Tag: road trip

2016 Rearview: A Few of My Favorite Things So Far

2016 Rearview: A Few of My Favorite Things So Far

With month number six of 2016 drawing to a close, I’ve seen some pretty terrific roadside-y things in my travels so far. Wanna take a peek?

Mighty Joe – Shamong, NJ

Super-terrific hot dog guy at the super-tiny diner Winsted Diner – Winsted, CT

Flyin’ Pig – Miller Place, NY

Patriotic tire-Minions with braces – Somewhere in CT

Hippie Bunyan Muffler Man on Yasgur’s Farm – Bethel, NY

Purple Dragon – Duncannon, PA

Nifty Shed – Somewhere in CT

Giant Mr. Potato Head – Hasbro – Pawtucket, RI

Just Love Everybody Peace House – Somewhere in CT

A great sign! 🙂

Roy Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushstroke I & II – Watermill, NY

Picasso Garage – Somewhere in CT

Hotdog Johnny’s – Buttzville, NJ

Alexander Calder’s Stegorsaurus – Hartford, CT

Pig Bus – Somwewhere in PA

Rainbow – Hartford, CT

Welcome to Hackettstown Mural – Hackettstown, NJ

Monkey Mural – Bridgeport, CT

Hope for Peace barn – Somewhere in CT

Mail Pouch Tobacco House – Lock Haven, PA

Big Bronze Crows – Kent, CT

Here’s to continued whimsy-spotting throughout the year ::cheers::

Pretending to be Brave – Leaving the Void for Parts Unknown

Pretending to be Brave – Leaving the Void for Parts Unknown

On Sunday morning as I rubbed the I think I drank one too many pints from my eyes I wondered how in the world my weekend had gone by so fast. What started on Thursday evening, riding out to State College, Pa. for a pre-rally dinner, moved in to doing the 24-hr Void Rally on Friday in to Saturday and finished with me waking up in Virginia on Sunday morning wondering where the time went.

There is often a bittersweet feeling in achieving your goals. It makes me wonder what percentage of joy comes from the wishing, hoping and planning before the event itself.

Though my rally was over, I was staring down a new journey. With a spark of excitement I began shoving everything into my two travel bags. It’s amazing how scattered everything gets in a hotel room. My rooms often look like a “stuff bomb” went off. And yet it all folds back up so tidily as if nothing ever happened. Kind of like cramming one of those gag snakes back in to its can.

Though I knew I would be shoving off for a week of riding on the back-end of the Void, in the weeks leading up to the trip I did little to no planning. I left home armed with a loose idea of a few things that I wanted to do and see while I had the time, but that was pretty much it.

I had no route and no immediate timetable, just the want to feel something.

I left Fredericksburg under a bright blue sky and set off towards the Blue Ridge Parkway south. It was time to float.

Where do you go when you have nowhere that you need to be? Anywhere.

While doing the Void Rally, I had to cover long distances in a short amount of time. As such, that meant lots of highway miles. Now that I was on my clock, I set the GPS to avoid the slab as I picked my way south and west. I would milk the back roads up until those times I found it necessary to punch out a leg that required fast-paced hustling.

Being on my own, I felt a great sense of freedom. A huge expanse opened inside of me and it seemed like anything was possible. All I had to do was stop being afraid.

The world was there for the taking if I could just find enough bravery to reach out and grab it.

Cue the Monsoon – We’re Going on Weekend Road Trip

Cue the Monsoon – We’re Going on Weekend Road Trip

It really has become a point of comedy around here. Our area could be withering in the grips of a month long drought… until we decide to leave for something more than a day ride. Once our wheels crest the breach of the garage door? Whammo! Rain.

True to form, I laid in bed at the 2am hour of Thursday morning listening to the rain pelting against my bedroom window. The branches of the trees whipped around in the gales of wind. In the semi-sleep haze, I thought,

‘Oh, c’mon. I figured it would rain but please,… please, just let the winds ease up.’

With two hours left to sleep before the alarm clock buzzed, I hovered in a dream-like state hoping the weather would simmer down. It was a relief to hear nothing but rain as I made my 4am coffee.

