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!

Fall Motorcycle Rides are a Must

Fall Motorcycle Rides

Fall Motorcycle Rides, we just can’t get enough of them, which is why Jim and I wanted to target a few more Fall Motorcycle Rides that will get you out of the house and on your Harley. Unlike lengthy summer vacations, fall getaways don’t need a lot of planning. All you have to do is have a location, a plan, and maybe a picnic.

Print Makers Inn

Savannah Georgia

Ranked as one of the top autumn getaways by the US News and World Report, Savannah, GA, is a great place to enjoy the foliage. Spend the weekend at the Print Makers Inn, which is one of the best B & B’s in the area, and enjoy classic Southern Hospitality in an 1884 classic B & B in the oldest city in Georgia. Book a river cruise and you will be in awe of the fall colors as you make your way down the river.

Fall Motorcycle Rides

New England

Ok, so New England isn’t a state, but it is an area that boasts some of the best autumn colors on the planet. New England is known for its gorgeous fall leaves as billions of them begin to change from green to chestnut brown, magenta, harvest gold and bright red. The air is crisp and cool making it the perfect time to head out on Fall Motorcycle Rides. While you are there be sure to pick up some fresh apples from the local stalls that are dotted up and down the roadways.

Fall Motorcycle Rides

The leaves begin to put on their show from mid-September to mid-October. However, if you head to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, up the New Hampshire coast and into southern Maine the colors can sometimes last until mid-November. There is plenty to do on the back of a Harley in New England. Jim and I have been on quite a few rides and if you follow our Travels with Harley blog, you will remember our New England Trailblazer Tour a few years back.

For some, autumn is the most beautiful time of the year, and if you want to enjoy it on the back of your Harley, do it now, as Fall Motorcycle Rides will be over before you know it.

Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trips in Maine

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If you are looking for great Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trips to take now that the weather is starting to warm up, you will love some of the places that are on the Travels with Harley bucket list. Although Jim and I have been on quite a few Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trips, some places have eluded us, so far anyway.

Travels with HarleyWhen Jim and I took the New England Trailblazer Tour a couple of years ago, we fell in love with Maine. However, there were a few places that we didn’t get to see that we would love to plan for a Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trip.

It may seem hard to believe, but Maine has 5,000 miles of coastline, 17 million acres of beautiful forestland, 6,000 lakes, and 32,000 miles of rivers. Maine is a great place to explore and although most who venture out for a Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trip head to the coast, you will miss the crowds if you head inland or up north.

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The Northern Route 201 is 101 miles of majestic scenery that takes you along the Kennebec River Valley to the western mountains of Maine. Don’t be surprised if you spot wildlife on the way, especially if go from Jackman to Moosehead Lake. With lots of twists and turns, along the river, be sure to keep your eyes out for moose. If you are making this one of your Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trips, you can camp, if you read our blog, Jim doesn’t care for motorcycle camping, or stay at a charming Inn or B & B. If you stop for a bite along the way, Schmooses Pub and Grill sounds good to us. Serving seafood, steaks, and even pizza it is a great place to have a meal.

Sebago Lake Cottages

The 125-mile Sebago Lake ride offers bikers lots of the beautiful Maine countryside with a beautiful large lake, some great camping areas, old houses, and antique stores. Perfect for Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trips, the roads offers easy riding all the way. Once you get to the lake, there are plenty of places to eat and stay, even if you prefer a comfy bed to a camping site. We like the sounds of Sebago Lake Cottages with its sandy beaches and comfortable accommodations.

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The Androscoggin Route is a short little ride that covers 38 miles. Featuring lots of farmland the road is smooth except for a few sharp unbanked curves. This little ride would be perfect if you have another destination in mind for Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trips.

Next week Travels with Harley will share  more Harley Davidson Weekend Road Trips in the beautiful state of New Hampshire.

The New Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited Edition

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2016 is just around the corner, and that means the Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition has just rolled out and it promises to be better than ever.

Harley Davidson calls the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition the most powerful engine available in a motorcycle cruiser, and Jim and I most certainly agree.

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The Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition features a new gloss black air-cooled Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B™ engine along with sexy black lower forks, handlebar, axle nut covers and riser. The black hydraulic clutch assembly and the brake lever is also blacked out, as is the over/under exhaust with its slash cut mufflers. If you like black, this is something to consider when it comes to the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition.

