1390 miles through PA and NY

Where have you been riding? Tell us all about your trip. Prove it with pictures! If ya didn't take pictures, it didn't happen...
Forum rules
This is the place for you to post reports about your rides. Remember the mantra: "If you don't post pictures, it didn't happen".
Post Reply
User avatar
upstate ny
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:13 am
Location: Adams NY

1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by upstate ny » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:12 pm

Early November we had a crazy stretch of good weather forecast (sunny and highs in the 60's!) for East Coast. Compared to a trip I took early October, where I had frost on my seat 2 of the 4 days, this was pretty amazing. Combine that and with a bunch of use/lose leave, it was time to bogey.

As far as where to go, I was limited by both NYS covid and Fort Drum (DA civilian) regs. No more than 350 miles from base, and only to adjacent states. I mostly got takeout, only 2 sit down meals. The only museum I went to, I was the only one there. Everything else I did was outside, then I took a Rapid test before return to work. I try to color within the lines.

My earlier trip was on my RT1150, which has since suffered a input spline failure. I was real happy to explore all the valleys and great roads of PA. Their is a distinct lack of police speed enforcement compared to NYS...not that it's really a factor with the Ural, but on the BMW it was great.

I avoided interstates as much as possible, probably only 30 miles total when I had to. My 2012 tops out at just over 60 mph, and that is stupid pushing it. So much happier in the low 50's. And when people want to crowd me, I just pull over and let them pass. So much more relaxing.

Departed on Thursday, 450 km to Laporte PA, nothing really in Laporte, it was just a convenient place with lodging. At $85, the most expensive lodging of the trip. Between the time of year and Covid. lodging was pretty cheap. I have hotels.com app on my phone, so would typically wait until around 1400 to book a room, in case I didn't make it to where I was aiming for.

Early start the next am, and wiggled my way down to Gettysburg. The entire trip, I would route to avoid cities of any size, happy to ride further on smaller roads to just enjoy the weather and the trip. One of the reason I enjoy traveling solo.

I had visited the Battlefield a few times before, but that was with wife and kids. THE Ural is perfect for touring the battlefield. I like checking out the various monuments and getting pictures. I had downloaded a Gettsyburg app from the American Battlefield Commission, which was quite impressive. You could follow a different route for every day of the battle. Stop wherever, hit an icon, and you get info on that spot, from video to text and pictures. That and I had saved a few specific monuments to googlemaps, another tool that helped to short things out. I've only had a smart phone for a year, so still amazed at how powerful they are.
thumbnail_IMG_0829.jpg
This is one of the monuments I specifically wanted to check out, the Irish Brigade Monument. It's a huge Celtic Cross, that I couldn't get a good pic of as the sun was behind it. Here is the Irish Wolfhound at it's base.
thumbnail_IMG_0809.jpg
I had just come across an article about Battlefield Sallie, who was a mascot of the 11th PA Infantry. She accompanied them to battles, 'barking ferociously at the enemy'. At Gettysburg, she was MIA and thought KIA, following a retreat by the 11th. 2 days after the battle she was found, where she had stayed with the wounded and KIA of the 11th. Unfortunaely she was killed in battle in Feb of 1865. There is a picture for around 1906, at a reunion of the 11th. In the picture, they are standing in front of the monument, leaving a gap so Sallie's likeness can be in the pic.
thumbnail_IMG_0824.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
2012 Ural Tourist, Sweet Molly Malone 56,000km's
2004 BMW R1150RT 86,000 miles
'A man's got to know his limitations'

rougaroo
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 3978
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:58 am
Location: NC

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by rougaroo » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:19 pm

Very nice story - thanks for the pics.

Rougaroo
2003 Tourist - lotsa upgrades
2004 Troyka - work in progress

User avatar
upstate ny
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:13 am
Location: Adams NY

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by upstate ny » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:28 pm

thumbnail_IMG_0812.jpg
Weirdest part of the trip was that night at Devil's Den. It's a spot with huge boulders, where brutal hand to hand combat took place. That type of fighting happened all over the battlefield, but for some reason it just seems much more real here. Other spots are open fields, or exposed ridgelines. Here, you can see how difficult conditions would be.