With a 400 mile stint on the slab ahead of us to get to where we were going in West Virginia – we left home in the dark, wearing our rain gear. If I have to make deals with the universe, I will take that leg in the rain if it means that I’ve got three days of sunshiney twisties ahead of me. Luckily for us, the universe felt that was a fair trade. Sunshine was on the way…

gas station selfie
Gas Station Selfie – So long, rain!
Motorcycle Blogs – Showing Off or Sharing the World?

Motorcycle Blogs – Showing Off or Sharing the World?

Fuzzy in SwitzerlandIn March of 2012, MotoChat, the motorcycle Twitter/Facebook chat dedicated its hour-long gab fest to the topic of Motorcycle Blogs. One of the questions that was posed was:

Big Epic Trips: Is it showing off?

When motorcycle bloggers post about their trips to far flung places or their weeks or their months out on the road – do you see it as showing off?

My point of view~
Without people sharing their stories, their photos, writing about their experiences – a huge part of what inspires me to want to see more of the world would be missing. I have learned so much from reading about others travels. Sometimes I don’t even realize that a seed has been planted in my imagination until much later.

Showing off? I say, no way.

Have you ever read about something or some place in a blog and said – I have to see that and actually went for it? Was it around the corner or some far away place?

What do you think – is it showing off?

Day 7: Mixed Nuts and a Reformed Jackass on the Loose in West Virginia

Day 7: Mixed Nuts and a Reformed Jackass on the Loose in West Virginia

IBeautiful west virginiaf you’ve been playing along at home then you may recall that I’ve noted that Kenny isn’t the most observant guy in the world, what with that whole failure to notice goats on the roof incident and all. As it turns out, he seems to have a teensy weensy problem with not picking up on the fuzz when they’re afoot, too.

But you can understand that, can’t you? It can be difficult to notice the big block letters on the sides of their cars that say things like “POLICE” or “SHERIFF.”

And I’ve always said that the flashing lights on the roofs of their cars just seem to blend in with the scenery. You could be looking at Grandpappy’s Crown Vic or a slightly agitated town cop. Who can know?

Powers of observation be damned, we had luck on our side when we rolled out for our day’s ride. Whizzing past a Sheriff at seventyblahblahmph and not having him flip on the lights is a great start to a ride. I quickly dialed back the throttle and set the cruise control to Grandma mode. That was enough fun for 10 minutes.

When I mentioned to Kenny how lucky we were for not getting snagged, he said he never saw the cop. 
😕 😆

Cruising along on 33

My friend the donkey

I am a Reformed Jackass. Mostly.

There was a time in my life when I rode like a complete idiot – always wanting to go faster, faster, faster. Those days are long gone.

If you would have told 25 year old me that I would enjoy poking around at 50mph looking at waterfalls and mountains and meeting roadside donkeys just as much as being a menace, I would have said you were crazy. And probably mocked you for being old. But here I am, walking that line of being the “old person” I would have mocked back then.

As it turned out, I managed to learn many valuable lessons without hurting myself or anyone else. For that I am most thankful. Could I ride with my hair on fire if I wanted to? Maybe. But these days I’m now a proud member of the “I’ll meet you at at the next turn” club.

Our group of friends and riders from here on Long Island is affectionately called The Mixed Nuts, because we’re such an eclectic bunch of weirdos.

When it comes to riding, within the group there are some tortoises and some hares. Because we’ve known each other for years now the dynamic is very natural and it is easy to manage everyones expectations. They are usually – be safe & have fun. My dudes are easy to work with.

In many ways it almost seems like when we all hook up and ride – we’re riding alone, but together. There is plenty of mutual respect, there are no “rules” outside of don’t be an asshole, and there is no pushing to go faster or to do anything you don’t want to. If people want to cluster together and have at it – they do. If others want to string out  and do their own thing, that’s fine too. Meet ya at the next turn.

Doing your own thing…together with my friends The Mixed Nuts. It’s perfect for me.

mixed nuts

Our ride plan for the day didn’t involve many miles but they were quality miles. West Virginia has excellent riding. We were just going to ladder around a square of the big WV, have  lunch and then be back in Elkins in the early evening for beer and pizza. A little Rt 33, a little Smoke Hole Rd., a little Rt 250, a couple connectors and gravels roads thrown in for good measure.

It was a perfect plan that we executed beautifully. And to top it all off, we couldn’t have ordered better weather from a catalog.

Beautiful west virginia backroad

More Posts from the Trip:

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