Deep Creek Lake Travel Information

After hearing about Deep Creek Lake I of course had to check it out for myself. After all, I can’t resist a road trip to a new place with legendary scenery, roads and activities! I was amazed at what I found and visited on several more road trips. Then I embarked on a mission to introduce hundreds of fellow HOG members to Deep C reek Lake by helping organize the 2012 Maryland/Delaware State HOG Rally at the Wisp Resort. I accepted the position of Site Coordinator and my wife, Diana, assumed the position of Volunteer Coordinator. We collected information and started checking out the hotels and activities for the rally. We used up a lot of vacation time preparing for the rally by visiting Deep Creek Lake and staying at several different hotels. Diana mapped out a dozen motorcycle ride loops and we drove over 2000 miles test driving those routes in our Toyota Corolla. The work paid off. The rally was a big success! The weather was great and we had over 600 registered participants! Our fellow Harley-Davidson® enthusiasts enjoyed Diana’s ride routes immensely! It couldn’t have gone better!

Now we have all this information about road tripping to Deep Creek Lake including: how to get there, where to stay, where to eat, where to drink, where to shop and best of all… where to ride! I have only recently discovered Deep Creek Lake and in comparison to others I am probably nowhere near an authority on Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding area. However I have this information and feel it is my duty to share it.

Where Can A Marylander Escape To?

So where is the wilderness? Where can we go to get away from urban sprawl and enjoy a truly rustic experience in Maryland? How can we escape the hustle bustle of strip mall hell, maintain a reasonable drive time and find loads of fun affordable activities? Is there such an oasis of outdoor fun in the state of Maryland? The answer is “yes!”. There is such a place in Garrett County, Maryland and it is called Deep Creek Lake! It is such a well kept secret that hardly anyone I know has ever heard of it!

After having lived in Delaware and Maryland for over twenty years a friend mentioned to me that she was going to Deep Creek Lake for a few days on her motorcycle. At the time she was the Director of our local chapter of the Harley Owners Group and I was the Assistant Director. She needed me to cover for her while she was on vacation. Like most Delawareans I was at a loss because I had no idea where or what Deep Creek Lake was. My wife who grew up just a smidge west of Baltmore knew about Deep Creek Lake. It turns out her parents honeymooned in Deep Creek and took the kids there on a number of family vacations. She hadn’t been to Deep Creek since she was a kid and has fond memories of horse back riding and other outdoor activities. She is one of the few Marylanders I’ve met who knows the state doesn’t come to an end at Hagerstown!

I asked some of my friends at the First State Chapter of the Harley Owners Group what they knew about the area. Those who knew Deep Creek got excited like all bikers do when you ask them about famous scenic roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway and Route 129 in Deals Gap, North Carolina; better known as Tail of the Dragon! My fellow bikers would go on and on about how twisty the roads are and how beautiful the scenery is. They described gorgeous mountain vistas, babbling brooks, cascading waterfalls and came back to our favorite topic… twisty hilly roads. Us flat landers have one track minds! They painted a picture for me of a motorcyclist’s oasis at the furthest western border of the state of Maryland with twisty back roads that make you want to run out and buy a new Suzuki GSX and full racing leathers. What they didn’t tell me is that Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding area is a year round vacation paradise with a plethora of activities for anyone and everyone! DCL is the perfect road trip destination for anyone seeking refuge from urban sprawl along the mid Atlantic!

Take Me Away On A Road Trip

Ever since the automobile became an affordable means of transportation for the American family, road trips have become a classic American pass time. With the development of civilized roads and roadside motels traveling for leisure quickly rooted itself in our culture. It is an integral part of our freedom loving nature to travel and explore. Just as American pioneers were driven to explore the wilderness by horse drawn wagon and blaze a trail westward we modern Americans are still driven to explore wilderness and seek adventure. Unfortunately wilderness has become more and more difficult to find, especially on the east coast of the United States. It certainly isn’t anywhere inside the New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore triangle! You can even extend that down into Washington, DC for that matter! All you’ll find is strip malls, fast food and urban congestion! In order to find any peaceful back roads I have to do battle with mini vans, SUV’s and delivery truck drivers. At least half of them aren’t even paying attention to the road as they yak on their cell phones and text each other while navigating tricky intersections. Scanning their iPod for their favorite song at 45 in a 35 is more important to them than sharing the road with me! I don’t know about you, but I could really use more wilderness, less traffic and an all round change of pace!

