When things don’t go as planned…

Sometimes things just don’t go as you hoped they would. We spent all weekend at work looking forward to this week when the weather would be nice and we could run away for a few days on the bikes. We weren’t sure where we would go, but knew we were going to go somewhere. We finally decided to ride back roads to Athens, Ohio on Wednesday, spend Thursday exploring the roads in that area, and then ride back home on Friday.

We spent Tuesday getting the bikes ready to go, installing our new rear EBC “Double H” sintered brake pads (we purchased the front pads separately and they haven’t arrived yet), and doing routine maintenance on our chains.

On Wednesday we woke up early and loaded up the bikes. I had ordered a RAM Mount X-grip cell phone holder so I could try out using my phone for GPS and it arrived at the post office before we left, so Dwayne went and picked it up for me so I could test it out on our trip. I initially mounted it on the left side, but I realized after we left that it was blocking my gear indicator, so I later moved it to the right side, and it worked much better for me there. It is hard to see when the sun is shining on it, but it did work pretty well, so I’ll probably use it more in the future.

Our planned route was to take some curvy back roads through Kentucky, avoiding interstates the entire way, then crossing into Ohio at Maysville. Unfortunately a few miles after we turned down our first back road outside of Carrollton, we ran into a truck delivering half of a double-wide home. This road was narrow and curvy, and the home took up the entire road and was only moving between 5-15mph. We hoped to find a road to turn down to get around them, but then they reached the land they were to deliver the home to, which was in a big dip and curve in the road. There was a spot they could have stopped and allowed us and the Volvo in front of us to pass, but instead they just blocked the entire road and said it would probably be 30 minutes or more before we could pass. The lady in the Volvo in front of us was furious and tried to convince me to call the police, but I told her it would probably take that long for police to show up anyways, and there was really nothing that could be done. We decided to back-track to Carrollton and hit I-71 to hwy 127 instead of waiting.

From 127 we were able to go back down to our intended route, and continue on from there. It probably didn’t really add that much time, but it was still frustrating to have to back-track and take the interstate for a bit. Then further along our route we ran into road construction and had to stop. This ended up taking about 15 minutes because they had their flaggers spaced too far apart, so when the flagger on the other end let 4 vehicles go, only two of the vehicles made it to our end, the other two turned into driveways, but neither flagger could see them, so we had to wait for someone to come in a pickup and drive the route to make sure we wouldn’t run into someone stopped on the road. Again, not that big of a deal, just a little frustrating since we’d already been held up once and we were only about halfway through our route at this point. At least it was cool out, so we weren’t sitting in our leathers at a standstill burning up like we would have been on a hot day.

After stopping for lunch in Maysville, we crossed into Ohio and continued on our way. It had been about 68 degrees all day and mostly cloudy, but hadn’t really felt too cool to me with my thin hoodie under my jacket. In Ohio the clouds got even thicker and the temperature dropped down to 65, and it felt much cooler than it had in Kentucky. I actually had to turn my heated grips and seat on to keep the chill off. By the time we got to the hotel, I was pretty excited to take a hot shower and get cleaned up.

When we finally decided to hit the bed around midnight, we realized that the air conditioner in the room did not have a constant fan option like most do. This is an issue for us as we always sleep with a fan for noise, but we also like it cold when we sleep, so we figured we would just turn the air conditioner down low and keep it running most of the night, or at least long enough for us to fall asleep. That’s when we realized that the air conditioner didn’t want to kick on at all. We finally got it to kick on and set it on 62 degrees. It ran for just a few minutes before kicking back off, well above 62 degrees, probably closer to 72. Had it not been midnight and all of our stuff was unloaded in the room, I would have probably tried to request another room if they weren’t all full, but we were tired and figured we would just deal with it.

I was eventually able to fall asleep, but Dwayne said it was at least 2am before he was able to fall asleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately that was short lived, as we were rudely awoken at 5:45am by the fire alarm going off. Poor Dwayne was hardly coherent and had no idea what was going on at first. His ninja skills are pretty impressive though, as he came out of that bed ready to attack! By the time I threw on some clothes the alarm had shut off, and we didn’t have to evacuate the building, but the damage was done, there was no going back to sleep after being startled awake so suddenly.

We went down and had a disappointing breakfast before the rest of the hotel made it down, and by the time we got back up to the room, we had decided that we wouldn’t be staying another night as we had intended, so after going back upstairs and trying to take a nap, which I failed at, but Dwayne did manage to get in a small one, we loaded everything back up and I explained to the front desk that we wanted to cancel our second night and check out early. The lady was nice and inquired about why we wanted to leave, and she ended up discounting our night 15% without me even asking her to, which was nice of her and made me feel a bit better about the ordeal. I should mention that the staff of the hotel was fantastic, and none of my issues with our stay were their fault in any way, except maybe the breakfast part, but that was the least of the issues anyways.

When we left we decided to ride the two main roads we had intended to ride, beginning with hwy 78 from Glouster up to the Big Muskie Bucket. That was a really fun road with a lot of nice curves and pretty scenery, and the Big Muskie Bucket was highly impressive. The fact that they still have the chains and cables attached to it really drives home how massive it is and how much earth that thing could move when it was in use.

After we checked out Big Muskie, we retreated back down 78 to McConnelsville where we picked up 37, which we took to hwy 555, the Triple Nickel. This is probably the most well-known road in the area, and is always highly recommended. It was incredibly curvy and beautiful as well, but there were definitely sections of it that could really stand to be repaved. We still enjoyed riding it, though.

By the time we got to the end of 555 at hwy 50, the sky was starting to cloud up and look a bit ominous to the South and East of us. We decided it was time to head for the house, so we took hwy 50 back to Athens and then followed our route from Wednesday back down into Kentucky. Once in Kentucky we took a little bit of a different route so that we could avoid the construction that we hit the day before, and this time we decided to just hop on I-71 back to Carrollton so we could get home quicker.

All in all we had a total of 8 hours of actual riding today, for 405 miles, and it ended up being a really nice day with great weather since the storms stayed far enough away from us in Ohio that we only got rained on for less than a mile, and that was just a light rain.

Of course, the day couldn’t just end on a positive note, though. After we got home tonight and had dinner and did some grocery shopping, I went to take a shower and realized my engagement ring and another ring that Dwayne bought me when we first started dating that I always wear were both missing. My heart sank when I realized that I must have forgotten to put them back on after I showered at the hotel last night. I always double check things before we leave, but I remember putting my towel on the counter when I dried my hair last night, and I think I accidentally covered the rings up, so I didn’t see them when I double checked the room this morning, and I was too out of it to realize that I wasn’t wearing them. I left a voice mail for the GM for when she gets there in the morning, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they were turned in by the maids, but I fear that since I wasn’t contacted today, they probably weren’t turned in. The engagement ring is insured, so it can be replaced, but a replacement is not the same, and my heart will be broken if it wasn’t turned in. I’ll update this post tomorrow after I hear from her with the results, but for now, I wait.

***Edit*** I just heard from the GM, and thank goodness she has them!!! The head housekeeper had put them in a safe place yesterday, but forgot to tell her about them which is why I hadn’t been contacted. She even offered to mail them to me for free because of the issues we had during our stay, which was incredibly nice of her. She also mentioned that they are going through renovations right now and that they had 8 fully updated rooms that opened today, and asked that we give them another shot if we are in the area again, and I told her that we would.

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