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Rad 'n Doc Travel the World

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Time for a little catch up....Summer 2017.

Since the guy doing the 2 wheel drive mods on our rig was not done and I wanted to go to the BMW MOA Rally in Salt Lake, we drove up in the rental car...a bonsai run with only a couple short naps on the way. We got there and pitched our tent with the Airheads Beemer Club, many of my friends were there.

During the weekend, we attended some classes, seminars and presentations. Here's my friend Randy Owens, doing a presentation on traveling with a sidecar.

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Another sidecar rig.

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There were over 4,000 attendees at the rally.

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Another sidehack for a dog....

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Airhead Central.

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My friends Gene and Chaco the Canyon Commander showed up also....Chaco and Doc are best buds from Tombstone....they recognized each other right away and were happy to see each other.

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Late night party central at the Airheads tent.

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Doc tuckered out after a long, hot day....it was too damn hot in our tent, so I slept outside on the couch under the Airheads canopy and Doc slept in the grass.

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Doc was a rock star at the rally...here, he's posing with the Touratech folks.

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My friend Phil, owner of Motoquest and Alaska Rider Tours....I rented a V-Strom from him in 2006 on my Alaska trip.

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Doc crashed out on the way home in the car, after a long Rally weekend.

 

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Back home in San Diego, we continued to be delayed by the guy working on the 2 wheel drive setup. So, we continued enjoying our final weeks in San Diego.

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Doc loves the ladies....and his beer !  :D

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and one final San Diego Adventure Riders Tech Day before we left....

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And it was finally time to leave San Diego, so our last time to Dog Beach, Doc's favorite place.

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Prepping the 950 and Harley XR1200 for long term storage....

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August 2017.

I'm not going into the details, but the guy working on the 2 wheel drive mods ended up taking way too long, 7 months for what should've taken 2 months maximum....I lost all faith and trust in him that it was going to work and that he did a good job. He finally had it ready for a test ride, but it failed the first 2 test rides. He had to do more mods and he completely hacked up the body and linear actuator mounts. He wanted full payment for an incomplete job before I took it for a third test ride. I said no way. I ended up taking my rig off his property and fired him.

The plan now was to truck the rig up to my original sidecar builder in Northern California to go thru the entire 2 wheel drive setup to see what the guy did. I rented a Penske Box Van and headed to Chico. I had 5 days to get there, so I figured we'd enjoy the drive up and see friends along the way. First night, Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, we slept a couple hours in the back of the van with the door rolled up and woke up to awesome views !

 

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Mt. Whitney

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Doc's a great traveler and buddy, whether it's a truck or in the sidecar.

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Stopped to see my friend Dale and his wife Ann in Bishop....met him about 11 years ago...he's know in his 80's and still riding !  We hung out and talked for quite awhile.

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That night we slept in the back of the van again, up at about 11,000 feet where it was much cooler.

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Where the town Bishop got it's name.

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That evening, made it to Lake Tahoe and stopped to see my friend Kevin and his wife who happened to be staying at his wife's dad's place as we were passing thru...met Kevin in 2006 on my Alaska Trip.

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Doc enjoying the lake.

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Next night, I went to see a childhood friend I had not seen in 20 years, we grew up on the same block and hung out as kids. I recently found him on Facebook and we reconnected. Was great to see Andrew, stayed at his house in Reno.

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On the way across the Sierra, went to Donner State Park and the Pioneer Monument.

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Next we went up over the historic Donner Pass....

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Love the history of this area....

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We had time to kill, so I really wanted to do a good hike. We found a trail going up Mt. Judah to a summit at 8300 feet. Met this guy who was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from start to finish.

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Lots of wildflowers and great views along the trail.

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Doc hadn't seen snow in awhile, he loves it and goes crazy !

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As we were getting close to the summit at around 8,000 feet, I realized how out of shape I was and was getting exhausted. Had to take a break, then another break 100 yards later...wondering if I was going to make it to the top. I got my second wind and continued on and we made it to the summit at 8,300 feet...was well worth it !  Spectacular views.

