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Northeastern States Trip

Northeastern States – Day 18

After spending 18 days on the road and logging over 6,000 miles, through the Midwest, up into Canada, down through the Northeastern states, and back across the USA, I made it home without incident. I met a lot of interesting people saw some beautiful countryside, experienced some quiet special moments of contemplation, and arrived home, greeted by family.

I have now ridden my motorcycle in 49 states, leaving Alaska as my last challenge.
That will be another day.

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 19, 2010 at 10:13 PM

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Northeastern States Trip – Home Again

I’m home!

After putting in about 300 miles today, I arrived home with the greetings of several family members.

Three of my four daughters.
Two of my grandsons.
My one and only true love.
Logged just over 6,000 miles in 18 days, through two countries and 18 states.
I officially checked off the last of the 48 contiguous states. Now all I have left to travel through is Alaska, and that will have to be another day. Right now, I’m tired and am glad to be home.
Here’s my official route on this trip. Kind of a figure 8.
Some closing thoughts. I experienced a lot of different things on this trip. The weather was remarkably good. Other than a few sprinkles, I had dry roads the whole trip. Interesting enough, the worst of the weather was my last 4 miles of the trip returning to the Salt Lake Valley. As I merged onto I-15, off of I-215, I hit some pretty strong winds and rain. I had to travel over 6,000 miles to experience my worst weather right in my own backyard.
I had some very special and personal moments in the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. Penny and I shared some special times in Kirtland, Ohio. I met a lot of different people in my travels and saw some incredible countryside. But there is nothing as exciting and pleasing to my eyes as home and family.
It’s good to be home. Thanks for following along with me and sharing in my trip.
Until next time…

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM

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Northeastern Trip – Day 17

Well, here I am somewhere in Wyoming. Today, I decided to take my route from Sturgis through the Black Hills of South Dakota. As always, it was a spectacular drive.

Here is a stretch through the Black Hills National Forest. If you look close enough, you can see wet roads, with blue skies in the background. It must have rained really hard last night for the roads to still be wet. But no rain on me… 🙂
More Black Hills. Ever wonder why they are called the Black Hills? The name has its origins from the Indians of the area, and they look black from a distance.
For my biker buddies, here is a picture of the campground we’ll be staying at in August, the same one we stayed at 2 years ago. Nice and quiet, and away from Sodom and Gomorrah.
My bike in front of Pactola Reservoir.
A picture of five prominent faces. You know the guy on the far left…but do you know the names of the other four?
Stuck at a construction stop for 30 minutes somewhere in Wyoming.
Speaking of Wyoming, long stretches of road, and wide open places.
My last stop, Independence Rock, before landing for the night in Rawlins, Wyoming.
I put in just about 400 miles today. Temps started off in the low 40’s, and ended the day around 80. All in all, a nice day with good weather. Tomorrow will be my last stretch of road until landing home once again.
It has been a wonderful trip, seeing a lot of new places, covering a lot of road. By the time I arrive home, I will have logged over 6,000 miles in 18 days. Not too bad for an old guy with a very dependable motorcycle. I’m glad I had the time and ability to make the trip and check off my remaining states. But, I am very much looking forward to being home.
From the words of Forrest Gump; “I’m pretty tired…I think I’ll go home now.”
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 15, 2010 at 5:44 PM

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Northeastern Motorcycle Trip – Day 16

Well, here I am cruising across the wide expanse of North and South Dakota. I learned something today about the two states… they both look alike, but one is called North and the other South.

The monument off in the distance looks like Devil’s tower, but it isn’t. Let’s just call it the Devils Tower look alike.

I traveled about 500 miles today. It was nice and straight and fast going across North Dakota via I-94. I had a lot of company on the interstate. But as soon as I started heading south I was in no-man’s land and felt very lonely and vulnerable. A few times along some lone and lonely stretches of road I started freaking myself out playing the what-if game. What if I had a flat? Or, what if I hit something? There is absolutely no one and no services for miles and miles. There were some stretches of highway that I didn’t see another car for about half an hour or more, both ways.
Here’s me, with no cars in sight. 

