Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year

The 2014 year end is upon us and a new year starts in a few days, it seems the year went by in a blink of an eye.   I managed to add five new states to my map, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas.  I have now ridden in 47 states and hope to add two more this year.



2014 started cold with lots of snow but by the fall I had experienced some of the best weather I could have hoped for.  In Texas I saw some of the most amazing sunsets I had ever experienced.



It's hard to believe that not too long ago everyone was concerned with the end of the world and all the computer problems the year 2000 would bring.   Some people were afraid to fly or use elevators, others stayed home just in case.  We are now almost 15 years past that point, time went by in a blink of an eye, we are all going to be 15 years older soon. This year my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, it has been an amazing adventure and I can only hope that in another 30 years we will be celebrating again.



It seems it was only yesterday when I rode my Yamaha XT250 home, now a little over 30 years later I'm riding a Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere.



I had a good 2014, good health, a good job and my photography business moving along.  My whole family is healthy, my son graduated college and my daughter is a senior in high school.   I can't complain about anything.  Yes, there were a few problems but those were just little annoyances in the daily grind of life.  If anything bothers me, I only have to look at this map to feel happy about life again.


2015 will be here soon, another year, another 365 days to live life and make the most of it.  We all get the exact same 365 days, the only difference is what we do with them.  I'm looking forward to 2015, there will be new people to meet, new places to visit and new adventures to make.




As we come to the end of 2014, I wish all my readers and friends a Happy New Year and may 2015 bring all your wishes and even longer motorcycle adventures.  I wish safe travels to all my friends on the road and may your return home be even better and more adventurous.

The Ferreira family wishes everyone a very Happy New Year


I will end 2014 with a quote by Victor Hugo, all you need is a dream and the will.





Friday, December 12, 2014

Summer

Winter has barely started and I'm already missing summer.  This was in south New Jersey in the Pinelands.



Monday, November 24, 2014

USS Texas

I have loved military equipment since I was a kid.   My dad had lots of WWII books and loved to build model airplanes from both world wars, I definitely got it from him.  I enjoy visiting military installations, museums and see military shows and if my route takes me near a museum I will go out of my way to visit.  The USS Texas was on my way north from Galveston and a visit had been in the cards for a while.
The USS Texas (BB-35) is a New York-class battleship. The ship was launched on 18 May 1912 and commissioned on 12 March 1914.  The ship celebrated 100 years recently.  It's an impressive battleship.  Wiki



Texas '​s main battery consisted of ten 14 inch/45 cal Mark 1 guns, which could fire 1,400 lb (640 kg) armor piercing shells to a range of 13 mi (21 km).  There are 5 turrets with two guns each.


The Texas was the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns


Her secondary battery consisted of twenty-one 5 inch/51 cal (127 mm) guns mounted inside the ship



Everywhere you turn on this ship there's a gun.  Big guns, small guns, single barrel, dual barrel.








After walking all over on the outside including climbing to the highest accessible place I descended to the cavernous inside of the ship.  In contrast to the USS Alabama, which had cabins for the men, on the Texas it seems bunks were installed wherever there was empty space with men eating or working and sleeping in the same area.



One of the bakeries


It was getting late, I had spent too much time photographing and reading and now it was time to head north towards Dallas.  I leave the USS Texas and continue my way north not yet sure where I will stop.  It's about 265 miles to Dallas, about 4.5 hours.  I will ride until it gets dark and then find a motel for the night.




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Galveston

Waking up early in Galveston, I look out the window and see a beautiful sky, I quickly grab my camera and head to the beach across the street.  It's not often I get a chance to photograph a sunrise over the gulf.  I sat on the rocks mesmerized by the beautiful sunrise and the sound of the waves crashing all around me.



My plan was to ride out to the end of Galveston Island and then either cross over the bridge and continue to Freeport or just turn around and return to Galveston before heading north to Houston.
As you move southwest of the Galveston main tourist area you pass amazing homes along the shore.



 This one was truly amazing and if you hurry up you might still be able to buy it, it's up for sale.


With my budget I think I could only afford this one, I'm sure a can of paint would take care of the rust.  It's definitely strong enough to survive any hurricane.


I get to the end of Galveston Island and there's a bridge and a toll.  I estimate the time and distance with the help of Google Maps on my phone and decide it is faster to turn around and head north through Galveston.  My next stop would be the USS Texas and I wanted to have enough time to explore the ship.


The Galveston coast is pretty nice unfortunately there had been a few storms and the water was murky, not good for photography.  There are quite a few condo developments as you get near Galveston downtown area, very colorful and very modern designs.



From Galveston to the town of LaPorte which is where the San Jacinto Monument and the USS Texas are located is only about 45 miles.  In less than an hour I'm at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site which is located off the Houston Ship Channel and the multitude of oil and gas refineries.   I stopped by the monument but did not bother going up, it was late and I wanted to spend as much time as possible on the battleship.  I walked around for a quick visit and then headed to the USS Texas.
San Jacinto Monument



I loved riding Texas roads, never saw police, unlike New Jersey, and the average speeds are pretty high.  The only issue with riding at high speed on my 1200cc Yamaha is the fuel consumption.  At 60 or 65mph I can average 45 or higher mpg but as you pass ninety the consumption drops to low 30's.
Here I'm doing 91 which is probably more like 87mph and the bike is doing 34.9 mpg.



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