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 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 ...