LICENSE PLATE COLLECTION OF MATT EMBRO


ERIE CONVENTION & EASTERN US - JUNE 2009

BOTH MY WIFE AND I HAD QUITE A BIT OF OVERTIME OWED TO US AT WORK, SO WE TOOK A FEW EXTRA DAYS OFF AROUND THE ALPCA CONVENTION IN ERIE, PA THIS PAST JUNE, AND FIGURED WE'D DO A BIT OF A ROAD TRIP. WE HAVE TWO SMALL CARS AND A MOTORCYCLE, AND WE WANTED TO BE AS BUDGET CONSCIOUS AS POSSIBLE, SO INSTEAD OF TAKING ONE OF OUR CARS AND HOTELING IT WE DECIDED TO BORROW MY WIFE'S PARENTS MINIVAN AND DO IT HIPPY STYLE. SLEEPING IN TRUCK STOPS, EATING FROM A COOLER, JUST LIKE THE OLD DAYS.. BEFORE OUR TIME ;)

WE HAD PICKED UP THE VAN ON THE WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND GOT IT ALL READY TO GO, SO THURSDAY AFTER WORK WE HIT THE ROAD. WE CROSSED THE BORDER AT LEWISTON, NY AND DROVE TO JUST EAST OF ERIE, PA WHERE WE SPENT THE FIRST NIGHT.. AT THE TA TRUCKSTOP IN HARBORCREEK. WE GOT UP FIRST THING FRIDAY AND HEADED INTO ERIE FOR THE CONVENTION. IT WAS MY FIRST CONVENTION, AND ALTHOUGH I COULD HAVE SPENT ENDLESS HOURS GOING THROUGH BINS AND SPENDING ALL KINDS OF MONEY, WE DECIDED TO KEEP IT TO A FEW HOURS. I SCANNED THROUGH AS MANY TABLES AS I COULD, AND ENDED UP BUYING 20 OR SO PLATES.. MOST OF WHICH WERE CURRENT US MOTORCYCLES TO ADD TO MY RUN. THE HIGHLIGHT PLATE OF THE MEET FOR ME THOUGH WAS DEFINITELY THE CURRENT HONDURAS MC THAT I PICKED UP OFF OF JOHN FERGUSON FROM THE CAYMANS..


HE ALSO ENDED UP SELLING A HONDURAS PASSENGER FOR ME THAT I HAD BROUGHT ALONG.. SO THE MC ENDED UP BEING FREE! I ALSO PICKED UP A CURRENT DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PASSENGER THAT I HAD BEEN SEARCHING FOR A LONG TIME FOR.. NICE.


AFTER SPENDING THE MORNING AT THE CONVENTION WE HIT THE ROAD. WE DECIDED THAT WE WANTED TO GO TO A BEACH, BUT THE ONLY STIPULATION WAS THAT IT HAD TO HAVE PALM TREES. SO, THE CLOSEST BEACH TO THE GREAT LAKES THAT I KNOW OF WITH PALM TREES IS MYRTLE BEACH, SC.. SO THAT'S WHERE WE WERE GONNA GO. WE HEADED SOUTH ON I-79 THROUGH PENNSYLVANIA AND WEST VIRGINIA, THEN TOOK US 19 DOWN TO I-77 INTO VIRGINIA WHERE WE DECIDED TO TAKE A BIT OF A DETOUR..

A FRIEND OF MINE WENT TO COLLEGE IN BOONE, NC AT APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY.. I USED TO GO DOWN THERE A FEW TIMES A YEAR TO HANG OUT AND HIT FRATERNITY PARTIES AND STUFF, SO I FIGURED I'D SHOW MY WIFE ALL THE PLACES WE HUNG OUT. WE GOT OFF OF I-77 IN VIRGINIA AND TOOK THE SCENIC ROUTE DOWN US 21 INTO NC, THROUGH THE JEFFERSON NATIONAL FOREST.


WE TOURED THROUGH BOONE, IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN THERE YOU KNOW THAT IT DIDN'T TAKE VERY LONG, AND TOOK A BIT OF A DRIVE UP THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY, WHICH RUNS THROUGH THE AREA.


THEN IT WAS TIME TO CONTINUE ON. WE TOOK US 421 DOWN TO I-40 AND CUT ACROSS NC TO RALEIGH. THEN WE TOOK ANOTHER SMALL DETOUR INTO CARY, NC WHERE WE STOPPED FOR DINNER AT A MEXICAN RESTAURANT I USED TO FREQUENT DURING MY TIME SPENT THERE, LOS TRES MAGUEYES. (MY FRIEND'S PARENTS LIVED IN CARY WHEN HE WAS IN COLLEGE IN BOONE, SO WE SPENT SOME TIME THERE AS WELL).


AFTER DINNER WE HOPPED ON I-40 AND THEN I-95 DOWN INTO SC, WHERE WE SPENT THE NIGHT AT THE FLYING J TRUCK STOP OUTSIDE OF DILLON.


THE NEXT MORNING WE HEADED DOWN US 501 FOR THE SHORT DRIVE THE REST OF THE WAY TO MYRTLE BEACH, WHERE WE DECIDED TO GET OUT OF THE VAN FOR A NIGHT AND CHECK INTO A CHEAP MOTEL. WE SPENT THE DAY SPLIT BETWEEN THE BEACH AND HAVING A FEW ON THE BALCONY AT THE MOTEL.


WE WERE ORIGINALLY PLANNING ON SPENDING TWO DAYS IN MYRTLE, BUT THE MOTEL WAS A BIT OF A DIVE, SO THE NEXT MORNING WE DECIDED TO START HEADING BACK UP THE COAST TOWARDS HOME. WE HADN'T QUITE HAD ENOUGH OF THE BEACH YET THOUGH, SO I FIGURED WE COULD HIT UP ANOTHER BEACH ON THE WAY THAT I HAD HEARD ABOUT QUITE A BIT, BUT HAD NEVER BEEN TO YET - VIRGINIA BEACH.

WE TOOK US 501 BACK UP TO I-95, CUT UP THROUGH NC INTO VA, AND HEADED EAST ON US 58 TO I-264 AND OVER TO VIRGINIA BEACH.


WE GOT THERE A BIT LATER IN THE DAY, SO WE ONLY SPENT A COUPLE HOURS AT THE BEACH. I NOTICED A HARLEY DAVIDSON SHOP IN TOWN, SO I STOPPED IN AND GRABBED A SHIRT BEFORE WE HEADED OUT.

WE WANTED TO MAKE ONE MORE STOP ALONG THE WAY BACK HOME, SINCE WE WERE DRIVING BY IT ANYWAY, WASHINGTON, DC. AFTER LEAVING THE BEACH WE HEADED UP THAT WAY ALONG I-64 THROUGH HAMPTON, AND INTO RICHMOND WHERE WE GRABBED I-95. IT WAS AFTER DARK WHEN WE ARRIVED INTO THE DC AREA, SO WE SPENT THE NIGHT AT A TA TRUCK STOP IN BETWEEN DC AND BALTIMORE. THEN THE NEXT MORNING WE HEADED INTO DC TO DO A COUPLE HOURS OF SITE-SEEING BEFORE THE MAKING THE REST OF THE DRIVE HOME.



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