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.

June 24, 2012

ANTOINE LAUMET DE LA MOTHE

... with the weather radar displaying what appeared to be a afternoon-long gap in the thunderstorm activity that has been giving maine a good washing this past week, roger and i decided to take the day and share a bit of two-wheelin' across the state ... an all-time-great back highway, we had winding route 139 pretty much to ourselves the entire route to winterport ... after a ride across the visually stunning (translation:  wicked expensive) penobscot narrows bridge, and a stop for a light lunch just down the road from colonel buck's cursed tomb, in relatively light traffic we crossed the causeway and circled around mount desert island so that we could enter the park from its less congested side ... twisting and turning through the forest, we eventually left the tree line behind us and ascended to the top of cadillac mountain ...

... north of the yucatan in mexico, at over 1,500 feet cadillac is the highest point on the coast of north america ... contrary to popular belief, it is only from early-october through early-march that the top of the mountain is the first place in the united states that witnesses the rising sun ... formed hundreds of millions ago, samuel de champlain's "ile des monts deserts" (island of the bare mountains) looks as it does now because just 20,000 or so years ago a sheet of ice over five times the height of the mountain ground the dozens of peaks on the island down to their present smooth, rounded forms ...

... mostly, what i like about cadillac mountain is that it is a purely democratic place ... standing at the summit you can hear accents from all regions of the united states, and languages from seeming every corner of the globe ... hikers, bikers, walkers, motorcyclists, drivers, every now and then even a no-bump-of-rock-is-going-to-stop-me wheelchair operator, all congregate to share this timeless juncture of land and sea and sky ... 


NIKON D200-SIGMA 10-20@10MM-F7.1-1/320th-ISO100

... i like to try to pick out the flatlanders, they for whom this feels the very top of the world ... i see mainers remembering their first visit to this summit, now, all grown up, finding it is now they facing the struggle of having to relax their grasps of the tiny hands of their own little children ... i watch young couples, who seem to never stray far from one another, and old couples, who seem to never stray far from one another ... only a few yards removed from the parking lot, where voices can be loud and the cacophony of car doors slamming a discordant intrusion, here there is a hush to the crowd, as if each person suddenly understands that the more noise they make the smaller they will become ...  for sure, there are the indifferent and uninspired, but, even for them, i spy the moments when their faces relax, betraying the thought they feel so compelled to hide, "if only my air could always be this clear, this clean, this pure ... if ... if i can't stay forever, if only i could stay just a tiny bit longer" ...

... i like best the children ... adults seem to flock to the top of the mountain and huddle together admiring the view, but it is children who walk right up to earth's edge, and, looking down, with no fear leave all behind and soar away into a world in which they possess wings ... 


NIKON D200-NIKKOR 18-135@125MM-F9-1/100th-ISO100



June 22, 2012

TRANSIT OF VENUS


... an "unnamed source" within the national atmospheric and space administration released these images of the recent transit of the planet venus ... when contacted, nasa's official comment was, "no comment" ... asked for his thoughts, charles schultz, currently residing in heaven, simply smiled ...

June 18, 2012

7,498


... two miles short of yet another arbitrary number, but, what the heck, it's not really necessary to have some serious reason for driving up the cape cod hill road, pulling over and stopping, and sitting for a too short while upon a big boulder aside the edge of the field ...

ODD CAMERA OUT


... hmmmm, does the word "classic" come to mind ... anyhow, here's the contest rules:  winner is the first person to correctly identify the camera that "doesn't belong in this group," and explain why ... first prize is the choice of getting me one of these cameras, if one can be found ('cause it's so cool), OR a free photo portrait (by yours truly, of course) ... ready ... set ... go ...


... (and, dating myself, i'll admit i think they're all beautiful) ...

