The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Harleys, Harleys, Everywhere

I rode up through Latvia and stopped at their idea of a ski slope. This is the biggest slope they have, These Baltic countries sure a flat.

And look, there is the Baltic Sea. Right on cue.

I wasn't the only one enjoying the view. There were a bunch of Harley Davidson motorcycle riders there. Harlys are very popular in Europe, and Harley riders were coming from all over to get to a big, international Rally in Tallinn, Eastonia. There is only one way to go to get there, and I happen to be on it.

There were other motorcycle riders, too. This young couple on a dual-sport are riding tandem. They are from Belarus, which is very close by.

Along the way, I spotted this tree. I have to wonder why anyone would paint a tree like this, and I wonder even more how they did it.

There seemed to be thousands of Harley riders headed north to their convention in Eastonia. Here is a typical scene at a roadside hamburger stand.

As I say, there were people on other bikes too. I met these two guys in Tallinn, Eastonia, and we ran into each other again later down south in Riga, Liatvia. They were a fun loving couple of guys, I can tell you that. They are both from Moscow, and they are off on their annual two week gad-about. That is Constatine on the left, and Anton on the right. They are both on big Honda cruiser bikes.

The guy on the left here is Herbert. He is from Germany, and he is traveling around with his wife in their camping caravan. I kept running into Herbert at campgrounds all through the Baltic countries. I gotta remember to send him information about buying a bike in the United States and shipping it back to Europe.

I started coming to Europe back in about 1970. Back then, you were checked at each border crossing. Look at the way they are now since everyone is in the European Union. The crossings, if you can spot them at all, are grown up in weeds.

I got back to Poland yesterday, and spent a good part of the day riding through the big forests of Eastern Poland. Kind of poor, this area, and their roads often show it. However, they have made great strides since the Soviet Union fell apart 25 years ago.

I camped last night in an out-of-the-way campground that had a bunch of retired people in it. This couple was really friendly and very nice. They are riding their bicycles around Eastern Europe. They are from France.

And this couple is from Holland. Great bike riders, the dutch.

We were all there for the same reason: to see the animals. This forest is still home to many animals. I never saw wildlife at all in Western Europe, not even in the Alps, and that was a big disappointment to me. But here in the less populated east, there is a bunch of wildlife.

I had been seeing these signs along the road.

And now look, here is a real live European Bison. People are sure proud of these critters in this neck of the woods.  They put their pictures everywhere.

To be honest, I took that bison picture in a game reserve. Still, there are supposed to be plenty of them, though. I just didn't see any.  I did see some of these tiny, cute little deer, though. They hardly come up to my waist. I bet a lot of them fall prey to the wolves that also live wild around here..

Did you know that both moose and elk live here as well. I didn't

All of a sudden, each stork nest has about four babies in it. I sat and watched a nest while drinking a coffee at a gas station this morning. It was fun seeing a great big daddy stork come flying in, and the mama stork go flying off to feed her own belly.

Some people probably would not get a kick out of watching storks, but I's just a fungi. Fungi, get it? Fun -guy? Oh, never mind.

What do you think of this wild European cat. It is twice the size of a domestic cat, but it readily mates with the domestics, and as a result is disappearing. 

Speaking of hybrids, have a look at this half bison and half cow mix. It is twice the size of either parents. These guys are always sterile.

Well, that's enough of the wildlife for tonight. It's late; I'm tired; and my computer battery is about dead. I am in a beautiful campground close to Krakow. I will visit there tomorrow, and then I have to be at my daughter's apartment in Prague the following day.

So, more to come later.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Ron, glad to see your trip is going so well! Tell those Honda Shadow riders that I said hello. They ought to join the Honda Shadow Forums at Keep safe and keep posting. I'm enjoying riding through eastern Europe vicariously with you.


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