Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

August 14, 2013

CABOT TRAIL WANDERABOUT - 1ST ENTRY

... monday this week roger, eric, jon and i left waterville on our motorcycles, heading for nova scotia's famous "cabot trail" ...


... three hondas, one with enough horsepower to achieve low earth orbit, and an odd duck of a bmw ... two shaft drives, one chain and one belt ... two "little" bikes which added together might almost equal one of their larger brethren ... the oldest of the lot, me, a relative novice compared to the other three ... one who has raced motorcycles, and crashed bad enough to be pretty much dead ... another one of those "iron butt" guys ... the "kid" outnumber three-to-one by the—hmmmmmm, well, let's just settle with the term "more mature" types and leave it at that ... two retired, two who claim they work ... all-in-all, a rather fascinatingly eclectic bunch ...

... my original intent had been to journal daily during this little outing, but i've found that having companions along leaves me with less time to concentrate on such, which, i think, is a good thing ... right now, our third day on the road and our second night in sydney, nova scotia, i've a bit time on my hands as i do the group's laundry ...

... to backtrack a bit ... we left waterville on monday, driving three hundred miles to moncton, new brunswick ... eric's wife had accumulated zillions of bonus points, so are staying in what i consider to be luxury hotels ... (yes, adrien and elizabeth, they actually have both towels and locks on the doors) ... during the day, after getting a bit g.p.s.-misdirected in bangor, we shared a wonderful drive along the airline highway to calais, where we crossed the border with no problem (other, that is, than eric's "crossing the white line" too soon) ...

... along the way we met ulf muller, who was stopping for gas as he finished up the final leg of what i consider is an epic "around the world" motorcycle journey ...


i especially liked that whenever possible in equipping his bike he'd followed a make-it-fit philosophy, and i also felt good that he was doing his trip on a machine with the same size engine as my bmw ... ulf seemed like a very nice person, and i really appreciate how it makes me feel good to think of what he is accomplishing ...


... at this point, with perhaps eight-hundred miles and a ferry boat ride to newfoundland left ahead of him, we felt it appropriate to wish him both "safe riding" and "bon voyage" ...

... at another gas station we met tina and dean ... (i hope i got their names right ... i memorized a nemonic to remember them, but then later realized that i'd forgotten the little rhyme) ... a sweet couple, i asked something about whether they were "together," then before she could respond i apologized for being so intrusive ... she actually giggled a bit, "well, we're just good friends ... we live in a house together ... with benefits, of course" ... all i could think of was bogey in the final scene, walking away in the fog, "i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" ...


... he was picking wild blueberries along the side of the parking lot ... i joined him ... now, those of you who know me well are fully aware of my attitude towards the seed pods of this particular species of plant, but on this day with only a few mouthfuls it became very, very difficult for me to cease harvesting and eating and get back astride my motorcycle to continue on with the journey ... mmmmmmmmmm ....


... as we began to ascend a ridge of hills along the trans-canada highway i finally decided it was getting a bit chilly to be riding in my shirtsleeves ... eric and jon had zoomed way ahead of us, so as i pulled over to the overlook area it was only roger who pulled in beside me ... he snapped a shot of me ...


... then grudgingly allowed me to do the same of him ...


... we had a full day off in sydney ... roger opted for a day of reading, eric, jon and i made a short drive down the coast to visit the "fortress at louisbourg" ... i've been wanting to see it since we first read about "the gibraltar of north america" in our fourth-grade social studies book ...


... for me, walking within the walls of the great fortress was well worth the long wait ... of course, i'm a bit odd like that ... above, you see a beautiful pastoral landscape, weathered buildings and blue sky framing the distant lighthouse (the second oldest in north america) ... me, i can see soldiers marching in formation, their wives hanging laundry and the children chasing one another through the field ... across the bay i've spotted several sailing schooners returning from a cod fishing voyage along the grand banks ... the crisp sea breeze carries the rhythmic chorus of the sailors as they chant their way back to port ... a black woman walks by, the first freed slave in new france ... i watch as she breaths deeply the fresh air, even as she does so gazing wistfully beyond the lighthouse to the homeland she knows her feet will never again touch ...

... yes, i'm a bit weird like that ...

LAUNDRY'S DONE

IF YOU'RE READING THIS IT IS WITHOUT MY HAVING PROMPTED YOU, SO I'D LOVE TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE

MORE TO COME

TOMORROW, THE "CABOT TRAIL"