HOG (Harley Owners Group) Rally – Cookesville, Tennessee

We had an amazing week in the Bahama islands, now it is time to hit the roads of Tennessee.

We met our friends, Rod and Jaime, in Cookesville for the HOG Rally. A week of organized rides, interesting and fun day trips and lots of laugher.

Our first ride took us to Cumberland Caverns-Home of the Bluegrass Underground. Literally, a bluegrass band in underground caverns. Unique and very beautiful. You snake through the cavern to end up at this build in amphitheater. A huge chandelier was donated to the cavern by a hotel in NY that was being renovated. Amazing that they erected this piece of artwork 50-60 feet in the air and secured it into the rock ceiling! The “amphitheater” was carved into the side of the underground cavern. There are 32 miles of caves that can be toured.  We went as far as the music was going to take us and “dined” on chips, hotdogs and pulled pork sandwiches (not gourmet but it hit the spot). A very cool way to start the week.

Our second day at the rally takes us to prison. Yes, I said prison! At the end of a fantasitc ride through the foothills of Tennessee, we ended up at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. It opened in 1896 and closed in 2009. It housed James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.  It is now open for public tours.  If prison tours were mandatory for the youth in America, crime would go down considerably. Talking about being scared straight.  This place would do it! 3 hours was enought for all of us 🙂

 

We really did it up that last day. We went rogue, split away from the group and headed out on our own to Jack Daniels Distillary.  We have our own organizer and her name is Jaime Larue! Jaime picked our desitination for this sunny day and we had a great time. Rod and Jaimes friends, Rodney and Denise drove in from Alabama to meet us. That was a nice suprise.

The tour at the distillary was really interesting.  The water used in all the whiskeys comes from the spring that is on site.  The corn mush is recycled and sold to local farmers for live stock meal.  The barrels are made into JD souveniers.  Amazing how a young orphaned boy, raised by a local lay preacher and moonshine distiller, turned his trade into the number one whiskey distillary in the United States. The story is not only interesting but inspiring.  This is a “must stop” if you are in Lynchburg, whether you drink whiskey or not. In our case, we do like whiskey so after the tour, we treated ourselves to the whiskey tasting.  We all came out with our favorites, but Jaime and I really liked the Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. Yummy!

Our next stop, shopping of course.  The Lynchburg General Store is owned and operated by Jack Daniels.  There are over 20 local artisians that take the old barrels and create amazing pieces of art work.  Rod and Jaime purchased this amazing barrel bar set with table and stools. It will go perfect in their home.  A perfect way to end our Tennessee HOG Rally trip!

 

Oh Canada!

What better way to follow up Easter in Niagara Falls then to head over the border for  a quick visit to Toronto Canada?!

We headed over to the CN Tower for lunch at Restaurant 360 (for those of you from Fort Lauderdale, it is like Pier 66 and spins as you eat 🙂 As we sipped on our cocktails (mmmm good), we enjoyed the view of the city.  It was really nice to see a beautiful body of water and boats just below us.  Felt like a little piece of home.  The weather was spectacular and the sky blue and clear.

We could not leave without going down to the observation deck.  Step outside onto the deck outside (it is gated in) and feel the cool breeze as you look over the city.  If you are afraid of heights, this may not be for you.

One floor down you can stand on the glass floor that looks straight down 1,122 ft!  The total area is 256 s/f with people fighting to stand on the panels to take pictures.  Ted and I we very cautiously stepped on, took pictures and got the heck off!

On our way to the CN Tower we passed a local pub with the name Loose Moose. The sign on the outside reads, ” 26 years of Unproductive Mornings”.  Now that’s funny. Many of you out there know exactly how that feels! You know we were not leaving Toronto without stopping in at the Loose Moose.  We tried some yummy local beers and watched the local news (same crap just a different Country).

These are two must visits next time you are in Toronto.

What better way to end the day then with a campfire by Ted. Toasty toes 🙂

Photo Apr 16, 6 21 25 PM

Harley Davidson Production Plant- York PA-If you have a Harley, you have to visit

We passed a “Harley-Davidson” highway street sign that was the size of one of the overhead signs on 95. We knew it was more than a dealership. So glad we did a bit of research.  We found out it was the Vehicle Operations Division of Harley Davidson, basically, where the bikes are produced.

The “steel toe tour” starts off with a 10 minute movie about the history of Harley Davidson. That in itself was so interesting.  Makes you want to buy one right there and then 🙂 Our tour guide was super entertaining. A frustrated comedian who does stand up while guiding us through this super huge, super awesome facility.

