Saturday, April 25, 2009

Highs in the Eighties!

I'd been eyeballing today's forecast for the past week using the Weather Channel's extended forecast feature fearing that as the days marched on the promised sunshine and highs in the eighties would be replaced by something a bit cloudier and wetter. When I got up this morning around 6:30 the typical morning chill of that time of day wasn't there and the sun was just peeking up over the houses that I can see from the deck. It promised to be a beautiful day for a ride! I moved at a pace of leisure getting myself ready, sipping my coffee, showering, and reading the paper, and didn't actually hit the street rolling until a little after nine. Today's destination, Carbondale - a city 30 miles away which despite its relative proximity hadn't been graced by my presence till today.

I stopped in Dickson City to use the potty at Panera Bread. Though I'd debated between the cinnamon roll and the chocolate pastry when I checked out the goodies, I was expecting a call as I drooled by the showcase and instead of ordering just then I went outside to talk. As I yakked away I decided to skip the baked goods entirely and to wait till I was hungry enough to have lunch on the road instead.

This scene above overlooks the greater Scranton area from the parking lot in the back of Panera. It's not a great shot but it shows my elevation relative to the area. Here in northeast Pennsylvania it seems you're either up on one of the flanking mountains or down in the middle no matter where you go. Most of my trips run Southwest or Northeast along the length of the valley as you can see from this track map of my ride today.

I decided to take the smallest main roads so I could scoot past the locally famous Archbald Pothole, another place of note to which I'd not yet traveled. When I got there I was confused as to which depression was the actual pothole because there was one on either side of the road down into the sports field at the bottom. I thought this one looked more like something that would be called a pothole than the other which was surrounded by grass and had a wetland look about it.

Imagine my personal chagrin when I got back here, Googled for Archbald Pothole images and discovered that I'd not seen the darned thing after all! The entrance for the actual pothole must have been on the other side of the park - on the bigger road that I'd avoided. On to Carbondale...

The place has a very charming small town feel to it though the signs say it's an actual city. By the historical marker next to the municipal building we're told that the city was founded by the same brothers who started the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company which would eventually evolve into the railroad on whose tracks Norfolk Southern now runs freights behind my house.

Somehow pictures of a place always look better with a scooter posed in them, don't they?

I loved the Woolworth five and dime sign and had to double back to get the shot and then wait for a kid and his girl to finish doing whatever they were putzing with at the car before I could make the shot without them in it. Bonus points for the Pepto Bismol colored car I did get!

One of the last pictures I took of the Fly on the road was right here next to this church. I took it on the Saturday when my plan was to take and pass the motorcycle knowledge test and then go buy the BV. To my horror I flunked the test and getting the BV would have to wait till the following Tuesday because the testing center wasn't open on Mondays. I ran the Fly that Saturday on a final, long ride to say goodbye and to savor the slower speeds that I knew would be a thing of the past. Just as I was coming upon the church a friend called to see how the test went; I remember pulling over to tell her the sad news.

There were 87 miles on the track log when I downloaded it, and by then it felt like I'd crawled every one of them. The hot temperatures were tiring and with the symptoms of a head cold bogging me down I could barely wait to take a nap. I really can't imagine how Paul at Scootin' Fool managed to ride his scooter from south of me in Pennsylvania all the way up to Massachusetts last week! I don't know if I'll ever attempt as grand a ride as that or if I'll forever flounder in day trips that lead right back to this chair when the sun sets. Let's see where tomorrow leads. It's supposed to be just as nice as today!

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