2007 CVO Rally for no good reason!
On Friday April 6, 2007, I loaded the bike into the trailer and hauled it to meet Anne in New Jersey where we would start our trip. On Saturday morning we awoke to cold weather and a questionable forecast but elected to continue with our plans. Our goal for the day was to ride across Pennsylvania down into Maryland and across West Virginia with the intent of spending the night in Charleston, WV. As the day progressed we had the occasional snow flurry and then some heavier but quick snow showers. As the day grew later we decided to not to push through to Charleston but instead stopped about 120 miles early in Clarksburg, WV. We did manage to stop at four Harley Dealers along the way for the required t-shirt. I washed the bike and covered it for the night hoping for a nicer day on Sunday. We went to a nice dinner at the place right next to our hotel.
Easter Sunday, we woke up and to our surprise found an inch of show on the ground and on the bike!
Once out of the parking lot the roads were treated and relatively clear so we took it easy and finally made it to Charleston where the weather started to clear and by the time we made it to Lexington, KY it was downright nice but still cool. From there we continued south making our planned destination of Nashville, TN. Since it was Easter Sunday, neither of the two Harley dealers that we intended to stop at were open. The bike was covered in road salt but no car wash was nearby. I used a towel and a bucket to get some off but I refused to take a picture of the mess! We spent the evening sampling the local brews and food fare around the music row area managing to return to our hotel.
Monday morning we woke to a beautiful day and started our way to the end/start of the Natchez Trace Parkway just south of Nashville. This was suggested by Harvey when we were visiting him and Jordine last November. We rode the Trace for about 120 miles where we exited to stop at the Harley dealer near Muscle shoals. I also was able to was the salt off the bike at a nearby car wash. We then returned to the Trace to continue the ride south.
We then crossed into Mississippi and continued down the Trace all the way to Jackson where we stopped at the local Harley shop. At that point, we left the Trace and continued west to Vicksburg where we planned to spend the night. If we had more time, the Civil War battlefield at the National Park would have been on the itinerary.
The next day, Tuesday, we started west across the Mississippi River and into Louisiana. Stopping at a couple of Harley dealers along the way it was a sometimes wet ride until we reached Shreveport. From there, we headed north in the sun to Texarkana, Texas and then east towards Hot Springs Arkansas where we backed into the same rain we were earlier traveling. The Hot Springs Harley dealer was closed so we continued north up route 7 to our destination for the night, Russellville. We stopped at a local BBQ joint, the Big Red Drive-In, owned by some friends of ours, Mike and JoAnn.
This is where the trip took it's most devastating turn....Russellville is in the center of a DRY County! This meant no BEER with dinner...I was crushed. Mike and JoAnn however treated us to a wonderful dinner and their great company made up for the lack of adult beverages.
Wednesday morning, we left with the sun rising and expectations for a pleasant day of travel. We headed west to Tulsa, Oklahoma and then northeast on Historic Rt. 66 to Joplin Missouri. From there we went north towards Kansas City. About ten miles from the hotel, I had a Shifter Linkage problem with the bike and after some roadside repairs was able to limp to the Hotel mostly in third gear. At the hotel I called a nearby Harley dealer to see if I could come in for service in the morning to repair the shifter. Gail's HD was great and said to be there at 9 in the morning and they would work the issue. That evening we then walked down to a restaurant called the Hereford House where I had a GREAT STEAK!
The next morning, the weather forecast for the weekend was not looking good...with more snow expected anywhere from KC to the Ohio valley...basically, the way home. Our plan was to ride to Nebraska and Iowa on Thursday, dinner with some friends Thursday Night, the Factory Tour on Friday and then ride home Saturday and Sunday. Well, when looking at everything, timing and weather especially, we changed our plans. We went to Gail's and had the bike fixed and then proceeded to ride around the area stopping at the Harley factory.
After leaving the factory, we put our alternate plans into action. We stopped at the airport where we rented a car for a one-way trip to New Jersey. We then dropped the bike off at Gail's and returned to the hotel in the rental car. At the hotel, we met up with some of our KC friends to head out to dinner.
Anne was thinking that she wishes I would shut up as I was explaining riding in the snow, people taking our picture and cars in ditches!
Friday morning we got an early start and headed east stopping for the night in New Stanton, PA. Saturday morning, we stopped in NJ to return the rental and pick up the truck and trailer. We were home by 6 Saturday night, Brisco was so happy to see us!
<at this point the vacation is interrupted and we returned to work>
Using frequent Flyer miles, I was able to arrange a later flight from Providence to KC on Wednesday, April 18. Then on Thursday, April 19 at 9:30 in the morning I was at Gail's HD to pick up the bike and continue the trip. I rode north into Iowa and over to Omaha Nebraska and then east stopping at Zooks HD in Des Moines.
I continued east to Davenport where I spent the night. On Friday, I continued east across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio finally arriving in Erie, PA where I spent the night. Saturday morning I rode up to Buffalo and then east to the Albany, NY area where I met Anne at her parent's house. It was so nice that Anne had me take her for a quick ride somewhere just to get out on the bike.
Sunday, I packed up and rode home solo as Anne headed to New Jersey.