November was the window that opened for Cheryl and Lyn to take advantage of some outstanding weather. We headed into Pennsylvania on our trusty steeds – an R1200GS (Cheryl) and an R12000R (Lyn). We took Route 19 out of NYS, to PA Route Elk Country Roads
Roads in Elk Country 449 to Route 6 to Route 144 to Renova, PA where we stopped at a Tourist Center. The comment of the day was from the lady who was operating it, who took one look at Lyn and said, "I can't believe you're riding a motorcycle!" What do you suppose that meant? Anyway, we continued to Lock Haven via Route 120 where we stayed the night. What a beautiful town. It sits along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and there is a lovely walkway along the river as well as an amphitheater. Still some color in the trees too.
We didn't think it was possible to find any better quiet curvy mountain roads that we had found on Tuesday; however we were wrong. We had a brochure about an Elk Scenic Drive, so we thought what the heck, let's see if we can see any elk and make the guys envious. We took Interstate 80 back west to Exit #111 (Elliot State Park) and then followed the trail of Routes 153 to 255 to 555 to 120 to 144 to Snow Shoe (about 125 miles) More wonderful curvy mountain roads with barely another vehicle in sight. In Benezette we rode up to the Elk view area; although a beautiful vista, no elk – too late in the AM probably. We continued on a short narrow mountain road with a tricky (for Lyn) hairpin turn back to Route 120. Cheryl also got Lyn to ride her steed up a loosely graveled dirt road. It was a short one, thank goodness, as Lyn found it a bit slippery coming down. A few miles further down Route 120 we saw approximately eighteen female and young elk resting by the riverside with a big male on guard. Awesome. We hated to see Route 144 come to an end in Milesburg, it was such fun. But we were ready to go back to Lock Haven for a walk along the river and some decent Mexican food and a good bottle of wine.
Heading back home again on Thursday, we took I-80 to Route 44N to 414N. 414 was a lovely surprise as it is a narrow woodsy road (1½ lanes wide with a wicked crown) about 20-25 miles long near Pinecone Creek. We stopped at the Rattlesnake Rock rest/picnic area and discovered that there was a very nice bicycle trail running parallel to 414. While there we met a nice couple from Alfred who were riding the bicycle trail.
Our "window of opportunity" was very relaxed for us. We only did about 200 miles per day. The roads were really "the roads less traveled" as all cabins were closed up for the winter and not many year-long residents were in the areas we traveled. We both had our Gerbing heated gear which was perfect as temperatures were sometimes in the high 40s and low 50s. Our outer jackets were breathable enough for when the temps went up to the high 60s which was never prolonged.
Our trip was no great feat but it was literally a breath of fresh air. Everything smelled wonderful, and there was so much nature to look at that it was like being in another world. It was hard to come back to reality. And yes, the guys were envious.
We traveled a little more than 600 miles for $28 and about ten gallons of gas. I (Lyn) averaged 52 mpg.