Here’s me next to a lake with no cars in sight.
Here’s a stretch of road, with no cars in sight.
Here’s a bend in the road with no cars in sight.
Here’s my bike, with no other cars in sight. I had to stop for a potty break. I didn’t need to worry about being discreet, because, you guessed it, there were no cars in sight.
Here’s me in downtown Sturgis, with no other bikes in sight. A stark difference from the August Bike Rally.
Other than being a lonesome man on a lonesome highway today, the drive was quite pretty. A lot of wide openness of nothingness. It’s interesting to see how each state has it’s own uniqueness and beauty.
Tomorrow, I’ll point my bike once again toward the western horizon, hoping that some day soon I will find home again.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 14, 2010 at 7:18 PM

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Day 15

Left Wisconsin Dells at 9:00 AM, headed towards North Dakota.

Putting about 450 miles on the bike, I landed in Fargo, North Dakota for the night.

The day was kind of uneventful, other than (And please don’t get tired of hearing this) the forecast called for rain, and guess what? No rain!

All I can say is that with no rain, my risk on the motorcycle is greatly reduced. So I am very grateful for another dry day. Let’s see what tomorrow holds, because according to the radar map, I’ll be riding through some rain in South Dakota.
Tomorrow I will actually be riding through Sturgis, South Dakota, site of the annual bike rally of about 500,000 motorcycles. It will be interesting to see what it looks like with no bikers.
The drive today was through a lot of wide open spaces. However, there was a stretch through Minnesota that had lakes blotted all over the countryside, really quite pretty.
My stopping point for the night, Fargo, North Dakota, is named after William Fargo, founder of the Northern Pacific Railroad and Wells Fargo. Shortly after the railroad came through, Fargo was named the “Gateway to the West.” In the 1880’s it was also known as the divorce capital of the Midwest for its lenient divorce laws. Glad I don’t need to use the town for that. “Right Honey?”
Well, tomorrow I head through Bismarck, North Dakota, and then start working my way back home. Looks like I’ll take a number of backroad’s highways to I-80.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 13, 2010 at 5:36 PM

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Day 14

After a tearful goodbye to my sweetheart this morning, I set my GPS for Bismarck, North Dakota, a little over 1,100 miles from Cleveland, Ohio. Why Bismarck? Because I missed North Dakota on my trip out, due to weather conditions, and it is the last state to check off my list of states I’ve driving through. (Except for Alaska)

I’ll drive through North Dakota tomorrow, and then my lifetime goal will have been accomplished. (Of course, except for Alaska. I just might do an Alaskan trip next year) I don’t think many motorcyclists can lay claim to this goal.
When I got up this morning and looked at the weather forecast, it called for rain, not just a chance of rain, but a pretty darn sure amount of rain. So I thought should I put on my rain gear first thing this morning, or wait and suit up later. I decided for later.
And you are not going to believe what happened today. Not a single drop of rain. There were several times during the day, I would look to my left and see dark rain clouds; and I’d look to my right and see dark rain clouds; and I’d look straight ahead to no rain. Thanks to all your prayers and faith, I have not had an increased risk of riding through rain. Someone up above has been looking out for me.

Today I logged 562 miles. I could have probably done 700 except for the darn toll booths. (See my comments below)
I drove through four states today: Ohio, Indiana, Illnois and Wisconsin. Once away from the metropolitan cities, I drove mostly through farmland.
Okay, now for the toll booths. Can I just say how much I truly dislike toll roads. They are a real pain. Most of the problems I had was on the Ohio Turnpike. About every five to seven miles, on the interstate, I would have to go through a toll booth, stop my bike, put it in neutral, dig in my wallet for a couple of bills, sometimes only 50 cents, and pay my toll. Aren’t the interstates funded by federal money? If so, then why are these states (Mostly the eastern states) so hung up on toll roads. I think toll roads are way outdated, and a very inefficient way of moving traffic.
I am so looking forward to our western highways, where I can roll down the road, uninterrupted, and stop when I want to stop, and not be inconvenienced with these inexcusable toll booths! There, now I feel better.
I stopped for the night in Wisconsin Dells, the World Capital of Water parks. Everywhere you turn in this town, there is a water park. They claim to have the world’s largest indoor water park called “Noah’s Ark.”
The only water park I’m going to enjoy tonight is the hotel’s hot tub.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 12, 2010 at 6:32 PM

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Day 13

Today we visited the John Johnson home, where Joseph and Emma lived for a year, from Sept 1831 to Sept 1832; and also visited the rock quarry where the stone was cut for the Kirtland Temple.

