|3rd Quarter 2016||Louisiana MSTA Newsletter||Page 1|
LATE! Yes, I am even having trouble getting a quarterly newsletter out on time! Here is the deal: I can't do this all by myself, I need some member contributions or this is not a club newsletter, just the Bob and Stacie Travelogue. I've been doing newsletters since 1999, monthly until 2010. That is a lot of newsletters and the majority of the content my own. I'm not burned out on editing the newsletter, just burned out on writing! It is kinda interesting to see how my writing style has changed over the years (but sadly I can't say it has improved any. LOL) At any rate it has gotten to be like squeezing blood out of a turnip so for this newsletter to continue I need member input.
OK Nag time over. Third quarter includes just STAR 2016 this year since our STAR trip was not over until July 4th. So I have my writeup of me and Stacies' STAR experience. I just finished writing it and I am amazed at how quickly I forget details and that certainly makes the writing difficult.
Other activity last quarter included a group trip to the 19th annual Ozarks Bull Shoals Rally attended by myself, Kevin Yeats and Tony Crowell. My writetup of that trip will appear elsewhere. There were other member trips as well...
Hopefully with good riding weather upon us we will put together some lunch rides. I am just back from Wichita KS for my granddaughter Loralai's 4th birthday. I had planned to camp on the way up at Lake Dardenelle SP but thunderstorms washed those plans down the drain, motel in Clarksville instead. Planned to camp at Bonham State Park, TX on the way home but a record heat wave spoiled that. Next up is NOLA Motorsports for a track day on the YZF-R3! Hope you enjoy the newsletter. Ninja Bob
|Welcome to new member Paul Thibodeaux of Greenwell Springs. Paul is long time rider and has ridden with us in the past. We look forward to riding with you again soon!|
By Ninja Bob
The ride to Vermont from Southeast Louisiana for STAR 2016 would not be a short one but there was never a moment's doubt that we would make the trip. STAR has become our primary annual vacation and the ride there and back is half the fun. Our early STARs together saw some longer days including some 600 to 800 mile days to Avon, Colorado but those days are long gone. We have more time off and our bones are older so we like to average about 300 miles per day. The shortest route from home to Stratton Mountain Vermont is 1520 miles so we'd take 5 days, actually 5 and a quarter - leaving in late afternoon after Stacie got home from work.
Departure: Tuesday, June 21
We arrived at the Rodeway Inn. It was a run down dump but only $52 and walking distance to restaurants. I had chosen it over the nearby Super 8 because it had a pool. The pool was drained and locked however. No matter, we were ready to eat by the time we unpacked. We walked a short distance to Los Parrilleros and had an outstanding Mexican meal after a couple of tasty margaritas. There were two highly modified and well worn adventure bikes parked in front of the motel lobby with foreign plates but I never saw the riders.
Day 2, Wednesday, June 22
The Trace was nice, as always. Little or no traffic, gentle sweeping curves and nice scenery and the best part in the heat of summer the trace stays a few degrees cooler than most main highways due to being shaded by trees for much of the day. We exited briefly for fuel in Tupelo, MS then made our way out of MS and clipped the northwest corner of Alabama and into Tennessee. About 20 miles into Tennessee we had to make a detour as the Trace was closed for replacement of the bridge over Little Swan Creek on the south side of Meriwether Lewis National Monument, adding 10 miles to our route. As a test I let ZUMO recalculate when it objected to me following the orange detour signs. Zumo wanted to add 40 miles to our route! Maybe I'm doing something wrong, Garmin can't have screwed up this badly!
We got back on the Trace at US 412 and continued to TN 7 where we had to exit to reach our destination for the night, Murfreesboro, TN. After a very short run on 7 we turned onto Leipers Creek Road a fairly sketchy little path which fed onto Mobley's Cut, even sketchier. All that to get from the Trace to TN 840 which got us into Murfreesboro where we checked into a Sleep Inn. We stayed free with points earned with the Choice Privileges program. The Sleep Inn was walking distance to an Old Chicago Pasta and Pies . We had some good pasta and pizza and they had a good selection of beers.
Day 3, June 23
Day 4, Friday June 24
We turned off at US 33 then north onto US 340 to reach our motel for the night in New Market, VA after a 302 mile ride. The Quality Inn where we stayed also housed the JOHNNY APPLESEED restaurant, complete with a goofy ten foot statue of Johnny at the entrance. The restaurant has been in business for 35 years serving "Southern Style Cooking in a relaxed country atmosphere".
Day 5 Saturday June 25
Day 6 Sunday, June 26
The Black Bear Lodge proved to be a fine venue for STAR. Our room was quite comfortable and the general layout of the facility was congenial with a pleasant parking area for outdoor mingling and a comfortable lounge in the lobby with friendly bartenders. Dining options just a short walk up the hill were limited due to the ski resort off season status but the food was good and the prices reasonable.
Sunday evening our group walked up the hill to the village and Mulligans for a fine evening meal. Others ate at Table 43.1 in the lobby of the Black Bear which reportedly had good food but a very limited menu. If I recall correctly they did have a nice MSTA special with an Angus burger and a local craft brew but I did not try it. (I did sample a few local craft brews and their selection of Bourbon.) I think I already mentioned the friendly Bartenders.
Day 7 Monday, June 27
The Greylock route took us south through Green Mountain National Forrest on 100 which is a main area highway and made up a part of most of the routes. We crossed into Massachussets and to Mt. Greylock State Reservation and up a narrow winding run to the top where we were rewarded with a nice view. We lunched at the Bascom Lodge deli which was rustic and amazingly laid back. It took a while to get our sandwiches but the wait was pleasant and the food worth it. The return ride was mostly a backtrack and the round trip totalled 150 miles.
Day 8 Tuesday, June 28
The ride back on US 7 was congested and disappointing. Arriving back at Stratton Mountain by 1:00 pm we had only ridden 115 miles for the day and the threat of rain had evaporated. So we looked at the route maps and decided on "Loop 1". It looked good on paper but we continued to find ourselves on gravel roads! After about 20 miles of gravel we concluded it must have been a dual sport route. We abandoned the route and worked our way back to the lodge on paved roads. WE did manage to stumble onto a couple good paved roads. Tuesday night we returned to Mulligans for another fine meal.
Day 9 Wednesday, June 29
We enjoyed the banquet, the food was good and we didn't have to wait for it. The guest speaker was great and the highlight as always was the bike raffle selection. The winner of the 2016 BMW F800 GT, Rich Grabowski of Michigan was a hoot. He gets the prize for most excited STAR raffle winner. If I am not mistaken this was his FIRST STAR!
Day 10 Thursday, June 30
Day 11 Friday, July 1
Our destination for the night was Fayatteville, WV. The Quality Inn was located in a residential area of Fayetteville and a pleasant, shaded .8 mile walk through an old, upscale neighborhood to Pies and Pints, another nice place to eat. Although the pizza menu was amazing it did not quite compare to what we had had for lunch. The beer selection however was fantastic. Belgian Abbey ale is one of my favorites styles of beer and I ordered a Trappistes Rochefort 10. One of the best beers I've ever tasted and 11% alcohol.
Day 12 Saturday, July 2
Day 13 Sunday, July 3
Day 14 Monday, July 4
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY Oct 28 – 30 — Kerrville, Texas
Tellico Plains, TN – October 21 – 23, 2016
Ride SAFE and don't forget to VOTE.
Keep riding & smiling
Bob Chappuis, Editor