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Getting to Know My Own Backyard

On Sunday morning I was out the door before the sun tiptoed over the horizon. I made my way over to the water in hopes of getting a good spot to watch it come creeping over the edge of the earth.

Because I dilly-dallied along my route the sun sneaked up over the trees before I could get to where I was going. But, that was okay. I’ll catch it next time.

Ara from The Oasis of my Soul tweeted something the other day that resonated with me ~ Get to know your now backyard:


That is what I have been doing lately – staying on Long Island and wandering my own backyard, around the little nooks and crannies.

For all of its faults, there are beautiful spots on the Island. Admittedly, I have a hard time letting my guard down here. Sometimes I just can’t give myself over to this place. But, I’m trying.

With the Ural my pace is different.There is something about the nature of the beast that allows me to look around in a different way than I do on the Tiger. I have seen things that I’ve passed a million times before but never noticed.

Does it really have anything to do with the Ural? I don’t know. Sometimes I think we don’t see some things until we’re ready. But when you are ready… there is plenty in the world to be amazed by.

Riverhead Muffler Man Indian – Downed by Hurricane Sandy

The Riverhead Muffler Man Indian whose name I’ve just discovered is “Chief Running Fair,” was downed by the winds of Superstorm Sandy.

When I saw photos of the poor guy, torn in half at the waist shortly after the storm subsided he looked like he was reaching for a lifeline from next to his own still-standing legs. “I’m hit!”

My heart broke a little.

Photo from
Photo from

This weekend while we were bumbling around in the Ural, we made a pit stop to see him for ourselves. All that was left when we pulled up was his peeling pants. Insert huge frowny face here.

But… as I looked around, I noticed a few feet of his arm sticking out above a fence inside the grounds of the Raceway. It was kind of like he was waving to me saying, ‘I’m over here. I’ll be okay!” And I sure hope he will be. According to a Riverhead Patch article, the owners of the Raceway do intend to restore him. 

Hang in there, big guy!

The mighty Indian just a week before Sandy brought her havoc to our area:

Welcome to Johnny’s Oasis – May I Take Your Order?

“Yea, uh… can I havvvvvve… two large hay shakes? Uhhhh…?  Gimme a couple two-tree-uh-dem cactus poppers and uhhh… a large order of oats. To go.”

I swear, you see the damnedest things out there on the road :) Always, always have to have a camera with you.

This farm is in Orange County, NY on one of the roads I always use as a cut through. The first time I spotted the camels out in the field, I had to stop for a double take. They’re too cool.

Mission: Lake Vanare, New York Muffler Man

Since I feel like I need to work on my sit-still stamina a bit, riding over 250 miles to see a refurbished Muffler Man seemed like as good a reason to get out of bed as any on Sunday.

That would also guarantee me a 500 mile day. A “Tin Butt” as it were. Granted I can do a 500 mile day, no sweat. So, I’m not really sure what sort of stamina I would be building? But it seems like a good excuse that I can use from now until Void-time to get out for a day ride. It’s like… exercising, or something.

The Swiss Trail/Adirondack Memroies Campground Muffler Man had really taken a beating over the years, lost his head and was in abysmal shape. You can read all about his plight of Roadside America.

Just recently, he reappeared!

They’ve done a really good job of spiffing him up.

No, he isn’t perfect with his missing arm, but if you don’t ask him to hi-five you while he’s carrying something you’d never know the difference.

Welcome back, big guy. I saved a space for you in my Muffler Man gallery.

Random: Foursquare should have a roadside attraction category.

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Sights from the Road: Art Car Extravaganza!

On Friday night how could I have possibly known that when I spotted the Cupcakemobile in Westhampton that it would be the …wait for it… waaaait for iiiit… icing on the cake? Oh, yes. I just went there.

The weather here lately has been hazy, hot and humid and the threat of thunderstorms seems ever present. This morning I decided that I would sneak out for a quick ride before things got ugly. Even if it was just for an hour, it would be better than nothing.

My loop back towards home brought me past a place I’ve passed a hundred times before. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you just might remember the fruit and vegetable car. But this time, instead of just a single art car gem parked out front – the gravel drive of the workshop held the mother lode.

Art. Car. Extravaganza!

Queen Smoothie, Yummie Mobile, a rocky pickup and the fruit and veggie car? Be still my heart! Aren’t these fantastic?

Make sure you eat your veggies, Dragon!

As wonderful as each of the cars are, I think I love the Yummie Mobile most:

“Kenny, can we get a big pink donut for my car?”



Do you think he would notice if I got myself some frosted donut hubcaps?


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Other ‘Greatest Cars in the Universe’