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My reward for making it to the summit.

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Doc resting in the shade of some rocks.

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Mission accomplished....5 mile round trip hike from 5,000 feet to 8,300 feet. Doc had no problems....me, well not bad for being out of shape.

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3 hours ago, Mr.JAJA said:

 

Da heck is that? Hydro drive on the hub?

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Got up to my sidecar builder's shop in Chico, CA.....Chris Canterbury of Boxer Metal. 

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It was now time to take the rig out for it's first real test ride with the 2 wheel drive engaged.

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Chris telling me to put it thru it's paces....

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Well, the rig survived about a 10 mile test ride to start. But later, when we got back to the shop and started checking things out, we started finding a bunch of problems. For the next few weeks we would take the 2 wheel drive completely apart and go thru it with a fine tooth comb.

To be continued....

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Wow, what a story, Randy. Fantastic photos and narrative. Keep rollin’, brother!

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Continued from September 2017....time to catch up on my trip report....

I won't go into the details of what we found wrong with the 2 wheel drive build, but as we went thru everything with a fine toothed comb, I realized the way it was built and problems we found, it would have failed in a couple of hundred miles on the road. We spent 4 weeks trying to fix everything. The last thing we found was both the long axle and the Jeep locking hub stub-axle were not straight and true. We would have to send them out to be straightened but I didn't have time to wait for the axles to be repaired. At this point, I needed to get on the road to head to Oveland Expo East in North Carolina because we entered the "Cool Ride Contest" at the Expo. 

Here are some photos of places I explored while the rig was being worked on in Chico, CA.

A local stream where we went swimming in the 100 + degree weather....

Doc dragging an 8 foot log out of the stream....

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While in Chico, I met a friend of Chris's and she mentioned she's a teacher at a class for kids with special needs. I asked her if they I could bring Doc to visit as a therapy dog (Doc is a Certified Therapy Dog, and we plan to do therapy dog visits in other countries as we travel the world). 

She said yes, so a few days later we went to the school and Doc did his first visit as an official Therapy Dog....the kids loved him, and he did lots of high fives for treats !

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While at Boxer Metal, this couple Andrew McLeod and his wife were visiting from Australia, riding around the western states on their BMW. We quickly made friends, and I found out they were also headed to Overland Expo, so I knew we'd see them there.

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Doc saying goodbye to Andrew and his wife.

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We found another local river with a great place for Doc to swim and have fun...the Honey Run Bridge.

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We had to go check out the town called "Helltown".

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Nice scenery is this gorge, that was carved out by the river.

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Doc loves sticks....the bigger, the better !

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He saw this "stick" out in the river....which was actually a tree, so he figured he'd try to go fetch it....

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We finally got the sidecar rig back together, working on it until midnight one Friday, and I had to be in North Carolina by the following Tuesday for the "Cool Ride Party" at Overland Expo East...attendance at the party was mandatory if you were entered in the contest. There was no way I could ride the rig out with Doc and make it there in 3 days, that would be too many hours in the sidecar for Doc, I wouldn't put him thru that.

So on Saturday, we rented a Penske box van and got on the road for Asheville, North Carolina. Luckily we actually chose to drive, because we hit a snowstorm in the mountains of Wyoming and lots of cold weather and more snow going cross country.

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More to come....stay tuned.

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Thanks for the update, good to see both of you having a great time out there!

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After a 3 day drive cross country in the box van with the rig in the back, We arrived in Asheville, North Carolina to the brewery where they were having the "Cool Ride Contest Party". We had a great time meeting new people, showing off our rig and checking out the other vehicles. Then the next day, it was time for Overland Expo East 2017  !!!  Yeehaw !

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Doc and our rig were a big attraction at the Expo....

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Saturday night they announced the "Cool Ride Contest" winner....We won the contest !!  $500 in expo money to spend on some much needed items for our trip. We were the first motorcycle and/or sidecar rig to win the contest, we were happy boys !  Thanks to everyone who voted for us !

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Saw lots of friend, and made many new ones...

