Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Clayton to Rehobeth Beach, Del.
The first day on the road. Not a bad one; weather was good. A bit warm, but not hot. No rain. So, not bad at all.
We covered 366.7 miles, starting at 7:50am and getting to the Anchorage Motel at about 5:15pm. I lead most of the way, taking us to a couple of places where I had been earlier; I wanted Gary to see them.
Our first stop was at V Simpson, the Whirleygig man near Wilson, about 20 miles from the house. We pulled up into the driveway, and almost immediately Mr. Simpson pulled up as well. We took a few pics and talked with him for a few minutes. He invited us into the shed and Gary took several pics of all of the smaller whilreygigs he has made. His imagination and skills are pretty awesome, and he's somewhere in his 80s, quite an amazing man.
We left there and headed northeast towards Merchant's Millpond State Park. Gary had never been there, so it was for him. I don't know what my GPS was doing, but it developed a weird route. We covered a lot of small roads (as I had instructed it), but then would wander back to a main road. At one time, the route took us into Virginia and then south back to NC, adding over 40 miles of nonsense to our route. I have new maps loaded, so all I can figure is that somehow the new maps have roads categoried differently and it took us another way. I don't know, but it was not making sense.
The millpond looked very bad; the entire surface of the pond was covered in a green mat, making it very ugly. It might be normal, but I didn't like the looks of it.
From there, we headed northeast into Suffolk, Va and then to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. We did the toll and rode to the Sea Gull Pier Restaurant, the home of the Flounder sandwich. While it's named a Flounder sandwich, it's a misnomer. In truth, it's the biggest piece of Flounder fillet I've ever seen. They serve it on an oval platter, and it extends over each end several inches. HUGE! It is served on a bun, so I guess you could call it a sandwich, but there is NO WAY you could actually make a sandwich with it. Delicious!
The bridge itself was a good ride. Light winds, sunny skies, blue water, a good ride. One that is best done on a BMW motorcycle.
Then north onto the Delmarva Penninsula and Hwy 13. The road is four lanes and easy riding. A few scattered stop lights along the way, but mostly a road through the tomato fields. Field after field full of tomatoes, almost all of which were still green. But I could see busses of migrants being shuffled from field to field, so I guess some were being harvested.
The first misstep of the trip occurred at the first gas stop. We topped off the tanks and got on the bikes. Gary waved me forward, and I started across the parking lot. About 50 feet later, I heard a loud clunk, stopped, and looked around to see Gary's bike on it's side and Gary scrambling to get up.
He wasn't hurt. The bike got some scratches on the left side case, and the brand-new engine guards bent back just slightly, but not bad. No significant damage to the bike or Gary. Great!
It seems that Gary had started to leave the pumps, spotted a truck also starting out on a collision course. He stopped, but the truck waved him on. He must have had the bike in some gear higher than first; stalled the engine, and the momentum pulled him down. These things happen; anyone who does a lot of riding will have this happen to them at some point.
We rode on northeast, deciding whether to do the Lewes/Cape May Ferry or to swing more westerly and into more traffic. The ferry route seemed to be more adventurous and to have less traffic. So, we swung onto Hwy 113, then Hwy 24 to Rehobeth Beach/Lewes.
The next decision was motel it on the south side of the ferry or do the ferry and then get a room. Because of the timing, we elected to get a room tonight and catch the ferry tomorrow.
The last adventure of the day was on the way to the motel. We had ridden through the main drag, spotting several potential motels to use. So, we stopped at a church parking lot to make calls. I called a couple and Gary called as well. We decided on the Anchorage Motel, but it meant retracing part of our steps to get there. We had to make two U turns to get back to the motel. At a stoplight at the second U turn, I spotted a cell phone on the road, between Gary and me. I didn't pay much attention to it; it looked beat up, and Gary had done nothing to make me think he has messed with his phone.
When we got to the room, Gary checked his phone, and it was gone. It was his phone in the road a block up the street. So, he ran back to the intersection to retrieve it.
It was there! And it worked! So, no harm, no foul. Just a little excitement to end the day.
We did our walk, stopped for a beer, and retreated to the room for the evening.
Tomorrow--the Lewes/Cape May Ferry and north.