Never what you think

Written by admin. Posted in 2014 A True Sabbatical

Just like work, the blog is soooo far behind and the longer I procrastinate the harder it will be to catch up. Just like work the only way to get ahead is buckle down and get with it. So much has happened since the last post and I want to write about the stuff that is fresh on my mind but the blog doesn’t flow right so I will try to mix the old with the new and catch up quickly.

I am sitting beside the Mississippi river in a roadside park writing this now and paging back through the daily diary and picture folders to write the past when I come across one of my favorite quotes by William Least Heat Moon from the book Blue Highways.

“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do-especially in other peoples minds. When your travelling, you are what you are there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.”

It is what I love the most about the trip, everyday is a new day and my eyes are opened. Meeting new people everyday who do not know me and I do not know them, no expectations from either side. Sometimes (more often than not) a friendship is struck that will last for years and sometimes I can’t wait to get away from them. My preconceived perceptions of what this world is and what is out there gets blown away everyday. What you see on TV, read in books and hear on the radio is not the real world. The real world has to be touched and felt with all your senses and then you may still never understand it so you must go back again and again. Nothing is ever what you think on the road. Never believe what you hear, half of what you read and believe what you see, touch and feel while understanding there is what you know and what you believe and the two can be totally different.

Another Barn quilt, I still hope this catches on across the west side of the Mississippi, they all catch my eye.


When I left Kentucky I followed the Ohio River and the roads and the small river towns equaled anything I had ridden on the Mississippi. I was aware of a bike rally  called Mountain Fest going on in Morgantown West Virginia so it was kind of my destination. Next thing I know I am crossing a bridge and in West Virginia. Cool another state I have never been to.

west va bridge

As soon as I hit the Morgantown are I felt right at home amongst all the oil field traffic. I knew there was a boom going on here but wasn’t expecting it to be this bad (or good depending on which side of the business you are in) and quickly learned not to follow any trucks which were carrying gravel. It was like it came out of nowhere, one minute a leisure filled ride along the river roads and rolling hills and the next minute shit all over the road, trucks on my ass, trucks in front and trucks coming off the side roads at 90 mph entering the main road without slowing down. I pulled over into the first gas stop to get my bearings and for a minute I thought I was back at work in North Dakota or something.

oil field trashSaw more road alligators in this area than any other state or place I have been in so far. Road alligators are the pieces of tires that lay in a roadway after somebody had a blowout. They are one of a motorcyclists worst nightmares. It is obvious DOT is lax here and I couldn’t wait to get out of the area.

Between the oil boom and the motorcycle rally Morgantown was jammed and I just followed motorcycles until I ended up at Triple S Harley Davidson where a band was playing and lots of rumble from the bikes.

triple s party

A pretty girl was sing country rock on stage and hawking her CD’s in between songs but I did not buy. I was there to see a certain antique bike that I knew was on display inside the store. When I was trying to learn how to pedal start a hundred year old Harley I found a utube video of a 1914 Harley being pedal started and it was on display at Triple S Harley in Morgantown West Virginia. Much to my dismay it was displayed on a ledge about 20 foot in the air so even getting a good picture was a challenge.

d wasserman hd

Out in the parking lot though there was this couple zipping around on a 1959 Harley Panhead which was pretty cool. Since I am building a 1959 Harley now it would have been nice to take some more pictures of it but they zoomed out the lot and never came back. Nice to see those old panheads being ridden.

old pan

I know Harleys are tough and big and mean and built to carry a lot of weight but I felt sorry for this sportster. At first I thought it was a mini bike but no it was a full size motorcycle. I will give the gal riding it credit because she could ride.

poor sportster

I found out that most of the action was at some fairgrounds and Ted Nugent was playing so I went to check it out. The ride was through some pretty good rolling hills and back roads to get there and since my room was a long way from there I decided I would have to forego seeing Ted and then trying to find my motel in the dark. Next time I camp!

The next morning I was ready to get out of the city traffic and also away from the oilfield trash so I took the first backroad I could find leaving town. Great back road and somehow I was in Pennsylvania and then back in West Virginia crossing the Mason Dixon Line twice.

penn historicl signwest va historical sign

A lot of American History in these two old markers. I wanted to get out this way to experience some 1700 American history and wasn’t expecting 1600 American history. So am I in Mason or Dixon now or south of or north of? Love these old historical markers. My mother said I called them hysterical markers when I was little.

mason dixon line sign

I was cruising this neat little town in Pennsylvania called Port Marion when I saw all of these old cars thru a window. Thinking it was a museum I went around the block, parked and tried to get in but the door was locked. The sign said Jordan Auto parts

jordan cars

I am a motorhead and I had never heard of a car called a Jordan. this place had at least 10 of them I could see through the windows. A quick google search said they were made in Cleveland from 1916 until 1931. They were made with an assortment of components from other manufactures and never really caught on. This building was obviously part museum and part supply house for others who restore Jordans.

building full of cars

I was headed for Maryland expecting the whole state to look like Baltimore I guess and was blown away by the views the woods and the hills. This was the view from the first roadside stop.


And this was the view from the second roadside stop. Not what I was expecting but certainly happy about the discovery.

maryland gap

I fell in love with the towns and riding the main streets through them. The old buildings, little ma and pa storefronts and friendly people at the stops made Maryland one of my favorite places so far.

cool old townscool old towns1

The only drawback was the cost of everything as there was obvious a high tax on things like gas, cigarettes and liquor. Those are the things I bought so I assume the rest of goods are higher also. I am sure it has a lot to do with being right next to DC and the tax tax tax attitude of Washington rubs off on the states closest to it. I had to get more money and could tell I was being watched, maybe it was NSA?

always being watched

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