While sleeping in this bedroom in the Johnson home, a mob broke into the home and carried Joseph out the door and about 300 yards from the home, stripped him of his clothes, and proceeded to tar and feather him. Some of the men scraped the Prophet’s skin with their fingernails. They even tried to pour poison into his mouth. All night Emma and the Johnsons cleaned the tar from the body of Joseph. The next day Joseph preached from the front steps of the Johnson home to a congregation, which included some of the members of the mob, . In his journal, Joseph records, “With the rising of the sun it was the sabbath day, I preached a sermon and baptized three.”
The field he was carried into and tarred and feathered.
Many revelations were received in this room. One significant revelation was of the Three Degrees of Glory as recorded in the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in this room. (Special feelings were felt here)
Penny and I at the rock quarry.
Slabs of rock were quarried from this site and hauled two miles to the temple site and used for the construction in the Kirtland Temple.
Today ended our visits at the historic sites. Tomorrow, Penny will board a plane back to Salt Lake, and I’ll climb back on my iron horse and head due west for home hoping to arrive home by Wednesday.
It has been a very enjoyable three days with Penny. I’ll miss her.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 11, 2010 at 3:41 PM

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Day 12

Today Penny and I spent the day visiting the various Church historical sights in Kirtland, Ohio. There were some very special feelings throughout the day.

This is the Newel K. Whitney store. Built in 1826, it was an important gathering place in the community. Whitney generously provided rooms in the store for Church meetings, offices, and a home for Joseph Smith and his family.

Among many other types of goods, the Whitneys sold shoes. Notice that each shoe of a pair of shoes are identical and can be worn on either foot. This was done so that when one shoe wears out, all you need to do is buy one shoe to replace it.
This is a printout of the store’s register. Interesting looking at the prices of that day.
The Whitney Store goods: Barrel of flower – $3.46; Jar of molasses – .87; Beautiful lady next to the barrels – priceless.
Room above the store where Church Headquarters were located. Sixty five revelations, which are now in the Doctrine and Covenants, were received here. Joseph Smith met around this table with his counselors to conduct church business.
A room above the store where the school of the prophets was held. It was in this room that several of the brethren had a vision of the Father and the Son.
Kitchen in the store in which Emma Smith used to prepare meals.
Kirtland Temple, currently owned by the Community of Christ Church. (RLDS) During the dedication of the temple (an 8 hour meeting) many of the saints saw visions, heard choirs of angels and experienced one of the greatest spiritual events of their lives.
The Community of Christ Church did not allow photos taken inside the temple. So here are two tourist we found standing outside the temple. Handsome couple, don’t you think?
Home in which the Joseph and Emma Smith family.
Penny and I finished the day sitting on a park bench overlooking the great (And I mean great) Lake Erie. The lake covers 9,940 square miles.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM

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Kirtland: The Crucial Years

I’m on my way to the Cleveland Airport to meet Penny, who will be spending the next three days with me touring the historical sites in Kirtland.

The Kirtland era, for the Church, was a period in Church history of high highs, and low lows. It was a time of great spiritual manifestations, as well as dark grueling seasons. The Church went through some very challenging economic years, which tested the faith of the saints and their support of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
If you are interested in reading a short article that sums up the Kirtland era, click here: Kirtland; The Crucial Years
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 9, 2010 at 11:30 AM

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Motorcycle Trip – Leaving Palmyra

Today I left Palmyra, headed west towards Kirtland, Ohio. As I got closer to Buffalo, NY, I started to see these signs for Niagara Falls. So I began having this conversation with myself. Should I or shouldn’t I take the time to go to Niagara Falls? I have been there twice before, and I’m sure the Falls has not changed much since the last visit. But on the other hand, it is only 17 miles out of my way. But then again, I would have to cross over the border into Canada and can I put up with the stress of being interrogated again? (I really don’t have anything to hide)
So, at the last minute, I turned my bike toward The Falls. I’m glad I did. As before, The Falls were breathtaking, but for only 30 minutes…let me explain.
I started to have another conversation with myself. Do I really want to park my bike with it packed with all my personal stuff, and risk someone ripping me off? Can I just pull close enough off the side of the road and snap a quick picture and never leave my bike?
Well, as I turned into the parking area for The Falls, the price of parking, $18.00 quickly helped me decide. I turned around and headed back towards the border. On the way I found a little parking area, next to The Falls, where I could pay $3.00 for 30 minutes. So I did.
I was able to walk (Run) over to the “photo taking” area, and still have my bike in sight, take a number of pictures and run back within 30 minutes. Wow, that was worth it!

