Smell The Flowers II – A Ride to Hagerstown and Williamsport, Maryland stopping in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania

Diana and Marc ready to roll

Last June Diana led her first overnight trip which was a huge success and played a big part in her receiving her Road Captain patch with First State HOG Chapter. This year Diana perfected the ride route and made the trip shorter but ten times sweeter. We had less riders this year which makes riding these back country roads more enjoyable. Everyone was impressed to find out we can travel from Newark, DE to Hagerstown, MD without traversing any roads with more than two lanes in either direction.

The obvious way to get out west would be to take I95 South to the Baltimore Beltway I695 and then shoot off onto I70 across Maryland at 70 miles per hour. It would be 120 miles of highway including the dreaded I95 and dodgy Baltimore beltway. Travel time would be over two hours. Many of our friends travel down Rt301 and cut under Baltimore and then scoot back up to western Maryland. Diana’s route took us across 150 miles of country backroads leaving about 9:30am and arriving in Hagerstown at about 4:00pm. We would stop for an hour lunch in Shewsbury, Pennsylvania and take two gas/rest stops. There would be no rush and we would arrive at the Clarion Motel in Hagerstown, Maryland in time to take a nice shower and change into comfortable clothes before dinner.

I’ll take you through the leg of the ride that goes from Newark, DE through Cecil and Harford counties in Maryland to the lunch stop in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania because this alone is a nice ride.

We met at he new Royal Farms in Newark, DE five minutes from our house. This has quickly become our most popular ride meet up point. I have become a huge fan of Royal Farms in the past two years. I like Wawa a lot but Royal Farms has inside seating and great fried chicken! The indoor seating is welcome in the hot summer and the cold winter when you need to either cool off or warm up while eating a cheap but tasty lunch on the road. They have gas, convenience store, food, small decent bathrooms and good size parking lots. Here’s Bill grabbing a little breakfast of champions before we leave the Royal Farms.

Royal Farms has breakfast food

The first leg of Diana’s route gets us from the Royal Farms in Newark, DE to the Wawa in Conowingo, Maryland. We use local back roads to get onto Rt 273 West Telegraph Rd and merge with Rt 1 Conowingo Rd. You will be traveling through Cecil County into Harford County, Maryland. When you cross the Susquehanna River at the Conowingo Dam you are in Harford County.

From the Wawa we pull out onto Rt 136 and the scenery and country riding really start to kick in. Take a left on Rt 23 Norrisville Rd. The next turn is a right onto Rt 439 Old York Rd but for safety we pass it and pull into the Shell gas station on the left. The Shell does have a unisex bathroom on the outer right side of the building and we use this gas station as a rest stop on many of Diana’s rides. On this ride we just used the parking lot as a planned turn around to head back up Rt 23 so we could make a left onto Rt 439 Old York Rd. This sounds ass backwards but I will try to explain…

Rt 23 Norrisville Road is a country road with one lane in each direction and the locals get moving pretty quickly on a road like this. Rt 439 Old York Road is a sharp jackknife turn just after a steep decline in the road. If a group of motorcycles were to suddenly slow down after this dip in the road to navigate a sharp jackknife turn they would be sitting ducks! A speeding red neck in a camo painted pick up could come flying over the crest of the hill and take out several ducks before you can count how many guns are in his rack. So yes, in this case two left turns across the oncoming lane makes more sense than a right turn… however on the day of our ride we had to add an addendum to this policy.

Miles before the turn we got stuck behind a huge self-propelled combine. It moved so slowly you would think it was powered by little gerbils on a wheel inside the motor. Traffic was backing up behind us. The road was too hilly and curvy for a group of motorcycles to safely pass. If you are patient the combines usually pull off the road into a nearby farm just when you think you can’t take it anymore. It felt like this one was going to lead us forever! When we came up on our right hand turn crawling at 10 miles an hour we took the right hander without any danger of getting run over by the creeping cars behind us.

Rt 439 Old York Rd will cross over I83 and end at Rt 45 York Rd. Take a right and go up York Rd heading north into Pennsylvania. York Rd will become Susquehana Trail Rt 3001 in PA. When you come into Shrewsbury you will come to a four way intersection with a traffic light. Take a right on Old Farm Lane and go into the shopping center. Have lunch at Nikola’s Cafe. Call ahead of time and reserve the outside table for your friends and enjoy. The number is 717-235-2200

Nikola’s cafe shrewsbury pa

Riddle: What has 2 bills, 2 colors, 2 wienners, 2 greens & 2 parisons?

lunch at Nikolas cafe withfirst state hog

This is a favorite lunch ride that Diana likes to do so this part of the route can stand on it’s own and the shrimp salad sandwich is worth the ride. The roads get even tastier from here to Hagerstown!

Part 1 – 36 Miles – Roll at 9:30am

Royal Farms Rt 72 and Old Baltimore Pike Newark, DE

Right on Old Baltimore Pike

Right on Otts Chapel rd

Left on Elkton Rd

Right on Rt 277 Fletchwood Rd/Elk Mills rd

Right Rt 213

Left Rt 273 Telegraph Rd

Left Rt 1 Conowingo rd

Right into the Wawa at Rt 136 in Conowingo

Part 2 – 31 Miles

From Wawa exit left onto Rt 136 Whiteford Rd

Left on Rt 23 Norrisville Rd

Do a turnaround at the Shell on the left side and take a right back onto Rt 23

Left on Rt 439 Old York Rd

Right Rt 45 York Rd

Becomes Rt 3001 Susquehanna Trail in Pennsylvania

Make a right at the intersection with Constition on the left and Old Farm on the right

Pull into the shopping center behind the 1st Marina Bank in Shrewsbury, PA exactly at noon for lunch.

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