My awesome KTM-loving friend Chip snapped a pic of me in my Wonder Woman t-shirt this past weekend at the 2-day Berkshire Big Adventure ride. Thanks, Chip!
I was tickled pink to find out that it would fit over my pressure suit. Between the already huge, distracting knockers, the plastic boob-guards and a back protector, I’ve got a lot going on in the rack department.
This particular shirt actually has a cape that velcros on to the shoulders. I thought maybe the cape would be a little too much for this ride. You know, because I didn’t want to look silly.
For all my talk about planning and looking for things to visit while I’m stuck at my desk, it sure seems like I am able to stumble across a lot of great things just by simply riding around and keeping my eyes open.
Sunday was a bit on the chilly side. Of course that meant a perfect opportunity to torture Kenny by dragging him out to breakfast 150 miles away.
The lovely Collin’s Diner in North Canaan, Connecticut is nestled between not 1 but 2, yes 2 cabooses (caboosii?).
I had no idea – it was just a lucky break.
I’d call that a win, wouldn’t you? Delicious breakfast in the type of diner where the waitresses call you “hon” and 14 E2E static train points.
For whatever reason, the static train is one of my favorite categories in the Rally. I’m kind of surprised that I never really took note of just how many train cars are sitting idle before now.
Along our route into Connecticut we passed many opportunities to collect points for the E2E Rally. But I just didn’t feel like stopping for them. I find it much more difficult to stop and monkey around on the side of the road when I’m traveling with someone.
Instead I filed some things away for ‘later’ when I have time to see them on my own. This of course goes against my resolution for the New Year. What can I say? I live on the edge. I’m a rule breaker.
For the past couple weeks since the Equinox to Equinox Rally started I’ve been peppering my regular rides with picking up points. As I mentioned in the post Photo Rally Bonus Hunting – Links, Books, Google Maps, I’ve got maps full of places and points of interest to ride to.
But sometimes… sometimes you just don’t feel like “working.” So, I’ve been taking it easy and making an effort to stop and see some of the places I’ve been visiting and not just doing drive-by point collecting.
Lately the thing that has been capturing my attention is – old cemeteries.
I don’t know what it is about about certain places or things that makes you have an affinity for them. Is it the place itself? Is it what is represents? Is it strictly the visual experience? Maybe it is all of those things?
The information carved on old grave stones can be surprisingly deep – the cause of death, age in years months and sometimes days. I read one stone that said the young boy buried was killed by a wagon wheel. Way to embarrass the kid for eternity.
This stone from Piscatawaytown Burial Ground in NJ was pretty descriptive – mushrooms!
Stone Reads: Spataters under neath this tomb lies 2 boyes that lay in one womb the eldest was full 13 year old yongest was V twice told by eating mushroms for food rare in a day(s) time they poyseond were Richard Hoop(ar) and Charles Hoopar desesed august anno dom 1693
Apparently the type of stone, the decorative imagery and lettering itself give clues to who the local carver was. I’ve just put my toe in the next to water researching information about stones on Long Island. It’s fascinating.
So what is it that makes me keep looking at these old burial grounds? I wish I knew. I don’t find them morbid or anything. On the contrary the spaces are often peaceful and a place of quiet reflection. These people were here. They walked the Earth, they mattered to someone.
During the week I rode to a burial ground in the town of Coram. It was a little less cared for than I would have hoped. Many broken stones, some trash, lots of leaves and bits of tree branches laying throughout it. The sign at the entry way is hanging on by a thread and a prayer.
I parked and walked up the small hill in to the grounds and wound up meeting a gentleman who was also there looking through the stones. We struck up a nice conversation and talked about other old burial grounds on Long Island. He was a very nice fellow.
So, my single friends – if you don’t know where to go to meet a nice man or woman? Cemetery.
On Saturday I meant to just duck out for a few hours before the rest of the family got up. I figured I could buzz out to New Jersey, see the giant tooth and be back home by lunch time.