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You will definitely get the looks in the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition. The horseshoe oil tank makes you think of an old Panhead chopper straight out of the 1970’s.

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Never to step back when it comes to technology, the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition comes with a state of the art factory installed security system that is literally hands free. The hands free fob will automatically disarm and arm the Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition security functions as you walk away or approach your new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition. All you have to do is place the hands-free fob on your ignition Harley Davidson key ring and it does the work for you.

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They don’t call it the Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition for nothing, and with the new Fat Dunlop® tires, you are sure to get a much smoother ride whether you are cruising through the city streets or headed out to the country for a long weekend Harley Davidson road trip. These tires will give you amazing traction when you brake as well.

Unlike the Harley Davidson’s of old, the 1 ¼” handlebars offer a clean and bold look while being ergonomically designed for comfort, confidence and positioning.

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To go with the dark look of the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition Harley Davidson has also added a slimmer seat that is ergonomically correct giving a more comfortable and solid connection to the road.

Jim and I love our Road King, but have to admit that the new Fatboy Slim Softtail S Limited edition is certainly worth a test drive, don’t you think?

Harley Davidson Weekend Getaways in Vermont

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September is here, and that means fall arrives mid-month and if you are looking for some terrific Harley Davidson weekend getaways, you will not do better than the East Coast. Although the West Coast does have its moments when it comes to the leaves changing color, nothing beats the cavalcade of colors in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

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Vermont is known for its maple syrup and Jim and I truly enjoyed riding through Vermont on our New England Trailblazer Tour, and although it was certainly longer than most Harley Davidson weekend getaways, it was well worth the trip.

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To enjoy autumn, you have to get out to the roads less traveled on Harley Davidson weekend getaways and if you are planning a trip to Vermont, you will certainly find a few of those.

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Scenic routes for Harley Davidson weekend getaways in Vermont offer riders everything from farmland vistas to sweeping forests. You can even ride through orchards, farms, and historic downtowns where you will find great cafes, diners, fruit and veggie stands and loads of trailheads for waterfalls, valley views, and swimming holes. The motorcycle roads in Vermont can take you for quick 30 mile Harley Davidson weekend getaways to lengthy 210 mile road trips that may take more than a couple of days.

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If you follow our blog, you will know that Jim and I are passionate about covered bridges, and if you are as well, you will love Vermont as there are more than 100 of them that range from smaller type constructions over babbling brooks and country streams to the world’s longest two span Cornish-Windsor covered bridge.

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The best way to enjoy the fall on Harley Davidson weekend getaways in Vermont is to steer clear of the highways and make your way over to the secondary roads.

Vermont-30 is considered one of the best Harley Davidson weekend getaways if you are looking for rolls and curves that will take you past lakes and mountains. The 66-mile ride even takes you by the Bomoseen State Park on Lake Bomoseen where you can stop for a quick swim.

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If you are really looking for fall foliage, try the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive toll road that will take you 3,140 feet in the air. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a bite to eat before you make your way to the summit where you will be met with a 360-degree view of the entire state of Vermont, New Hampshire, and the Adirondacks. On a clear day, riders can even catch a glimpse of Mount Royal in Montreal, Canada.

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According to quite a few Harley Davidson weekend getaways enthusiasts, Vermont’s Scenic 100 route is simply the best. With 200 hundred miles of changing views, the ride takes you from Wilmington Vermont to Lake Memphremagog, which is just shy of the Canadian border. With no shortage of activities during the fall, such as hayrides, pumpkin patches, cider mills and farm stands, it is best to make your reservations a few months in advance, as it is extremely popular during autumn.

For the best Harley Davidson weekend getaways, Vermont has got you covered. Make your reservations today and don’t forget to share your story on Travels with Harley.

Motorcycle Road Trips in the fall

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Motorcycle road trips are great all year round, but especially during the fall, and now that summer is beginning to wind down, we thought we would share some of the best places in the country to get on your bike for Motorcycle road trips while enjoying the cavalcade of colors as the leaves start to change their hue.

