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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Let me start this by saying I'm not a hugely patriotic American. Don't get me wrong -- I love my country, but I'm just not a big flag waver. So please understand that my visit to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shankville, Pennsylvania, yesterday was not done in some nationalistic fervor. I know this forum is an international community (that's one of the things I love about it), and my posting my one-day trip report is not meant to be disrespectful or offensive to anyone, period. But this is a place I've wanted to visit for a couple years, especially since I found out it's within a couple hundred miles of home - and it's a nice riding destination, at least if you stay off the major highways. So this was more of a one-day trip with a destination in mind and a chance to visit an historic place, but in all honestly also in part a remembrance and an appreciation of what a group of brave people did that day.

Mods -- Please be assured there are no politics here whatsoever. I sincerely hope this content is acceptable.

I've posted a few photos here, but the whole photo album is open for public viewing on Flickr, if you want to click the link just below.
Link: Flight 93 National Memorial 7-19-2021

My day started a little late, as I'm taking vacation time this week, and I took my time getting my things together and hitting the road. I headed out around 10:30, thinking I'd have plenty of time for the round trip. I was wrong. I should have gotten an earlier start, but that wasn't the only reason I ran behind...

During my route, when I saw a sign for PA Route 56 I turned, but shouldn't have. When PA 56 East merged with US 422 I misread the sign and mistakenly turned onto PA 56 West. So stupid. By the time I realized my dumb mistake I was well out of my way. I doubled back and basically lost about 90 minutes. Dumb dumb dumb. In my defense, the signage wasn't good, and there were some detour signs for another highway that kind of muddled things, but I still should have been paying more attention. I mean, how stupid do you have to be not to notice a sign says "West" when you were trying to go east? Once I got back to where I'd made my mistake I considered just heading for home, or picking another destination to visit so I could still make it home by nighttime. Instead I forged ahead, and I'm glad I did. Now about rest of the day!

After I'd been on the road a couple hours, and since I hadn't actually eaten anything yet, I stopped for lunch at Shmily's -- a small independent ice cream joint, the kind you see often in middle America. Two deluxe chili dogs, an iced tea, and an ice cream treat were great!

Back on the road, things were pretty good. A little warm around 80 degrees but not bad at all while moving. But going through any small city with its traffic lights was a big pain in the butt. I avoided larger cities, but even the small towns -- and there are tons of them in Pennsylvania -- are bothersome. After my miscue with the route, I finally arrived at the memorial around 5 pm. The memorial is open sunrise to sunset, and with sundown still four hours away, I had plenty of time, though the visitor center closed at 5 pm. But I still had to be mindful of the time since I wanted to get some major miles in for the trip home before dark.

I bypassed the main parking lot and memorial in order to ride down to the walkway leading to a plaza and the wall of names of the passengers and crew of Flight 93. I've visited the 9/11 National Memorial in New York City, but this is very different. You're surrounded by nature, and the space is beautiful, peaceful, and even kind of serene. You might think it would be somewhat bleak, but to me yesterday, while it is solemn it also seems like a place of life, not death. There is not much to the walkway or the wall of names on the plaza. I opted to walk up the gravel trail to the memorial itself, which was a pretty good 0.7-mile hike up a long but fairly gentle slope. (I'm glad I've been working out!) The memorial itself is quite spartan. It's a very cool design in my opinion, and the few signs/plaques are not overdone. I was confident this place could generate some good photos, so I took my good camera, a Canon EOS 77D digital SLR. I took several photos with my old iPhone 6S, too, but they aren't great. (The first three photos below were taken with my phone.)

The hike to and from the memorial took some time, as did stopping to take photos several times. By the time I got back to the entrance, stopping to admire and take a few photos of the Tower of Voices (which were silent due to a lack of wind), I only had maybe an hour of daylight left. I had stopped for gas just 20-30 miles before I got to the memorial site, so I just headed west on US Route 30 toward home. Small towns again added some time to the trip home. It was dark by the time I got to the outskirts of Pittsburgh. I took I-376 through the city, then took US 30 West for part of the trip home. Not the smartest thing in deer country, but I managed my speed and everything was fine. Once I got into Ohio, however, I stuck to 4-lane highways the rest of the way home instead of risking more travel on dark rural roads. It got a little chilly at 70 mph, but I wasn't uncomfortable, which is good since I didn't bring any other layers with me. I did turn on the heated grips for a while. (Love those things!)

I got home around 11:30 pm. My knees were sore, especially the right one (as usual), as was my rear end from sitting on a motorcycle seat for several hours. Despite my navigational fiasco, it was a great day overall. The bike ran perfectly as usual. There are still times when I wish 6th gear was a little taller, but I also like how the bike just kind of lopes along a 2-lane highway at 60 mph in 6th. There were a few times I appreciated having the rev counter/gear indicator I added last month; it came in handy while rolling through some of the small towns. I totaled 446 miles for the day, my longest day yet on my 2020 R9T Pure, and the bike now has over 7,600 miles on the odometer. I had planned to ride again today, but somehow I tweaked my right ankle a bit yesterday, so I might not make it out today after all. But I'm off the rest of the week, so as long as the weather holds I'll head out for another adventure soon!
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Thanks for sharing. Very good one day trip. 446 miles!!!. This is my limit for one day (mixing twisty roads and highways). More than this will fatigue me very much and it is not worthy. When sore and pain appears during riding is not good thing. I lost concentration and riding is more dangerous.