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The infamous world traveler and author Sam Manicom and I.

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Simon and Lisa Thomas, and Ted Simon....infamous world travelers at the campfire.20171001_200516-L.jpg

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Everyone is friendly here, doesn't matter whether you're on motorcycles or 4 wheel overland rigs...we made the rounds to have fun at different campfires...

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Doc gettin' some lovin' from Lisa Thomas.

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with Simon and Lisa Thomas.

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As I was riding around the field, I heard someone yell, "Randy, is that you" ?  I turned around and saw my friend and World Traveler, Daniel Rintz. I hosted him and his girl Josephine Flohr at my house a few years ago, when they came to the U.S.A. to start part of their motorcycle journey to South America.

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Daniel Rintz doing one of his presentations on world travel.

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Friends Cyan Samone and Azure O'Neil

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Took a winching class, to learn more tips since our rig has a winch on it.

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Doc got tons of lovin' from people at the Expo....everybody loves Doc !

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The face of a boy who had an action packed, fun filled weekend.

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After an awesome 5 days at Overland Expo East 2017, I was invited to stay with Mike and Sharon Maxwell who have a ranch outside of Asheville. They had hosted about 8 different people at their home during Overland Expo. We had a great time staying with them, we ended up there for a few days since I had a few minor things to do to our rig.

Here, from left to right...Greg and Melanie Turp, Mike Maxwell, Dan Wilson and Sam Manicom.

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It was a real pleasure staying with Mike and Sharon and these other world travelers and we all became good friends.

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Greg and Melanie's bike.

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Dan Wilson's home away from home....

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Of course, Doc being the friendly guy he is, made friends with the other dogs on the ranch.

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The Maxwell's have a few horses....at first, Doc went out in the field to bark at them, but by the third day he went nose to nose with them and made friends...then he went out in the field and didn't worry about the horses anymore.

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One morning on the ranch, woke up and was treated to the sight of these beautiful animals playing in the field.

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After finishing up a few things on the sidecar rig, it was time to say our goodbyes to Mike and Sharon....what generous hosts and great people they are !

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Mike had every tool imaginable in case I needed to use any of them.

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I left the Asheville area after thanking my hosts, and next stop was my cousin's house in Virginia....only a few hours away.

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The park right across the street from my cousin's house.

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Doc had more buddies to play with....

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Was great seeing my family, who I hadn't seen in a few years. After 3 days, I  thanked them for their generosity and once again it was time to get on the road....next stop, my best friend's place in Virginia on the coast, just a few hours away.

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My best friend Joe, who I've known for 52 years since kindergarten, has a place on the Virginia coast in a tiny village of Willis Wharf, population about 300. A beautiful area.

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Doc on a dock.

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What a quiet, peaceful little fishing town....

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They are doing shellfish aquaculture here now....

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Many of the little buildings/homes in this area, were removed from nearby Hog Island and brought by boat back to the mainland. These are 2 little out-buildings on my friend's property.

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While we were there, we saw on Facebook that our friends from California, Larry and Sue Langley were traveling the country in the motor home. They happened to be coming thru the area at the same time, so we met for lunch at a local restaurant...that was really great and what a coincidence !

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Stayed with my friend Joe and his girlfriend for 3 days, and then it was time to get on our rig and continue to Baltimore, Maryland.

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Just a few hours after leaving Virginia, we arrived at my friend's house in Baltimore, Maryland. My friend Peter is an old family friend, we used to see them every summer as kids as we travelled around the country with my parents and we'd always stop at their place in Wisconsin.

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Was great seeing my friend Peter and spending time with his family, talking about old times and crazy stuff we did on their farm years ago in Wisconsin. After a couple days there, it was time to continue north.

Next stop, Freedom Sidecars in Middleburg, Pennsylvania...to visit another top notch sidecar builder Claude Stanley and his crew, who I'd never met, but consulted with him on the phone a few times during my initial sidecar build.

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Until now, I had only seen their work in photos on the internet, but seeing the rigs they build and the work in person, I was impressed to say the least.

