My goals for this trip were to visit all of the New England states while touring Ben & Jerry’s Factory, seeing Niagara Falls and maybe eating some Mystic Pizza. How did I do? Read on to find out.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Until Wednesday afternoon, I’d assumed this trip would be Kristen and I on the FJR and Brad on his new CBR 650 but then Thad called and said he’d be making the trip. The plan was originally to take off around noon but to give Thad more time we decided to leave at 1:30 (which turned into 2:00pm). So departing Martinsburg, WV at 2:00 we rode about 115 miles up I81 North before stopping to stretch our legs. Once we got back on the interstate things went down hill. I’ll spare you the gory details but essentially we spent the rest of the ride battling road work and traffic. We eventually made it to a Hampton Inn in Matamoras, PA around 9:00pm. Thad and I then ventured out to find some beer but due to PA’s archaic alcohol laws, we ended up crossing the bridge into Port Jervis, NY to get a six-pack.
Friday, July 3, 2015
After breakfast, we took I84 East toward Danburry, CT before working our way toward I95 (bad mistake). We decided we’d stop in Providence, RI for lunch around 12:00/12:30…that is, until we saw the exit for Mystic, CT and said…”what the hell!” I’m glad we stopped in Mystic. It was a really cool little town on the water; definitely a place I’d like to go back and visit. Kristen and I split a Meatza Pizza at Mystic Pizza which was excellent. Brad got a small pie and Thad ordered some sort of pizza wrap. There was no food left on anyone’s plate to needless to say it was pretty good. After lunch we walked down to the drawbridge before hopping back on the bikes to keep heading north.
We hit traffic again (we seemed to hit it a lot those first two days) as we rode toward Providence. Once we reached Providence, we rode on to Boston. While riding through Boston I had a bird come within a few inches of hitting me in the head. The last few miles into Maine took FOREVER! We got off of I95 and took Route 1 for a few miles crossing the bridge over the Piscataqua River into Maine.
After a quick fill-up and stretch we spent most of the rest of the day riding on I93 and I89 on out way to Waterbury, VT. We got to Waterbury before 7:30pm but no hotel rooms were available so we rode another 26 miles to Burlington, VT were we stayed at a Comfort Inn. We walked across the street and had dinner at Pulcinella’s, an Italian Restaurant which was ok before walking down the road to Al’s French Frys for some ice cream. We rode well over 500 miles so everyone passed out early.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
We rode a few miles down the road to Beverage Warehouse so Thad could wait in line to buy Heady Topper beer. There were probably 25-30 people already in line and the place didn’t open for another hour. Brad, Kristen and I rode down to Ben & Jerry’s in Waterburry and decided to take the tour while Thad was waiting to get his beer.
The Ben & Jerry’s Factory was pretty cool but the tour was a bit underwhelming. Our tour guide didn’t seem overly excited to be at work. The tour started by looking through a window at some tanks before heading up some stairs to watch a short video about the history of the company. Next we went into a room which overlooked the production area. Because it was a weekend, they were not producing ice cream so we watched another short video. We then went back downstairs to the tasting room where we had a sample of “Wayne’s Swirl” from the SNL collection. That was the end of the tour. Honestly, even if production had been going, I don’t think it would have been much better. Of course there is a gift shop and you can order all sorts of flavors of ice cream at the scoop shop.
Thad met us in Waterbury where we split a can of Heady Topper. All I can say about Heady Topper is…it’s not terrible. We hit rain on our way to Glens Falls, NY where we stopped to have lunch at Davidson Brothers Brewing Company. After lunch and a fill-up we took Route 9 to Saratoga Springs (another place I’d like to go back and visit before getting on US 20 West near Duanesburg, NY. We finally got out of the rain about 30 minutes later. Skaneateles was also a really cool looking place in the Finger Lakes I’d like to go back to. We continued on the Auburn, NY where we filled up and then headed toward I90 West. We pounded the pavement on I90 for the next 2 hours or so hitting a few more scattered showers. We finally arrived at our hotel (Holiday Inn) in Buffalo. We had dinner at the restaurant attached to the hotel and then passed out! Day 3 was a little less than 490 miles.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
The final day…
We had about a 20 minute ride to Niagara Falls. The parking attendant was nice enough to only charge us for one space. Once we parked we walked over to the edge of the falls to take a quick look and then went to Starbucks to get some breakfast (and Kristen’s Niagara mug). Kristen and Thad had their passports so they walked over to the Canadian side while Brad and I walked over to Goat Island. I’d never been over to the island (I’d been to Niagara in 1999). Goat Island provided some the best views while still staying in the US. We met up with Thad and Kristen back at the bikes (Kristen got her Canadian Starbucks mug) and then took off toward Buffalo. Riding along Niagara River and Lake Erie provided some GREAT views. Next we got on US 219 South and stayed on it all the way to DuBois, PA where be then took a few different state routes to come out in Greencastle, PA before getting on I81 South to get home.
By the time I got home, I had 1754 miles on my trip odometer. We had fun (especially the last day), made some more memories and got home safely.
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