Monday, October 29, 2012

29 October, 2012

We've been home from our last ride to Southern Indiana and the Culpeper, Va. Air Show for a whole week now.  The mails caught up, the bills are paid, the laundry is done, and the oil on the Wing has been changed.  Marguerite says she's standing by, ready to go any time now.

     We are watching the "Frankenstorm" with great interest because we have friends all along the east coast.  Thinking good thoughts for them.
     For those of you who followed our 2,811 mile, 19 day ride we'd like to thank you for following along and hope you enjoyed the adventure with us.  We just recently decided to advertise our books in Wing World Magazine.  The first banner ad will appear 1 November and continue through December.  The ad contains our blog address, and for those folks that aren't familiar with our books I'm leaving all the current postings up for a few weeks just in case they'd like to read about our latest trip as well.  There is an archive at the bottom right of the blog.
  Below is a copy of the ad coming out in Wing World Magazine.

We have a couple rides in mind for November and December.  A ride up to Biloxi, Mississippi is always fun and it would allow us to run through the Apalachicola area in the "Big Bend" of Florida.  Apalachicola is known for their wonderful oysters and beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico.
     In December, we have a somewhat short trip planned for a Key West Run.  Key West is always a good idea and one of our favorite rides.
     We've penciled these rides in for now and won't know for a while if we can put them in "INK" but keep checking in the next couple of months.  We will change the blog the minute we are back "Winging It Our Way".


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Summary of the Ride

21 October 2012
It felt strange to wake up this morning and not put on our clothes and get on the Wing.  The ride is officially over and we had a great time.  Renewed some old friendships, enjoyed some wonderful hospitality and even with a little cold weather for riding, generally had a great time.
     We wanted to experience some of the great motorcycle rides available in Southern Indiana and hoped to catch a few of the spectacular fall colors.  I think we managed to accomplished it all and were really glad to share it with all of you that followed along.

The rides really were spectacular and if you can get there it's well worth the effort, even if it's a little on the cool side.
     Marguerite kept good notes so here is a summary of some of the numbers from this adventure we like to call "Winging It Our Way."
Total Miles on this ride, 2,811.
Total Number of Days  19.
Nights is a Motel, 5
Average Motel Cost$ 61.20, taking advantage of the motel coupon books, without the coupon books,  $105.00
Total Motel Expense, 5 nights, $349.00
Total Fuel Expense, $285.53 and average gallon of gas during trip was $3.67.
Food, including tips, $560.00
Total Trip Expense $1.194.00
Nights with family or friends 13, included being hosted for Air Show and book signing.
Average miles per day, 2811/17= 165 per day.
Longest day, October 16th, Fairfax, Va to Florence, S.C. 534 miles
Shortest day, October 14th, Culpeper, Va to Fairfax, Va, 60 miles.
Coldest Riding day, Anderson, Ind to Waynesburg, PA.  37 Degrees F= Wind Chill of approximately 23degrees F, with wind gusts of 25 to 30mph.
Average Wind Chill for 5 coldest days= 29 degrees F
Warmest day was the last leg into Clermont, 65 to 81 degrees F.
Today we did the Laundry, sorted the mail and paid the bills.  Already we look forward to our next chance to "Wing It Our Way."
We are thinking about a ride in November, and one for December.  We will let you all know, check us out once in a while and we will depend on our main man, Hink, to pass the word.
Thanks for following.
Marguerite and Bill

Homeward Bound

Saturday Morning, 20 October, 2012

The last leg of out trip is a 140 mile ride from Jacksonville to Clermont.  There are several ways to do this and over the years we've tried every way possible but have settled on the best ride as far as we are concerned.

     We can't leave until we've had one last "Special Frittata" of Andy's and as we are getting dressed and packed up we can smell breakfast.  As we suspected it has some seafood and other goodies along with eggs and cheese and I told Andy that it was of picture quality and suitable for framing.