This is American Falls. Called American Falls because it is on the American side. How original.

This is Niagara Falls. Ever thought about going over this in a barrel? The thought made me feel all tingly inside.
Your’s truly with mist coming out of his armpit.
Your’s truly again, but with the American Falls on my right, and a little of Niagara on my left.
On the shores of Lake Eire. Man this is one big lake.
Finally arrived in Kirtland. What a beautiful place. More to come later.
So today I traveled through Upper State New York, into Canada, then back into the USA, across a portion of Pennsylvania, and part of Ohio, along the shore of Lake Erie. Sounds like a lot, but I only traveled about 280 miles today. Just a drop in the bucket for ol’ iron butt man.
My sweetheart is flying in tomorrow, and will join me for three days in Kirtland. Can’t wait for her arrival. I’ve missed her a lot. I’ve been one lonely guy for ten days…and I mean really lonely…
See you tomorrow!
PS. Again, no rain today. The Rain Gods are smiling on me.

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM

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Kirkland Ohio – Motorcycle Trip

Today was spent visiting the Martin Harris Farm, the Peter Whitmer Farm, the Grandin Book Store, and one last visit to the Sacred Grove

Martin Harris Home

Peter Whitmer home where the Church was officially organized on April 6, 1830.

Inside the Peter Whitmer home.
Second floor of the Peter Whitmer home and place where the Gold Plates were translated into the Book of Mormon.
Grandin Bookstore where the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon was printed.
One of the original printing presses used.
A photo copy of the original printer’s copy (Second copy of the manuscript) that is in Oliver Cowdery’s own handwritting.
Dock on the Erie Canal where the printing press was delivered to Grandin’s bookstore.
One last stop at the Sacred Grove, before leaving tomorrow morning for Kirtland, Ohio.
Palmyra has been a special stop on my cross-country trip. I’ll miss the special feelings that were felt in all the places I visited.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 7, 2010 at 3:52 PM

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Day Nine – Sunday, June 6th

Today I attended Church services here in Palmyra. Half of the congregation were visitors, filling up the chapel and halfway into the cultural hall. They were great meetings. Afterwards I toured the Smith cabin, framed house and the Sacred Grove.

Since I have several of my friends reading my blog who are not affiliated with my Church, I want to share with you a little history of my Mormon faith and Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith, when he was a 14 year old boy, living in Upper State New York in 1820, was concerned about which religion he should join. One day he was reading in the Bible, James 1:5, which said, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
So Joseph decided to go into the woods behind his home and apply what he had read. Walking some distance into the woods, and finding himself alone, he knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father for guidance. After praying, Joseph said, “I saw a pillar of light above my head that descended gradually until the light rested upon me…in this light I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defies all description. One of them, calling me by name, and pointing to the other said, ‘This is my Beloved Son, hear Him.'”
Joseph eventually asked which of all the churches he should join. He was told to join none of them, for the churches of that day taught some form of truth, but did not have the fullness of the gospel. He was also told that over time the fullness of the Gospel would be restored to the earth through him.
Several years following this experience, Joseph grew in age and wisdom, and had several other appearances from heavenly beings. One of which was an angel called Moroni who lead Joseph to a place where ancient records were buried. Over time these records were given to Joseph to translate through the power of God. The translation of this record is what we now have as the Book of Mormon.
Through these divine experiences, the fullness of the Gospel, with Prophets and Apostles (Just as during the time of Christ), along with proper priesthood power, were fully restored back to the earth through Joseph Smith.
With all this being said, now let me share with you some very special places from our church history.

This is the cabin Joseph lived in.

This is inside the cabin.

This is the upstairs bedroom where the angel Moroni appeared to him and told him about the ancient record.
When Joseph obtained the ancient record, he hid them in this upper loft, to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.
He also hid them at one time under the hearth of this fireplace.
These pictures are places in the woods behind his home, called the Sacred Grove.

