Saturday, April 30, 2016


The GPS facilitates getting to one's destination quickly. It's a fantastic little invention really and can be very useful to find places you've never visited before, but it has a major limitation; the GPS has no soul, it is a dispassionate observer relaying the most direct route to the user. The meander, the goat path, and the forgotten trail are, well, forgotten.

The road opened to the south today. A third opportunity to attempt to cross the Mason Dixon Line had arisen, and so upon his trusty Onyx steed, the intrepid adventurer set off into the unknown. Alright, that's a bit melodramatic, it was just a jog down 272 and 222 into Maryland. So I passed the most southern point I've been in Lancaster County. This was a momentous enough occasion to take a photo. In the photo you can see Pennsylvania's state geometric shape: The traffic cone.

The road south through Lancaster County curves gently at times and undulates lightly over rolling hills. It's not the most exciting riding road, but the scenery is lovely so it passes quickly enough. Soon I'd passed into Maryland.

And here the GPS began to yell at me. The map clearly showed a curving road leading down by the Susquehanna River all the way down to the Chesapeake Bay, yet the GPS demanded I go left at route 1 and follow the beaten path. This was not appealing and so turning right my Trusty Honda and I headed down toward the river. Soon, the watery vista opened ahead revealing the road across the river along the top of the Conowingo dam. Now it was time for a left turn as I did not wish to cross the river. The road now led through the woods and down to the little river town of Port Deposit. 

What a quaint little place is Port Deposit. Ancient looking stone buildings hug tightly against the hillside desperately holding to the rocks as if to fend off floodwaters from the river only a stone's throw away. 

Many other bikers and scooterists were out enjoying the dry roads as were collectible car owners. 

There was a park at the south end of town offering a splendid view of the river. and several bridges to the south. 

The road out of town led up into the hills and again the GPS wanted to lead me toward the more populated roads. I declined and turned right onto a rural road that again led down along the river, through some tunnels, and down to the little town of Perryville where I was able to view the beginnings of the Chesapeake Bay. 

With the steely grey skies overhead, the waters below seemed cold an uninviting, but across the river-mouth in Havre De Grace, boats sat moored as if awaiting a break in the clouds so their captains could take them from their moorings out into the open waters of the bay. 

Having successfully completed my goal of riding to the Chesapeake Bay, it was time to return home. Already my shoulder was aching from the ride south. Here it is nearly five months after my collarbone break, yet still my shoulder aches after rides of half-an-hour or more. Still, I was able to return through Port Deposit which was not the worst outcome. 

It is such a pretty little town and the road north has a few corners to make scootering all the more enjoyable. 

I stopped to snap a photo of the Conowingo Dam before turning east on Route 1. During a quick stop for gas at the intersection of 1 and 222, a couple young men asked me how fast the PCX can go. I'll admit, I was a little baffled since the most common question I get is regarding fuel economy. Alas, there was but little time to ponder this as the road north beckoned me and my throbbing shoulder to return home. 

Perhaps a 100 mile round trip was more than I was ready for, but at least there was a VW bus heading south past me as I was on my northward trek. For some reason, those funky looking things always make me smile. 

So it is with a sense of accomplishment that I have added a seventh state to my list of those to which I have traveled on the back of a 150cc scooter. I've been asked why I like scooters so much and why I don't just have a regular motorcycle. I've thought about this to some length really and have come to the conclusion that yes, I could do the same things on a bigger motorcycle, I could travel all over the united states with relative ease and even comfort if I had the right bike, but really where's the challenge in that? 

I don't need a big bike or a computer telling me where to go. Give me a winding road, a map to guide my explorations, and a small motorbike. Those are the ingredients for a pleasant journey. 

Should you wish to see the map of the places I've traveled on scooterback, it can be found here: 

1 comment:

kz1000st said...

"I could do the same things on a bigger motorcycle, I could travel all over the united states with relative ease and even comfort if I had the right bike, but really where's the challenge in that?"

Precisely the reason I own Chinese scooters. I could use the 750 Kawasaki, 250 Honda Rebel or 1991 Honda 250 Nighthawk I also have, but where is the challenge in that? Knowing I've made my China scoots reliable enough to do 200 mile rides is reward enough.