It is a 2 hour tour. They bring you through the entire factory (except painting booth) to show how the bikes are assembled from start to finish.  By the time we left, 16 bikes were assembled and ready to ship out to a dealership.You don’t need to own a Harley to take this tour. It is worth the visit.

 

Slowing it down in Amish Country

Photo Apr 10, 7 40 34 PM

Ok we sold it all and went on the road.  Some would say that is slowing it down and simplifying things.  Well, as we pull into town with our big ole’ RV, truck, motorcycle, cell phones, satellite dish, etc, we pass an Amish guy in his horse and buggy.  It put’s in perspective a little.

I have spent a lifetime looking at incredible oceans and beautiful beaches across the globe, but I am truly awestruck by the beauty of the Pennsylvania hillsides.  There is no doubt why they named this Peaceful Valley.  We have roamed over 150 miles of countryside road the past two days on the motorcycle and never grew tired of the scenery.

We had the most incredible soft pretzels at the Countryside Roadstand just outside Intercourse PA.  That’s right, an Amish town is called Intercourse.  It’s just down the road from Bird-in-the-Hand.  Things are different here!

 

We continued the day with some more riding, in search of covered bridges.

After a long day, our campground is a beautiful place to catch up on a little emails and blogging….

Historical & Fun Washington DC 04/03-04/07/17

Washington DC was an “absolute must” on our trip schedule. The Cherry Blossoms were calling my name.  I have always hoped to be in DC during the blossoming of these beautiful trees.  On March 27, 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City gifted 3020 Japanese Cherry Trees to the city of Washington DC to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan (find out more on wikipedia.com).

 

Our Florida Marlins were at the Nationals for the opening day.  What better way to ring in our DC visit then to go to the Nationals vs Marlins game.  Although we did not bring home the win, we had a great time kicking off the week (beer, hotdogs and peanuts were a bonus)!

 

Ted was very interested in visiting the monuments (especially the Lincoln Memorial), so we did a night tour, which took us to the White House (super cool), Lincoln Memorial, FDR Memorial and Iwo Jima. Washington DC is really amazing at night. Our tour guide was super informative of the entire city, which helped us make decisions as to what we wanted to do the next couple of days.

It was an absolute must to visit the Library of Congress.  Trip advisor raved about it and many people said it was one of the best spots they visited while in DC.  No appointment necessary. We took one of the tours that are offered.  Our guide was very attentive, informative and was able to answer all questions our group threw at her.  After the tour we went on our own and visited some of the high lights at the library.  The Library of Congress is free admission.  They rely on donations and or gift shop purchases. I did not disappoint 🙂 The Library of Congress collection contains 17 million catalog records for books, serials, manuscripts, maps, music, recordings, images, and electronic resources. You can access these records at no charge at the Library of Congress website.  Our next stop was the National WW II Memorial. Hard to believe that over 400k American soldiers lost their lives during that war. Very grateful and proud moment to visit the memorial.

 

 

 

On Wednesday night we decided to do a date night at the Ford Theater.  The musical, Ragtime, was performing that evening. With the purchase of our theater tickets, we were able to get into the Lincoln museum prior to the show. That in itself was worthy of the visit. The show was amazing. There is not a bad seat in the house.

Thursday was our last day in DC.  When it was decided we were going to DC, it was top on the bucket list to visit Arlington National Cemetery.  We both felt we had to pay our respects to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  We made sure we witnessed the Changing of the Guard. This ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 365/24/7 rain, sleet or snow. A very meaningful experience.

 

 

The Journey Begins

Photo Mar 26, 7 27 29 PMWe are off! A long-awaited dream has now become our reality. We have officially began our journey of traveling throughout the United States in our 42′ Journey Winnebago with our “kids”.

Ted and I have talked about this adventure for many years. It has always been at the top of our bucket list. We wanted to do it while we are young (yes young!) so we can enjoy all the activities that come along with traveling around the Country.

We love the outdoors! What better way to experience our beautiful nation then to trapes around in an RV, pick up truck, Harley and our bikes.

Each day will be a new adventure. Whether it be an outdoor activity (hiking, zip lining, white water rafting), a HOG rally, concert, walk with the dogs, meeting new friends along the way, it will be exciting and joyful.

As we shared our plans with family, friends and complete strangers, they were all super excited for us and wanted to follow our adventure.

We hope to inspire those who also wish to trek across the United States.

We will keep you posted!

The Bohne Family

Ted, Beth, Cookie and Harley