     The weather in Jacksonville this morning is beautiful and the forecast is for "Beautiful" all the way home.  After riding in some pretty miseable temperatures the 66 degreees and climbing when we woke up is what we've been looking for all along.  It's still chilly enough for jackets but it's just right.

     ME and Andy are closely monitoring our departure and oblige by taking some photos of us before we leave.  We realized we'd gone the whole ride with very few pictures of us and the Wing.


       About a mile from there house we turn south on Florida Highway 13, cross the bridge at Junlington Creek and we are on our way.  We stay south on 13 until we can turn west and take the bridge over the St.Johns River and intercept US Highway 17 at Green Cove Springs.  We both like crossing the river on this particular bridge and Marguerite gets a great photo of our shadow as we reach the high point of the bridge.

      At 17 we turn south heading for Plataka where we will pick up Florida Highway 19 and continue south for a very nice run through the Ocala National Forest.  This is a pretty ride on good road.  For those riders having not done this that live in Florida, you should add this to your list of "Roads to Ride".

     Our Frittata didn't last all that long and we have a spot along this route that is a great stop for any meal but breakfast or lunch is very good.  It's called the Mason Jar and it's located in Donna Vista, Florida.  Don't blink going through Donna Vista or you'll will miss it, but ya can't miss the sign for the Mason Jar.

    Nothing real fancy, just good old southern cooking.  We treat ourselves to a nice lunch.
    From here we are pulling into our driveway in about one hour.  There's the inevitable unpack and storing the Wing after a ride.  It seems much easier to pack it up and leave than unpack and stow.

      At the first stop after we departed we both noted with great displeasure that I'd left behind to essential items that we always take.  The two airhawk seat cushions and the little stretch net that is really useful for holding "stuff" on top of the rear trunk bag.  As soon as we raise the garage door we both see them carefully stacked on top of the lawn mower seat.  Me, the guy who wasn't going to take his heavy jacket, the guy Marguerite finally convinced that I should, the guy who would have frozen to death if he hadn't, had unpacked the Wing at the last minute to add his jacket and forgot to put the cushions and the net back on at the last minute.  So there they sat in all there glory and there we stood with tender posteriors and side bags crammed to the breaking point because we didn't have our little net to hold down those extra's.

     Of course the ultimate "downer" at the end of the nice ride is when you open the front door and find all the mail that has been collected by friends or in our case family and placed on the dining room table. 

     Along with the mail we discovered that the garage door would go up when the button was pushed but will now for some reason not come down.  There have been a number of power outages and all the clocks need resetting.  If it weren't for needing to do laundry and pay a few bills, I think we'd both get back on the Wing and just keep going.
     Tomorrow will be the last posting for this adventure and will include a summary of the ride which should add some insight to "Winging It Our Way."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hanging Out in Jacksonville

18&19 October, 2012
Thursday and Friday


After two hard riding 400 mile days to get here we are just hanging out with Andy and ME ( Mary Ellen).  Marguerite and I are both tired and even after a good nights sleep we are still dragging butt.
Andy likes to cook so he says he fixing a surprise Frittata, one of his specialties, which will restore our energy levels.

     He has a secret receipt for homemade corned beef hash and it's delicious.  After our great breakfast ME and Marguerite depart to get ME's new eye glasses she needs after some serious eye surgery. Andy and I spend the day chasing down some details for his swimming pool business.

     We all meet back at the house just in time for the cocktail hour and since ME found some really neat Martini glasses on sale, while waiting for her new glasses, we put them to good use.  After a great attitude adjustment hour we found our way down to a local Thai restaurant for a nice dinner.  Even with the healing qualities of Andy's secret receipt hash, Marguerite and I are still tired and we opt for an early night.


