A Break from Motorcycles?

Maybe kinda like a break. The past year has been unlike any other since I bought my first Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Usually we particpated in numerous First State HOG chapter rides and events, especially during my time as Activities Officer, Assistant Director and Director of First State Chapter. This year was different as I stepped away from being the Director and then stepped away from being a Road Captain. I would like to tell you we have been riding the rubber off but that would be incorrect. Actually we have hardly gotten in any saddle time with the exception of two major road trips. This is partly because we are taking a break but mostly because we had so much on our plate this year. Helping organize the Maryland/Delaware State HOG Rally as the Site Coordinator (me) and the Volunteer Coordinator (Diana) was partly to blame. The monthly meetings, training in Ohio, trips to the rally location and the rally itself didn’t match up with our idea of riding safely… so we spent many hours traveling in our very practical Toyota Corrola for the good of the rally. There were two long weekends in May that we pre rode rally ride routes measuring the distance in miles from each turn and drove 2000 miles total getting back and forth to Deep Creek and then driving and redriving the routes. So yes we have been off the motorcycles, but it didn’t seem like a break. We spent a considerable amount of time and money organizing this event for our fellow chapter members, the members of all the other chapters in our region and members of National HOG from anywhere in the world. Maybe it was a break from riding, a break from our routine but it wasn’t a break from motorcycles and it didn’t feel like a break. Now… I feel like I need a break!

Deep Creek Lake Rally Lodging

the wisp resort

As the Site Coordinator for the 2012 Maryland/Delaware State HOG Rally I can assure you that I am bowled over in shock about the host hotel being sold out shortly after online registration opened! I will gladly accept credit for this wildly popular rally. Yes, the Wisp is full! Don’t worry! Deep Creek Lake is a resort community and has the lodging capacity to house thousands of skiers, boaters and even bikers!

In addition to The Wisp ski resort there are a number of motels, inns and B&B’s in McHenry and Oakland that are conveniently located for the rally. There are luxury cabins, house rentals and camping facilities. You can research lodging on your own or wait for the rally committee to publish alternate lodging. Here are some of my personal recommendations:

Lake Star Lodge: The Lake Star Lodge is close to the rally site, on the lake and each room has a lake view and small private patio. Of the 20 rooms 10 are still available as of the writing of this article. Some rooms have a fireplace which may not be so useful in June but I loved it when I visited in November. The location is also convenient to The Fort, Archie’s and a number of other DCL attractions. Gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants and gift shops are all close by. Call 301-387-5596

The Lodges at Sunset Village: The Lodges at Sunset Village are the newest (most modern) lodging in the area. The cabins are decorated in luxury rustic. Amenities include flat screen TV, gas powered fireplace and a kitchenette. Some cabins have an outdoor hot tub. The cabins vary in size and can accomodate groups of 4 to 12 people. I took my parents to the Lodges one weekend in the fall and my mother equates these cabins with the ultimate vacation lodging. She says “they are over the top”! The owner of the lodges is a HOG member and has given us a fantastic discount. 10% off of a 2 night stay or the Super Rally 4 Day Special. Stay Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 25% off and get Sunday at no charge! Call 866-320-1341
nice cabins in deep creek lake maryland

inside our cabin at sunset village

Inn at Deep Creek: I have not stayed at the Inn at Deep Creek but I look forward to doing so as soon as possible. Situated on the lake next to the Honi Honi, Uno’s and across the street from Garrett Cinemas the location can’t be beat. There is a swimming pool overlooking the lake and a gas powered grill where customers can grill up their own poolside party. Although the inn is 5 miles from rally headquarters, this might be where the party is really at!  Call 301-387-5534

Oak-Mar Motel: The Oak-Mar is 12 miles south of the rally in Oakland and offers lower rates than the motels closer to Deep Creek Lake. There is a restaurant onsite making breakfast, lunch and dinner a convenient matter. There is also a Pizza Hut nearby and the motel is located between two pharmacies. There is also a Sheetz gas station close by. I consider the Oak-Mar to be a clean inexpensive place to stay and recommend it if you are watching your budget. Call 301-334-3965

oak-Mar 1

diana at the oak mar

nice place to sleep

Registration Is Open!

