the journey

Sometimes it is as much about the journey as the destination.

More than a week ago, I packed up my Suzuki TU250 and set out from the suburbs of Washington, DC for Corning, NY. Destination: the Studios of the Corning Museum of Glass. My non-highway route took me 278 miles north along the Susquehanna River, over the hills and straight through Pennsylvania to the Empire State.

{packed up and ready to ride}

The first 100 miles of my route took me past my parent’s house and my Dad jumped on his Harley and accompanied me for about 60 miles into and through Harrisburg–our first ride together on motorcycles! We stopped for lunch just outside of the city and as the Susquehanna headed north, he turned back for home and I continued on.

{200 miles complete, outside Williamsport, Pa.}

While I managed to make the second 100 miles of the trip without really stopping, the last 70 or so began to wear on me. I stopped for gas, then again to buy a sweatshirt as the temps dipped along with the sun. My bike, which had been cruising at about 55-60 mph for much of the winding road, started to see 65 and 70 as I got closer and closer to my final destination. I arrived some eight hours later in time for a quick change and a walk to the Corning Museum of Glass to partake in the Studio welcome dinner.

{on a hillside overlooking downtown Corning, NY}

During the week I was in town, my bike barely moved–racking up just 20 more miles on a early morning ride exploring roads outside of town and a short errand or two. I made up for it on the ride home though. I packed up again on Sunday and hit the road. Destination: Danville, Pa., to rendezvous with my husband for a July 4th mini-break.

Along the way, I passed Amish horse and buggies, a working drive-in movie theater and Main Streets lined with American flags in honor of Independence Day. I also managed to rescue my helmet visor from the travel lane after it flew off while riding. My back-roads route didn’t take me there quite how I’d planned, but 150 miles later, I arrived. Despite an “I’m broken down” voicemail earlier in the trip, my husband arrived safely shortly later.

{250cc reunion}

A quick stop to stow our bags and we were on the bikes again. Destination: Knoebels. The steep and twisty roads along the way were a good prelude to roller coasters ahead.

{Reaching for the brass ring, on the Carousel at Knoebels}

{sweet bumper cars, view from the ferris wheel, chicken and waffles}

A great day one left us hungry for more adventure, so we planned for an ambitious day two with stops to experience an underground coal fire and the hometown of my hub’s great grandfather. Destinations: Centralia, Pa., Lykens, Pa. and home. Little did we know from the map, but our backroads route would take us over some of the most challenging roads I’ve ever encountered with elevation shifts from 800 to 1,500 feet and switchbacks aplenty. At one point while cresting a tree-lined turn a deer popped up and ran along beside us. Little did I realize when setting out that the Phoenix would not be my only roller coaster ride this trip.

{loaded down on the ride home}

{smoldering Centralia, Pa.}

{roads to nowhere, Centralia, Pa.}

Despite the straighter roads, the last hundred miles home seemed the hardest as fatigue set in and the day grew later, but we made it.

{the final sprint south, Harrisburg, Pa.}

My journey from start to finish took me 721 by motorcycle: 60 with my dad, 273 with my husband and 388 on my own. It was an amazing ride.

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One thought on “the journey

  1. Pingback: the destination « Wunder Around

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