Itís Good to be Back Home††
by Bill Schink
†††† Hi, gang! I'm back home. I had a great trip but had to curtail it due to the fact that I didn't get 600 bassoon reeds finished before I left and I have to get them done and shipped before I can leave for Europe. So, I'll be "honkin" reeds for a week or so.
I went to Carlsbad Caverns, Fort Worth, across Louisiana and dropped down to Natchez, MS. I did the Natchez Trace north. What a history lesson there is to be learned by stopping at each of the historic sites! All the native Americans got screwed by the Europeans but none worse than the Choctaw and Chickasee Indians. The new-comers taught them how to clear the land and farm, and once the farms were productive, they shipped the Indians off to Oklahoma and confiscated their farms.
†††† From Nashville I took the interstate (hate those highways!) to Knoxville and then down to Great Smokey Mountains Nat'l Park. Boy, is that area a tourist trap! The park is great! I got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and did it until it became the Skyline Parkway (Shenandoah Nat'l Park). That is one gorgeous trip! I particularly loved the fact that the Rhododendrons were in bloom along side the road in the upper elevations.
†††† I then visited my niece and family in Williamsport, PA for the weekend and then went north to Ithaca, NY to attend the International Double Reed Society's conference held at Ithaca College. I cut that short to revisit my niece and husband who are also bikers. We spend 2 1/2 days doing the back roads of northern PA. That was the finest motorcycling of the entire trip! Twistys! Scenery! No traffic! Amish horse and buggies! I've definitely got to go back and do more of that country! And I've always got a place to stay.
†††† I left Williamsport on a Monday AM and decided to go 440 miles out of my way just to take a picture of my Grandfathers grave in Hastings-on-Hudson, just north of NY City. I then back-tracked and did the interstates 80, 78, 70, 44, and 40 until I got to Tijeras, NM where my Aunt Skip lives. I got there Friday PM and left Sunday after a really nice visit and got home around 6 that evening. I stopped at El Morro Nat'l Monument on the way.
†††† I only had one close call the whole trip when a crazy drunk tried to kill me; other that that I really enjoyed it and health-wise managed admirably. It sure reminded me of how much I missed long-distance riding the two years I couldn't. Just thought you might be interested. Bill
†††† [Ed Note:† Bill is looking through some 160 pictures.† Once he gets a few selected, weíll put them on the website, so be sure to check back for some pictures of Billís excellent ride.]