My first great adventure of 2016 Part 7

4/22/16  Had breakfast with Daughter, Son-In-Law and two beautiful Grand Daughters. In Savannah GA.                        I just love this picture.image1

Traveled north to Greenville SC, ran into more rain and had dinner with Mailene McWilliams, Mailene and I were in the same grade through elementary and high school.  We did not have a middle school, only about 25 in our graduating.  I think about 25 and can’t confirm that since I recycled (threw away) my year books years ago.  High school was not fun for me and I don’t have a lot of fond memories of The Plains High School.  So I moved on and never looked back.  Talking with Mailene taught me (and I knew this but it was great to confirm it)  that I have had a wonderful life with a beautiful wife for 46 years and three wonderful children who are now all supporting themselves which allows dad to buy motorcycles and travel.  Not a bad gig if you can find it and I did.

4/23/16  Home to East TN.  I traveled route 276 north and was glad to be back on some curvy roads.  Made it home OK and surprised myself that I was rested and did not need weeks to recover.  This tells me that I should be ready for another adventure in June.  Stay tuned and I hope to update frequently during my next adventure.  There may be a few small ones in the mean time and coffee shops too so stay tuned to learn more.

My first great adventure of 2016 Part 6

4/21/16  North to Savannah to visit with Daughter Son-In-Law and grand-kids who are on a mini vacation in Savannah.

St Augustine Coffee Shop
Traveled up A1A through St Augustine, took the ferry across the St Johns River and then further north through Amelia Island.  Lots of money here and not much for a traveling man on a motorcycle and limited income.  St Augustine is a beautiful city and I would like to visit again in the near future.  A lot of history here and lots of coffee shops.

St Johns River Ferry

My first great adventure of 2016 Part 5

4/19/16  Key West Florida.  Mary and I lived in Key West in the late 60’s and it was always a topic of conversation about a return trip.  Well we never made it, Cancer took Mary about 1 1/2 years ago and I think my trip this time on the motorcycle was a chance to look back at a wonderful  time in our lives and to relive some of the past memories.  Well I was disappointed in what I saw.  Key West now has a lot more people, the large high end stores have taken over and there are very few of the old Hippie style businesses I remember from a long time ago.  I guess that is progress and growth, I am sure every town wants to grow but with limited space on Key West the growth has taken a tole on ones ability to enjoy the island.DSCN1497

Parking was at a premium and being on the motorcycle made it easy to find a place to park.  Talking with the locals they tell me that people are having to move further north up the keys to find affordable housing.  I guess some 45 years makes a difference.


4/20/16  Headed north and stopped at Baby’s coffee for a little pick me up to get me charged for a long ride up the east coast of Florida.  Traveled 450 miles to just north of Daytona.



My first great adventure of 2016 Part 4

4/18/16 Left Fort Myers area and headed south, stayed on I75 for a while then switched off to 41 again and followed that through the Everglades to 997 then south to Rt.1 and the Keys.  300 miles today and arrived in Key West.  Route 1 was not too busy and the 7 mile bridge was fun.  You could see the old bridge that Mary and I traveled on years ago and parts of it were blown up for a movie.  The next day I went to the American Legion Post and exchanged a license plate from my local Post with them.  The plate was hung at the next Legion Riders meeting at Post 104 in Sevierville.

Cougar Crossing
Post 28 Key West FL

4/19/16  Spent the day riding around Key West and visited a coffee shop.  I will explain the need for coffee shop visits in a later post.  IMG_1820[1]

My first great adventure of 2016 Part 3

4/15/16  Met a friendly Honda rider at the hotel at breakfast and he suggested I travel south on 41 From Gainesville to Tampa.  I did not want to travel the interstate so I headed out in search of route 41.  It was a beautiful two lane road with little traffic but as I figured it was as straight as an arrow.  A bit boring but lots of cute little towns to pass through, lots of farms and gas stations so all was good.

Got on I75 through Tampa and ran into more rain.  Stopped at the rest area before the big Sunshine Skyway bridge in Tampa.  I saw three bikes with TN plates and discovered they were from Oak Ridge TN and were on their way to Key West to camp for a week.IMG_1777[1]

The rest of the day was spent riding to Cape Coral to visit with my sister and brother in-Law.  I spend a couple of days with them and visited the Edison-Ford  Museum in Fort Myers.  The museum was really interesting and I did not know that Edison was so into Botany.  I also had some Skyline Chili for dinner one night, that was a nice treat since I had not had any in quite some time.  Had a great time visiting with the family.

My first great adventure of 2016 Part 2

4/14/16 Left the Atlanta area and headed south towards Florida.  I made it to Gainesville FL about 360 miles from the Atlanta area, not much to report here the roads are straight and boring.  I stopped at an American Legion Post 58 Wall-Rivers but they were not open they were just getting ready for a yard sale.  Continued south on 441 towards Florida.  Now with roads as straight as an arrow, olive farms and absolutely no traffic I can honestly say that I did the TON, just for a few seconds but the 650 Kawasaki Versys will do it.  I immediately slowed down thinking if I ran off the road no one except the alligators would find me.  By the time I got to Gainesville it was raining again and quite windy.  The welcome to Florida sign lied to me, there was no sunshine.   Ordered a Pizza and stayed in the room getting to bed early.