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Thread: Watkins Glen Two-Leaf Clover Tour

  1. #1
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Watkins Glen Two-Leaf Clover Tour

    Another trip, another trip report.

    After preregistering for the Finger Lakes Rally Labor Day weekend, then having something come up that prevented me from attending, I thought ?Oh &^%#$?. Then I thought, ?Maybe I can make lemonade? and hatched a plan to ride the Finger Lakes before the rally, when I was able.

    My last couple of trips have involved camping in a different spot each day and makes for a lot of setting up and taking down my tent and often packing a wet tent or setting up as the sun is setting. This time I thought I?d set up my tent once and do a series of day trips from wherever I camped. Morning rain or late returns would not be a problem and days could be a little more leisurely. Since the Finger Lakes Rally is at Watkins Glen State Park, that?s where I chose to go.

    Shamelessly borrowing terminology from Rider magazine?s cloverleaf or shamrock tours, I call this a two-leaf clover tour.

    Day 1.
    Watkins Glen is only about 4 hours from home if I go directly. I did not go directly. I shoved off around 8:30.



    I started out from southeast PA heading north on I-476 to get to the Poconos. It was a pleasant riding day, but after passing through the Lehigh tunnel, the road climbs to the Pocono plateau, and it got a little chilly, so I stopped at one of the nice rebuilt rest stops to add my jacket liner.

    A short while later I exited at Wilkes-Barre and headed northwest to pick up PA 118 towards Red Rock, passing through the Lackawanna State Forest.



    At Rickett?s Glen SP, I stopped to look around a little. I?ve camped here before, and there are lots of waterfalls and some nice trails.





    At Red Rock, I headed north on PA 487, a really fun road to ride. It climbs initially and then meanders along.



    I soon arrived at Lopez.



    The road out of town was fun.



    It?s pretty rural in this part of PA.



    In Dushore, I picked up PA 87 towards Forksville, one of my favorite stretches of the trip. The road follows Loyalsock Creek and the road takes as many turns as the creek.

    Once in Forksville, I headed to the Forksville General Store for lunch. It?s a quaint little place on the Loyalsock next to the covered bridge crossing.





    After a lunch of grilled chicken salad, because I had enjoyed PA 87 so much, I took it back out of Forksville towards Dushore and turned around and rode it again in the other direction to Forksville. I know this road pretty well now. Having a short day planned allows plenty of time to ride favorite sections of road over and over again. PA 87 continues south of Forksville to Montoursville along the Loyalsock. I highly recommend this road.

    A short 2 minute video of PA 87.

    PA 87, Dushore to Forksville from Terence Hamill on Vimeo.



    Returning to Forksville for the second time, I headed west on PA 154 to Canton. There was road construction but I wasn?t held up too long. This part of PA has a lot of fracking going on, so there?s lots of water trucks, white pick up trucks and men and women in orange vests. I got held up for tractor-trailers hauling wide loads of heavy earth moving equipment.

    I went through small PA towns like Estella



    and Shunk.



    I eventually picked up route 14 that took me to Watkins Glen. The PA section was through broad valleys with hills on either side. Very scenic.



    I got to Watkins Glen SP around 3:30 and set up camp.



    I relaxed the rest of the day until dinnertime.



    After stowing everything away and enjoying a little sippin? whiskey, it was off to bed.
    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  2. #2
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    Great trip! I fish and hunt near Forksville and take a bike trip or two each summer and camp at Worlds End State Park.

  3. #3
    MearthA rdalland's Avatar
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    ride what you've got; enjoy the road you're on!

    Reid - Stone Ridge, NY - MOA #69187 - Turbo Fluffy Motoclub - IBA #50182

  4. #4
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Day 2

    I woke during the night to the gentle sound of rain on the tent and still heard it in the morning. The rain was pretty light, but I was glad I wouldn?t have to pack a wet tent.

    I enjoyed my morning coffee, knowing I had a short mileage day planned and didn?t have to hit the road too early.



    Breakfast of oatmeal and a pop tart got me ready for the day.

