Friday 29 June 2007

28th June

Well had an enjoyable ride today through the Blue Mountains, and paid a visit to the Mollies Jail and of course had the mandatory pint of guinness at the pub in Jim Thorpe. Got caught in a tunder storm, but nothing like the voilent affair we saw yesterday!

Chris has been a great host, and has linked my up with a number of different forums and I will be joining Chris and the "Die Hohe Bergehunde" group on a trip through Canada and onto the BMW rally in Wisconsin next week. Also have done a bit of work on the site and linked in a picture page and a few other useful forums and links this evening, (once i finally figured out how to do it!!)

So Brian.. you got your wish of more photos now, and you dont have to rely on checking bebo!

Plan is to ride out to Gettysburg tomorrow, and onto Washington DC for the weekend. After that it back up to Canada, and the Rally, followed by the road south to Mexico!

Thursday 28 June 2007

So after philly i have booked into Washington DC for next Saturday and Sunday, but in the meantime i have hooked up with Chris from the Horizons motorcycle site, in Northern Penn, We went riding today, and took in the Lackawanna Coal mine. I learned that there is so much coal in the region. but the sad bit was about all the Irish workers who came over here after the famine, virtual slaves to the mining companies, or the railroads. They really had it though. SO got a tour of the mine, and gosh the pay was low, 11 cent a day for a nipper boy who opened and closed the doors into the mine, the miners did little better at 25 cent a day, and if the cart wasnt filled with coal you didnt get paid. This was the site of the first organised labour unions, and the Molly Maguires, its interesting to put a human side and to visualise the back ground in Tim Pat Coogans book "where ever green is worn" which i am reading at the moment. I Must look up the film of the Mollies, about a group who were hung by the Pinkerton Dectective agencies at the behest of the mine company, another miscarriage of so called justice. It is rumoured that there is a hand print on a wall from one of the ghosts of the mollies and even when the wall was replaced the hand re appeared! So will be going to check it out tomorrow. But it does make you appreaciate how hard the Irish worked and stuck together to get out of the poverty and the religious decrimination the encountered here. Had lunch at the Banshee Irish bar in Scranton (town is really irish) AOH was addressed by Gerry Adams back before the 98 ceasedfire and downing street declaration). So maybe will go back and see if my passport gets me any female attention The scenery here is really lovely, its a bit like rural France. Will get some more shots with the bike up in the next few days. But now have to consider my options, Have an offer, which i am seriously considering here, which is to ride up to Montreal Canada, with the guys here, and around the top of the Great lakes to a BMW rally in Milwakee Wisconsin. Might be good for making contacts for the trip down south. Right now i must go to bed. So talk to you all soon!