Claude Stanley's personal KLR sidehack....he takes that thing places one wouldn't believe a sidecar can go !

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The man himself, Claude Stanley.

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Claude let me take this rig for a spin, I was really impressed with how it handled.

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Some words of advice....

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Doc hangin' out in the shop.

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A sidecar rig for a wheelchair.

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Claude's talented crew at work....

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Love this old poster !

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Spent the night in Claude's shop, we talked til the wee hours of the morning.....next day, it was time to head to New Jersey to see yet another old friend.

 

 

 

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Went to mountains of Northern New Jersey to see my friend from college, and my first riding buddy ever. We were both in college in Houston, in the same design courses, and I ended up getting my first motorcycle there in 1986. Tim had a Harley, and we became best friends. We both ended up leaving Houston at the same time, I moved back to Long Island and he and his wife moved to New Jersey. He ended up getting a Ducati 907 Paso and we did many, many road trips all over the northeast and out to Wyoming and Colorado on our bikes.

Pulled up to their nice house perched above a lake in the mountains.It was time to celebrate !

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Doc was in heaven with all the wildlife around in the woods.

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And the local lake to swim in....

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Time to hit a local place for a microbrew.

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Good northeastern microbrew !

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Deer all over the neighborhood....

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And even right outside the dining room window....that drove Doc nuts !!

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Next day, we drove up to some other mountains to do some hiking....

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On alert for animals....

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Stayed with Tim and Diana for a couple days, then headed to our next destination....my home town where I grew up on Long Island.

With my sister at Sunken Meadow beach.

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Stick boy was at it again....

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Stayed with my sister for a couple weeks, my brother in law is a good cook !

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While on Long Island, it was great to take our rig out to my old stomping grounds....eastern Long Island.

Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays.

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Airborne on the beach in the Hamptons....

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Shinnecock Inlet

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Enjoying the beaches of eastern Long Island....

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One night while out in the Hamptons, I saw my friend Patrick and his son for dinner in Southampton. Patrick is another best friend, my first riding buddy from 1986 on Long Island. We did many rides together over the years.

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Since I was out there for the night and didn't want to go all the way back "up the island", Patrick said his brother Dan's place was open for me to stay the night, they were out of town. They stay on an estate as caretakers and have their own cottage....so Doc and I got to stay at their place and checked out this estate property....really nice !

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The next day we got up and headed to Sag Harbor and across the ferry to Shelter Island, and then across another ferry to Greenport.

On the ferry....

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Doc checkin' out the "danger zone".

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Approaching Greenport....

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The other Shelter Island Ferry passing by....

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Fishing is a big business on Long Island, where there's 100's of miles of coastline....

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And.....again, Doc on a dock.

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Greenport, Long Island.

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From Greenport, we rode out to the very eastern tip of Long Island on the North Fork, Orient Point.

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Orient Point Ferry, which goes to New London, Connecticut across the Long Island Sound.

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The 2 ferries passing each other with the Orient Point Lighthouse in the foreground....great timing for this photo !

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Doc posing with the ferry behind him.

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Had to have a Torpedo to celebrate, with the Lighthouse in the background !

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Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center....a lot of controversy and horror stories surround this secretive island.

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Back on Shelter Island....Doc wanted to git the Wild Toikeys !

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Just sittin' on the Doc of the Bay.....(you know the song)....

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My boy all tuckered out after a long day....

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On another day, we went to see my cousin Jerry and his family, who I hadn't seen in a few years. Funny, they were so worried that my big boy Doc would tear up their little Yorkies, or that they'd be afraid of Doc. After 10 minutes, they were all buddies.

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Just more family photos....

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Doc on patrol at my sister's house.

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After a few days of rain, it was a nice day so we rode out to the Hamptons again. I stopped to see my friends where I used to work back in 1992, designing and running projects for Heating and Air Conditioning custom systems for multi-million dollar homes. I wanted to see some of their current projects...this was a huge one....

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Geothermal system for HVAC for a summer cottage (multi-million dollar mansion)....

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Catching the sunset in Easthampton...

