Published: September 30th 2012September 30th 2012
Well this blog entry will start the countdown to our final few days, mixed feelings about that without a doubt. But it’s not over yet, in fact it’s not over “till the fat biker sings” actually despite some rude remarks my voice is not that bad.
Today will mark the complete loop of this massive country, with the return to the Orange County Chopper showroom in Newburgh, New York State. Our last attempted visit there was on Easter Sunday almost six months ago, when it was closed on one of only two days all year. The ride from Connecticut was a little over a 280 miles round trip, but at least Lynne got her T-shirt, oh and a ride on the back of Reg’s Gold Wing on the return leg, nestled in the sheepskin covered armchair. Day 175……23/09/2012
We spent most of today relaxing, and sorting out the packing arrangements, for all the stuff that we had amassed along the way, which had been on several occasions sent by post back to Reg’s house.
Later that evening the four of us went out for a nice meal to thank Reg and Elaine for their
amazing hospitality. Day 176……24/09/2012
With the bikes all packed, we had to say our final farewells to Reg and Elaine, and on another fine and sunny morning we set of on the last ride through the beautiful Connecticut countryside to Newark in New Jersey which is not so beautiful.
The traffic started out fairly light, but the nearer we got to New York the worse it became. By the time we were on the outskirts of this vast city we were bumper to bumper in the traffic, in fact quite literally Lynne got bumped by a women not paying attention, thankfully she just tapped the wheel, and needless to say Lynne was not pleased and let her know this fact. The Sat nav was set for our pre booked hotel, and as it had been all the trip it was a godsend, what I did not realise is that its interpretation of the route was to take us right through New York city, via Manhattan island, whoops. I could almost feel the trembling from Lynne behind, over the vibration of the Harley. We headed for the Lincoln tunnel to take us into New Jersey, but road works
put an end to that idea, and we had to circle a few busy streets before finding the detour.
Finally after a few more bone shaking miles on what passes for New Jersey tarmac we arrived at the Howard Johnston hotel, and very relieved Lynne was too. It was a shame that our last 175 mile ride had ended so franticly. Day 177……25/09/2012
Hopefully today of all days will go smoothly, we have to get ourselves to the company dealing with the paperwork and pay for the bikes shipping home. The traffic had not improved any since yesterday, and the road surface in Newark seemed worse.
With the bill paid we took the bikes to the docks, where we sat for an hour waiting to get the bikes booked in, and then there we were stood in the street with no transport, this finally brought home to us that it was all over. Only one thing to do, a taxi ride to the nearby Ramada hotel for cocktails, and then back to our hotel for an early night. Day 178……26/09/2012
A 4am alarm call was not welcomed at all, but none the less we
had to rise and shine and get the shuttle bus to the airport. The check in went smoothly and despite our best efforts to get a baggage excess fine, with all of our purchases throughout our trip we were just on the limit, this may have had some bearing on me having to throw some of my clothes away to make room for it.
Just prior to boarding we were called by name to the desk, where we were told to board and had been upgraded to premium class whoo hoo, thanks to my daughter Katie. Large posh leather seats and Bucks fizz on arrival, a choice from a real menu for our meals, and metal cutlery with cotton napkins, there was even a curtain to keep the riff raff in steerage at the back out.
In a little over six hours we had arrived back to a drizzling Heathrow, and straight through baggage collection and customs. My friend Lewis was there to collect us, so all in all it had been an effortless transition from full on long term travelling to, well nothing really, we were both a little numb by the finality of it all, but
here we were, and to quote a saying that we had heard many times while in the US of “Put yer big girl panties on an deal with it” which seemed very apt for that moment in time. I would just like to clarify that I do not at any time wear women’s under garments.
I must just say that Lynne has undertaken and completed something quite incredible, 21,500 miles 35 States, some of which had been hard for her, and at times more physically demanding than she would like to admit, but still there she was in my mirrors navigating that little Harley beast through some awful traffic, over mountains, and across miles of searing deserts, well done Lynne.
So………..the time has come for Lynne and me to sign off from this amazing adventure, it has been a life changing experience for both of us, we have spent six months together and I am still alive, so this must mean that Lynne still likes me. With this being the final entry, I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to follow along, and sending your best wishes during the trip, it has been
comforting to know we were not completely alone. I would also like to thank all of our American and Canadian friends new and old, for making our trip so much better than just plain fantastic, we have been shown a level of hospitality and genuine friendship that is impossible to describe.
There are more photos below