8.03.2012

Beartooth 2012: Day 1: Pennsylvania to Indiana

Friday July 20. Three a.m. the ringing of my alarm wakes me up to a humid, dark, warm morning. Ole Girl is already packed, so my main concern is coffee and rain. Since the morning is still black like my coffee, I am not sure what is falling from the sky and for that matter rain does not concern me very much 'cause we will ride! Around quarter til four my wife and daughter wake up and meet me down in the garage; my wife suggest that I wear my rain suit-I agree. About five minutes to four, we pray as a family and I open up the garage. I can hear Ron's bike coming up the hill. I sit on my bike: left heel kicks up the kickstand, left hand pulls the clutch lever in, right hand turns the ignition On, right thumb pushes the Run switch, the fuel pump whirrs to life and the right thumb pushes the Start button: a cacophony of noise fills the garage as fuel, air, and fire detonate into the freedom of motion.
Five miles later, we jump onto the west bound lane of the PA Turnpike-there doesn't seem to be any rain but the roads are wet-glad I have my Goretex on! I see the Breezewood Exit and decide it is time for breakfast at the Gateway Restaurant-a fitting name since the Turnpike is a 'gateway' out of Pennsylvania! Breakfast is fine, conversation minimal since I'm not much of a 'morning' person. A loud mouth patron is whining about this and that and seems to only be able to use a certain four letter word to articulate what he is thinking...Back out on the Super-Slab we continue to roll. Past Somerset the sky darkens as our odometers tell us that we are in need of fuel. By this time it is really starting to rain and unfortunately I took my Goretex off back in Breezewood...dang! Ron and I are really getting soaked as we gingerly exit at Donegal. I buy my bike a new tank of gas and we ride over to an abandoned gas station to put our rain suits on. The rain stays with us until we are just outside of Pittsburgh. Traffic increases as the rain decreases. We maneuver to the lane we need. No sooner do we get going when we hit a nice 'little' traffic jam entering into the Squirrel Tunnel. So now we have a nice view of the rivers and bridges. Soon after 'forever' passes we roll the gauntlet of traffic signs, traffic and tight spaces of the low overhead girder bridges. Finally we bust out onto the other side and quickly pick-up U.S. 30 westbound. And before we know it we are thru West Virginia and entering the Buckeye State. The further west we roll the better the weather. Several hours later we are on U.S. 24 and crossing into the Hoosier State. By now the sun is shinning on Ron and I. Six-hundred eleven miles later we hit the kill switch on our machines in the parking lot of the Super 8 in Logansport, Indiana. Not long after eating a Bob Evan's dinner special its lights out! Next stop, Lincoln, Nebraska! 

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