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Hangin' out with my best bud....

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As we were walking back to the rig, I saw a company truck (from where I used to work) pull up at the beach and thought to myself, "wouldn't that be funny if it was one of my friends who I hadn't seen yet"....I walked up to the van just as he was about to leave...I said "hey, I used to work there".  He rolled down his window and said, "what's your name"...I told him, and he reached out his hand and said, "it's Peter". Funny, we didn't recognize each other because it had been 28 years since we saw and worked together. What a trip !

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That night, I had arranged to see my friends Dan and Karen, the caretakers at the estate where i stayed a few nights ago. This time, they said we could stay in the guest suite of the main house of the estate...pretty cool, Doc and I had the run of the house !  They said the owner was really cool and loved dogs, so he wouldn't mind at all.

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Next morning, woke up to another great morning....Dan and Karen made me breakfast and the dogs got to play and hang out...

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More to come....

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Cool stuff randy and yeah i get you with the big dog stuff. I got 2 male 100lb pitbulls and everyone is terrified but they are big babies and always cave into little dogs and kids.

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Next day, it was off to the other eastern tip of Long Island, Montauk Point on the south fork of Long Island.

 

Going through Easthampton....a very historic area, eastern Long Island settled in the 1600's.

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The town keeps these old homes in as close to original condition as possible, so that they may stand for years to come....

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Montauk Point Lighthouse, commissioned by Congress under President George Washington in 1792, completed in 1796.

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Doc was getting a lot of attention in his rig....

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After enjoying our time on the cliffs by the lighthouse, I stopped in to see an old girlfriend's sister,  where she and her husband are caretakers for a house on the cliffs....I've always stayed in touch with them over the years (28 years).

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Her son, who was just a little baby when I left Long Island years ago...

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A nice sunset for the ride back and to end the day....

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Had to get together with my close friends one last time before leaving Long Island....my good friends Joe and Frank.

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I finally left my sister's house after 2 1/2 weeks, but was invited to another friend's house who I used to work with. They said to stay as long as we wanted. It was crappy weather one day, so I watched TV and lounged on the couch, while Doc raided their dog's toy box. Funny, he pulled out almost all the toys and played with them on the floor.

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After 2 days at my friend Craig's house, the weather cleared and it was time to get on the road again. We left Long Island and made it to Dewey Beach, Delaware that day. It was one of our longer days on the road, Doc passed out when we got to the motel room.

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Next morning after breakfast, as we got on the road, I felt a clunking coming from somewhere on the bike, felt like from the sidecar wheel. Rode for a short ways and only felt it when I was on the brakes or making a right turn....then it got worse, so I pulled into a parking lot to check it out. I jacked up the sidecar and rotated the wheel by hand and could tell there was something wrong, so I pulled off the sidecar wheel and found one of the rotor bolts had come loose. Luckily, I had all the tools and spare bolts with me to make on the spot repairs. While we were working on the rig, at least a couple of people stopped to ask if we were OK, and if Doc was OK. I tell you, having a dog along with you really helps in many situations.

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I put some thread locker "Loc Tite" on the rotor bolts, and in about an hour had it back together and we were on our way south again.

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We headed down along the coast on Highway 1....beaches along the road for most of the way, so I had to stop to let Doc out on the beach a few times.

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C'mon Dad, let me out already !

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Beautiful east coast beaches !

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Doc found a buddy to play with....

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Of course, he had to dig a hole so he could lay down next to me....

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We continued south, then across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Someone snapped a photo of us and posted it on our Facebook page....look closely, Doc had knocked his Rex Specs partially off so they were sitting on his forehead....LOL.

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We went through Norfolk, Virginia...this was the coldest we had been so far. Stopped at a Cycle Gear motorcycle shop to warm up and look for some items we needed, but they didn't have them in stock. 

I called my cousin Genemarie (we had stayed there a few weeks before) to see if they minded if we stopped by. They invited me to spend the night again, so I couldn't pass up their offer. It was good to see them once again, and I'm really glad we did, because I got to see my Aunt Grace one more time, she really enjoyed our company and talking. This was the last time I would see her....she ended up passing away a few months later.