This is the new Palmyra Temple, overlooking the Sacred Grove.







I want to share with you my personal witness of these historical events. I know them to be true. I have felt the spiritual witness many times. I felt them today as I walked through these sacred areas. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. If you haven’t had an opportunity to read it, I challenge you to do so and pray about its truthfulness.
I am firmly grounded in this personal testimony, and desire to share it with you my good friends.
See you again tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 6, 2010 at 5:30 PM

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Day Eight, Saturday, June 5th

My destination today was Palmyra, New York, a short jaunt of about 300 miles. It was suppose to rain most of the way there, but I really only got a few drops. Again, the weather was tempered for my behalf. I really have been fortunate with pretty good weather. The temps were in the upper 70’s. Ideal riding temp.

I stayed on I-90 (A toll road) the whole way. By the time I got off in Palmyra it cost me $11.50 in tolls, almost as much as my gas for that distance.
Along the road, every forty to fifty miles, they have these Service Areas, where you can stop for gas, food and restrooms, without getting off the toll road. I’ve never really understood the need for toll roads. They seem like a pain to have to stop and pay all the time. I would think that the state government could figure a better way for paying for their roads, like gas tax or state tax. Anyway, just my two cents worth.

Just outside of Albany, New York I crossed the historic Hudson River. While crossing, I reflected on the use of the river in fighting the battles for our nation’s independence. It was General Cornwallis who lead the British troops across the Hudson River for an attack on Fort Lee. To escape certain defeat, the army of George Washington retreated across the Hackensack River at the New Bridge to avoid entrapment on the narrow peninsula between the Hudson and Hackensack rivers.
You are probably thinking, “This Brad guy is one smart history buff.” Even though I do enjoy history (I didn’t while in school), I Googled this information to add an historical twist to my Hudson River crossing today. Hope you enjoyed a little piece of American history.

Once I arrived in Palmyra, and checked in at the Palmyra Inn (Very nice Inn), I decided I should do some laundry, since I didn’t have any clean clothes left.
While in Palmyra until Tuesday morning, I look forward to visiting all the historical church sites. Tomorrow and Monday I’ll post some pictures and stories of my visits.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 5, 2010 at 1:57 PM

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Day Seven – Friday, June 4th

Pulled away at around 9:00 AM this morning and needed to make two stops before hitting the road. The first stop was to a local Mac store. Last night when I went to plug in my AC adapter for my Mac Book Pro laptop, I noticed the little plug attachment was missing. (Those of you who own Mac’s know what I’m talking about.) Without this attachment the adapter can’t be plugged in. I looked everywhere for it and finally determined that I must have left it at the hotel from the night before. So I found a Mac store and pick a new one up.

My next stop was to a local hardware store to pick up some 16 gauge wire and some “little wire twisty things” for connecting two wires together. I needed to make my quick-fix wiring job on my motorcycle a little more permanent and a better quality fix.
So, I picked up those two items, re-fixed the wiring on the bike, and headed southeast to begin my trek through six states. Yes, you heard that right. Six states, all in one day. I can report that I accomplished that goal. Can any of you other hard-riding bikers out there claim this goal?
Here’s a recap of the states: Started in Vermont; Drove through New Hampshire heading for the southeastern corner of Maine; Saw the Atlantic Ocean from the shores of Maine; Headed south back through a part of New Hampshire, then through Massachusetts (Big mistake going through Boston! Bad traffic. It took me 2 hours to go 10 miles, and at times my temperature gauge read 103 degrees. I was dying!) Then swung below the Massachusetts border to drive through Rhode Island and Connecticut. Then back up into Massachusetts, where I am spending the night in Springfield, Massachusetts, home of Homer Simpson, as well as the birthplace of Dr. Seuss and basketball.
Except for the hot bumper to bumper traffic in Boston, today was a pretty good day. I logged just over 350 miles, including the 2 hour 10 mile part in Boston.
On the shores of York, Maine, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Stuck in traffic. This picture was taken crossing over the bridge into Downtown Boston. If you look really close on the right, you can see the Arena, called The Garden, where the Celtics play.
Crossing into Connecticut. It was hard to get my picture in front of each state sign, because most of them were on bridges or had no place to pull over.
In all the states traveled today, they looked pretty much like this…lots of trees and green.
Tomorrow I should make it to Palmyra, NY, where I plan on staying for a few days and attend Church on Sunday. This will be my third trip to this area. Looking forward to revisiting some very special places.
The forecast for tomorrow is rain. But, I’ve heard that before, and for some reason I’ve avoided the rain. (Someone is looking out for me…thanks!)
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 4, 2010 at 6:41 PM

