by2wingsor2wheels

Grateful for a very excited and strong pillion pilot. Given that yesterday started with so much sunny promise and ended with sheets of rain and wind. Both our spirits are up though as we found the adventure of the day not the weather to have purpose.

As with all tours the one thing I can count on is that ‘Mother Nature’ is never predicable and weather weather reports are a mix of art and science. We started the day with a beautiful sunrise in Toronto after a wonderful day on Saturday spent at a wedding. Families and friends committing for a day to celebrate two amazing people joining their lives is a great way to start a ride.

Bed by midnight and up at first light with some meditation followed by coffee. Packed up our cases and light breaky in the cafe at Loblaws (grocery store). Headed down the Gardiner Expressway at 8 am and crossed the Peace Bridge border in Buffalo before 10. I did not enter any waypoints in the GPS over the last two weeks of preparing (this is just as baffling to me why I didn’t!), so we stopped at a Tim Horton’s just off the I-90 to have a tea and plan the next 6 or 7 hours.

The ride to Buffalo was a little chilly but the sun was shinning and traffic was really light. As soon as we hit the Niagara Peninsula the temperature and landscape changed dramatically. 10 degrees warmer, 6 shades greener and smelling floral.

As we left New York State and entered Pennsylvania (try spelling Pennsylvania on a keyboard, it is very phonetic) the grey blanket of clouds began to cover the horizon. We stopped for lunch in a roadhouse just outside of Bradford called Tuck’s Inn. HOGs everywhere and we felt a little out of place. That didn’t last very long before a bearded patron started to asking Laura about her new helmet and bluetooth headset (Godsend by the way). Curses to celiac disease as the burgers in this place looked outstanding! We opted for chilli and a chicken salad with unsweetened ice tea and geared up in rain suits.

The rain started as we left the roadhouse. This is the second time in that I have come down through Pennsylvania in April rain. I told Laura last year when I road back how beautiful the country is and how it would make a great trip in nice weather. Foiled again by the weather. It was really snotty and relentless.  After 5 hours of increasingly nasty sheets of rain and wind I beelined for the first billboard sign of ‘Lodging’. This put us in a great Holiday Day Inn Express in Altoona. Once again I grateful for the adventure, because without the journey I would never be able to say or write titles like ‘Good Morning from Altoona”.

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