    The Watkins Glen gorge is part of the state park, and there is a 1.5 mile path that climbs up into the gorge along Glen Creek as it plunges down through the gorge. It?s quite spectacular and I hiked a bit of it first thing before getting on the road. It was overcast and wet, and a bit misty in the gorge. I only did part of the hike with plans to complete it over the next couple of days and was glad I was staying in the park for a couple more days.



    You can even walk behind one of the falls.



    After hiking for a while I headed out of Watkins Glen and around Seneca Lake.



    NY 414 follows the lake and passes many, many wineries that are quite numerous around the lake. From what I saw over several days, Seneca Lake seemed to have the most wineries. It was a great road to ride north on the east side of the lake with little traffic and interesting sites and towns to pass.

    Hector Falls.









    Valois.



    Lodi.





    As you get to the northern end of the Finger Lakes, the land starts to flatten out, and I saw more and more Plain People, though I don?t know what sect they were. There were several buggies on the road and many draft animals in the fields.



    Fayette.



    Seneca Falls was an interesting town, and I walked around a little bit, but it was getting warmer, so I pushed on north on NY 414.



    South of Clyde, the road crossed the Erie Canal and I went off pavement to lock 26. I would?ve liked to see a boat come through.





    I continued north to Sodus Point on Sodus Bay at Lake Ontario. I walked around the lighthouse a bit and sat on the shores of Lake Ontario. It?s a little bigger than Seneca Lake!





    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  5. #5
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Day 2, continued.

    It was lunchtime and there were a few places to choose from and I chose to sit bayside and lunch at Captain Jack's.



    The haddock sandwich was pretty good and the view from the deck was even better.



    After lunch I headed west on NY 14 along Lake Ontario. I didn?t get quite the views of Lake Ontario I had hoped for and went as far as Pultneyville.



    There was a nice lakefront park where I spent some time.



    I took NY 21 south and wound my way over to Geneva on some nice county roads.



    I liked Geneva with its location on Seneca Lake and home to Hobart College. Rain was threatening, so I pulled into a cemetery to prepare for the rain.



    I rode through intermittent showers down the west side of Seneca Lake back to Watkins Glen.







    I arrived back at my campsite around 4:30 and decided to ride around the local area some. The first stop was Ithaca and Buttermilk Falls. Buttermilk Falls was interesting, though the flow seemed a little low. I imagine it?s something during the spring thaw.



    The highlight of the ride to Ithaca was NY 327. I rode this road three times.

    Short video of NY 327.

    NY 327 to Ithaca from Terence Hamill on Vimeo.



    I headed back to Watkins Glen through Montour Falls to see the falls there.



    There certainly are a lot of waterfalls in this part of NY.

    I got back to my campsite as the sun was setting to complete one leaf of the cloverleaf. I fixed dinner and turned in for the night.
    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  6. #6
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    Looks like a very nice area to ride. Well done and nice pictures.

  7. #7
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Day 3
    Happy birthday to me! I started the day with a very special birthday breakfast of oatmeal, a pop tart and coffee.



    Today was to be a longer day, so I got an earlier start. Like yesterday, there was morning fog.





    I headed to Cayuga Lake and picked up NY 89 to head north up the west side of the lake.



    There were some nice side roads that led away from the lake.



    I stopped at Taughannock Falls SP on Cayuga Lake.





    Since I was camping in a SP, I got free admission to any other SP for the duration of my stay, and I took advantage of that.

    As the name implies, there?s a waterfall there.



    The ride along the lake was enjoyable with little traffic.



    Just like yesterday, as I got north of the lake, the day cleared.



    I continued north on NY 89 and stopped in Butler Center.





    I think NY has more roadside signs than any state I?ve been in.



    One of my goals for the day was to find a piece of birthday pie, and with all the orchards around Lake Ontario, didn?t think it would be too hard to do. As I was heading up NY 104A towards Fair Haven, I saw a sign for fresh baked goods, and hoped that included pie. I did a U-turn and pulled into the Country Apple. There was no pie, but I bought a 4-pack of cherry turnovers and sat in the shade and ate two of them. They were really good.



    All the fresh fruit smelled like summer.

    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  8. #8
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    I always enjoy your ride reports. Wasn't it about a year ago you rode the Blue Ridge Parkway on your S?
    2000 R1100RS
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  9. #9
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    I'm glad you enjoy the reports. I enjoy the trips.