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Road Tripping Is Adventure

Road Tripping is adventure whether on two wheels or four! As a motorcyclist I don’t think about road tripping as road tripping because it comes with the territory. Motorcycling is road tripping all the time, especially on overnights. We all know it’s the journey and not the destination that makes motorcycling so much fun. However without a destination in mind or some sort of target most road trips don’t happen so picking destinations and the destination itself is part of the fun. Not having any children or dogs at home gives me and Diana the freedom to road trip every weekend, holiday and vacation and I probably take this for granted. I was talking with a coworker who was missing her road trip days and it made me a little bit more aware of how lucky we are to road trip either by Harley, Mustang, Compact Car or 4×4 pick up. I always think in terms of either being on a motorcycle trip and then everything else. But I guess road tripping itself is still a commonality even when we are not on two wheels. Most of our trips this year have been in the Toyota Corolla out of practicality and the pick up has been getting a few shake down trips lately. The Mustang only came out of the coral once this summer for a spontaneous overnighter to Ocean City. Unfortunately we have not done enough motorcycle riding this year. Only two big trips thus far. But you know what? Road tripping or any kind of travel is still an adventure regardless of the mode of travel! It’s still a journey to excite your senses going to new places and not knowing what lady luck or mother nature is going to throw at you once you’re on the road. Even if you’re not traveling by motorcycle the spirit of the adventure is still in us! We went on a lot a great trips in the Toyota and “yes” I wish we went by motorcycle… but they were still an adventure even if they were in a little silver cookie cutter import compact.

Our next road trip is to the eastern shore of Virginia which we have been to and blogged about many times. Chance keeps bringing us back to the area where we lost our friend Karen on a road trip back in 2009. My brother’s in laws moved to that area shortly after the accident. We have been back on a number of road trips and the last one ended in mechanical failure for Diana’s Harley-Davidson Super Glide. We came home in a U-Haul 🙁

crab decks too

This next trip will connect us to authors Susan and Bill Wade whose book, Crab Decks & Tiki Bars of the Chesapeake Bay, is full of great Maryland destinations. Over 150 of them! All with fantastic views of the Chesapeake. So if you are a boater, biker or road tripper of any kind you can add this book to your collection of road trip resources for the Mid Atlantic. See you on the road!

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Top 5 Motorcycle Tours in Europe

Summer’s here; the sun is shining bright and the roads are calling for a touch of those gripping tires. Take your motorbike abroad to one of Europe’s best motorcycle tour routes and experience a journey that adventure -lovers crave day in and day out. The adrenaline associated with these routes is something else. The tingle down your spine as your head and chest feel like it’s contracting—the blood rushing through your veins. It becomes an experience we can’t forget; an experience not many roads can deliver. Here are the top five motorcycle routes you’ll find in Europe.

The Transfagarasan Highway, Transylvania, Romania

Transfagarasan
Photo By: mudmucks

Also known as the DN7C, the Transfagarasan is one of the highest paved roads in Romania. The dramatic experience that is associated with the DN7C can only be found in Transylvania—the 90km road full of twists and turns is built strategically as a military route. The road was made in the 1970’s when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia. Ceau?escu, ruler of Romania at that time wanted quick military access across mountains as a precaution. The road did not go up easy, though—about 6 million kg of dynamite were used and 40 soldiers lost their lives during the construction. The Transfagarasan closes down in late October, sometimes even earlier depending on snowfall in the region. Jump on your bike now and relive history on the Transfagarasan. What’s even better is that there is quick access to the Bâlea Lake and Waterfall.

Antrim Coast Road, Northern Ireland

Antrim Coast
Photo By: davysims

If you’re a fan of jaw-dropping scenery (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), then the Antrim Coast Road is one you can’t miss. The 96km of beautiful coastline continues through fishing villages Ballygally, Glenarm, and Waterfoot and ends at the Giant’s Causeway. You’ve biked it at full speed all the way here, why not go to the other extreme and take some time fishing? Everyone needs a little relaxing. On a good day, you’ll see the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland over here. Experience nature the right way on the Antrim Coast Road!

Agiofarago Gorge, Crete

Agiofarago

Photo By: fluffisch

If the Antrim Coast Road got you excited and in the mood, then the Agiofarago Gorge in Crete will leave you in a state of ecstasy. Just south of Odigitria Monastery, the isolated route is filled with unbelievable scenery from vertical rock faces to hermit inhabited caves. You need a perfect end to a perfect road, which is why the Libyan Sea happens to be right there at the finish. The Crete route will leave you thirsty and hot, so cool off with a nice swim and an unreal view of nature at its best.

