The Last Corner is Within Reach…

Four Corners Day 20,Epic Ride Day 44:

I’m in Milford, ME, with Alex Allmayer-Beck (“SailAriel” on the NT-Owners Forum) and tomorrow we strike for Madawaska, the Fourth Corner of the Four Corners Tour.  We have to get there and get a properly-dated, properly-addressed receipt before midnight.  I think we’ll make it.

Yesterday, I left Salisbury, Maryland, and rode 446 miles while adding four more states to my “States Ridden Map:”  Delaware came early, about 20 miles after I started, then Pennsylvania.  As I was riding along on the west side of Philadelphia, I realized that I hadn’t checked Shirley’s navigational impulses (“Shirley,” I’ve decided, is my GPS’s name).  She was skipping New Jersey!

I was just short of the Pennsylvania turnpike that turns into the New Jersey Turnpike and only 36 miles west of New Jersey, so I hopped onto the toll road and “got” New Jersey.  Then I started north and rode through Princeton, still blindly following Shirley’s directions.  Before long I realized she was planning on taking me over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge onto Manhattan Island and up the (I think) George Washington Expressway on the west side of the island.

I didn’t want to go there!

So I started improvising and ended up in a neighborhood in Newark plotting another route (using Shirley’s help, but taking command for myself.  So, I went within a half-mile of where I’d been when I flew to Europe to ride to the European Concours Rally in 2008 — the Newark Airport.  Then I rode through downtown Newark and then onto the New York Throughway (I think they spell it “Thruway”).  I followed that till Albany and then was on US-4, heading for Vermont.

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I don’t know what was on fire, but if you look off in the distance, you can see the skyline of Manhattan, including the Empire State Building.

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Downtown Newark looked pretty nice.

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The scenery along the NY Thruway was beautiful, but my battery ran down and I didn’t get the really pretty shots north of Albany where US-4 followed the old Champlain Canal.

I learned that another one of Shirley’s shortcomings is that she doesn’t list as many motels as my old GPS did.  It was getting late and I was getting tired, so I just did a search and she took me to Glenn Falls, NY, a beautiful town that must have been the center of the universe this weekend.  Motels were mostly full and all of them had jacked up their rates.  Some fairly ordinary motels were getting $350/night!  I paid $200 for a Day’s Inn (a very nice Day’s Inn, but not that nice.  After I made a reservation, I ate at Denny’s.

I had fish and they were very good, but when I got to the bike, I realized I was dizzy.  I waited a bit, but then got on the bike and rode to the motel.  By the time I got to my room, I was very dizzy, and wasn’t sure if I’d be riding today or not.

When I woke up this morning, I felt better and after breakfast on Day’s Inn’s $200 nickel, I felt OK to ride.  And it’s been a beautiful day.

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An old arsenal in Whitehall, New York, which is, surprisingly, the birthplace of the US Navy.  (I don’t think the arsenal is that old.

[Just a point of information:  if you click on any of these pictures, you can see them enlarged.  And if you put your mouse on the enlarged picture, and click the “+” symbol, you can see it even larger.]

So far, Vermont is the leader in my “Most Beautiful State End-to-End” Sweepstakes.

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This is the far end of a covered bridge.  Honest.

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This farm was owned (according to the sign) by “The Fool on the Hill.”

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Not long before I left New Hampshire, I shared the road with these three motorcyclists.  When I first saw them they were in a “Parking Area” next to the freeway.  Right after I passed them, they pulled out and before too long, they’d passed me.  Then, 11 miles after the Parking Area where I first saw them, they pulled off again into the next Parking Area.  ????  Whassup with that?

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Maine is another state with lots of beautiful trees.  In Vermont, near Killington, I saw a sign that said:  “Free Land!  Must Buy Trees!”

Tonight we’re next to the Penobscot River, which flows into Penobscot Bay, where Alex lives.  On my way back from the Maritime Provinces, I’ll visit Alex and his wife and get to sail with them on Ariel III, their 35′ cutter, on that very bay.

But tonight, it’s off to bed so I’ll be up for the concluding part of 21 days of great riding on the Four Corners Tour.  My Four Corners towel, which bears my own personal number and must be in a proof-of-presence picture at each of the Four Corners, is number 046.  I guess that means that when I registered, only 46 other riders had signed up to try the Tour in 2013.  It’ll be the end of the year before we know how many succeed, but (knock on wood!), but right now, it’s looking as if #046 will be one of those who complete the tour!

Stats:  Day, 418 miles; Trip, 15,394 miles; Year, 21,395 miles; Total, 73,368 miles.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “The Last Corner is Within Reach…

  1. Mike Simmons

    Woo Hoo! Almost there! I’ve been with ya’ every day since you left home! Good luck, God speed, get’r done!

    Mike

  2. Ken Harrell

    You were brave to ride that close to NYC and all the mess around Newark. I used to have to go to Newark to call on Herman’s World of Sporting Goods main office…even riding a taxi in that place was scary. So what kind of bikes were those retro-looking things with the “No protective gear–ever” riders that passed you and pulled off again? Maybe they had to stop soon to dig the June Bug guts out of their teeth…..I just can’t imagine riding a motorcycle back there with all those bugs smackin’ you in the head….and no full-face helmet….that one guy was in shorts!! Those bikers must not feel pain the way normal people do.

    You’ve got that “Four Corners” thing going, but you would have sure liked the ride up Mt Washington, although it’s often fogged in with about 3/8″ visibility….not perfect on a bike, but always way less traffic than Mt Evans. I’m thinking that the New England cool-humidity is feeling way better to you than that Florida hot-humidity did.

    I rode my bike to Yuma and back yesterday…it was boring….you’re scenery has been more enlightening, but I met 23 loaded smelly cattle semi-trucks, so I had more notable recreational aroma than you did.

    Is your pace about to become more tourist and less Iron Butt now? Be safe. Ken

    • Ken, actually riding in Newark wasn’t that scary. Drivers have been amazingly courteous. On the whole trip, I doubt if I’ve seen more than 4 or 5 aggressive drivers. As for bugs, there just haven’t been that many. I got a great big yellow bug-splat on the windshield yesterday that was probably the biggest bug I’ve hit in 15,000 miles.

      It was clear enough today that Mt Washington would have been something to be on top of. (or “of which to be on top.”)

      The weather today got up above 80 after we got to Madawaska. The low here last night was about 45.

      I’ve got some prescriptions I need to get filled before I head into Canada, so I won’t get out of here till after noon at the earliest. I plan on going back to camping now that I’m finished with the Four Corners Tour.

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