My "limits":

600miles only highway
450miles mix Twisty+highway
230miles only twisty/tourist/panoramic road.

I also like ride mostly with sun light. Avoiding night. In summer I can extend 12 hours riding but in winter only 6/8 hours in total (riding, eating, taking picture, fill gas, piss)...So when I am computing my trip day I usually add 2 hours more than google maps expect.
 

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Thanks for sharing your trip details with us @TimC. You're always a good read with plenty of detail to color the experience for those of us unable to travel. I appreciated the preface of your write up as well.

PS: Pleased to see there was a photo the deluxe chili dogs - most of my rides need some sort of food stop to be called complete.
 

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Fantastic write up @TimC ; really enjoyed reading through this and seeing the photos. The architecture of the memorial looks fascinating, especially the tower, and looks to do justice to commemorating the bravery of the passengers and crew aboard Flight 93. May they never be forgotten and god rest their souls. Hope you don’t mind, I’ve linked the memorial webpage below for others to see.
Flight 93 National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

With regards to the mishaps on the route, don’t beat yourself up too much, it’s all part of the adventure. The important thing is that you enjoyed the ride and got to your destination and back safe. Covering 450 miles in one day is an excellent achievement, especially on an R NineT, so good on you mate! Please do keep us posted of your future adventures.
 

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Great write-up, thanks for posting! :)
 
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That's really cool @TimC

Thanks for sharing that.

Best,
-Tim
 
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Very nice trip and write-up!!
Thanks for sharing.
Were there a lot of people there?

P.S: I don't know why you feel your content could be disrespectful or offensive to anyone?
Did I miss out something? I feel I just woke up from a 20 year coma


By the way, you lost me when I saw those Hot Dogs.
Now I am hungry....
 

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Thanks for the write-up Tim and the great pictures. I do like seeing stark concrete memorials like this, makes you stop and think.
I wouldn't worry about the slight detour on the way there, that's part of the adventure!
For a one day trip, what did you pack in that large rear bag?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Very nice trip and write-up!!
Thanks for sharing.
Were there a lot of people there?

P.S: I don't know why you feel your content could be disrespectful or offensive to anyone?
Did I miss out something? I feel I just woke up from a 20 year coma
No there weren't very many people there, but it was late afternoon on a Monday, and most people would have been at work or on their way home from work. There were a few families and other folks, but I was happy there were few people around; it allowed me appreciate the solitude there even more.

Maybe I'm too sensitive sometimes, but I'd rather have that than needlessly offend people. I think I was just trying to explain this was a trip I wanted to do to see an important historic site, but also to remember and celebrate the brave men and women on that flight who fought back. I just didn't want it to seem like some big patriotic thing which might not fit this forum.

Also, @fmdualexhaust is right -- there's nothing wrong with waving the flag. I love my country, but I don't wear it on my sleeve, that's all.
Thanks for the write-up Tim and the great pictures. I do like seeing stark concrete memorials like this, makes you stop and think.
I wouldn't worry about the slight detour on the way there, that's part of the adventure!
For a one day trip, what did you pack in that large rear bag?
Yes, that is a large bag for a daytrip - a 25-liter Moose Racing dry bag - but inside it was my normal emergency kit in its Givi 5-liter waterproof bag, my Canon camera bag (with two lenses), and my rainsuit, just in case. I had room to spare, but this is the smallest waterproof bag I own. I had room to spare in the large tankbag, too, but at the moment it's the only one I have with a map window.

By the way, I like that Moose Racing dry bag so much I just bought the 40-liter version for long trips, though unfortunately it will probably be next year before it sees any use.
 

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Going for a ride to visit a monument to victims of a tragedy cant be viewed as anything but a compassionate show of respect and acknowledgement of loss of innocent lives. All this year I've been planning similar but always stymied by lockdowns and mostly weather being that the location is deep into dirt roads. It is the site of a small memorial erected to the memory of the crew of a US Hercules fire fighter that crashed north east of Cooma NSW during the horrific bush fires of early 2020. When the loss of the three US crew was confirmed there was a collective gasp on the whole east coast of Australia .
 

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Wow Tim, I don’t have words (I know surprise surprise !) I am a flag waver big time and my heart stopped at the sights you posted. When I enlisted in 1968 it was with my two best friends from high school and we got separated before we shipped out. I lost them both. It was a long time before I could breath deep again. I want to thank you for reminding me of how precious they were to me and how much I still miss them. Respect is earned and you have earned mine. Wave that flag mister, this is an amazing country in a wonderful world of potential. Let’s pray those lives lost were not in vane. God Bless Everyone……Blitz
 
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I have been there many times. The first time when the hole was still very raw and recognizable and the Visitor's Center was the actual building that the investigators and reconstruction experts used for their work. A very moving experience that saddened me and made me madder then hell! I have never seen a lot of people there, probably because it's really out of the way.
I too served my country and continue to so, 44 years so far, involved in things I can not speak of nor will my children ever know. It's best they don't.
Hats off to you BlitzSchell, you went in a very trying time here in the US. Thanks pal!
 
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