I pulled up, and there was a purple fog off to the side. A couple was getting into their car having just wrapped up engagement pics. I asked the photographer if they had set off any smoke bombs, and she replied negative. OK, but do you see the fog, or is it just me? Nope, it was there, and I wasn't hallucinating.

Someone said it was swamp gas...to me it was the will-o-wisps. A park policemen drove past...and then backed 50' down the hill to get a better view. They're present every night, I doubt if he double checks swamp gas!

The second weirdest part, is the 'Civil War Tales museum'. I highly recommend it, two dedicated sisters opened it 25 years ago, and it has numerous diorama's depicting different battles. The one of Pickett's charge has over 3,000 character's. The weird part?, they're all cats. All the same scale, and depicted just as the battle unfolded. Really amazing work. They also have one of Fort Sumter.
thumbnail_IMG_0851.jpg
Since there are so many motels in Gettysburg, I stayed for $55. Place was right downtown, it was clean and mattress was good.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
2012 Ural Tourist, Sweet Molly Malone 56,000km's
2004 BMW R1150RT 86,000 miles
'A man's got to know his limitations'

User avatar
Lokiboy
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 4433
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by Lokiboy » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:09 pm

Nice write up. Had a Ural rally in Gettysburg last year. Been there numerous times, but on a Ural it’s really different because you see more than in a car.
2011 Gear Up - "Erika"
Yorktown, VA

Mains: 127, Idle: 40, Needle: 1 shim
MKIII air filter
110,000 km and counting

stagewex
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 7816
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:45 pm
Location: New Rochelle, New York

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by stagewex » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:30 pm

Cool write-up, really enjoyed it.

The diorama soldiers are cats?
Stagewex

Current Herd all running amok:
2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
2006 Honda "Big Ruckus" PS250 (Elec Start)
1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only) *NOT running amok, out for Bottom & Top-End Rebuild.
1986 Yamaha BW200ES (Elec & Kick Start)

List what you "have", keep the others in your precious memory bank.

User avatar
upstate ny
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:13 am
Location: Adams NY

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by upstate ny » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:00 pm

thumbnail_IMG_0854.jpg
Yep, cats. The white things are the tails. The dioramas are very well done, they've researched the battle and match the scene to historical documents and photos.

The Fort Sumter one, the flag is at half mast...it was explained that Sumter was signalling the US fleet they needed more supplies, and the Reb's cannon fire damaged the halyard mechanism, so the flag remained at half mast. The line of soldiers across the parade ground, they're transferring the powder from the storage area that had caught fire.
thumbnail_IMG_0847.jpg
I'll add more over morning coffee.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
2012 Ural Tourist, Sweet Molly Malone 56,000km's
2004 BMW R1150RT 86,000 miles
'A man's got to know his limitations'

User avatar
upstate ny
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:13 am
Location: Adams NY

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by upstate ny » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:06 am

Stayed in Gettysburg until lunch, then 365 km to Clarion. Nothing notable about Clarion other than cheap lodging, a really nice microtel for $75, and that was for what they call a suite.

If you pull up a map of PA on google, switch it to satellite view. Around State College you have some really nice agricultural valleys...Rt35, 75, 655 are a few. Asphalt in great shape, in Upstate NY we love our crack sealer and that can get a bit squirrely in the corners. You just follow the valleys, very few side roads and little traffic. Just great riding.

North of I-80, the valleys get steeper and tighter. I would be riding along in the sun, thinking I should shed a layer, and the road twists and you are in a strech that won't see the sun all day, and the temperature really drops. The roads were slick at 1400, something about the dew point and all the humidity from the creek that is seemingly in each valley. Tons of great roads with not a lot of traffic, but RT 120, 44, 144 and 414 stood out to me. Cherry Springs State is on the Elk Trail driving route...a park dedicated to star gazing, as there is so little light pollution and low humidity. That's really a sign you have found nowhere, and man is it pretty.

From Clarion, I headed up to Wellsboro, which is a pretty neat town. Stayed there 2 nights (called into work for another days leave...couldn't waste another 70 degree day).

They still have gas lighting downtown. Found a clean motel for $62 a night, The Sherwood Motel. Great location, and the comfortable wing back chairs would have my wife smiling and knitting socks. Bookmarked for a return.

