October 23rd-25th; Miles 8030-8151, 8151-8440, 8440-8617
It was a bittersweet thing, leaving Toronto. It ended with a lot of drama, but I also had a really good time with all my friends on the last night. In a way, I could not have asked for a more perfect farewell.
So by 1:30 in the afternoon, after finishing of with a “bang” and managing to walk off what was left of the alcohol in my system, I was back on the road. One of the things that I love about riding, is that after it all, it felt great and peaceful to just be alone in my own head again and go over it all.
My next stop was Niagara where I had some friends I had known from my days in Toronto. The original plan was to pass through for a meal and then push on to Oneonta, NY where my brother was, but with the late start as well as horrendous traffic due to the major East-West highway out of Toronto being completely closed down (I didn’t get out of the city for at least an hour on what should’ve been a 10-20 minute drive), I was much more delayed then I would have liked. And then the rain clouds moved in. It didn’t pick up too bad, just a drizzle, until I moved into the Niagara wine region. This was actually my first major run in with rain (while on the motorcycle at least) of the trip, so I can’t really complain, but as I was going through what I’m sure would have otherwise been a beautiful drive, I could barely see through my helmet as I navigated around the area looking for my friends’ house. But I eventually found it, greeting them in the entrance of their house soaking wet, as they brought me a towel to dry off and take my stuff off before hugging and saying hello.
Since I got there so late, around 4:30, and the rain didn’t really look like it would be moving on anytime soon, my hosts Ijeoma and Nick told me that there was a Halloween party that night and said I should come along and stay the night. So who was I to say no to such an offer! It always seems to work out just the way it’s supposed to. So we went out to dinner and went to a Value Village to pick up some costumes, I found a mask and gloves to wear as an “undead biker,” Nick was Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, and Ijeoma was an 80s girl.
So, another late night of festivities in an amazingly, festively decorated house with some their acting friends from the area and another relatively late start the next day after we all had breakfast together. My next and final stop before the end of the trip was to visit my brother at school in Oneonta, NY. We hadn’t seen each other in a while so it was nice to see him, hang out, watch some movies, and meet some of his friends. He was staying at a friends house at the time and there was another extra bed available, so overall a good set up.
And then the final ride, the last nearly 200 miles to complete the full circle of my trip around the US. The drive was beautiful through the Cherry Ridge Wild Forest next to the Catskills, surrounded by trees changing all sorts of different colors, and the roads winding through, up, and over the hills. I took rt. 28 –> 10 –> 26 –> 206 –> rt. 17 which took me to the Palisades Parkway across the George Washington Bridge and into the city.
And so, in a daze and in complete shock at the reality of the situation of my 2 month odyssey around the country actually over, I had a meal at Good Enough to Eat in the city and then drove back home, pulling Eowyn, my ’05 Dyna Wide Glide and faithful companion throughout, into her parking spot in front of the house, completing the 8,600 mile long circuit.