our hotel in Dry Ridge, KY, according to the route that we mapped out at Google maps. We decided to spend the night in Mount Vernon and complete our trip on Tuesday. We checked into Comfort Inn at 4:30PM.

We relaxed in our room for about an hour, then we went for a walk. We walked up three blocks and found the Knox County Courthouse. We certainly have seen a lot of courthouses during this vacation! A block from the courthouse was Public Square, which is a picturesque park. A traffic circle surrounds the park. In the center of the park is a tall civil war era monument. We ate dinner at a 50s-style cafe called High Restaurant, which was at the intersection of High Street and Public Square. Downtown Mount Vernon was a delightful place with its brick streets, varied architecture, historic buildings and quaint shops … small town America at its best! I didn’t take my camera with me during our walk (DUH!). But I did take a couple photographs with my camera phone.

Public Square Park

High Restaurant

We left Mount Vernon, OH at 9:15AM on Tuesday, June 16th. According to the route that we mapped out at Google maps, it was 236 miles from Mount Vernon to our home. We drove by way of the towns of Wooster, OH; Akron, OH; Youngstown, OH; Barkeysville, PA; Franklin, PA; Pleasantville, PA; and Youngsville, PA. We stopped for lunch at King’s Restaurant in Barkeysville. We arrived back home at 3:22PM. I had reset the trip odometer before we left the Quality Inn in Kittanning, PA, the morning of June 6th. The trip odometer indicates that we traveled 1,366 miles. I’d have to add another 100 miles or so to that total to include the drive from Warren, PA, to Kittanning.

This blog post concludes the tale of our Kentucky vacation. We are back home, getting back in the swing of things of life when not on a vacation. I hope that you enjoyed reading about our Kentucky vacation!

Kentucky Vacation – Day 9 of 10

On the 9th day of our vacation — Sunday, June 14th — we began our ride back home. We left Richmond at 8:00AM.

Our first fuel stop was at a Sunoco station in Dry Ridge, KY. Dry Ridge was only 73 miles from our hotel; however, Bob already had some miles on the motorcycle and didn’t fill up before we left Richmond. Bob decided to top off the oil too.

As we got back on Route 75, I was talking with Bob asking if he wanted to stay on the Interstate or change direction to slower roads. We decided to pull off at the next exit (Crittenden, KY) to see what the GPS would give us for alternate routes. As Bob is coming up the exit, he hears a ticking noise. Bob is not sure if the noise is coming from a lawn mower working the yard at a Marathon Station or from the motorcycle. Bob revved the engine a little and decides the ticking noise is coming from the motorcycle. He looks down and notices oil blowing out the fill hole! Bob expected the oil light to be lit, but it wasn’t. Bob coasted the motorcycle into the Marathon parking lot.

I am happy that we had the car. I stayed with the motorcycle while Bob drove the car back to Dry Ridge to see if he possibly left the oil cap on the ground. The cap wasn’t there. He looked all over the lot and even asked inside if anybody had turned one in. Bob believes the oil cap must have been in there part of the way since it was a 7-mile stretch from Dry Ridge to Crittenden. He thinks he would have run out of oil in less than that distance. Bob doesn’t know whether he got distracted while putting the cap back on or what. It’s a good thing that we decided to pull off so Bob had a chance to hear that ticking noise.

Using a telephone book at the Marathon Station, we located a Kawasaki dealer. Bob telephoned the dealer; they don’t open until 9:00AM Monday. We obtained permission to park the motorcycle at the Marathon Station, possibly overnight. We drove back to Dry Ridge and looked one more time to see if Bob had possibly left the oil cap on the ground. We then drove back up to Crittenden. Bob watched alongside the road hoping that he would beat the odds and find the oil cap lying on the ground. No such luck. We drove back to Dry Ridge and booked a hotel (Hampton Inn) for the night. Did you notice how many miles we drove back and forth between Dry Ridge and Crittenden? We drove 35 miles back and forth!

We ate lunch at Cracker Barrel and were able to check into our hotel room at 1:00PM. Bob posted a message about losing the oil cap on the VROC website. He received many replies, a few with suggestions on how to plug the fill hole. One suggestion was to buy a compression freeze plug, the kind with a bolt and washer to squeeze it to expand to seal the hole, at a hardware store or AutoZone.

