Tag: Vermont

A Sunday Ride to Burlington, Vermont

A Sunday Ride to Burlington, Vermont

The phone sitting on the seat of my Tiger rings.

“Hey, babe. What’s going on?”

“Wow, you went far. What are you doing?”

“I’m standing in a gas station eating a turkey sandwich. I’m at my turn around point. I just rode 300 miles to take a photo.”

“Not a surprise.”

On Sunday I opted to make the most of the waning summer weather and set off to Burlington, Vermont. My plan was to take a photo of the Whispering Giant that stands there in Battery Park.

fuzzygalore tiger on vermont route 100

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When you ride 300 miles to a place, you have to ride 300 miles back to return to where you came from.

Once I’d snapped my photos and had some Gatorade, I began my long trek back home. Knowing that I would be able to catch a late 10pm ferry if I had to, I opted to follow Vermont Route 100 south until the daylight ran out. No point in hurrying if I didn’t have to.

Though I’ve spent the last four decades going through the process, each autumn when the sun begins to set earlier it still smarts. That feeling of having to squeeze the last of the summer juice out of each day never gets any easier.

tow-mater made of hay in vermont

It was pretty great to spy a Tow-Mater made of hay along Route 7 in Vermont. There were several other hay sculptures along the way as well as a big metal robot-like man and a huge jug of maple syrup that I didn’t stop for. I hate when I do that. Now I’ll have to go back and check them out.

How many times do I have to tell myself – just stop for the damned thing!

giant fireplug jack

I did manage to stop for this awesome jack-like sculpture made of fireplugs. It was right on the main drag in the town of Shelburne, Vermont. I had seen a photo of it on Tracy’s Instagram feed from when he was moseyin’ through the northeast. I couldn’t resist getting a closer look. Pretty nifty, huh?

chief grey lock burlington vermont whispering giant

This is Chief Grey Lock – the reason I found myself in Burlington, Vermont. There is something about the way his mouth and teeth are carved that I really like. He stands 24 feet tall to the top of his feathers and is in pretty good shape overall.

So after this visit, that leaves just one more Whispering Giant on my close proximity list, the one in Laconia, New Hampshire. Though I still have a few weeks before the grand tour comes to a close at the end of October, I’ll have to make a concerted effort to get up there to see it. But, I suppose anything is possible.

Daytripping to Mount Equinox in Vermont

Daytripping to Mount Equinox in Vermont

My dog Lilo licked my face, my eyelids slowly parted and I looked at the clock; 6:45.

On the weekends, I think she does this to see if I’m still breathing since I’ve slept “so late.” She helpfully wakes me up and then goes back to bed. Just checkin’ to see if you’re still alive, dude. On weekdays it’s still dark when I get up and she’s still snoring away by my feet.

Once my eyes open I find it very difficult to go back to sleep. On Sunday I tried to linger in bed thinking maybe I could catch a few more Zs. But the foreman inside my brain pulled the steam whistle. The wheels, belts and pulleys struggled to life and the thoughts began chugging down the conveyor belt.

Right Brain: “If you got up now, you’d have plenty of time to catch the 8:00 ferry.”

Left Brain: “But where would we go?”

Right Brain: “Dopey, you have a whole list of things you want to do. We can do anything, everything, even! Pick one and do it!”

Left Brain: “But what if I pick the wrong one?”

:::my whimsical, anything is possible, right brain sighs:::

Right Brain: “What’s wrong with you? How could you pick the wrong one when the list is full of right ones?”

And so I zeroed in on heading towards Mount Equinox in Vermont. I’d seen pictures of the view many times. It meant that I would have to ride through the Berkshires and Vermont. Jackpot! I set off on the ferry and made my way to New England.

While I was riding along route 7 in Vermont, I spotted this sculpture. I couldn’t resist stopping. It reminded me of my husband Kenny and I. He, a 40-something version of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes and me with my out of control curls.

fuzzygalore and crudmop-like sculpture

Mount Equinox’s Skyline Drive is a private road. There is a $12 toll that you must pay at the tollhouse. As you work your way up the climb, there are a few pull offs to take in the view. This was my favorite:

fuzzygalore at mount equinox vermont

It was also where I dropped the new camera that I bought last month to replace the camera that I dropped while doing the Mason-Dixon Rally. Sadly the lens wouldn’t retract until I “helped” it. Then it wouldn’t extend. Using my mind powers, some creative language and a few quick bangs into the palm of my hand, the lens started working again. But, the focus? Not so much.