June 6, 2012

ME to NH to RI to ME



NIKON D200-SIGMA 17-70@70MM@F4-1/200th-ISO100

... i'm back in maine, recovered ... my ride to new hampshire was very casual, much of it a nice wander along route 11 through the southern lake country ... i took care of the dogs for four days, which, translated out, means that twice a day at their feeding time i somehow managed to drag myself out of the hot tub, sensing that it would be very poor form if they starved to death while i was entrusted with their well-being ... an extra day in freedom, enjoying gordy's cooking while i avoided the rain, then it was on to rhode island ... that was my longest non-stop motorcycle ride to date, approximately 190 miles ... a lesson learned the hard way, the ten-thousand stop lights in manchester make the everett turnpike's toll a real bargain ... 

... i enjoyed spending four days at mike and beth's ... the only problem, as usual, was that between mike's excellent grilled pork ribs, beth's as always superb cooking, and being taken out to a "new" italian restaurant, by the time i was ready to leave i thought i was going to need a bigger motorcycle ...

... while in rhode island i had one really nice day to go for a ride ... i decided to see if i could find a road upon which i hadn't taken ma for a drive ... after a couple hours it became clear to me that there was little chance of finding a path that didn't contain a memory of her scrunched down in the seat next to me ... "this used to be where your father and i came to pick blueberries," "that used to be a dance hall where we'd go on friday night," "my best friend used to live in that little cottage" ... i remembered that i had joked with her, explaining how i was going to drive down on the motorcycle, and, "her secured behind me with a nylon tie-down strap," we'd go for another long back-roads excursion ... she was all for it ...


ARGUS C3-CINTAR 50MM-F/5.6-1/100TH-EKTACHROME-ISO 80

... in the middle of the afternoon i finally found myself cruising along a twisty lane of which i'd no recollection sharing with ma ... alas, i also found that i was completely lost ... i'd a destination in mind, a motorcycle shop in sterling, connecticut, so when i saw an old lady trimming the weeds from the rock wall in front of her house i stopped to ask directions ... we had a nice chat ... she was from the someplace in europe, "lucky" that when the nazis came she was old enough to be considered eligible as a laborer, and, it seems, even "luckier" that she and her parents were able to survive the factory to which they were sent to work, as those she knew who went to the "camps" were never seen again ... ever since then, she told me, she'd lived her life one day at a time, always thankful for whatever it was she found in each of those days ... we parted with her saying, "the first right off this road, then your first left, follow along the lake until you pop out on 14a ... and, don't forget, you remember to try to be safe on that thing" ...

... i think, sometimes, that all mothers are extensions of one great mother ...

... on the second turn i saw a farm stand, instantly remembering it was there i'd bargained a very surprised young girl into selling me a giant apple for a caymanian dollar bill, a snack ma and i enjoyed sharing while we wandered away the day ... i cried, just a tiny bit, not so much in sadness as it was at the thought that when there was nothing left but the apple's core she performed one of her famous backhand tosses, casually flipping it towards the side of the road, neglecting to check to see if the window was down ... it bounced back across the car, and, never taking my eyes from the road, i one-handed it in mid-air, then dropped it out my window, saying, "we're a team, ma" ... "yes," she responded, "but are you laurel or hardy" ...

... i remember things like this ...

... i left rhode island sunday, a bit early considering how much i enjoy staying with mike and beth, but i was worried that the rainy weather was going to get even nastier ... i decided to drive the "short route" home, straight through the heart of downtown boston ... oh, the things i learned that day ...

a) i can drive my motorcycle 260 miles;
b) i can drive my motorcycle 160 miles in bad weather;
c) i can drive my motorcycle 120 miles in a really nasty windy rainstorm;
d) i need to buy some galoshes to put over my shoes when i'm riding in the rain;
e) forget amusement park thrill rides, try a motorcycle through the tunnel under boston;
f) on a stormy day the tobin bridge on a motorcycle is like flying the wright brothers' little plane in a hurricane;
g) in a car pulling onto a busy route one in sagas is crazy, doing so on a motorcycle during a heavy rain is sheer insanity; and,
h) what great fun i'm having ...




... me, if not "sound," at least safe ... please, no cracks about the "andy roony" brows ... and allow me the numb smile, too, my cheeks were a bit wind-chilled ...