Although the peak time to see the autumn leaves is between the end of September through the middle of October, we thought we would share a few Motorcycle road trips suggestions so that you can plan your ride.

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Jim and I have had the pleasure of riding through the northeastern states when we rode with other riders on the New England Trail Blazer ride last year. Although autumn hadn’t officially begun yet, we were able to catch a glimpse of early fall with the leaves just starting to turn. If you want to enjoy motorcycle road trips during the fall, New England is certainly a great place to start.

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The Scenic Route 100 in Vermont is stunning and one of the best places to start your motorcycle road trips in the fall. This popular tourist destination is known as one of the most, if not the most, scenic drives in the area and is part of what is called the, “Skiers Highway.” The byway is 138 miles long and takes you through Rochester, Hancock, Granville, Bridgewater, Ludlow and Plymouth as well as a few other towns that include Stratton, Jamaica, Londonderry, and Stockbridge. If you want to enjoy Motorcycle road trips this fall, the Scenic Route 100 should really be on your list.

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The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee offer travelers a visual feast anytime of the year, but especially when the leaves start to fall. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has several Motorcycle Road Trips that you can take to enjoy the colors of autumn. Spend a few days in Eastern Tennessee on Motorcycle road trips and stay in a delightful B & B so that you can wake up to a gorgeous fall morning in the Smokies.

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One of our favorite rides in Tennessee is Cades Cove. Most of our friends enjoy this trip because the 31 mile drive is located in the western Tennessee section of the National Park and is the perfect place to enjoy early fall colors. From historic buildings to breath-taking fall landscapes and wildlife, Cades Cove should not be missed if you are planning motorcycle road trips this fall.

If you haven’t started planning your motorcycle road trips for autumn, better get a move on!

Things You Might Not Know About Harley Davidson

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Harley Davidson is a name known all over the world, but what even the most enthusiastic motorcycle fans may not know is how unique that history actually is.

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In 1901, William S. Harley created a blueprint for a motorized bicycle. In 1903, William and Arthur Davidson built the first bike that was made available to the public. A short time later, Arthur’s brothers, Walter and William joined the pair. William quit his job with the railroad in Milwaukee to become part of the Harley Davidson motor company.

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The very first Harley Davidson was built in a small wooden factory, 10 x 15 to be exact. The name was crudely carved into the front door.

The first buyer of a Harley Davidson was a friend of Arthur and William, Henry Meyer. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was the first person ever recorded to purchase a new Harley Davidson from the small wood factory in 1903.

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C.H. Lang in Chicago, Illinois set up the first Harley Davidson dealership in 1904, the same year that the first motorcycle was built.

Not one to rest on its Laurels, the company entered its first race a year later in 1905 winning first place.

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In 1906, Harley Davidson moved shop and opened its new plant hiring six employees. That same year the company released its first catalog. In 1910, Harley hired its first full time worker.

In 1910, Harley Davidson placed first in every race including speed, endurance and the hill climb.

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Janet Davidson was the first woman to sit on and ride a Harley Davidson. She was the Davidson brothers Aunt who helped with the pin striping and writing the name Harley Davidson on the bike.

Harley Davidson earned the nickname, “Hogs,” in 1920 because the race team used a pig as a mascot. After every win, the driver would lift a real pig on the tank and drive his victory lap. The Bar and Shield Harley Davidson logo was painted in 1911.

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Always a cult classic, Malcolm Forbes, founder of the magazine, loved the motorcycles so much that he owned fifty Harley Davidson’s and gave just as many away as gifts.

In 1998, Brazil became the first country outside of the United States to open a Harley Davidson factory.

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The most expensive Harley Davidson motorcycle, the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide, will set you back $40,000.

Harley Davidson Livewire VS Victory Charger

Victory Charger

A few months back the news broke about Harley Davidson getting into the electric motorcycle game, but according to recent reports, Harley Davidson just might be nipped at the finish line thanks to a new patent that was filed with the Trademark and US Patent office.

Victory Charger

Polaris, who recently purchased the manufacturing part of Brammo, an electric motorcycle company, filed the name, “Victory Charger.” Victory Motorcycles manufacture cruiser-style motorcycles and is one of Harley Davidson’s biggest competitors.