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Day Six – Thurs, June 3rd

Last night I decided to check my bank account online and noticed that I had two identical charges of $95.57 for two consecutive gas stops. At first I thought that someone had stolen my card number some how and charged these amounts at the two gas stops that I made. But that didn’t make sense. Why would someone follow me to the next gas stop and charge $95.57 again?

Well, I spent about an hour and a half with Chase Bank, talking to some guy in India. (Don’t you love that?) And explained what I think may have happened. Since I’m in Canada, the charges there go through an exchange into US dollars. Curious about the exchange rate, I looked up the rate for that day. Guess what? It was exactly.9557 per Canadian dollar. After explaining that to my India friend, he said “Mr. Stone, I can’t do anything about it until those charges are finalized, because they are still pending.” Well, why didn’t he explain that to me before I expended an hour and a half of my time jaw-boning with him?
Then he proceeded to let me know that they could cancel that card number and issue me a new one, that would take two weeks to be sent to my home address. I asked him if he could figure out a way for me to still use my card since I am still on the road? Long story short, they didn’t cancel my card. I’ll have to work it out when I get home. Arrrrgggghhhh!
Okay, deep breath.
On to today’s journey.
I set my GPS for the birthplace of Joseph Smith in Sharon, Vermont. It ended up setting my route as direct as possible, taking me through all the backroads of Canada, New York and Vermont. Although the drive was break-taking, it took me much, much longer than normal. I left Pembroke, Ontario at 9:30 AM and pulled into my hotel for the night at 8:30 PM. That’s almost 12 hours on the bike.

I did end up losing 2 hours for a minor repair to the bike. I was waiting in line at the Canadian/US border, again nervous as usual. I don’t know why I feel nervous crossing a country border? Happens to me when flying somewhere too. I guess I feel like they are going to arrest me and throw me in jail for now good reason. You know, they do that to some people.

Anyway, while I’m waiting nervously in line at the border, my bike just quits. There was absolutely no electrical–no ignition, no lights, nothing. So I walked it off to the side of the road and started checking everything, fuses, wires, etc. I took my seat off and was checking everything around the battery. Finally I found the culprit…a wire connector was fried. Tracing the wire, it was the main ignition wire that provided juice to everything that comes on when the ignition key is turned on. After determining the problem, it was an easy fix. I just bypassed the connector and spliced the wires together. But it took about an hour to find the problem.
As I climbed back on the bike I started to diagnose the cause of the fried connector. So I started counting everything that is powered through the ignition circuit. Aside from the common things, like headlight, cooling fan, spark plugs, I counted a total of 14 addition lights. (highway lights, hard bag lights, turn signal lights, license plate lights, and tail light. Hmmm, maybe I’ve hooked up to many accessories? Well, I turned off my highway lights to protect the rest of my wiring. I’ll have to figure out a different set-up when I get home. (Just in case you are wondering why I have so many lights hooked up…I read some where that if you are well lit, you have a lower risk of getting hit by someone who didn’t see you coming.)

After crossing the border, I drove through the upper pan-handle of New York State, then down through Vermont. All beautiful countryside.
I stopped at the birthplace of Joseph Smith. Great feeling there.
Here are some pics I took there:
I’m spending the night at a place called Whiteriver Junction in Vermont. Tomorrow I’ll be heading towards the eastern coast to hit Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get them all in in one day, but I’ll try. I just need to ride through them to check them off my list.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 3, 2010 at 6:41 PM

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Day Five – Wed, June 2nd


When I checked the weather forecast last night and again this morning, it looked like I was going to be driving in rain for most of the day. So I thought to myself, “Well Brad, how strong is your faith?” As I evaluated my answer to this question, I thought if the Lord thinks it will be safer for me to travel on dry roads, then I think He would help me out here. So I said a little prayer and asked, according to His will, if He could temper the elements in my behalf.