     This morning we have an adgenda but it won't include any secret Frittatas, we're visiting our old riding buddies here in Jacksonville.  Mel and Lou were are riding partners for years and we have missed them badly.  Due to circumstances beyond their control and now a couple of health issues they had to halt their Goldwinging It.  We hang out with them and talk over old times and then get back the Andy and ME's for some Estate Saling out near the beach.
     We found a couple of small treasures and then head to their son Michaels new beach house.  It's only new to him, but it's great.  It's also air show weekend and the Blue Angels are going to perform and today they are practicing so we get a "TwoFer", a tour of Michael's beach house and watch the Blue Angels practice.


    As you can see there are some really beautiful things growing in Michael's yard and Marguerite just couldn't resist a couple pictures of the beautiful flowers. 
     After our beachhouse tour ME had a special place for lunch out near Mayport Naval Air Station.
The seafood couldn't get any fresher.

     We had lunch right on the the pier of the Mayport Seafood Market.  Delicious stuff.

     It was a great afternoon and now it's back to the house and Bill and Marguerite get ready to go home tomorrow.  We will leave in the moring and head back to Clermont.
     Andy's already trying to decide what type Frittata he's going to fix for our departure.  I have a feeling some type of seafood may appear in it.

     Back on the Wing tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jacksonville Bound

Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Florence, South Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida

Heading For Andy and MaryEllen's

We aren't allowed to pass through Jacksonville, Florida without checking in with our long time friends Andy and ME (Short for MaryEllen) and they aren't allowed to pass through our home town without checking in as well. 
     Marguerite called ME and gave her an ETA of about 3PM.  We leave the motel and jump right on I-95 south.  I've always hated this stretch.  Florence to Savannah, about 170 or so miles right through the "Great Dismal Swamp", Francis Marion country.  The road surface through here is terrible and there's not much to see. 
     The weather is overcast and it's cool again, 57 degrees but as we grind south it's getting warmer.  We keep hoping to see that sign we love and know we are at least back in the state.  Shortly after 1pm there it is!!!
     I remove my jacket while in the rest area but Marguerite says she's leaving everything on, not matter what.  It's only 77 and she thinks it's not hot enough yet to remove anything.
     Back out on I-95 south the fun and games are about to begin.  We decide to run right through the center of town.  We could take Highway 9-A which is a nice four lane road that runs around the east side of Jacksonville and has a spectacular bridge.  However, it's dark and ominious looking to the east and the wind is blowing like hell again and that makes it tough when you cross the bridge, so it's right down the middle for us.

Finally it's the end of the trail.  Another 400 mile day and we are glad to be off the road. It's 3:05pm


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Farifax, Virginia to Florence, South Carolina.

After a great time here in the Virginia area it's time to head south.  Our departure from the Anderson's lovely home is scheduled for a little later, 0900 in order to stay behind the "Wave" of traffic going into and around the Washington area.  We leave their house and work our way to Highway 123 south which will lead us to I-95 which will be the main route for today.
     We are on the outbound side of the heavy traffic and thank goodness.  Looking across to the inbound side and watching those poor souls grinding along at a snails pace makes us feel very happy that we don't have to participate in something like that.  It's frieghtening to watch.
     At the junction of 123 and I-95 it's the same situation, the southbound lane is virtually empty but the northbound is paralyzed.  As we get south of Quantico and some heavy construction the traffic picks up.  Those going south bound for the day have caught up with us.  We are in three lanes of traffic doing 75mph and they are blowing past us.  It's not comfortable.
     At mile marker 113 there is an accident that closes two lanes and traffic is all stop.  It takes thirty minutes to work our way through this mess and the chatter on the CB by the truckers keeps us entertained.  They don't delve into a lot of modern day deep subjects but they are passionate with their opinions.