Victory Polaris

According to Polaris, the patent was filed for; “Electric motorcycles and structural parts therefore,” which according to the patent office is used as a placeholder because signature design and symbols cannot be patented. This is the first time that Victory has publicly acknowledged their race in the electric motorcycle game.

Victory Polaris

The Victory Charger uses Brammo’s drive train technology that is expected to take the electric motorcycle world by storm. Rumor has it that Polaris intends on rolling out the new Victory Charger during the third quarter of 2015.

People in the know claim that it would be nearly impossible to install a Brammo drive train into the Victory chassis in such a short time, which has some folks wondering if the new Victory Charger will look more like the Empulse manufactured by Brammo.

Impulse

People in the Harley Davidson camp tend to think that the Charger will simply be rebranded using the Brammo Empulse. With that being said, the Victory Chargers will be manufactured at the Victory facility in Iowa.

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Harley Davidson went public with the Livewire tour that included test rides and that just may give the electric Victory Charger the edge thanks to the awareness and publicity created by Harley Davidson and Livewire. Unless Harley Davidson releases the Livewire before Victory releases the Charger, those thousands of people who got to ride an electric motorcycle, just may not wait for Harley Davidson opting to buy the Victory Charger instead.

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Personally, I love the big sound of our Road King and unless I lived in the city, wouldn’t want to go zipping around on an electric motorcycle whether it’s made by Victory or Harley Davidson. I know that Jim wouldn’t either.

The Final Leg of our New England Trailblazer Tour

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As the New Year, approaches I am reminded how thankful I am for our family and friends and how much I enjoy our Travels with Harley. Before I write my final installment of our New England Trailblazer Tour this past September Demea and I would like to wish everyone a safe and prosperous New Year, now let me digress and get back to one of the best rides that we have had in some time.

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One of the things that I loved about New England was how clean the air smelled. It was brisk and fresh and made me want to go another New England Trailblazer Tour and a Travels with Harley ride sooner rather than later.

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As I said last week, I’m not that keen on big cities, but dealt with it as best I could. It was cold and we were hungry, but we were so tired that we really didn’t feel like stopping at a fancy restaurant so Demea yelped and found this Mexican grocery store with a grill out front. The two guys who were looking after the place didn’t speak English, but were able to understand our order which was four taco’s and a Pepsi served in a glass bottle.

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The meat was hot and grisly, so we just grinned and bared it. The day wasn’t that great as Demea and I both love our food and we didn’t have much that day.

We weren’t really in a hurry the next day, and that was probably a good thing, as it got really cold around midday. Both of us were tired and hungry and were seriously considering renting a truck and hauling the bike back, even after hunting for warmer clothes at a local store in Gander. Even though Demea bought a shirt, it wasn’t enough for the ride home.

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After having a bite to eat we decided that the $800.00 it would cost to haul the bike back wasn’t worth it. We warmed up, got back on the bike, and rode into Indy on our New England Trailblazer Tour before spending the night.

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We weren’t really in that much of a hurry the next day on our New England Trailblazer Tour and that was a good thing as it was pretty darn cold, not as cold as the day before thank God, but according to the forecast, rain was expected.

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We got within 20 miles of St. Louis on our New England Trailblazer Tour and it started to come down hard. We went into the Casey store to get some coffee and a pizza while Demea worked on her laptop. We were able to visit with Susie and Neal who own a couple of Sears Hometown Stores and three outlet stores. Everything happens for a reason and it was good to catch up and get advice and ideas for our business.

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After checking the weather and getting warm, we gassed up the Road King and headed out for the final leg of our New England Trailblazer Tour. Considering all the weather that we had to put up with, it was a pretty easy ride.

As we pulled into the garage, I checked out my trip meter and discovered that we had traveled 3740.9 miles on our New England Trailblazer Tour. That meant we had been through 13 states in 12 days.

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So, that is my take on our New England Trailblazer Tour…and although I may have been longwinded at times, it was sure good to reminisce. Thanks for joining us on our New England Trailblazer Tour journey and we’ll see you next year!

New England Trailblazer Tour September 11

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It’s times like this that the New England Trailblazer Tour this past September comes to mind. Demea and I are so busy with the stores, and of course, the weather isn’t doing us any favors, that we haven’t had a chance to take a ride, let alone reminisce about our New England Trailblazer Tour.