Well, it was cloudy all day and I didn’t get one drop of rain… until I pulled into my stop for the night. I’m a big believer in prayer. It has certainly helped me out time and time again while driving my motorcycle. I can literally fill pages of experiences where I had been protected on the road.

Now, on to today’s trip.

Can I just say that Canada, at least this area of Canada, is just gorgeous! My trip today was spent driving through a continuous forest of pine trees. I noticed a lot of logging trucks, so I’m assuming that lumber is big business here.

After spending a full day in Canada, I had to do some rearranging in how I perceived some things.

For example, this sign doesn’t mean the speed limit is 90 miles per hour. When I first saw this sign I thought, “Wow, I’m going to make some good time today.” Well, this sign means 90 kilometers. One mile equals 1.6 kilometers. So this speed limit sign is really saying, “Go no faster than 56.25 miles per hour. “Rats, I’ll never get to where I need to today in a timely fashion!” The scenery was beautiful, so the slower pace was okay.

Then when I stopped at my first Canadian gas station and saw the price of gas, I was elated with how cheap it was. But upon closer review I discovered that the price quoted was for a liter of gas. (About the amount of one nice sized soda drink) Holy cow, after doing some calculations, I concluded that I was really spending almost $4.00 a gallon.

Well, then to top that off, my room last night at a “budget motel” Super 8 was almost $130. So tonight I thought I would downsize into a poorboy’s motel and checked in at the Econo Motel. My room tonight is only $110 (Now, that is more like it; You know how many accessories I can get for my motorcycle for these prices?). Wow, Canada is expensive. I’ll bet, however, they have a really good Health Care program!

Back to my trip. Today I traveled 403 miles (Real slow miles) or 649 kilometers. In addition to the pinewood forest I rode through, I traveled along the north channel shoreline of Lake Hurlon, a rather large body of water, and the north shoreline of Nipission Lake. (Anyone want a stab at how to pronounce this?)

I’m spending the night in Pembroke, Ontario, voted the “prettiest little city in Canada, in 2006.” Everything up here in Canada seems pretty. However I did meet a few ugly people… but they had sweet spirits to compensate. All the Canadian’s are really nice and friendly. I feel safe in Canada.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 2, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Categories: Canadian Trip, General, Northeastern States Trip   Tags:

Day Four – Tuesday, June 1st

I traveled only 343 miles today through some beautiful country side, between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, and crossed the northern border into Canada. Upon reaching the Canadian Customs window, the officer asked me a ba-gellion questions. I think I was profiled because I was a biker, hadn’t shaved for 4 days, looked mis-givious and hesitated on a couple of questions he asked me. There was one question he asked me three times during the interview process, and that was “Do you have any guns or weapons?” I wasn’t packing, so I told him “no sir!” After the third time, I think he was convinced.
He also asked me a stupid question, but I didn’t tell him it was stupid. He asked “Is anyone else riding with you?” I smiled, looked at my empty passenger seat, and said “no sir…here’s your sign.” (Jeff Foxworthy) He frowned back at me and said “Here’s your passport, have a good day.”
I just love people!
Heading north in Wisconsin.
On the shore of Lake Michigan.
Beautiful drive through a northern Michigan forest.
Crossing the bridge over the upper tip of Lake Superior and into Canada.
Waiting in line at the Canadian border to show my passport. I don’t know why, but I felt nervous and guilty, wondering if they will let me through. I had nothing to hide or to be ashamed of, but still was a little nervous.

Behind me, the bridge I crossed over to enter Canada. Awe, my nervousness and guilt finally gone.

I’m spending the night in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario Canada, on the banks of Lake Superior. So far the weather has been pretty good. Today was a beautiful day, in the 70’s. Right now, as I’m gazing out my motel room window, it is raining, but I suspect it will clear by tomorrow. Let’s hope anyway.
Speaking of tomorrow, I’m looking forward to some more beautiful frontiers as I head east across Canada.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - June 1, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Categories: Canadian Trip, General, Northeastern States Trip   Tags:

Day Three – Monday, May 31st

After my free Super 8 motel continental breakfast of two slices of french toast, three glasses of orange juice, two chocolate donuts and two cinnamon rolls, I headed straight north for the beautiful state of Minnesota, traveling a total of 421 miles through three states (Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin).