Town square:
tree.jpg
along with a statue based on the poem, Winkin, Blikin and Nod. I was impressed they still had the water going.
wi.jpg
Wellsboro is close to the start of Pine Creek Valley, which ranges from 800' to 1400' above the valley floor. They call it the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.
canyob.jpg
There was a railroad that ran alongside the creek that has been converted into a bike trail that runs 62 miles. You can bike, white water raft, hike...place is quite nice.

The bridge is from 1891, it's a suspension bridge, but using steel bars instead of cable. It would be great to see this guy get a refurbishing to extend it's life...those steel pins have been doing a job for 130 years.
bridge.jpg
and a random railroad pic.
thumbnail_IMG_0861.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
2012 Ural Tourist, Sweet Molly Malone 56,000km's
2004 BMW R1150RT 86,000 miles
'A man's got to know his limitations'

User avatar
upstate ny
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:13 am
Location: Adams NY

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by upstate ny » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:19 am

And then it was heading home.

Bike ran perfect, seemingly getting stronger everyday (or the memory of the RT's horsepower/torque/throttle response grew dimmer). There was almost no wind the entire trip, I have the full metal fairing and that makes a big difference. Aerodynamics of a barn door.

BMW from trip back in OCT. Jet fighter vs biplane, powerboat vs sailing ship.
bmw.jpg
ural.jpg
But dam, you can pack a ton of crap on the ural...I had sneaker for around town, and a light weight pair of riding boots, along with cold weather riding boots; heavy armored jacket and mesh armored jacket; 3 different warmth level gloves, etc, etc.

First day back was Veteran's Day, so other than getting the Covid test I just rested. I was a little sore, although the degenerative disk in my neck, that is burning right now, felt great. Something about the angle that I hold my head at (hates looking down at laptops). Just seems weird that bouncy around on a bike is less stressful to it than sitting on my a$$.

First day back at work, verifying that new lights are aimed properly...this is called 'Climb to Glory', and show a WW2 10th Mountain soldier helping a current soldier up the Cliff. Years back, a WW2 vet told me he would have shot the current soldier...the helmet profile matched the German one too much. WW2 guy just had the steel pot he could shave out of!
climb.jpg
Thanks for reading, take away for me is that I really like the valley roads of PA. Upstate NY has great roads and scenery as well, the valleys east of I-81 and south of I-90 are great (RT 26, 8, 12, among others).

BUT, the NY roads are not in as good shape asphalt wise, there is more of a police presence (not an issue on Ural), way less traffic density, and more towns/villages that you have to slow down for. You definitely want to carry a gas can when you're in some of the PA state forests as commercial activity is slim.

Here's the strecth where the gas can would be good. Any of the roads on the map are worth exploring. At one point I saw maybe 10 cars in 1.5 hrs of driving...you pull over at a view point, shut off the engine, and you just hear peace and nature.
elk.jpg
Stay safe.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by upstate ny on Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
2012 Ural Tourist, Sweet Molly Malone 56,000km's
2004 BMW R1150RT 86,000 miles
'A man's got to know his limitations'

User avatar
lendrinkard
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1240
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:05 pm
Location: Peninsula, Ohio

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by lendrinkard » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:21 am

Nice report. Thanks
2012 Gear up - 130/40 jet, 3 shims, no mid-pipe, drilled slider, 2013 Branch pipes, all LED lights
2013 NOS Ural T - 130/42 jet, 2 shims, LED running lights, oil cooler

rougaroo
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 3978
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:58 am
Location: NC

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by rougaroo » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:26 pm

Nice ride - thanks for taking us along.

Rougaroo
2003 Tourist - lotsa upgrades
2004 Troyka - work in progress

stagewex
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 7816
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:45 pm
Location: New Rochelle, New York

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by stagewex » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:53 pm

Very, very nice. Thank-you.
Stagewex

Current Herd all running amok:
2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
2006 Honda "Big Ruckus" PS250 (Elec Start)
1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only) *NOT running amok, out for Bottom & Top-End Rebuild.
1986 Yamaha BW200ES (Elec & Kick Start)

List what you "have", keep the others in your precious memory bank.

User avatar
Geno89074
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 477
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:51 pm

Re: 1390 miles through PA and NY

Post by Geno89074 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:20 pm

Great Trip Report - Done a ton of Great rides around Watertown, NY
Chilly at Night - even in the Summer but beautiful country!!
2014 Ural Patrol
Green Valley
Henderson, Nevada

Post Reply