Furka Pass, Switzerland

Furka pass

Photo By: trentroche

You’ll probably feel like you’ve been here before. The Furka Pass was where the famous chase scene from Goldfinger took place! We’ve all wanted to be James Bond sometime in our life, why not do it now? Hop onto your bike and hit up the Furka Pass at nearly two and a half kilometres above sea level. Once you get around the top you’ll see the incredible sight at the Rhone glacier; source of the Rhone River.

Amalfi Coast Road, Italy

Amalfi Coast

Photo By: Phlegrean

Known as one of the best routes in Italy, the Amalfi Coast Road starts in Naples and ends in Salerno. It’s about 80km and passes through Sorrento and Amalfi—don’t miss the Isle of Capri when you’re on this route trying to manoeuvre through Italian twists and turns. The Amalfi Coast Road, as you may have guessed, is on coastal cliffs which give incredible views to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The route passes through the village of Posiano, a common tourist attraction in the area.

Author Bio
Sohaib Siddique is passionate about experience and adventure travel and works as a writer. He’s currently working with Hotel Club, a website for booking hotels in London and more. When he isn’t around and about, you’ll find him pushing the limits on his bike or stuffing his face with his food obsession.

There Might Be More To Life Than Just Motorcycles

Jay Camping

On December 31st, 2011 I wrote my year end review after purchasing a red 2001 Dodge Dakota 4×4 earlier in the day.

We bought a 4×4 truck today! Our hope is this purchase opens up a new chapter in motorcycling for us called: Trailering! I know there are hard core riders who frown on trailering. Many of you proudly wear your “I rode to Daytona” and similar patches and turn your noses up at trailer queens. I’m sure you can argue that riding to the destination IS the experience. Everyone is different! I’m not a biker! I’m a recreational rider and a Harley enthusiast. I don’t like to get up early and I don’t like to ride after dusk. I don’t want to travel the highways on my motorcycle with Diana knowing the fatality that can result from the smallest obstacle, misjudgement or cager at highway speeds. I do love traveling on my schedule, hitting the backroads and riding all day in the mountains with my wife (and sometimes friends). So trailering is appealing. The 4×4 pick up truck also opens up other pastimes like camping and boating which could enhance or even replace riding. I know, heresy!

The Dodge turned out to be more of a project than anticipated. It wasn’t running for three months due to faulty cam and crankshaft sensors. We also needed to drop in a new battery. Then we completely replaced the front pads and rotors. After some excitement about smoke coming from the new front right brake we replaced the calipers also. A power steering fluid switch needed to be replaced because the truck kept spewing fluid all over itself and the parking spot in front of my house. Later on we had new lower front ball joints replaced. Recently I fixed the lid to the center console which kept popping open. That repair was followed by fixing the AC blower which was only running on high due to worn out resister. I have become quite familiar with the junkyard lately. I put a new black nerf bar on the right side of the Dakota but can not get the body chassis bolt out of the left side rear corner of the cab. The bolt head is sheared off and the bolt is hanging inside the fastener. I’m hoping to have someone weld on a bolt or nut that will let us get a wrench on it to turn it out. I have 4 new shocks in the back seat along with the upper front ball joints. After those are put in the front wheels need to be aligned because one wheel is pointing out in it’s own direction from the other. Having the wheels balanced is also on the to-do list to stop a slight shimmy. The automatic transmission isn’t feeling a 100% either. As you can see I am spending a little here and there on it slowly bringing it back to road worthiness.

Unfortunately we are not ready for the chapter in our lives on trailering and that will keep us from our planned trip to the New Hampshire State HOG Rally later this month. On the positive side the pick up has opened my mind to new (or old) pastimes. Diana and I took the truck camping this past weekend! Even though she wasn’t quite road worthy we embarked on a first pick up trip. This trip started with giving the Dakota a name and then talking nice to her. She/he has been dubbed Baby, short for Baby Ram. Talking nice must have worked because we went camping, had a great time and are now back home and we didn’t even have to call AAA! To reward Baby I just dropped her off to have those shocks and front upper ball joints dropped in. Our mechanic, John, was also welding that nut on the end of the body mount bolt I mentioned above about an hour ago. I hope that lets him turn the bolt out.  He will also be welding in a patch on the right wheel well of the pick up bed where a nasty rust hole has worn through.

The camping trip was great fun! Next weekend I’m going to go lake fishing with my Pops, my brother and his two sons. I haven’t gone camping or fishing since before high school! The truck is opening new chapters for me and perhaps there is more to life than just motorcycles! I know, heresy!