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.

September 21, 2013

NIGHTRIDER

... playing around in black & white, john posted this picture of me ...


BOOTS

... i took a little ride this afternoon, wandering back roads until i ended up at east pond, where ann asked, "would you like to stay for supper" ... it's so nice, how she still doesn't seem to realize that my answer is always the same ... chuck and i went for a swim out at the rocks, then after warming up on the ride back to the camp i took a another swim in the cove ... on the way home i stopped at the shoe store, where i found the waterproof high-top boots i've been looking for ...


... waterproof, steel shank, and, my preference over the modern glued-and-molded style, a real sole ... didn't hurt that they were on sale for 20% off, either ... considering that my current high-top boots were purchased in 1973, and, being on their third set of soles, are no longer waterproof, i don't think this purchase was really an extravagance ... this completes my wet-weather riding outfit ...

ADIRONDACK WANDERABOUT

... i packed up the bags on my bmw and roger did the same with the waterproof sack that straps to the back of his "little" honda 250cc, and we headed out to take a drive through the adirondack mountains in upstate new york ...


... we'd planned on making burlington by sunset, but between a late start after lunch and the nasty weather that was a bit slow clearing, we found ourselves driving route 2 with the sun glaring off our helmet windscreens ... good planning allows for flexibility, so we stopped at a nice little motel in marshfield, vermont ...

... while we were checking in i asked if there was a coffee machine in the room ... "no, sorry, but we've got one of those single-cup machines in the kitchen ... i'll make you up a cup" ... "thanks," i responded, "i'll unpack my motorcycle then come back to the office" ... "oh, don't bother with that, soon as it's brewed up i'll bring it down to your room" ... i've stayed at some very fancy—and expensive—hotels, and that kind of service is usually accompanied not just with a smile, but also includes a hefty room service fee ... kudos to "the marshfield inn & motel," a place that has earned my most enthusiastic endorsement ...


... that evening i thought i was getting a bit spleeny concerning driving in cool weather, but after we settled in to the room i checked the national weather service on the web and found that we'd been driving in 42-45°f conditions ... early the next morning it was even colder, with a dense mist blanketing the landscape ... we waited it out while enjoying a wonderful home cooked breakfast, then headed on our way to catch the 11:00am ferry across lake champlain ...

... after we'd boarded the ferry i noticed a group of travelers taking pictures ... this young lady was standing near my motorcycle as a friend took snapshots of her with the bike in the background ... i went over and said, "why don't you sit on it and get your picture taken" ... she was so excited, especially when i suggested she pose as if she was driving the machine ... it turned out she was from korea and her companions were from china ... they were on a hiking tour of the united states, and were returning from climbing mount washington ...

... it was a most beautiful day, and it was a very peaceful hour-long ride across the calm waters of lake champlain ...

... roger, of course, spent much of the voyage reliving the days of his youth, when sailed the seven seas as bell-bottomed squid ... on some sort of wooden-hulled three-masted schooner, i'm sure ...

... i've always liked riding on ferry boats ... it's so interesting to observe all the many different ways people enjoy their voyages ...


... our ride through the mountains was quite relaxing ... since roger was driving his 250cc bike i had to go a bit slower than usual, which allowed me to even better enjoy the beautiful scenery ... in lake placid we stopped to visit the olympic nordic ski jumping center ... some say to me, "oh, you're crazy to drive a motorcycle" ... really, well if that's true then what word would you use for the young people who flock to upstate new york hurtle down this structure and then fly through the air on skis ... beyond that, what about the parents who deliberately move to this region so their kids'll have the chance to take part in this deadly activity ... all my life i've watched this sport on television, but standing at the bottom of that steep hill i gained a much deeper respect for those who live out the dreams once we all had of soaring without wings ...


... at the training facility, the atheletes shoot down plastic covered ramps to practice all manner of flips and spins before they crash into a bubble-filled swimming pool ... their coach, from his accent a german man, i believe, all the while yelling at them, "nein ... nein ... ef you land like zat on de snow you vill look like ein mushroom ... again ... scnell ... again, do it again" ...


... i talked to a sweet little girl as she got out of the pool ... "i know you're not crazy, so why are you doing this" ... the braces with multi-colored rubber band attachments made her smile all the more charming, "oh, i'm going to be in the olympics someday" ...


... on the ride back across the lake we met dennis ... as a young englishman he served as a soldier in croatia ... discharged from the army, he read in the paper that the australian government was sponsoring "25£ fares" ... for about $50 and a "promise to work for two years" a person could travel to "the land down under" ... half a lifetime later, he travels the world on holiday but returns to his home a "fair dinkum aussie" ...

... across vermont and new hampshire, then through the mountains of maine, ours was a nice ride back to waterville ...