Online registration is now open for the 2012 Maryland Delaware State HOG Rally. Visit the official rally website at www.MDDESTATEHOGRALLY.com to see for yourself. This is a good excuse for those of you out there in the blogosphere to visit Maryland. Deep Creek Lake is the best riding we have in the state and we would love to meet you at the rally. Please come and be our special guests. We look forward to meeting you at the rally.

What Is A HOG Rally?

A HOG® Rally is a lot of fun! It is a benefit of being a HOG® member and is exclusive to members and their guests. It is an event for members put on by members. It is a volunteer effort planned, organized and run by HOG® members under the supervision of a HOG® Regional manager from Harley-Davidson.

In 2010 I served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Delaware/Maryland State HOG® Rally. I am currently serving as the 2012 Site Coordinator. As is the standard for HOG® events our goal is to “Ride and Have Fun” safely and legally while abiding by the rules of our insurance liability policy. Event activities and entertainment are paid for by registration fee’s and sponsorship/advertising. Collecting sponsorship and advertising money is not 100% reliable so the amount of people that pre-register for the event dictate the budget for the event. The event is geared toward HOG® members who plan to enjoy the entire event which is usually a three day affair.

These events are restricted to HOG® members and their guests. Riding under the influence is not allowed. I would venture to say this is not an event for locals to come for the day and check it out or spectate during the bike games. On site registration is discouraged because the event staff will plan the event based of the money collected in the form of pre-registration. If a small number of people pre-register there won’t be much money to hire bands and other quality entertainment. If a lot of people show up at the rally to register on site there is a good chance that money will not be spent on the rally. It will probably go into a savings account. The key to having a good budget to work with and offer quality entertainment is pre-registrations.

If you are a HOG® member then I say you really should be taking advantage of this special member benefit. It is a party being put on by your fellow HOG® members for you! A group of HOG® members worked for the better part of a year to create a unique and fun rally for you! Don’t expect the usual bike week crap! This is not a profit driven event with hundreds of vendor filled tents selling you everything from pink goggles to chrome cup holders! The event is not meant to generate income. We try to spend all the money we take in on making this the best event for you. There will be games, rides and entertainment. You’ll make new friends and have a good time. Go ahead and get involved or plan to attend a few rallies. I’m hoping to attend three this year!

Thirty Two Plus Hours In A Cage

I have to apologize for not blogging for the past 2 weeks. Life has been busy and I have not been riding. My career has been keeping me at work late and I have had road trips the past two weekends by cage. We have been through 8 states on some very scenic Interstates but I have to say the foliage although enjoyable is a little drab. Rainy and cloudy weather has not helped in making the trips all they could be but we enjoy traveling anyway; even by car or van. On our trip to Massachusetts for a family wedding we saw bright yellows, especially in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. On our trip to Canton, Ohio for HOG® State Rally Training we caught a lot of Autumn color in Pennsylvania but today on the way back taking Rt 70 from Ohio through West Virginia and Pennsylvania and into Maryland it seemed like the mountains were nothing but burnt sienna, dark orange and brown. The bright reds and oranges one hopes for are not out there. Although mountains are always pretty, the foliage itself was not spectacular. Spent at least 16 hours in the drivers seat last weekend and then again this weekend. We got to see the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I’m Glad to be home.

