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Exploring the U.S. by Motorcycle

April 04, 2018

CLP Pat GatesALLIANCE - Pat Gates '71, a former teacher and motorcycle enthusiast, presented the first Continued Learning Program (CLP) of April on her travels across the United States Tuesday morning at the University of Mount Union.

Gates, enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband. Wearing a Harley Davidson shirt, she began her presentation by showing pictures of her most recent trip to Nova Scotia last summer.

When planning a trip, Gates looks for roads that are curvy and difficult to drive in a car. The trip to Nova Scotia was supposed to be a good one, however, the constant construction along the path made it difficult to travel.

When given the choice, Gates will travel by motorcycle over any other form of travel.

“You feel everything on a motorcycle,” she said. “It is a different riding on a motorcycle than in a car.”

In the summer of 2016, Gates and her husband traveled along Lake Superior. She displayed photos she had taken along the route, although she discouraged the audience from taking the photos the way she did. While riding, she would drive one handed and use the other hand to take photos of the scenery.

“I just like the pay the pictures turn out while we’re riding,” Gates said. “I always tell kids if we show them these [photos], ‘Don’t do this, don’t do this.’”

The photos on the screen displayed rock formations, mountains, winding roads and even photos of Mount Rushmore.

Gates travels all around the country on her motorcycle. She believes they have rode in every state except for Alaska and Hawaii. However, she does have one state that is her absolute favorite.

“When someone asks my favorite state,” Gates said. “Utah is the most beautiful state ever.”

When she was planning out the presentation, she wanted to share places most people would never have visited. She spoke about visiting Rugby, North Dakota, the city which claims to be the geographical center of North America, and Needles Highway in South Dakota. Gates even traveled along Route 66 to see what is left of the mostly abandoned towns following the opening of Interstate 40.

The audience was able to ask Gates questions following the presentation and at lunch for those who chose to eat in the Kresege Dining Hall.

CLP is a program dedicated to encouraging people to continue learning throughout their lives. The presentations take place on Tuesdays in February, April and October. They feature a variety of topics.

The next CLP will be held Tuesday, April 10 in the Hoover-Price Campus Center on Mount Union’s campus. It will be located in the Newbold Room at 10 a.m. Kevin Kern, chair of the theatre department, will be presenting “Shakespeare at a castle, at a prison and in a fourth-grade classroom.”

For more information about CLP, contact Abby Honaker Schroeder by email at