Thanksgiving Fun Facts

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As you sit down with family and friends this Thanksgiving take a moment to remember one of America’s most well loved holidays, while you ponder this list of little known fun facts about, “Turkey Day.” The Pilgrims that arrived from the United Kingdom in Plymouth New England on the east coast of America were the very first to celebrate Thanksgiving. The feast itself lasted three days, and according to historians was more about

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celebrating a successful harvest and the ability to stay alive as apparently hundreds of colonists died the first year after arriving on Plymouth Rock. Back then, both the Native Americans and the pilgrims also danced and sang, which makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Who could eat like that for three days straight?

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The Wampanoag Indian tribes were the first to celebrate Thanksgiving with the pilgrims. The tribe also taught the colonists how to cultivate the land and how to use what grew wild in the new land. You may be fond of your turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, Mac and cheese, pumpkin pie and of course stuffing and cranberries, but the pilgrims and the Native Americans most probably said thank-you with a mouth full of lobster. Other first Thanksgiving choices included chicken, rabbit, fish, quail, and duck with sides such as hickory nuts, cabbage, radishes, goat cheese, eggs, onions, beans, squash, leeks, dried fruits, honey, and maple.

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Apparently, somebody forgot to put forks on the Mayflower as the pilgrims ate with their hands, spoons, and knives. One of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, urged the United States to make the turkey the national bird of America. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Thanksgiving became official on October 3, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued an official Thanksgiving Proclamation. The national day would be the last Thursday in November.

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Nearly 290 million turkeys are bought and enjoyed for Thanksgiving in the United States, with California being the largest consumers of Thanksgivings favorite bird. Most folks presume that Thanksgiving is an American thing. However, the Canadians also celebrate the day of thanks on the second Monday each October. The average weight of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds. A 15-pound turkey will have around 70 percent white meat with 30 percent dark meat.

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The most popular Thanksgiving leftovers are sandwiches, chili, casseroles, soup, and burgers. Not all turkeys gobble. Hens make a clucking sound while the males gobble. This Thanksgiving, Travels with Harley would like to wish everyone a very safe, loving, and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family and friends, and don’t forget to say thank-you!

Communication is the Key When you Plan a Harley Davidson Road Trip

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A Harley Davidson Motorcycle trip takes lots of planning. I like to research the stops along the way, search the eateries and hotels on Yelp and get a feel for the ride before we take off.

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Last year I first heard about the Kyle Petty Charity Ride and sent away for info for 2014. It looked like it was going to be an awesome ride hitting the road on our Harley Davidson from coast to coast for the 20th anniversary. When we received the info in January, I forwarded it to our two friends, Sidecar Mike from Idaho & Jon from Colorado. We had met them both on the Wild West HOG ride in 2012 and they had stopped to visit us on a Route 66 ride they took in 2013

Mike responded with the following: (The Kyle Petty ride was a no for him)

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I am thinking about a ride that I read about in the Hog magazine. Two peaks in Colorado above 14,000 feet and both are paved all the way to the top. Mt. Evans and Pike’s Peak. That should be a fun ride.

My wife and I rode through Rocky Mountain Park a couple of years ago. She got altitude sickness at the scenic overlook at 12,000 feet on that ride. We couldn’t stay long because I had to get her down off the mountain.

Jon also said no to the Kyle Petty ride, and responded:

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Mike I would be more than happy to join you on the two peak rides. I have done Mt Evans but not Pike’s Peak. Just let me know, as you are always welcome to stay at the house. Maybe the wife can come and get use to the altitude before going higher. Demea and Jim you are welcome to join us as well as I have plenty of room. Late last summer I did a CO Rockies ride for about a week and had a wonderful time. It would not take much of an arm twist for me to set one up for this summer.

Ultimately, we also had to say no to the Kyle Petty ride – we hope to join it next year (it is going on right now).

So….I asked if Mike had made definite plans and next thing you know I get this message from Jon:

Hi everyone:

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I am available the week of July13 if that would work with everyone. I would suggest everyone come to my house in Castle Rock to stay and we would do two-day trips. The first to Pikes Peak and beyond (my favorite day ride) and then Mt Evans and beyond (second favorite day ride). Then we could take off for three to five days depending upon how much time you have available. I have a couple ideas that would be fun. If there is a part of CO that interests you let me know. Remember I also have a Colorado ranch in Westcliffe, CO that if anyone wants to use it is also available. Check it out at fazendaranch.com.

Think about it and let me know.

Regards
Jon

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 As you can see it takes lots of planning, even when there are just a handful of riders, and this is only half of the messages that we had going back and forth. I can only imagine what the organizers must go through when they plan a big Harley Davidson bike rally.

Awesome Harley Davidson Owners Group Events

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I think I mentioned a few weeks ago about the New England Trailblazer Event we will be attending with the Harley Davidson Owners Group. Jim and I are really excited, which made me want to check out some of the other awesome Harley Davidson Owners Group Events events that happen in the United States.

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Most people don’t know about Pin Stops. Pin Stops are available to Harley Davidson Owners Group. At Pin Stop, which is usually located at most of the H.O.G events, members can pick up free commemorative pins at selected Harley David motorcycle events. The only stipulation is that you must be a national member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group and visit the distribution center during the events hours.

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Harley Davidson Owners Group Rallies are really fun and Jim and I have been to a few. We have met some great people who have become old and dear friends.

