Pacific Coast Highway Tour: 3 Hours in Seattle

What do you do when you have 3 hours in Seattle?  After arriving by plane from Virginia, and with WAY TOO MANY options, we picked up our rental car and made a quick stop at the Pike Place Market.

 

After enjoying Fish Tacos and a local craft beer, with vows to return, we took the Edmonds Kingston Ferry to the Olympic Peninsula.

Getting Back Into It: Bike Adventures

This year, I was able to ride into Pennsylvania, my 9th state on the bike (I also was able to visit Oregon, my 48th state overall … but that’s another story).  This image reveals my excitement about visiting Pennsylvania, Gettysburg to be specific.  I also rode through Western Maryland and West Virginia, both previously visited, during this 1200 mile ride in July.

You’ve heard me say this before, but I am FOR REAL, trying to find time for blogging!  It’ll probably just be some photography for now … but Let’s Go!

Sideling Hill

What? Is this an actual post from LB?  Yes indeed it is!

I’m still struggling to balance work / civic commitments / some fun and blogging, and while I’ve continued to contribute to Monochromia each week, I’ve clearly not done so well here.  I’ll make it back, I swear!!

This post links to my contribution to Monochromia this week.

I took a 1200 mile motorcycle ride last week, my annual solo trip, and had the joy of riding through this gap. The Sideling Hill Road Cut on Interstate 68 and US 40 in Western Maryland, is a 340 foot deep notch excavated from the ridge of Sideling Hill.  It is notable as an impressive man-made mountain pass, visible from miles away, and is considered to be one of the best rock exposures in Maryland and the entire northeastern United States.

The image on Monochromia is of the bridge that runs over the highway.

This last image shows the cut in the mountain from many miles away.

Be back soon (I hope!)

Pick Up Where I Left Off?

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Life on the Bike and getting back into my blogging groove.  I’m 6 months behind on posting photos from various adventures.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Cape Charles, Virginia

Tallahassee, Florida

Knoxville, Tennessee

various Virginia State Parks

and Cincinnati, Ohio

I’ve worked alot, and volunteered alot.

Thankfully, I’ve played, alot, too.  I’ve traveled for fun and I’ve traveled for work.

I’ve worked on political campaigns and hosted non-political fundraisers.

I’ve riden the bike (not enough!) and managed to keep up with photography (again, not enough!).

And finally, I’ve missed WP and my blogging friends.

Slowly but surely, I’m finding my way back to my WordPress home!

Osceola & Renegade in Monochrome

My contribution to Monochromia this week.

A friend and I traveled to Tallahassee for the Virginia Tech / Florida State game last weekend and during a tour of the beautiful FSU Campus, saw the famous statue of Osceola, the historic leader of the Seminoles, and his Appaloosa horse, Renegade.

We enjoyed Tallahassee and even better, won the game! Go Hokies!

Driving the Great Ocean Road

When you last heard from me, I was preparing to drive the Great Ocean Road.  Driving that road is an incredible experience, but for those who are not used to driving on the “other” side of the road and on the “other” side of the car (notice that I didn’t say the “wrong” side), the Road creates an even greater challenge.

I’d hoped to rent a motorcycle and take the ride of a lifetime, but between the cost of rentals and the fact that I couldn’t find a bike to fit my 5′ tall body, I opted for a rental car.  I have to confess to feeling a bit nervous about driving in Australia.  I wasn’t so much worried about driving the Great Ocean Road, as I was about getting out of Melbourne!  I even told the folks at the rental agency that I’d pay someone to drive me out of the city 🙂  Ultimately, it all turned out perfectly, and while the car was a blast, after driving that road, I sure wish I could have ridden those curves on my Harley.

The Great Ocean Road is included on the Australian National Heritage List and at 243 km (151 mi), stretches along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the cities of Torquay and Allansford.  Construction on the road began in September of 1919 and was built by approximately 3000 returned servicemen as a war memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in World War I.  In addition to being dedicated as a memorial, the road also connected isolated settlements on the coast, and become a vital transport link for the timber industry and tourism.

As a visitor to Australia, seeing these signs along my route were welcome, and within minutes of driving out of the city, I stopped at my first Visitor Information Centre.

The incredibly friendly and informative folks at the Centre loaded up a reusable bag full of maps and pamphlets, which suited this map loving woman just fine.  GPS is great, of course, but I like to say that I use MAPS.  The volunteers recommended that I stop in Geelong, and I’m so glad that they did.   Located just southwest of Melbourne, Geelong  boasts a 19th-century carousel, a curved art deco boardwalk , and a several colorful sculptures that chronicle the city’s history.

After a lovely stroll along that curved boardwalk, I took off for Torquay, the surf capital of Australia, and the start of the Great Ocean Road.

On this, my first day on the road, I only managed to drive 90 km (50 mi).  I just couldn’t help myself: I had to keep stopping!

I mean, seriously! I think I pulled over at every possible place!  Including the Cape Otway Lightstation, built in 1848.

What an incredible gift it was to have the time to explore.  I had no plan other than to go, to see, to breathe.

The sound of those waves crashing on the shore were captivating, and in my next post, I’ll share some video.

The curves were fun to drive, and every so often, I was pleased to be the only car on the road.  At times, it seemed I could have been driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, as the road wound through lush, forested areas.  At other times, the road took me along the dramatic coastline.  I could have taken weeks, not days, to visit the many natural and historic wonders of this road, and I could have taken thousands and thousands of photos.

At the end of an amazing day, I stopped at the  Great Ocean Road Brewhouse for fish and chips and a nice, cold beer.  On this particular day, I’d worn one of my Harley t-shirts and as always happens when I travel, people come up and talk to me about motorcycles.  Even in this day and time, a woman who rides her own bike is still a big deal.  We also talked about the bracelets on our arms, representing loved ones gone too soon.

Next Post: Day Two on the Great Ocean Road

The Drive to Wanaka

After organizing 7 people and packing up 2 cars, we were off to Wanaka (sounds like Monica or Hanukkah).  As is typical for New Zealand roads, the route was curvy and the scenery beautiful.

A brief stop along the way allowed Siddy to get a(nother) treat.

By 2pm, we were ready for a late lunch, and Monteith’s Brewery Bar in Alexandra was the perfect stop.  We enjoyed puppy friendly al fresco dining accompanied by Murphy’s Irish Stout (for me) and followed by a yummy flat white.

Soon enough, we were back on the road but another brief stop, this time at the Clyde Dam, offered some nice photo ops. The Clyde Dam, New Zealand’s third largest hydroelectric dam, is built on the Clutha River near the town of Clyde

With 45 minutes to go, we let Siddy enjoy the breeze.

And THEN we arrived at our temporary home.

What an incredible gift this week in Wanaka will be!