While I was messing around with my new broken camera I was also being eaten alive by flies. They were so maddening I had to put my helmet on and shut the visor with all but the tiniest of crack remaining so I didn’t suffocate in the 80+ degree heat. (I don’t know what that is in celsius. You’re on your own, rest of the world.)

The kicker is that not only do I have clips for my camera inside my jacket pocket:

But I also have a lanyard for around my neck specifically for my camera. Apparently both only work… when used. It just goes to show you that I am a master of self-sabotage.

Unfortunately, I can become fixated on things. I was so pissed off about my own idiocy that I didn’t enjoy my time at the top of the mountain nearly as much as I should have. Thems the breaks.

Thankfully the simple act of having to ride the 200 miles back to the ferry cleared my mind and kept me focused on the task at hand. Riding fixes everything.

Photos

Ride To Eat: Chelsea Royal Diner – Brattleboro, VT

Ride To Eat: Chelsea Royal Diner – Brattleboro, VT

Sometimes just picking a place to stop for lunch is enough inspiration to thread a route together. The Chelsea Royal Diner on Route 9 in Brattleboro, Vermont is one such place.

Tigers at the Chelsea Royal Diner

chelsea royal diner sign brattleboro vermontThe modified 1938 Worcester diner will draw you in with it’s lovely facade. Not to mention their wonderful neon sign. Once inside, you get the feeling it has been well-used, well-loved over the years.

As we sat enjoying our lunch, we heard the waitresses talking to dining locals about their families and the comings and goings of the area. And then with the same smile, they chit-chatted with us out-of-towners, happy to make recommendations on which pie and ice cream we might consider for desert.

If you manage to keep the sugar-coma at bay after shoveling a Tollhouse Cookie Sundae in to your face (::cough:cough::) you’ll find yourself within a stones throw of some lovely New England riding.

But if you find the post-dessert sugarcrash too much, you could scoot up the road on Route 9 and rest for a few at the Hogback Mountain Gift Shop which has an overlook. They say it treats you to 100 miles of view on a good day.

Ride. Eat. Take in the view. Ride. Perfection.

The Chelsea Royal Diner
487 Marlboro Rd
Brattleboro, VT 05301

The view from Hogback Mountain:


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Motorcycle Travel Pictures: 6 Bridges from Away

Motorcycle Travel Pictures: 6 Bridges from Away

Throgs Neck BridgeSome people are perfectly content to live their lives in the same town, in the same city. My great aunt lived on the same street her whole life. 75+ years on the same block! I on the other hand am plagued with a nagging wanderlust. I want to be moving all the time. This often presents a problem because I can’t just pick up and leave any time I want to. Perhaps those are the very things that keep small moments away on the bike feeling special. The dangling carrot is always so delicious.

Away

Living on an island, as I do means I’m always crossing the water to get away. Be it just for the day or for a week – when my wheels roll across a bridge I know I will be going to a place that I am not from. There is something exciting about that for me.

6 Bridge Photos from my Travels:

Piermont, New Hampshire
Piermont, NH

New River Gorge, West Virginia
New River Gorge, WV

Grand Isle, Vermont
Grand Isle, VT

PCH, California
PCH, CA

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, CA

Missouri River, South Dakota
Missouri River, SD
One of Many: The Single Finger Salute

One of Many: The Single Finger Salute

…in a long line of One Finger Salutes.


photo courtesy of drdaytona

Choosing the correct salute is imperative. My go-to salute is often a well-timed combination of honking followed by a single finger coupled with shouting vulgar obscenities that would make a sailor blush. Sadly though, most often they can only be heard in the confines of my own helmet. Now, if I had say a pimped out megaphone helmet, indeed it would be more effective.

For small trespasses there is of course the ‘Throw Your Hands Up While Shouting WTF Are You Doing?’ but I often feel that leaves too many open ended questions. I KNOW what they’re doing. They’re being stupid.

In to each life a little rain must fall and with that sometimes you are indeed the focus of someone else’s honk. Over the years I have found the coup de grâce when you are the honk-ee is the tried and true ‘Double Finger While Laughing Maniacally’. The double finger indeed says it all but then the sweet sting of laughing in the face of the agitated honker seems to really kill them. +5 for the jerk off motion. It’s a beautiful thing.

Your mileage may vary.

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