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In Memory of my Aunt Grace....Godspeed.

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Early November 2017...

Started heading West in Virginia towards the Blue Ridge Parkway....had ridden it twice many years ago, but it's been a long time, had to go ride it again. We rode on backcountry roads for the day, then got to a small town in the rain near the Blue Ridge Parkway. I pulled into a parking lot to find some locals to ask  if there was a motel in town. Found some guys who looked like locals and they said "down the road a little ways to the south is a motel but it's pricey...if you want a less expensive, not fancy motel, go back up the road about a mile". That is exactly what we did, wanted the less expensive room. As we pulled up to the room, this happened:

Doc is a wild man, and a dork...I got off the bike at a motel and let him out of sidecar...30 seconds later in the dark, I hear him bark, then a yelp, more barking and growling then another yelp. He went thru an electric fence (got shocked, first yelp) into a cow pasture, then a Bull started chasing him (yelp again)...Doc was hauling ass away from the bull and me. I was worried the bull could trample or kick him. I yelled and he came back running and I told him to get thru the electric fence...I touched it, was not a bad shock so I lifted the fencing (while getting slightly shocked) and Doc crawled under it to safety from the bull. Few minutes later he kept sniffing his butt like he got the crap scared out of him. Let's just say I was a bit pissed at him, but it was kinda funny at the same time. He knew he did something wrong. Hope he learned something from it...he's pretty smart that way.

Next day, it was time to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway !

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The Parkway is a great road that goes through the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and North Carolina for a couple of hundred miles, with awesome endless sweeping turns and twists with beautiful scenery, old wooden fences and historic old structures all along the parkway. The ride was overcast and chilly, but still great fun !

Here, we stopped at "The Saddle", scenic overlook.

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Nirvana !

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At another scenic stop, I saw this 2 track going up over a hill so decided to check it out...I couldn't make it up, the grass was too wet and slippery for the big rig.

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Took me a few minutes to turn the beast around.....

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The destination for today was my friend's house, Terry and Karen who I met in San Diego 25 years ago, but they left and moved to North Carolina. Hadn't seen them in years, so it would be good to catch up. Got there in the evening in the dark....Doc was a tired boy after all day on the road, and after having fun in the twisties on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Woke up the next day at Terry and Karen's place, middle of nowhere in the country of North Carolina....beautiful place !

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The farm across the road....

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Oh oh....Doc spotted the mule.

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Saw this on the wall....pretty cool, an old article about our friend in San Diego, who has a glass blowing studio....

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Time to check out Terry and Karen's stable (not horses)....

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They have quite the stable !

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I know Terry and Karen from the Airheads BMW Club, they've been members for many years.

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During the day, Terry got a call from his friend Brandon, who also has a sidecar and was thinking about getting another, so he wanted to come over and check out our sidecar rig. He's got a nice old Airhead also, which he and his wife rode over.

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More pics from the area....

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That mountain off in the distance, visible from Terry and Karen's place, is the highest mountain in the USA east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell.

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Later that day, our old friend Mike (another Airhead I knew in San Diego 25 years ago), showed up with his dog Max in the saddlebag.

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Stay tuned for more.....

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On this day, we would ride with Mike to Atlanta to stay with him a couple days.

Here's a pic of (Left to Right)  me, Terry and Mike.

 

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We left Terry and Karen's place, then rode some great twisties in the area, but that took quite awhile so we had to hop on the interstate to get to Atlanta before dark.

 

At Mike's place in Atlanta, his dog Max and Doc.

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We went out to a local Mexican Restaurant that had great food...and oh man, the Margaritas !

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Doc didn't want any Margaritas...LOL.

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Doc was quite the Rock Star at the restaurant, lots of people wanted to hear our story and about the sidecar rig. When we left, people on the patio actually cheered as we rode by with Doc wearing his Rex Specs goggles in the sidecar.

 

Back at Mike's place...he's got a nice stable of bikes also.

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