Philly the city of brotherly love

Well Phily, or the city of brotherly love... as it apparantly means. Well this is the third time i have tried to type this, i keep deleting it by accident.! I arrived in King of Prussia (outside Philly) last Saturday, and given there were no hostels i checked into the best western with a pool and stuff! luxury ! with a big queen size bed, and a pool!! i was straight in! But at 100 dollars a night that was short lived!! and the next day managed to secure a spot at the chamanounix Mansion hostel. Near Philly, very nice place with some really cool people. I was originally only booked in for a night thinking i could do Philly in a day, but hey i liked the place and the people so ended up staying an extra two nights, Was great, the place was an old colonial mansion which is now run by the state as a hostel for travellers, and at 20 dollars a night one cant complain, free wireless, good kitchen etc, but the beds were squeeky! but hey i can live with that. So explored the city, visited the Liberty Bell, etc, and the hall where the declaration of independence and the consitution were signed, went to betsy ross's house, she made the first american flag, and saw plenty of museums etc. They even have a restuaurant/ Tavern where all the staff are dressed in 1700's outfits.. good lunch there! On the river they happened to have an Irish Festival on... umm well the tourists seemed to love it, but in reality it was totally naff! think river dance meets john player tops!! (if your old enought to remember) with tinsel dresses!! umm very Orish!! and of cours the bud light stands!! was expecting a float sponsored by Duff Beer!! .. where is Homer when ye need him. So back to the hostel, and some chatting and watching Chronicals of Narnia on the big screen. Lion the witch and the wardrobe. So next day checked out the Eastern State Penatentary, Really quiet a grusome place, it was the first planned prison in the new US, bulit in the early 1800's it was the puritans idea that if you keep a prisioner in solatary with a bible he will see the error of his ways and return to the light.. Still it inspired the design of over 300 prisions around the world, and noted such guests as Charles Dickens and Scar face Al Capone. The place was closed in the 60's and the ruin is now as much a tourist attraction as it was when it first opened! Check out the pictures on the pictures section. Although it changed over the years, the first inmates could have spent up to 3 years there without speaking to anyone!! what a hell! Also did some touring with my swiss and south african friends and took the lift to the top of city hall for the view. The city is really class, it was layed out like an english country garden, with city hall in the middle, and each corner having a park. there is a diagonal that goes from the centre through one of the parks up the museum where the "rocky steps" are, ie the famous scene from the rocky film where he was running up the steps, there is even a staute at the bottom. We were informed that no trip to philly would be complete with out philly cheese steak sandwich!! so we tried it and i must say! very nice!! Decided to check out a film at the cinema, room 1408, but to our surpise there are no cinemas in the city centre, had to go out to dodgeville in west philly!! kinda boys in the hood neighbourhood!! but still got the "damn !!! your irish !! cool accent" as for the film, not bad, some jumpy moments, but typical stephen king.. hard to believe he wrote the shawshank redemption also..

Friday 22 June 2007


Well this evening finally light at the end of the tunnel!! Customs have cleared the bike!!! Yes!!!!! and its en route to the warehouse so tomorrow i will be off over to New Jersey to to be reunited with my baby!! So i am still in New York, just been checking out the sights etc, enjoying the sun and reading in the park! Central Park really is fab. So nice to just sit out and relax. Did you know that there were an Irish shanty town with small farm holdings there at one stage! Amazing what i am learning. Went the the Metropolitan museum of Art today, my god its huge! such a collection youd get lost inside it. It kind of inspired me back to drawing, so Niamh that notebook is fast becoming a diary/sketch pad!! it will be worth millions someday.. Also have organised to go fencing in one of the NY clubs tomorrow (New Amsterdam fencing Academy). So will report on that soon! Was in a pub last night off time square ish... around 45th street and was chatting to this couple from Coolock, just went in there for dinner,.. and was still downing pints at 2 am. The two owners came over here 10 years ago as chefs and now own the place.. So Ian,.. still in the bar trade are ye. !! Right so plan for tomorrow i think will be get the bike, install the GPs, and go fencing, and get ready to hit the road!!

Tuesday 12 June 2007

The Trip begins!

Well arrived in New York in one piece! but not before i got the usual grilling from Customs, Where are you going, what are you doing there, when are you leaving. Once he saw the arabic stamps from Morroco then he was like woooah.. then i mentioned mexico.. and it was like step this way! take seat over there and i will be back. so i get called in by another one. What is your profession.. its seems the yankees just love money.. how much money you bringing to the US? .. then well all was ok! what can i say. money talks!!So arrived in New York and went to Kathleen's (my cousin) office, Its a government building, so there are metal detectors on the doors,and scanners like at the airport. so here i am putting my bags through when this horrid look comes over the girls face.. "you have at least three band items in that bag!!" She was taking exception to my swiss knife, my shovel/pic axe, my pliers, and the scissors... apparantly i was a security threat.. hahaha mmmmm killings some fat government official.. good start i say! So that was that, off to a cafe with Tim Pat Coogan and the Irish dispora to keep me company for the next hour. Did you know that an Irish guy by the name of Wall used to be prime minister of spain?.. anyway So meet up with Kathleen and had shelter from the mad thunder storm we had last night. SO was really shattered.. think it was like 4 am irish time before i went to bed. So now have to finalise the insurance docs for the bike, have a look at a few art galeries and wait for the bike to arrive wednesday.