Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Along The Right Coast

The sky was cloudy and foggy as I approached the North Carolina Coast in the morning, a storm seemed to be trying to come in but was stalled just off the coast. As I rode over the bridge to Nags Head the clouds suddenly opened up and poured rain down on me, not cold rain, big warm drops like a summer storm in Hawaii. But wet is wet and I pulled over first chance I got and put on my new rain suit, I opened the lid for the few seconds to get the suit and everything in my trunk got soaked, lesson learned. By the time I got geared up and back on the road the storm had become a trickle. I arrived at the beach in full rain gear and with the sun beating down, hot as hell -looked pretty silly too.
More cool stuff along the road
Finally, the Atlantic!
What's the point if you don't get in the water!

But I was not there to make a fashion statement, I had a mission. Somewhere in California a small boy was about to turn 8 years old and I was determined that on this birthday he should have a bottle of fresh (not so clean) Atlantic Sea Water. Water that would hopefully remind him of his fathers travels and inspire him to visit the East Coast himself. With great enthusiasm I stormed the beach at Nags Head, lifeguards and swimsuit clad vacationers wondering what the hell I was up to. I celebrated my Coast to Coast ride with a little dip in the Atlantic waters and secured my prize.
Evidence secured!

North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich!
Just up the coast was The Wright Brothers National Memorial, I had been there as a child, but it was just a hill and memorial back then. I only stopped in to get a couple of trinkets for my son (he wants to design spaceships when he grows up).  I will look forward to really visiting it with Tommy sometime soon.

I was off like a herd of turtles, making very poor time and enjoying every minute of it. I headed out of North Carolina and into Virginia on my way toward Maryland. This area is full of history, some of our countries most important battles and historic events took place along these roads. I watched the wooded landscape along the roadside, imagining the soldiers fighting for our countries freedoms, these battles shaped and defined our country. It is a moving experience to stand or be in the same places that our forefathers stood. Given my schedule I had little time to stand and since I knew I would be visiting the area with my son in the near future, I pressed on.

Along the roadside outside Washington DC, I saw man maybe 70, standing beside his car. His front tire flat and with crowbar in hand, he looked frustrated, sad and defeated. Having a clear shot, I threw my bike across 3 lanes to and pulled to the shoulder to assist him. Getting off my bike and removing my helmet, I could see the look of fear on his face -he had images of bad 1960's movies running through his head. "Looks like you could use some help" I smiled and removed my glasses before approaching him. His look shifted from fear to relief. In the process of changing his tire, I learned that he taught Architectural Preservation at the University of Maryland. We had a wonderful discussion and by the time I had him packed up and ready to go, I had made another friend. When he offered to pay me, I refused, asking instead that he help a motorcyclist some time in the future.
The views from my guest suite
in the East Wing

Old farms, abandon buildings
and winding roads  
Maryland is a beautiful state with long curving country roads, winding through hillsides, spotted with farms and country estates. I (of course) got lost, trying to find the home of my friends Brian and Alisa Smith. Brian and I used to ride together in Southern California back in the early 90's. I introduced my friend Alisa to Brian and they have been together ever since. I did find their beautiful home (I should call it an estate) after much exploring. Alisa had prepared a wonderful dinner. Wine, beer, great food, and reminiscing about the old days, I must say it was hard to go to bed knowing that I would miss them all that much more as I pulled out of the driveway the next morning.


  1. What an amazing journey!!! So few people will ever experience something like this in their lifetimes. I'm glad you did.
    Greay side down!

  2. Maryland sounds beautiful and what a great idea to give your son east coast water. I LOVE your ride story!