At 3:30PM we started our search for a compression plug. We stopped first at Wal-Mart, which was located less than a mile from the hotel. No luck. Then we drove to Lowe’s, about 25 miles north of the hotel. Bob found a compression plug and was convinced that the plug would be a good temporary fix for the missing oil cap. We were less than a mile from the Kawasaki dealer, so we drove by the shop. It looks like a small shop, so we wonder whether or not we’ll be able to purchase a replacement oil cap there on Monday. We drove to the Marathon Station in Crittenden (another 25 miles), where we had left the motorcycle. The Lowe’s plug was too big.

We used the GPS to find a nearby AutoZone .. not so nearby, 25 miles from Crittenden. While driving to Autozone we got caught in a nasty rainstorm. An alarm went off in my car right after I had driven through a deep puddle. The alarm sounded like car doors were ajar, but much louder. I never did find out what cause the alarm to sound. None of my alarm lights were on; the car was running normally. Whatever that alarm was it certainly scared me! We arrived at AutoZone, and Bob purchased two different sizes of the compression plug. We drove back to the Marathon Station in Crittenden (another 25 miles). The GPS took us from Crittenden to AutoZone a different route than it did from AutoZone to Crittenden. We much preferred the route on the way back to Crittenden. The GPS routed us on back roads, rather than highway, on the way back to Crittenden. One of the compression plugs worked!

Bob had to hit the compression plug lightly with a hammer to ensure a snug fit!

Bob rode the motorcycle and I drove the car back to the hotel. Four hours had passed since we began our search for a compression plug, and we added at least another 100 miles on the trip odometer.

While riding back to the hotel, Bob notices that he has little or no back brakes. The back brakes are contaminated with the oil. The plan is to call the Kawasaki dealer at 9:00 Monday morning to see if they have an oil cap AND back brake pads in stock.

Kentucky Vacation – Day 8 of 10

The 8th day of our vacation was on Saturday, June 13th.

I had retired to my room after Friday night’s dinner and raffle. I spent Friday evening watching TV, surfing the Internet, catching up on emails and getting some much needed sleep. Bob, on the other hand, spent the evening mingling with fellow VROCers in the hotel parking lot. I awakened on Saturday at 2:00AM; Bob was still out in the parking lot, chewing the fat. I awakened again around 4:30AM; Bob still had not come in. I was still awake when Bob came in at 5:00AM. We went to bed shortly thereafter. We awakened at 10:15AM. We took showers, got dressed and went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We lazed around the hotel rest of the day, with the exception of walking over to Hooter’s for dinner.

Saturday was the last night of the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) Wolfman’s Wandering Rally (WWR). We spent the last night of the rally hanging out in the hotel parking lot, visiting with fellow VROCers and telling our old and new friends goodbye. “UteMike” expressed the sentiments of Bob, myself and I’d wager everyone who attended WWR3 when he posted on the VROC web forum “Even bikers get the blues when they have to say goodbye for now to the friends old and new met this weekend“.

“Here to Kingdom Come” was the third WWR. The other two rallies were held in Grand Lake, Colorado (July 26-29, 2007) and Charleston, Oregon (July 17-20, 2008). We hope to attend the next WWR. I wonder where the next WWR will be held and when?

Kentucky Vacation – Day 7 of 10 (Part II)

As I wrote in my previous blog post, on Friday, June 12th, we traveled by motorcycle to Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. Maker’s Mark Distillery is one of eight distilleries featured on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

We arrived at Maker’s Mark Distillery in time for the 12:30PM distillery tour. Our tour began in the visitor’s center. Our tour guide, Aggie, told us briefly the Samuels family story, concentrating on the recent generations of Bill Samuels Sr., who created Maker’s Mark.

Visitor’s Center

Aggie, telling the Samuels family story


Aggie then led us outside, alongside a stonewalled creek that runs throughout the peaceful, landscaped grounds, to one of the buildings where we heard a brief history of the distillery.

Aggie talking about history of the distillery

After presenting a brief history of the distillery, Aggie led us to the distillery house where she explained how Maker’s Mark bourbon is made. From the distillery house we went to the bottling house. The bottling line was in operation. We watched as empty bottles of Maker’s Mark were filled with bourbon and labels were applied to the filled bottles.

From the bottling house we went to one of the rick houses where the whisky is stored in charred oak barrels for aging. Barrels reach maturity only after completing a rotation system in which the newest barrels are placed on the warehouse’s hot upper floors and are rotated to the cooler lower levels after about three years.