We are finally out of Virginia and approaching the Rocky Mount, N.C. area and Marguerite remembers a great seafood restaurant chain in the Carolina area called MayFlower Seafood.  It's worth the stop if one is reasonably close.  At the Caronlina welcome center we stop for a hotel coupon book for both North and South Carolina and break out the small Garmin GPS we carry.  It takes a while but we locate a MayFlower restaurant near Wilson that isn't too far off I-95.  Lunch will be there for sure.  The Tuesday Special is Shrimp and Flounder for $6.99, you can't beat it.
     The lunch break takes about an hour but it's well worth it and we needed a nice break anyway.  During lunch we do some research in the motel coupon book and pick a targert for tonights stay.  Marguerite homes in on a Quality Inn at exit 160 off I-95.  It's newly renovated, and has the best price.
     We get back on I-95 south and grind out the miles.  There really isn't much to see and the road surface leaves a lot to be desired.  After some of the really fun rides in Indiana, this is just the price we have to pay, at least that's what we tell ourselves.
     It's a 400 plus mile day and we don't get into the motel until after six pm.  It's a good thing we used the motel coupon trick, with the coupon our room is $60.00 which includes a hot breakfast. 
A lady that checked in at the same time as Marguertie and didn't have a coupon had to pay $90.00.  We've saved a lot of money over the years by taking advantage of the motel coupon books whenever we can.
     After our huge lunch at MayFlower we really don't want any dinner but Marguerite spots a Bruster's Ice Cream shop that's easy walking distance from the motel.  She says that after a day like today she really needs an ice cream cone just to take the edge off the day.

14&15 October, 2012 The Andersons

14&15 October, 2012

Sunday and Monday

The weather is even better today and we don’t have far to go.  After a great and fun air show yesterday all we have to do today is ride from Culpeper to Fairfax for a visit with long time Marine friends, The Anderson’s.  Since Joe was one of the pilots yesterday, Marsha will be our guide to their house while Joe takes the Harrier back to its base.

     It’s about a 60 mile trip and takes a little over an hour.  Sunday afternoon traffic is a little heavy at times but this is the Washington D.C. area.

     Marsha even left the ride side of their garage empty so the Wing had a nice dry place to park.  Late Sunday afternoon it started to cloud up and Monday the forecast was for rain.

     We had a lovely evening with our friends and on Monday had a tour of the Fairfax county Sheriff’s air division.  One of the Anderson’s daughter’s is a Fairfax police officer, so she had one of her pals fix us up with the tour.

     Her friend Tammay  gave us a complete tour of the new Bell 429 helicopter that is especially designed for medical and police emergencies.
     The changes is technology are absolutely amazing to an “Old” helicopter pilot.  Tammay had just used some of the advanced technology to make an amazing rescue of a seven year old autistic boy who was lost in a woods.  She actually discovered the child was walking in a stream.  It was a pretty amazing rescue.

     It was a good thing we’d decided to hold up on Monday because the weather would have been horrible for a Wing ride.  It also gave us a chance to spend the entire day hanging out with two of our very favorite people and some of their family.  Joe loves to cook and is a bit of a “Foody” and Marsha is also a whiz in the kitchen, so dinner was really something.

                        Marsha working on a vegetable pie and Joe grilling some salmon.

It was a great meal, a great night, and the special treat was we were joined for dinner by their daughter Jane and granddaughter Kelly.  We don’t get to see them very often so when we do it’s always special.  It made it hard to leave .

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Culpeper Air Fest Air Show

October 13, 2012

Culpeper Air Fest

Culpeper, Virginia

It’s a glorious day, the best we’ve seen since the 5th of October. Absolutely clear skies, temperatures forecast to be middle to upper sixties and light winds, perfect day for an air show.

Our hosts, Nalls Aviation have arranged it all. We have a very nice breakfast and then are taken out to the airfield for the show. For an old Marine pilot like me it’s a great day all around, air planes of all kinds, the sights, sounds and smells of aircraft bring back a lot of memories.

I spend about a half hour signing our books that Nalls Aviation has purchased as gifts for the Harrier crew and am surprised at the reaction by some that we’ve written four books. Several people ask for information about how to buy them and it’s exciting to think about something like that.

We spend the day at the air show, attend a nice cocktail party and dinner this evening and fall into bed. It was a lovely day.

Marguerite got some great pictures of the aircraft at the show.

Me With Art Nalls