I know what you are thinking, “Did this guy really eat all that for breakfast?”
Well, if it makes you feel better, the chocolate donuts were the bite-size kind, and the cinnamon rolls were the size of a half dollar. (For those of you younger people who have never seen a half dollar, it is approximately one inch in diameter) So I didn’t total overdo it for breakfast. I did skip lunch and had a late dinner.
Okay, now on to the trip.

Just in case you forgot what Iowa looked like, here is another picture. Notice their mountains. (Can you see it there. It is the small ant hill there on the lower right side of the picture)

Me entering Minnesota.

Here is a picture of Minnesota. Pretty much like Iowa and Nebraska and Wyoming…Flat.

Here is Wisconsin. A beautiful state with a lot of trees. My GPS took me on a shortcut, off of the interstate to reach Oshkosh, Wisconsin and Lake Winnabago, my final stop for the night.
I’ve had some of you ask how I can endure the long stretches on my bike.
So here is my secret:



Well, I’m kind of tired from the long day, all those one handed push ups and sit ups, so I’m going to retire.
See you tomorrow!

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Posted by Brad Stone - May 31, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Categories: Canadian Trip, General, Northeastern States Trip   Tags:

Day Two – Sunday May 30th

Got up this morning with good intentions of attending Church. I discovered the meeting didn’t start until 10:00 AM, and check out from my motel was 11:00. So I thought, I’ll just check with the front desk and ask if I can check out at noon. No big deal, I thought. Well, being the Memorial weekend, the motel was full, and had another full vacancy for the following night. The desk clerk said no deal!

So I scrapped that well intended desire, and hit the road by 8:00 AM. I did listen to the scriptures on my iPod part of the day, hoping that would compensate for missing Church. I got through Genesis and Exodus. It’s been awhile since I’ve read the Old Testament all the way through. In Exodus, as I listened, I envisioned Charltan Heston, saying “Let my people go.” Now, that was a great movie!

Anyway, I put on 531 miles today, from Sidney, Nebraska to Des Moines, Iowa.

Here’s a pic of the Nebraska landscape.

Here’s a pic of the Iowa landscape. It is the same as Nebraska, but it is called Iowa instead. 🙂
Did you know that Nebraska is the “Home of Arbor Day?” I didn’t know that either, until I saw this sign.

One of my many gas stops.

Don’t tell Penny that I took this picture while cruising down the highway at 75 mph.
Well, I’ll catch you tomorrow as I head North into Minnesota and on up into Canada. (Actually, it will probably be Tuesday before I reach Canada. I’m looking forward to some beautiful vistas.

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Posted by Brad Stone - May 30, 2010 at 5:30 PM

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Day One – Saturday, May 29th

I left this morning at 8:00 AM and decided to change my route and took I-80 heading east through Wyoming, instead of I-15 north to Bozeman, Montana. That was a good decision because I was talking to a couple who was checking into the motel tonight, and they had just come from Cody, Wyoming this morning, and said they had talked to several bikers who had come through Yellowstone indicating that they had snow there last night. (Sorry for the long, dis-jointed sentence. I just kept typing as I was talking) Makes me feel good when I make a good decision every once in awhile. And that doesn’t happen often. 🙂

When I left Salt Lake City this morning the temperature was in the mid forties, so I decided to put on my heated clothing. Between Salt Lake and Rock Springs the temperatures dipped down into the 30’s, so I stayed toasty warm.

I had a tail wind of about 50 to 60 miles per hour that pushed me most of the way, until I got to Laramie, Wyoming, then it started coming from the north. So I fought a cross wind for about 150 miles, drove through some rain for about 45 minutes, and ended up in Sidney, Nebraska for the night. Total miles for the day was 563.
Sidney, Nebraska is the corporate headquarters for Cabela’s Hunting and Fishing Retail Store. They have a huge complex here. Sidney is listed in the top 100 of America’s best rural communities, with one of the highest employment rates in the country. I guess we can thank Cabela’s for that one.
Speaking of Nebraska, did you know that it is still a law on the books here, that it is illegal to go whale fishing in Nebraska? Go figure.
Well (Whale, no pun intended), I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Posted by Brad Stone - May 29, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Categories: Canadian Trip, General, Northeastern States Trip   Tags:

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