Another report on a trip up to Kinzua Dam in Northwest Pennsylvania. Some of the Lake Erie Tri-State group went up there about 2 weeks ago. I was intrigued with this trip, so had some days off and got some work friends together and took a ride up.
1997 Valk (mine), 2005 Suzuki Boulevard C50, 2006 VLX
275 miles total on a PERFECT day... 80 and sunny!
The route took us out of Mercer Pennsylvania up US Route 62. This is a great motorcycle road that takes you between the Allegheny River and the Allegheny National Forest. The road is lightly traveled (during the week) and has many sweeping curves (40-60mph) and ups and downs.
There are some really interesting sights along the way...
This is the Polk Center, a state home for mentally challenged. The center opened in 1897 and if I would have made the picture "Sepia" you would think the picture was from that time! Feels like you are stepping back in time.
Great farms and small towns the whole way up.
That is downtown Franklin, PA. What was most interesting is that the downtown is so clean and bustling with people and business. This area of Pennsylvania and Ohio is economically depressed and it was encouraging to see a town doing it right! Not one vacant store front!
The Venango County Courthouse in Franklin... another step out of the past!
Oil City is another small river town...
This is one of the more unique bridges across the Allegheny. We crossed the river probably 6-10 times through the course of the ride.
The mighty Kinzua Dam! It is no Hoover, but pretty impressive all the same.
Downriver from the dam.
The resivo... resiuo... resivuo... LAKE behind the dam. It extends up into New York State.
The return trip, I never return the way I came, was nice, Routes 66, 666, 6, 322, and 208. Again, long sweepers and elevation changes, traffic a bit heaver, many small (read micro) towns along the way.
Some things I learned (should probably post this part Friday):
1: The Mustang Seat is great except for the seams that chafe. Ordered a Alaska Leather sheepskin pad tonight for both me and my wife.
2: Most Pennsylvania drivers (contrary to popular Ohioan opinion) are aware of motorcycles and give you a wide berth. Never had one "oh s***" moment.
3: Valk got a tad under 30 mpg... but I don't care... I didn't buy it for its "reputation" for sipping gas and don't drive it as such.
4: I prefer long rides to short ones (my friends don't though)