But, plans changed back at home and so I stayed out longer than I originally anticipated. It was cool but sunny, so I was only too happy to be exploring.
I lingered around near the Grounds for Sculpture to see ‘America the Beautiful,’ an homage to Grant Wood’s American Gothic.
And the dancers across the way…
I was flittering about exploring old cemeteries, looking for parked trains and other roadside odds and ends.
In the process of doubling back to take a picture of a boat-sized banana split, a lady who decided that she didn’t need to use her mirrors or her eyeballs while behind the wheel decided to back up in the parking lot without looking. She came within inches of knocking me over. I went to honk my horn and… nothing?What the hell?
In that immediate irrational thinking moment, I figured I just didn’t hear the horn because I had music on and the wind was blowing. It seemed impossible that the horn wouldn’t work. But, hey, guess what? When I pressed the button again? Nada.
Ever the optimist, I thought it had to be a fuse or something. I resigned myself to taking a look at it when I got home and went on about my day.
My Tiger Isn’t Feeling Well
Never once did I consider that along with my horn, none of my lights would be working either. I rode around for the whole day? Part of the day? Who knows – with no headlight and no tail/brake light. Scary!
The dashboard was fully lit up, the sun was up and so I didn’t pick up any visual cues that I had a greater problem. Now in hindsight I realize I could have looked for my own headlight reflection in the back on another car. But I didn’t. My life is a cautionary tale.
When I got home, Kenny immediately started poking around on my bike while I shed my gear. If you allow the bars to sit at straight ahead, unturned position – the lights and horn failed. If the bars were turned the bars to the right – everything worked. Turn to the left, nothing.
I don’t want you guys to think I’ve gone all smart and stuff so I will be using my usual technical language here.
There is a “thingy” below the ignition key tumbler that seems to be the culprit. If you press it up towards the key, everything works with the bars in any position. If you don’t press that “thingy” everything only works when the bars are turned to the right.
I’ve got to call the dealer tomorrow to see if I can get my bike in ASAP.
In the meantime, Kenny has cleared his Tiger for me to use – you know – if I should find myself in some type of rally emergency situation where I need to visit a giant elephant in south Jersey or something.
I have to say, it’s kind of handy having a husband that rides, too.
I was supposed to be on vacation this past week. Instead, life happened. Dashed were the daydreams I had of sneaking off to pick up a few interesting E2E Rally bonus locations like the giant barbells in Quakertown, Pa. That stop will just be another one for the ole To Do List.
The upside of going back at a later date would be talking Wendyvee from Roadside Wonders into meeting me there and going for lunch. She’d also be the perfect person to snap my photo trying to get on the barbells. Or to call an ambulance when I break my neck …trying to get on the barbells. One day I will grow into a graceful swan. In the meantime, I’m fun to laugh at.
In the hours that I was able to squeeze in since last week, I did pick up some more bonus stops. Though I have picked up a couple here and there, I’ve tried to avoid going for the easy pickins like Post Office, Police Station and Firehouse here on Long Island. There are a bajillion of those around. I’m trying to keep them in my back pocket for days when I don’t have a lot of time.
This week I seemed to pick up a lot of trains, cemeteries and historical landmarks with a light sprinkling of oversized roadside stuff. You know, just to keep things silly.
Living in an area that had a lot of early settlers means a big selection of cemeteries that are well over 100 years old. I’m quite surprised by just how many, in fact.
One thing that the Rally has taught me so far is that no matter how much planning I do, how many books I read, or placemarks I put on a map – there is no substitute for just opening my eyes to my surroundings. I cannot believe some of the great things I have simply overlooked going about my day to day life. Things that were hiding in plain sight.
I’ve lived in the same town here on Long Island for 11 years now. Yesterday I ‘found’ a train car that I’d never noticed before, even though I’ve passed it no less than 5 million times. Wake up and smell the coffee!
It’s been great looking through all of the photo galleries and seeing where the Rally is taking people. If you’re doing the E2E Rally also, I hope you’re having fun with it.