Fall Trip to Charleston, SC

We decided to run down to Charleston, SC, camp for a couple of days to try out our new Aspen Classic motorcycle camper. Left early Friday Nov. 17, and after a couple hours drive (we used the truck this time) we arrived.

Friday:

Decided to run over to Angel Oak park on John’s Island, and try taking a few pictures of The Angel Oak, a huge live oak that is about 400 years old.

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From there, we decided to take a look at Harris Island Lighthouse.The 161-foot lighthouse tower was completed in 1876 for $149, 993. A Fresnel lens powered by lard oil shone light out over the water to guide ships safely to shore. Although the sole function of the lighthouse was to provide safer navigation for ships and vessels, the lighthouse itself was frequently at risk.
During its run as a working lighthouse, it was partially destroyed by a cyclone in 1885. In 1886, an earthquake shook the lens of the main light out of position and cracked the tower. Though these incidents provided blows to the lighthouse, nothing threatened the structure as much as the rapidly encroaching water.

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Saturday;

Spent the entire day in Charleston. Sights and sounds, beautiful architecture, nice places to eat.

Waterfront Park

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Downtown Historical District

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Popular Carriage Ride

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We had to go on one. Up front was “Mr. Trump” an 18 hand huge Belgian draft horse hauling us all over Charleston. Very nice and peaceful ride.

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ST. Phillip’s Church on Church Street

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Historical District. Filled flower boxes, even in late November.

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Some people are selling their art right on the street corner. This lady was making some beautiful baskets.

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Architectural beauty.

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City Market. A lot of different stuff for sale. The market stretches for several blocks on Market Street 

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All in all a very nice trip, long overdue.

The camper worked perfect during the trial run.

 

Total Solar Eclipse 8/21/17

Good Day yesterday. Lois and I had the opportunity to witness and photograph the Total Solar Eclipse on 8/21/17. We drove south until we
were within a few miles of the center of Totality for the eclipse.

All the gear loaded up. Lois and me drove down to Summerton, SC, close to the center of the Totality line for the eclipse. Not too busy. We tried I95 first. Nope!! Stuffed with 3 mph cars. Turned around and went 15 all the way down with moderate traffic.

Started shooting at about 1:30pm, when the moon had just started to eclipse the sun. The whole session took about 3 hours.

This shot is a composite of several shots spaced apart about 15 or so minutes. The top shot is what is called “The Diamond Ring”, where the sun is just coming out of totality on the opposite side. The time limit to get this captured is about 3-4 seconds, so pay attention, and have the camera on a good tripod ready to go.

I wouldn’t miss this experience for anything. Totally amazing.

Sun’s Corona is bleeding off the edges of the moon. A few places on the right side the solar prominence is visible in pink / red.

“Diamond Ring” effect. The eclipse is just going out of totality, and the sun is peeking out on right side. This phenomenon is visible only a few seconds before the sun overpowers the camera sensor.

New England 2016

We had been thinking about riding up to New England (Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to be specific) for a while, and we finally rode up there in September 2016, spending about 2 1/2 weeks up there. We had been through Maine before, but just slabbed through on I95 coming home from Nova Scotia.

We planned a short jaunt up through part of the Adirondacks before we turned east into Vermont.

Breakfast at The Silo in Queensbury, NY before continuing to the Adirondacks.

The Silo – Queensbury NY

Adirondacks – Lake George

Into New England. There were many covered bridges in Vermont. Some you could ride through, others were closed.

Vermont’s covered bridges

We just had to stop at this Mom and Pa chocolate store just north of Salisbury, VT

Chocolate Store

 

 

And of course we had to drop by Jeffersonville, VT to look at the beautiful silos painted with murals. Truly awesome work.

 

After riding through Green Mountain, we continued north in Vermont to Newport, where we headed back south and prepared to enter New Hampshire.
Stopped at Lake Willoughby and enjoyed the view.

Next stop: Mt. Washington, NH. After about 20 minutes of riding, we arrived at the summit, at ‎6,288 ft. More info about the observatory.

Video of the ascent.

Lois is headed up from the parkinglot.

There is a reason they chain the houses to the ground at Mt. Washington. Wind. Very high wind.

Mount Washington Observatory is a nonprofit research and educational institution working to advance understanding of Earth’s weather and climate.

Screw Auger Falls, ME

Screw Auger Falls, Maine

After getting lost in the Maine wilderness, we managed to find Andover, where we had a good supper at this nice country store. A little later we decided to tuck in

for the night.

Continuing the next morning up through North Maine. North of Screw Auger Falls, ME

Headed to Rangeley Lake in Northern Maine

Acadia national Park –  Egg Rock Lighthouse outside Acadia

Acadia National Park, ME

Bass Harbor Headlight, Maine

Owls Head Lighthouse, Maine

Huge Fresnel Lens inside Owls head

Owls Head Lighthouse Lightkeepers residence

Owls Head Lighthouse

Lois admiring the view

Who knew they had beaches in Maine. Nice one too. Kids loving it.

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park on a dreary afternoon. We spent two whole days in Acadia, riding out on small excursions each day.

Bass Harbor, close to Acadia NP

Oh, the joy of camping. we probably camped 90 % of the nights on this trip, being very lucky with weather. This is somewhere on the lower coast of Maine. Noone around, and had a terrific time

Same spot

A view from the tent door I most certainly can get used to, any day of the week.

On to Portland, Maine, where we spent some time on famous Commercial Street

Sights, sounds and good food

One of the piers off Commercial Street

This mural was painted on one of the warehouses on Commercial Street

Last lighthouse we dropped by. Nubble Lighthouse in York. Right before we rode through York, we rode through Kennebunkport. It was packed with tourists, so we made short time riding through, just to say we’d been there. Lots of nice architecture.

Next day it was time to hit the road to get home. We tried to time it so we got home after hurricane MAtthew had passed. However, we still hit rain in north Pennsylvania, off and on on the second day.

We ran a little out of time in Maine, as we had planned to ride all the way up north to the Canadian border in Maine, which would have taken at least a day and a half. Just had to let it go. 4700 miles total. Not bad at all. The bikes performed flawlessly. Where to next? Canada maybe. We have talked about riding Newfoundland, or…. “The Rock”, as it is called. We will see. We have already ridden Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and loved the Canadian maritimes.

So why are we doing our touring and exploring on our motorcycles, instead of packing up the truck?

“Present moment Living” – Our bodies and minds meld with the motorcycle, the controls an extension of our thoughts. When we ride well, there is little conscious thought involved, it’s just being and doing. The bike becomes an extension of your body. People who don’t ride will never understand this.

Motorcycle touring will enrich your life in ways you could not fathom when you first threw a leg over one. It is much more physically and mentally challenging. You meet the nicest people. Connection to the world around you. You’re completely exposed to the elements. You can only bring a limited amount of equipment, and so you use top end quality gear that lasts and that you can rely on.

We are just scratching the surface, exploring North America. Some rider spend years on their motorcycles riding around the world. I admire them greatly.

 

The 2016 Meltdown Vintage Motorcycle Show – Hendersonville, NC

Held at Southern Appalachian Brewery in Hendersonville, NC. Needless to say, I went inside to take a look at the bar.

Plenty of beer faucets.

And plenty of beautiful old motorcycles.

This lady had bought this old Beemer just a few days ago, and decided to ride in down to the show. She was excited, to say the least.

More vintage from back in the days

Always wanted one of these CB900’s back…..well….when I was younger.

Beautiful Triumph paint job.

And some “All Things Leather”

and strange colorful buildings

Well worth the trip. Going again next year.