The Kentucky State Rally sounds like it would be a blast. Back to the Bluegrass goes from June 4 to June 7 and is located in Lexington, Kentucky. This H.O.G. Rally also includes scavenger hunts and guided rides. The H.O.G Meet and Greet is always a lot of fun as we get to meet up with old friends and make some new ones. I love checking out the vendors, as there always seems to be something that I want to buy. At the last H.O.G. Rally, I found a couple of really nice leather pieces that I fell in love with.

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If we had more time, we would love to register for the New York State Harley Davidson Owners Group Rally in July. The event is hosting a Peter Frampton, Doobie Brothers concert and I would love to see that. There is nothing better than rocking to the tunes that I grew up with. The event only lasts for two days, but it certainly packs in quite a few activities. Not only is there a distillery and wine tour, but the New York State Harley Davidson Owners Group Rally also includes a tour of the West Point Military Academy.

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When Jim and I retire, we would like nothing more than to participate in some of the great events sponsored by the Harley Davidson Owners Group. I’m hoping that we can fit in one or two before our September New England Trailblazer Event.

New Zealand Harley Davidson Motorcycle Tour

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After talking about our virtual Harley Davidson Motorcycle tour of Australia last week, Jim and I got to thinking about heading to New Zealand, as it is just a hop, skip and a jump from, “The Land Down Under.”

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New Zealand is an amazing country that consists of a north and south island. A few of our friends have been before and say that both islands are a must. I did some research and discovered that there are quite a few places that rent Harley Davidson motorcycles, including the largest in the country, which is called Bularangi.

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Jim and I like to meet new people when we travel and because we belong to the Harley Davidson Owners Group would be able to connect with other H.O.G. members in New Zealand who could help us decide what Harley Davidson motorcycle tours would be the best. Of course, I did some research and found several that sound pretty cool.

Because we don’t know much about New Zealand a guided tour would probably be the best bet as all the tour guides are bred and born on either the north or south island and could show us the best and most beautiful places in the country.

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Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown have multiple day tours that would be an amazing way to see New Zealand. I’m quite fond of the three-day wine and whale tour, but if we had enough time we would also like to sign up for the two-day Christchurch Mountain pass tour that includes a tour guide.

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The two-day Harley Davidson motorcycle trip starts with a 208-mile ride that leaves Christchurch riding into the vineyards in the Waipara Valley. Crossing the Canterbury Plains the trip takes us through the Southern Alps before riding through the native and beech forests. Apparently, the views of the Lower Buller Gorge are breathtaking. The long ride will take us from the west to east coast of the South Island.

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The next day we would head south riding the west coast of the Southern Island with the Tasman Sea to the right and the Southern Alps to the left. The coastal ride also includes a stop at the Punakaki Rocks before heading to Lake Brunner. The steepest part of the ride is Arthurs Pass. After the climb, we get to ride along the High Mountain plateau before making our way back into Christchurch.

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There is plenty to see and do in New Zealand, especially on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I didn’t win the lottery last week, so I guess I had better go buy a few more tickets, especially if we want to see everything that New Zealand has to offer.

Dreaming about a Harley Davidson Trip to Australia

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If Jim and I win the lottery, or I should say when we win the lottery, we would love to travel the globe, renting Harley Davidson motorcycles as we go. We would of course test the newest bikes available including one like our own Road King. This past weekend I spent some time checking out places that rent Harley Davidson motorcycles and have added them to our must visit list.

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We have always wanted to travel to Australia and I was surprised to learn that you can rent Harley Davidson motorcycles in nearly every city. Of course, our first stop would be Sydney. I can only imagine how much fun we would have taking off from Sydney, and visiting all of the cool beaches like Bondi and Maroubra on the east side all the way up to Narrabeen, Newport, Avalon and Palm Beach on the north side.

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Sydney has three Harley Davidson models available. The Road King, which is like our bike, the Street Glide and the Ultra Classic. We have test driven a few different Harley Davidson motorcycles, and I am quite partial to the Ultra Classic. It really is the ultimate touring bike with its added legroom, and extra passenger space.

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We can actually rent a Harley Davidson in Sydney for two to three weeks, which would give us the opportunity to ride up to the Gold Coast and over to Mount Tamborine in Queensland. Our dream trip to Australia would also include a ride up to Noosa and the Sunshine Coast completing our ride in Cairns for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

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Of course, we just won the lottery, right? That means we could afford to spend a week on the Australian island of Tasmania. Devils Gullet is on our list as it is a state reserve located in the Wilderness World Heritage area. We could park our Harley Davidson rental, which would either be a Road King, Heritage Softail, or an Electraglide Ultra Classic, and enjoy the short easy walk up to the lookout that features awesome views of Cradle Mountain, Mount Ossa, and the Fisher River Valley.

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A trip to Tasmania would not be complete without a visit to King Island known for its cheese. If you follow my blog, you know that I am a real foodie, and love to try everything that any country has to offer. We could either camp, or stay in a comfy bed and breakfast.

 

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Australia is a big country and a trip to the Northern Territory and Western Australia would be on the cards as well, and let’s not forget about Coober Pedy. Known as the. “Opal capital of the world,” this mining town in South Australia is almost completely underground because of the scorching heat.

With all of this talk about Australia, I best go and play some lottery tickets…You’ve got to be in it to win it right? Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog on the bottom of the home page on our Travels with Harley site.