2012 Maryland/Delaware HOG Rally - Meeting #1

Deep Creek Lake Area and Garrett County Logo

The 2012 Maryland/Delaware State HOG Rally committee held it’s first meeting on site at the Wisp Resort in Deep Creek Lake during the last weekend of August. This was the weekend that Hurricane Irene terrorized the east coast and the meeting was just west of the storm’s reach. Unfortunately this kept us from riding our motorcycles to the meeting. We looked into renting a truck and even motorcycle shipping to get our motorcycles to Deep Creek Lake. But instead we took the Mustang. We had a great time anyway.

the wisp resort

Diana is serving as the Volunteer Corodinator and I am the Site Coordinator for the 2012 rally which will be in June. I arrived Friday morning to meet with the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. After that Diana and I had lunch at the Boardwalk Cafe and then went on a mission to take pictures of the wild roads in Savage River State Forest.

cruis’n deep creek in the gt

hairpin turns in savage river state forest

s-turns in savage river state forest

savage river boat landing

cool hilly roads in garrett county, md

bridges and creeks

creeks and roads

along the creek

rusted old bridges are cool

the elusive s-turn shot

top of a cool hill in garrett county

We checked into our room at Wisp and walked around the facilities. Then we met up with some of the other committee members for dinner and drinks at the Honi Honi Bar on Deep Creek Lake. This is a biker friendly bar on the lake with a great view. It is part of the Uno Chicago Grill restaurant which is a popular restaurant in Deep Creek and serves way more than just Chicago style pizza.

The honi honi Bar and Unu Chicago Grill on Deep Creek Lake

the happy couble at Honi Honi

the view from the honi honi and uno on deep creek lake

Saturday morning the committee met for breakfast at Perkins. Then we headed over to The Fort to check out the Black Bear Tavern and the go carts and other fun activites at Smiley’s Fun Zone. Then we drove to the quaint town of Oakland to walk around town. From Oakland we went back to McHenry and grabbed lunch at the Mountain State Brewing Company known for their wood fired flatbread pizza’s. We returned to the resort to meet with our contact at Wisp. We started our meeting with a tour of the resort and then sat down to discuss official business and start planning the event. That evening we got dinner at Archie’s Barbeque. We got a little rain Saturday evening due to the hurricane battering the majority of the state.

making pizza at mountain state brewing company 

smileys fun zone is fun for the kids

go karts at smileys fun zone

black bear tavern dcl

The following morning Diana and I grabbed breakfast at DC’s Bar & Restaurant at the resort. After breakfast the committee members checked out of the resort and regrouped for a convoy to the top of the mountain. At the top of the mounatin is a man made water park that simulates the white water rapids that this region is known for. This waterpark is Adventure Sports Center International aka ASCI and I have never seen anything like it.

boat ramp at asci

rafters at asci

this is where the water shoots out

the rapids are man made at asci

i wouldn’t go down that in a raft

It was drizzling and not much going on at ASCI so after checking it out the committee members decided to take one last excursion before calling it a day. We visited the Penn Alps Restaurant & Craft Shop for lunch in Grantsville. Then we explored adjacent Spruce Forest Artisan Village which had little activity going on because it was Sunday. Usually this liitle village has several shops open where craftsman and artists create handmade gifts. The historic Casselman River Bridge is also located here. After exploring the bridge and the artisan village it was time for the committee to call it a day. We said our goodbyes and headed home.

the rally committee at spruce forest artisan village

iron works garden at spruce forest artisan village

spruce forest shops

historic casselman river bridge

is that diana up there?

Diana and I set out to take as many backroads home as we could and we found some very scenic roads in western Maryland. We came up a steep hill in Little Orleans, Maryland and came upon this really cool scenic overlook at Town Hill that had a Bed & Breakfast  right at the top of this amazing hill. Town Hill B&B must have been bustling back in the day when people first started traveling for leisure.

town hill bed and breakfast

Diana and the stang at town hill

the view of i68 from town hill

 town hill elevation sign

going down town hill

It was getting late as we traversed through Baltimore County. We found ourselves turning around a few times due to downed trees and large branches that closed small roads. It was getting dark and we were driving down through some forested roads in a heavily wooded area. Some huge trees had fallen down and dragged power lines with them. It was getting a little unnerving as this became more frequent and due to the darkness it was hard to see the downed trees until they were smack dab in front of us. When we came to one where someone cut out a slice of tree with a chainsaw just barely wide enough to clear our car we decided it was time to get on the highway. We got home safely pretty late in the evening. Once again we had ourselves a fun little adventure.