Barrels of whisky aging

Our last stop was at the gift shop, where we could sample a little of the product. We sampled both one-day old and aged bourbon. The one-day old bourbon burned my throat; the aged bourbon went down smoothly.

We purchased a souvenir 375 ml bottle of Maker’s Mark;
Bob dipped the bottle in the signature red wax.

Maker’s Mark Whisky

The distillery tour, which lasted about 45 minutes, was great. I enjoyed the tour even though I do not drink. The tour was both fun and informative.

In the evening we enjoyed a catered Kentucky Barbecue dinner at our hotel. The dinner was for Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (VROC) members who were attending the Wandering Wolfman’s Rally (WWR3). Bob had a pulled-pork sandwich and 1/4 chicken with baked beans and potato salad. I had 1/2 rack ribs with potato salad and cole slaw. The portions were large, and the food was excellent.


A raffle was held after dinner. We purchased $20 worth of raffle tickets. Bob put his name on half of the tickets; he put my name on the remaining tickets. My name was called four times! I won four prizes — a buff, a liquor flask, a Kawasaki watch and four Kawasaki shock covers. Bob didn’t win anything. A web cam provided live coverage throughout WWR3. Bob telephoned his brother John to let him know about the live web cam. While Bob was talking with Dorothy (John’s wife), she saw me go up to pick up one of my prizes. In addition to prizes, most of which were donated by Riders of Kawasaki (ROK), this was a 50/50 raffle with the proceeds going to the Maxwell Dickerson Benefit Fund.


Max, who is 8 years old, needs a multi organ transplant.  The winner of the 50/50 raffle donated her winnings ($1,200) to Max.

Kentucky Vacation – Day 7 of 10 (Part I)

As I write this post, we are home from our Kentucky vacation. We returned home today, in the mid-afternoon. We arrived home a day later than expected (the reason why is the material for another post :-)). I am SO FAR BEHIND in blogging about our Kentucky vacation. In the interest of uploading a post sooner rather than later, I decided to divide details of day 7 of our 10-day vacation into two blog posts.

On Friday, June 12th, Bob and I traveled by motorcycle west of Richmond to Loretto, Kentucky. According to the route that we mapped out at Google maps, Loretto was approximately 76 miles from our hotel. We traveled on winding country roads past inviting historic towns, hay fields, fields of corn and other crops, well-maintained horse farms, goats grazing in open pastures, and lots and lots and lots of cows … brown cows, white cows, black cows, brown and white cows, black and white cows. We stopped briefly in a few of those inviting towns while en route Loretto.

The first city in which we stopped was Lancaster, Kentucky. According to the KyHomeTown website, the city’s name “is said to be derived from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from which many of the founders originally hailed”. Lancaster is the county seat of Gerrard County.

Gerrard County Courthouse in Lancaster, Kentucky

Our next stop was in the city of Danville, Kentucky. Danville is the county seat of Boyle County.

Boyle County Courthouse in Danville, Kentucky

According to Wikipedia, Danville is called the “City of Firsts”. The first courthouse in Kentucky was housed in Danville. Danville had the first U.S. post office west of the Allegheny Mountains. It hosted the first state-supported school for the deaf. In Danville, Ephraim McDowell became the first physician in the world to successfully remove an ovarian tumor. Danville is home to the oldest college administration building and campus west of the Allegheny Mountains. What caught my eye as we rode through Danville was this statue of two figures standing in a circle.

This statue is in Governor’s Square. Bronze plaques honoring every governor of Kentucky surround the statue.  An image similar to the bronze statue of the two figures is depicted on the flag of Kentucky, as shown below.

Kentucky flag obtained here 

Governor’s Square is part of Constitution Square State Historic Site, which is a 3-acre park that houses the courthouse that was the site of ten conventions that eventually produced the Constitution of Kentucky. There are several other buildings of interest as well.

This was the first post office west of the Alleghenies.
(exterior and interior views)

Replica of the original Meeting House
(exterior and interior views)

The Meeting House housed the first Presbyterians in Kentucky.

The Jail
(exterior and interior views)

The Courthouse housed the Supreme Court of Kentucky. The Constitution Conventions that led to Kentucky’s statehood were held in the Courthouse. (exterior and interior views)

Our last stop before arriving in Loretto was in Lebanon, Kentucky. The city of Lebanon is the county seat of Marion County. According to Wikipedia, the city was named for the Biblical Lebanon because of the abundant cedar trees.

