Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Long Weekend - Part II

This is part 2 of a 3 part ride report. Part 1 can be found here.

One of the best things about our long weekend away from home was being able to sleep in. Usually, even on Saturday mornings I rise before daybreak, either out of habit or out of necessity. But not this particular Saturday.

We didn't hit the road until about 11:00 and that was after breakfast at a Portsmouth Bob Evans restaurant. It was another bright and sunny day, although the morning air was cool.

Today's journey would take us through Manchester and Aberdeen and Ripley, believe it or not. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Our destination was probably Springfield, Ohio. The plan was to take US 52 westward following the Ohio River until either Ripley or Cincinnati and then turn north. US 52 between Portsmouth and Cincinnati was a major highway at one time. It is still well cared for but traffic is light and almost entirely local.

We left Portsmouth and traveled through Sugar Grove, Kennvale, and Buena Vista, all just wide spots in the road. About the time we got to Kennvale, I realized that my fuel gauge was blinking. In my excitement for the day, I had forgotten to fill up in Portsmouth before we left and now the tank was down to about half a gallon left.

That much fuel will normally take me about 30 miles. No problem. Or so I thought. We had to ride all the way to Manchester before we found a gas station. According to specs, my tank holds 4.1 gallons and I pumped 4.02 gallons into it.

Serves me right. I was paying too much attention to the scenery and not enough attention to important stuff, like fuel.

On impulse, I turned north on US 68 at Ripley. As soon as we got more than a couple of miles north from the Ohio River flood plain the elevation rose and the landscape flattened out. When terrain is flat roads tend to run in a straight line. This part of US 68 is like that.

Flat, wide, open areas dotted with an acre or two of trees here and there. Most of the fields had been harvested so we could see for miles.

Mt. Orab, Greenbush, Fayetteville, and Willmington are some of the towns we passed through.

It was somewhere between Willington and and Xenia that I recalled something that Dave (I think) commented on elsewhere in this blog: Young's Jersey Dairy Farm.

Teresa had never been to Young's before so I knew it would not only be a surprise but a nice treat, too.

The Young dairy farm started in 1869. They started selling milk from the farm in the 1950s. Then came ice cream and a bakery.

They now have something for everyone especially if you like ice cream or have young ones that find petting and feeding corralled goats, sheep, calves, ducks and geese enjoyable. Their website says they served approximately 1,150,000 customers in 2007.

Teresa and I spent about an hour on the farm enjoying some creamy frozen delights while we watched other people doing the same.

Then it was back on the road again, headed north through Yellow Springs, Xenia and then to Springfield.

Yellow Springs is the home of Antioch College and a major arts center. When we passed through, it appeared as though there was some kind of street fair taking place. Live music and dancing, artists and merchants displaying their work or hocking their wares everywhere.

We continued on through Xenia and then onto Springfield. Earlier in the day, Teresa had called ahead and reserved a room in a south Springfield hotel. With only a vague idea of how to reach our destination, I ended up traveling about 5 or 6 miles past where we needed to be.

I soon realized my error and pulled off onto an exit ramp and retreived the road map. We were sitting astride Lady when a rider on a Sportster turned around and pulled up beside us.

His name was Bill and wanted to know if we needed any help. Bill reminded me of Wild Bill Hickock, or at least what I imagined Wild Bill looked like.

Bill was probably in his 50s and had long, shoulder length hair that had more silver in it than anything else. He had a warm smile and friendly eyes behind his glasses and he wore light brown distressed leathers on both top and bottom with foot long fringe across the chest and down the arms and legs. A definite western theme going on.

I explained where we wanted to be and he knew exactly where I was talking about. Bill gave us great directions to our hotel and then explained that he was a pastor of a church that held biker services and invited us to attend that evening. We thanked him, promised to give the invite consideration and turned around toward our accommodations.

At the hotel, I regretted not having access to a public PC so I could send an email. We were staying in Rick Slark's backyard (Keep The Rubber Side Down) and would have liked an opportunity to meet with him. But with no advanced email it was not to happen. Next time for sure, Rick!

We had dinner at O'Charlie's and planned the final day of our adventure.

This day we covered another 150 miles at a very leisurely pace of about 6 hours. Here's a link to the Google map. LINK Tomorrow would take us us northward to Celina and then east heading for home. We would have to cover about 250 miles on our final day and I found myself longing for an extra day on the road.

(To Be Continued)

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