    I did trip reports on riding the BRP on my KRS this past Fall and riding the BRP on my S in the Spring. I love that road.
    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  10. #10
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Another real nice report
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  11. #11
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    Couple of quick questions. In your videos I see the Zumo. I like where it is mounted, but does it block your vision of the gauges or is that simply the angle of the view from the camera? What is that four legged spider thing on the bar?

    You just got back from a coast to coast ride on that K100RS. You don't mind putting miles on that bike.
    2000 R1100RS
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  12. #12
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    The Zumo only partially blocks my view of the speedo, but when I use the Zumo, I use that as my speedo. If I move my head a little bit, I can see the speedo, but generally don't have to. The spider thing is where I mount my iPhone if I want to charge my phone while riding. I generally camp without electric hookup, so need a way to keep my phone charged. It also allows me to text while I ride.
    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  13. #13
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    After stuffing my belly, I rode a short way to Fair Haven and Fair Haven Beach SP, and entered for free. This was a really nice state park on Lake Ontario, and I spent quite a bit of time there enjoying the views of Lake Ontario and the cool breeze.





    I headed along the lake towards Oswego.



    I eventually turned north on NY 3 along the eastern edge of Lake Ontario.



    I passed Selkirk Shores SP and went in (for free ) to look around. I found a nice shady spot by the lake and sat for a spell.



    I had originally planned to continue north to the St Lawrence River, but it was getting late, and I wanted to get back in time to finish hiking the Watkins Glen gorge.

    I picked up I-81 south to Syracuse and headed west on the NY State Thruway and exited at Geneva. I didn?t want to retrace my route of yesterday, so headed to Keuka Lake, my third Finger Lake of the trip, passing through Bellona.



    In Penn Yan I headed south on NY 54 along the eastern edge of the lake. Plenty of wineries with good riding.

    In Keuka, I headed east, eventually picking up county road 23 to Watkins Glen. This was a less crowded approach than NY 14, which I had used previously, and a nice ride as you descend down to Seneca Lake.

    A short video of CR 23.

    CR 23 to Watkins Glen from Terence Hamill on Vimeo.



    I got back to camp around 5 completing the second leaf of the tour and headed for the gorge trail, picking up where I had left off earlier. It?s well worth the walk, and not too difficult.





    I got back to camp around 7 for my special birthday dinner, or ?what?s left in the food bag??



    It was memorable.

    A fine meal was followed by a fine sippin? whiskey and off to bed.

    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  14. #14
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Day 4
    My last day on the road was to be a beeline for home, as I needed to be home by early afternoon. With ?go home? plugged into the GPS, it would be a four hour trip.

    My sore back woke me at 7. It was a nice morning and I had a leisurely standard breakfast of oatmeal, a pop tart and coffee and slowly packed up and was ready to go a little before 9.



    I toyed with the idea of heading over to the Finger Lake Rally site, but figured I better get on the road. I hated leaving town seeing the beemers arriving. I?ve only heard good things about this rally and it remains on my bucket list.

    I rode south to Montour Falls and picked up NY 224 to Odessa. This was a good road, and it got even better south of NY 13.



    I ended up picking up NY 17, soon to be I-86, in Owego, and heading east to Binghamton. I-81 took me to Scranton, where I made my one stop for gas, picked up I-476 and rode the last 100 miles to home, arriving shortly before 1.

    I really enjoyed this trip with the simplicity of using a base camp and returning to it each night. It was also nice to be able to travel fairly light each day and not have to carry a full load of ?stuff?. I also didn?t have to think about where I would stay each night and the weather first thing and last thing of the day was not a concern. I also liked having the time to explore the state park.

    There are plenty of areas that are a day?s ride or less from home that would be worth exploring like this. Hmmm, Fall?s a good time to travel.
    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  15. #15
    MearthA rdalland's Avatar
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    Nice shot! Thought it was worth a few minutes in photoshop...

    Last edited by rdalland; 09-03-2013 at 01:32 PM.
    ride what you've got; enjoy the road you're on!

    Reid - Stone Ridge, NY - MOA #69187 - Turbo Fluffy Motoclub - IBA #50182

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