Marion County Courthouse in Lebanon, Kentucky

Bob in downtown Lebanon, Kentucky

We left our hotel around 9:30AM. Approximately 3 hours later we finally arrive at our destination — Loretto, Kentucky. What, you might ask, was the purpose of our ride to Loretto. Maker’s Mark Distillery is located in Loretto. The purpose of riding to Maker’s Mark Distillery was to go on a tour of the distillery. I will write about our distillery tour in my next blog post.

Kentucky Vacation – Day 6 of 10

Thursday, June 11th, was the official start day of the “Here to Kingdom Come” rally.  Rally attendees have continued to roll in, a few (to several) at a time. The parking lot is full of motorcycles; the hotel bursting at its seams with motorcyclists.

There is a trail in Kentucky called the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which features eight distilleries. The distilleries are: Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Tom Moore, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve. On Thursday, June 11th, Bob and other Wolfman’s Wandering Rally (WWR3) attendees rode to Versailles, Kentucky, where they went on a tour of the Woodford Reserve Distillery. According to Google Maps, the distillery was located 53.5 miles from our hotel. Bob left the hotel around 10:30AM and returned at 3:00PM.

Bob on motorcycle


Leaving Best Western Holiday Plaza in Richmond, Kentucky enroute Versailles, Kentucky


I did not go on the distillery tour because it looked like there was a good chance I’d get wet while on the ride. Bob said it didn’t rain while they were riding to the distillery. It did rain, hard, on their way back to the hotel. Bob enjoyed the distillery tour. The guided tour, which cost $5.00, explained everything from the history of bourbon to the maturation and bottling process. The tour started out at the main facility where the tour participants sampled bourbon balls and a little product. Then they hopped a bus and drove around the farm seeing everything else e.g., the big drums of mash and the barrels.

While Bob was on the distillery tour, I went shopping at Wal-Mart. I purchased two camping chairs. We stood for hours the previous night while chatting with fellow VROC’ers. The camping chairs will provide for a more pleasant chatting experience.  I wandered about the hotel grounds, too, snapping pictures of rally attendees.

Bob and I ate dinner at a Mexican fast food restaurant called Qdoba Mexican Grill. Bob ordered a burrito; I ordered a taco salad. We shared a basket of tortilla chips and salsa. It was our first time at a Qdoba. For a fast food joint the Mexican grub there wasn’t bad.

After dinner we visited the Eastern Kentucky University campus, which was located only a short distance from our hotel. The purpose of our visit was to find the Daniel Boone statue; we succeeded.

Do you see how shiny Boone’s left toe is? It is traditional for students, on the way to an exam, to rub Boone’s left toe for good luck.

As we did the previous evening, we hung out in the parking lot with other VROC’ers.



Love the purple camo!


Our new camp chairs did provide for a more pleasant chatting experience.

Please click on thumbnail to enlarge.
It was a late night; we didn’t make it to bed until after midnight.

Kentucky Vacation – Day 5 of 10

From the time we left home, the weather has been beautiful. The only unfavorable weather condition was dense fog a couple mornings. Rain held off until Wednesday, June 10th — the fifth day of our vacation. When it rained, boy did it rain! We were in Lexington, at Fayette Mall (eating lunch at Logan’s Roadhouse), when the storm arrived. The sky was black, except for a narrow white strip around the horizon. The sky reminded me of a flying saucer or a flat pancake. The wind blew; the thunder rolled; and the lightning cracked. Then came the rain, falling down in sheets. I am happy that we drove the car to the mall. I would not have wanted to be caught in that rain storm!

The Fayette Mall is different from any mall in which I have shopped.  We entered the mall at Dick’s Sporting Goods. As we exited Dick’s Sporting Goods, we saw Sears and thought that Fayette Mall looked much larger outside than it did inside. To our surprise the other mall stores were reached by walking THROUGH Sears.

Wolfman’s Wandering Rally attendees have continued to roll in, a few (to several) at a time.




When we came home from shopping in Lexington, we met Vicki and Scott from Texas. We chatted for a bit and got together later for dinner at Bob Evans Restaurant.

Scott and Vicky

After dinner we hung out in the parking lot, meeting people and getting reacquainted with old friends. The attendees are from all over — all parts of the USA and Canada and even Europe.

We learned of another mishap. While on her way to the rally, “Blondy’s” motorcycle caught fire. The motorcycle is not well; however, “Blondy” is fine. We are happy that “Blondy” was not hurt.

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