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If I can remember correctly, I last left you on September 10 The day before our national day of remembrance, September 11, 2001.

After getting up at 5:30 for our New England Trailblazer Tour, we had a breakfast buffet for only $10.99 at the Holiday inn. Jodie didn’t want to go so she rode her Sportster to Bangor by herself while the rest of us rode out to west Quoddy head lighthouse.

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This is the eastern most point in the United States. That meant a coast-to-coast ride for Demea and me as we have ridden to Los Angeles on the Wild West ride.

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It was cold and overcast and even though we wore long johns and leathers it was still pretty darn chilly. The weather was calling for rain, but as usual, we were prepared.

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The countryside was pretty and not much different then Missouri so we all decided to take the short cut back. It still took us most of the day, and we still were rained on the last 40 miles. We had time before supper so Demea and I took the Holiday inn shuttle to the Bangor Maine Harley dealership. I love my wife, always wanting a souvenir, and the New England Trailblazer Tour was certainly no exception. She actually wanted a Bangor Maine T-shirt with the logo on the front.

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Will, the guy that was driving the van was from Detroit. He had been in Maine for about 6 years. While we were in the van, Will got a call to pick up two flight attendants from the airport. They were funny and we enjoyed their company. One of the gals had pictures on her phone from a flight she had worked where the dog from the Target commercials, the one with red bull’s eye around its eye, was on the plane. Apparently, they had bought her a first class seat so she could look after the bulldog.

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After dropping them off, we went over to the Cole Land Transportation museum, which was very nice with all of the items being donated. While we were there, the Harley Davidson Bangor gave the greeters a check for a $1000.00 dollars before passing the hat for another 1000. One of the most moving things that Demea experienced was during the Star Spangled Banner. As it was being sung, Demea and I were facing the front entrance. Demea commented about how her heart melted when she watched some riders walking up, and after hearing the song, immediately stopped, hats off and hands over their hearts.

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Oh and both Demea and I thought that the lobster rolls at the catered dinner were incredible!

We got on buses went back to the hotel, and started drinking in the bar. Steve, Matt,
and I went out on the patio to smoke cigars and drink. It was cold but it felt good to stay out late even though we were still in the same restaurant as the girls.

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After we had a smoke we went back to the bar inside where Demea and Jodi were talking to the guys from the Saddle Tramp Adventure Travel Co. they are from England and after talking to Eddie for a while, I discovered that he was a real interesting guy who was fascinated with Indian Motorcycles.

It was a great day, but incredibly long, almost as long as this post. Next week I’ll continue with our New England Trailblazer Tour. Thinking about it really does take the edge off the cold.

Another leg on our Trailblazer Tour

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After our trip to Bens Mill on our Trailblazer Tour, we really wanted to catch up with the rest of the group, so we took a shortcut. It took us most of the day, but we somehow managed to get ahead of the group by a few minutes.

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Sugarloaf is a beautiful vacation and ski resort and quite popular all over the world. Demea and I were glad that it was part of our Trailblazer Tour. We rode the ski lift to the top of the mountain where the organizers had a nice supper followed by an awesome fireworks show and drinks in the bar with Matt from Harley Davidson. Meeting Ed and discovering that our Travels with Harley blog and the Trailblazer Tour was the first thing that showed up on Google when you searched for the Trailblazer Tour was pretty awesome. Ed and Anna were the Tour Operators and are originally from England living in the US for about six years now.

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On our September 10 Trailblazer Tour, Demea and I got up a bit late, and because the rest of the group didn’t want to wait, took off without us. We rode for most of the day by ourselves where we enjoyed the beautiful countryside. It reminded me of where I grew up although a heck of a lot colder.

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We got to the dealership in Hermon Maine for our Trailblazer Tour, rode with Jolene’s group to Ellsworth, and caught up with Matt, Jodie and Steve at a place called
Jaspers for supper where they had some kinds of sea creatures on the menu. Demea had lobster Newburg, Jodi and Steve had a lobster roll, and Matt had the stuffed haddock. Of course, I had a steak.

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I’m backtracking a bit, but Demea wanted me to mention the truck stop in Hermon on our Trailblazer Tour. She did a Yelp search for a place called Dysart’s Restaurant & Truck stop that had great reviews, especially for their pie.

