Friday, July 3, 2009
Day 44 - Pickerington, OH to Malvern, PA. 12,000 Miles Later - HOME!!!
Day 44 – Friday, July 3, 2009
Start: Pickerington, OH
End: Malvern, PA
Trip Miles Today: 447
Total Trip Miles: 12019
I can only say WOW! After 44 days, 20 states, 2 Canadian Provinces and a Territory, 4 time zones and 12,019 Miles I am, at last back home. No crashes, no tickets, no bike drops. Just home. Safe and sound.
There isn’t a great deal to say about today’s ride. I slept in just a bit and didn’t get on the road until about 8 AM. I ground out 100 miles in the first 90 minutes across Eastern Ohio via I-70. Inasmuch as I skipped all those “Boyhood home(s) of ……” in Kansas the other day I decided to catch at least one in Ohio. In New Concord, OH. I stopped by the boyhood home of astronaut John Glenn – now set up as the John and Annie Glenn Historic site, right there on the main street in New Concord. As a kid I was enthralled by the space program so John Glenn was a boyhood hero of mine, as he was for many of my generation. Alas, the house was not open for visitors so I kept on rolling. Sometime later, when I was about 200 miles out, and just beyond the Pennsylvania State Line it began to rain. A fine welcome back! I rode on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for about an hour in and out of showers. Nothing drenching, just enough to require full rain gear and the increased attention rain riding requires. Later the rain abated and I took the opportunity to leave the PA Turnpike to follow US-30 (The Lincoln Highway) through the western part of the state. Route 30 is a marvelous ride from Breezewood, PA headed East for about the next 30-40 miles. It’s mostly mountain views and twisties up and downhill. Any road posted “Dangerous Curves Ahead – Truck runaway Ramp 1 Mile!” has to be prime motorcycling territory. The number of other bikes out confirmed my assessment. A great ride. Further on I stopped briefly in Gettysburg, PA sight of the famous Civil War Battle (fought July 3-4, 1863…146 years ago to the day.) Pretty facsinating stuff for the Fourth of July weekend. After that it was just grinding out those last hundred miles. I was met just as I exited the PA Turnpike for the final time by my wife Lisa, and friend Don Verdiani who had ridden out to the same place they left me on that Thursday Morning 6+ weeks ago as I departed. Then my “posse” escorted me the last few miles home. That’s it. I’m home now. Of course, with ideas for other adventures after a suitable rest period!
As you know, an important part of this entire enterprise was to raise awareness for and generate donations to the Austin Hatcher Foundation (www.hatcherfoundation.org). If you have enjoyed this story and have, at any point felt compelled to join me in doing something good for those who are in need then I’d ask you now to make a donation to the Austin Hatcher Foundation. Just go to their website and click on the “Donations” tab. If you do so please make a note in the comments field that you are supporting the “Ride to Alaska” or similar. If you don’t wish to donate online but would feel better writing a check simply send a check along to The Austin Hatcher Foundation, 7421 Savannah Drive, Ooltewah, TN. 37363. Again, please enclose a note that says you are supporting the 2009 Ride to Alaska. The Austin Hatcher Foundation is a 501c3 charity.
A big part of the fun of this adventure was meeting new friends, both on the road and online. I consider all of you who are reading this to be my friends and it’s been great to have you along for the ride.
Over the next few days I’ll be posting some “epilog” and summary stuff so don’t stop visiting just yet!!
More pictures from my ride are available to see at http://jackb1.smugmug.com
The 2009 Ride to Alaska for The Austin Hatcher Foundation is supported by RevZilla.com , Philly's Premier Destination Motorcycle Gear and Apparel store and by Hermy's Cycles of Port Clinton, PA.