CHAPTER “20”….DAY 16…2016 FLORIDA TO MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP!!!

TUESDAY AUGUST 30, 2016…..DAY SIXTEEN!!   MILES TODAY: 498.2    TOTAL MILES: 2371.1

As I promised myself I dragged my body from the really, comfy bed that the Quality Inn had provided. I shuffled around the room managing to prepare me for the day. I had packed the bike for the trip at Brett & Angela’s house so it was ready to go. All I had to do was get dressed, throw on my backpack, fire up the scooter, and hit the road. Being lively at 4:00 in the morning isn’t the easiest thing UNTIL one puts themselves one a motorcycle. That seems to inject life and vitality.

For some reason Michigan has found it cost effective (under the guise of “safety”) to put in a Roundabout instead of a traffic light. If they only did this once or twice it would be fine….I suppose. Michigan has decided to put them all over the place. If there is one thing that I have learned since first passing my driver’s test and getting a license back in the early 1800s (give or take) it is that leaving safety up to individual drivers is like asking Dean Martin to guard the Scotch supply. Thankfully, the 5 Roundabout intersections that I hit were with pre-4:30 AM traffic and there was not much in the way of cars and trucks AIMING for me. I made it through those intersections and more miles of construction as I worked my way south out of Michigan.

michigan-roundabouts-map
Michigan’s Roundabouts

 

 

I wound through Toledo and onto the Ohio Turnpike. We pause here for a political commentary….”I feel that one of the biggest insults there is to the American driver today is to have a TOLL ROAD!!! It is no secret that government at ALL levels is renowned for its waste of OUR money. I do not accept that there is a shortage of cash to keep our highways, byways, bridges, and overpasses safe and in good condition. Tolls should be abolished and NOT offset by an increase of other taxes.” I am Don Bova and I approve this message!!!  That being said I proceeded to get my ticket on the Ohio Turnpike and had the money ready in my tank bag for when I left the highway.

It was a bit cool in the morning but not unbearable and as I rode due east I did have the rising sun blasting my eyeballs. Still it was a great ride. I stopped for gas along the Turnpike in a Service Area. While there I sucked down some Starbuck’s coffee and gave Lisa her wake-up call. A couple of truckers walked by where I was sitting and they asked me about my trip. With enthusiasm I told of my previous 2 weeks and the routes I had taken. I also added that I was on my way to Florida. They asked me if I was worried about the storm.

Storm? STOR…RUM??? I have been on the road for 2 weeks and haven’t watched any news, weather, or sports. I haven’t picked up a newspaper or listened to the radio. The only radar I have looked has been centered where I was standing and how it would affect me the rest of the day. STORM?? I checked….hmmm, there is a tropical disturbance there. Number 9 they are calling it. It looks like I will be able to squeak by it when the time comes. Now I had something new to think about……a storm…..crap!!!

Being the trooper that I am I rode on. The ride through Ohio was fantastic. The weather and traffic was near perfect as I rolled along I-77 south from Cleveland to Marietta, OH. At Marietta I crossed the Ohio River into West Virginia. There was a quick stop for gas at Love’s a bit south of Parkersburg in Fairplain, WV. I slurped down some water and folded up some dollar bills to go through the toll booths south of Charleston……no political statements this time.

My destination was Beckley, WV where I would spend the night with my cousin. All was great until I was about 10 miles north of Beckley. It was sunny and bright as I rode along the curvy 1-77 through the mountains. I went around a curve AND…………the sun was gone. WHOOSH….I was in a downpour. Where the heck did that come from??? I rode for about 2 minutes, went around a curve AND…….the rain stopped and the sun was shining. I rode for about another 2 minutes, went around a curve AND….WHOOSH….there was NO sun and I was in a downpour. As I neared the Harper Rd Exit in Beckley I rode out of the rain and into the sun. Marcia, my cousin, lives about a mile off of I-77 and the Harper Rd Exit and when I pulled in her driveway it was a BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL day. The last 15 minutes of my day had been sun-WHOOSH-sun-WHOOSH-sun!!!

Marcia greeted me as I parked the bike in her garage. Since we were both hungry, tired, and had to be up and out by 7:00 tomorrow I carried my stuff into the house and off we little%20sicily%20ribbon%20cutting%20bwent to have supper…..even though it was only 3:00 in the afternoon. We swung by a local hardware store where she bought some needs for her house. Then we went to a small place called Little Sicily. Marcia knew the owner and we were treated like royalty. It probably helped that it was 3:30 in the afternoon and we were the only two people in the place…..but it was nice nevertheless. I had a Stromboli and it was great.

Back at Marcia’s house she pulled out a cupcake Birthday Cake including candles. Since they don’t make many cupcakes near big enough to hold ALL the candles it would take for my birthday she did her best. There were plenty enough……for one thing it took me TWO

20160830_175957.jpg
Huffing and Puffing didn’t help!!

 

blows to put them out.   That shoots the crap out of that birthday wish.

 

I got a fork and did major damage to the cake. I followed that with a quick Skype to Lisa and I told her all the things that I have just told you. Marcia and I discussed some Family Tree stuff and it was time for bed. I don’t handle the 3:30 AM starts as well as I used to.

I went upstairs to an empty bedroom and was asleep in minutes. Before I went to sleep though I took another gander at the STORM. Still Tropical Depression 9 but its path was now going directly across my path. I had a feeling that I might have to adjust some of my timing. I did not , however, let that disturb my slumber. I slept the night away….not getting up even once (and at my age that is saying a lot!!). Talk to you tomorrow!!

I hope that you enjoy my trip as you read along with my traveling. Don’t forget that anytime you might feel it appropriate you may “Like” or “Share” this or any of the posts on social media which would, of course, give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. You can also drop me a line or leave me a comment. You can write to me at donandlisabova@msn.com using “Your Blog” as the subject line. You can check me out on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/don.bova also because I will generally have more pictures and comments over there. Also you can read the blog about my 2015 road trip from Florida to Michigan at www.donbovaroadtrips.wordpress.com.   Lastly, you can look at pictures of my past yearly road trips to Michigan dating back to 2009 at www.gotyourpic.com/Vacation.

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