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After we sat down a guy from another table stopped by and told us about a lot of great areas to see. Demea ordered the French toast with the fresh Maine blueberry compote and a piece of blueberry pie with ice cream. She later said that it may have been a bit over the top, and should have just had the French toast. That’s one of the many things that I love about my wife, she usually bites off more than she can chew, and with that, I will do my best to finish our Trailblazer Tour next week.

And it is Still Day One on another Travels with Harley

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Jim and I have so many great memories that it is hard to put everything into a single blog, so you may be hearing me wax on lyrically about our Travels with Harley New England Trailblazer Tour for the next few weeks.

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Last week I left you with our police escort out of Brattleboro, Vermont and our ride along with Matt from Harley Davidson, but I forgot to mention the Fly Fishing Museum. We all really wanted to see it, but unfortunately, it was closed for the day.

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The American Museum of Fly Fishing, or the AMFF, has been around since 1968 and was started by a bunch of enthusiastic and passionate anglers who wanted to keep the history of fly-fishing alive and well. Originally created as an institution in order to preserve and interpret all the great treasures of fly-fishing, today it houses one of the largest collections of angling relating items on the planet, literally in the thousands.

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Other points of interest on our first day included the Hildene House, or the Abraham Lincoln Family home. One of the guys that we ride with, Jodi is a huge Lincoln fan, so he was pretty excited about that, and the Warren Covered Bridge, which was also a scheduled event. There wasn’t a meal planned, but one of the locals recommended the Dormy Grill at the Equinox Hotel in Manchester. I had to catch up on some work, yes I know it never stops, so Jim and I skipped the Hildene tour, and opted to meet Matt from Harley Davidson, Jodi, Matt, and Steve later on.

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You know how much I love my food, so I was excited about this stop in our Travels with Harley road trip. The view from the patio of the Dormy Grill overlooked the 1st fairway and the 9th green. The menu was simple, mostly sandwiches, but the food was pretty good. Some of the menu selections included a classic Caesar salad and clam chowder as an appetizer and of course, there was a lobster roll on the menu, we were in Vermont after all.

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As we rode out of town with Matt, who was riding a 2015 glistening silver Street Glide I noticed that his jacket was actually glowing. I had never really seen the effect of the reflective aspects of the riding clothes before and was awestruck. The sight was incredible. Another rider, Lisa from Georgia was wearing a very stylish Harley Jacket, and of course, I told Jim that I would really love to have that jacket. It was waterproof and had a liner for warmth. Don’t get me wrong, I love my leathers, but not so much my rain gear. If I had the jacket, I wouldn’t have to carry both for the whole Travels with Harley trip.

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s already that time and I’m not even on day two yet! Rest assured I have much more to share on our Travels with Harley New England Trailblazer tour.

Travels with Harley in Brattleboro Vermont

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Last week I left you in Brattleboro, Vermont, but didn’t get too far. It was a long ride and both Jim and I were exhausted after yet another Travels with Harley, but I still have so much more to share.

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Brattleboro, Vermont was our first official stop on the New England Trailblazer Tour. It’s a pretty cool little town with a rich history. In 1724, Fort Dummer was the first English settlement in Vermont and was built to protect the settlers from the Abenaki tribe that used the local woods and rivers for food and transportation. The fort was used to defend against French and Native attacks until 1728 when it became a trading post. Today the fort is submerged by the Connecticut River.

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Fast forward to our trip, we hooked up with the same group that we always do on our Travels with Harley, at least for the last couple of years anyway. We met with Matt, Steve and his wife Jodi. Jodi was riding a yellow Harley Davidson Sportster and always looks like she has so much fun!

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That first night we had a blast, as usual. The Holiday Inn Express had a big tent set up in the back and dinner was catered. If you follow my blog, you know I am pretty particular about my food, and the flank steak with chimichurri and assorted salads certainly didn’t disappoint.

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The next morning we had a group photo under a huge flag that the local firefighters had hoisted between two fire truck ladders.

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After the photo, we were given a police escort as we rode out of town. We also had the opportunity to sign up to ride with one of the Harley Davidson representatives. If your name is drawn, you get to ride with the rep for the day. Matt had his name drawn and we were really lucky to get Matt from Harley Davidson. This was his first national tour ride, although he had done quite a few state rallies.

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I still have lots to share as far as our Travels with Harley New England Trail Blazer ride goes, but that will have to wait until next week.

Travels with Harley Hits the Road Again

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Sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t always work out, and that is exactly what happened before our latest Travels with Harley.

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Jim and I had been planning our September New England Trailblazer Tour for quite some time, and although we were supposed to leave on Friday morning, didn’t hit the road until 5:00 PM because I had to train a new storeowner for the Farmington store. Needless to say, we only made it to Effingham, Illinois because of the huge storms that were rolling in.

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We got up early Saturday morning, but it was gloomy and drizzly all day. So much so that we had to keep stopping to add layers because it was so darn cold. Unfortunately, we only made it to Erie, PA that night and needed to be in Brattleboro, VT by 4:00 PM on Sunday. I was a bit worried, especially since the forecast wasn’t in our favor, for riding anyway.

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It seemed like it took us forever to get through New York on Sunday. We were only able to go between 55 and 65 on the New York State Thruway, which put us into Brattleboro at 5:00 PM, an hour later than we had planned. Luckily, we had called the hotel at 3:00 and were told that we could pick up our rider’s packets when we arrived followed by dinner at 6:00.

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As we started to unload the Road King after a tiring Travels with Harley ride, one of the first people that we ran into was a New York City fireman who we had met on the Hellbender Tour in Arkansas last year. He and his riding group had all been staying at the same bed and breakfast that we had in Mountain View, AR. The Inn at Mountain View is right on the town square and has this amazing wraparound porch where the boys say on the porch smoking cigars and listening to the local musicians playing in the town square.

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Anyway, this time around Chris, the fireman, introduced us to his wife, who rode her own bike and proceeded to give me a hard time, once again, for not having my own ride.

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It was about that time that I was rushing around and heard someone say, “Are you the one riding that?” or something like that. I wasn’t sure what he was saying and should have asked him to repeat what he said instead of just saying, “No.” A couple of days later at the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort I found out that he had asked me if I was the one from, “Travels with Harley,” which I thought was pretty cool.

Lots happened between then and now, but it’s getting late and it was a long trip so I will continue with the rest of our Travels with Harley New England Trailblazer Tour next week.

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.

Riding with the Harley Owners Group

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After all of the research that I have been doing on road trips for Travels with Harley, I finally decided to register for a road trip this September! We are super excited to be going on a H.O.G. tour with a group doing the New England Trailblazer Tour. H.O.G. stands for the Harley Owners Group and its going to be an awesome trip.

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If you follow my blog, you will know that Jim and I love to meet new people and that will certainly happen on the New England Trailblazer Tour. New England during the fall is supposed to be beautiful and although it probably won’t be like it is in October, I am sure that some of the leaves will have already begun to turn those fabulous shades of amber, gold, orange, rust, red, and yellow.

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H.O.G celebrated thirty years of riding together as a group this past year and Jim and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to ride with other Harley Davidson enthusiasts. Of course, I have nothing against other brands of motorcycles, but am quite partial to Harley Davidson and the Harley Owners Group is only for people who own a Harley. When we signed up, we actually had to supply our VIN number to become members.

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The New England Trail Blazer Tour covers 1,400 miles on the back of our Road King and takes place in the North East of our beautiful country, which of course is New England. Jim and I, along with other Harley Davidson riders, will ride through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont from September 7 to September 12.

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New England has always been on our Harley Davidson bucket list and we can’t wait to ride with other members of the Harley Owners Group. I’ve already started a list of things that I want to bring home with me including some maple syrup from Vermont.

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I’m sure the food will be fantastic. I am a big fan of the show, “Diners, Drive-Inn’s and Dives,” and love the segments featuring lobster rolls in Maine. I’m sure that I will be sampling quite a few in September!

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In the meantime, I am off to Aberdeen, South Dakota for a week as we are adding a new franchise line, Kitchen Tune Up, to our store. Talk to you next week, oh, and don’t forget to sign up and register for updates on our Travels with Harley blog. You can register at the bottom of our home page.