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.

May 7, 2013

A CORDUROY ROAD

... finally, the afternoon temperature went above 70°f ... funny, no matter how long one lives in new england this always comes as a surprise, as if buried deep within our primeval memory we retain vestiges of the neanderthal experience of ancient times when, indeed, winter never ended ...

... my new weather gear proved adaptable to the situation, by opening the chest and arm vents i remained cool and comfortable without having to remove the jacket ... i stopped along the sebasticook road near the caverly farm, where i was intrigued by the relationship between this tree and fence .. the posts, slats and rails are probably not that old, but the diameter of the trunk would date the sprouting of this tree as much as one-hundred years ago ...

... i wandered up along johnson flats, where i chanced upon this excellent example of a "corduroy road" ... in order to get their heavy equipment in to replace the power lines, the utility company lays down a roadbed composed of huge 12x12 beams aligned with one-inch iron bars ... there were no "keep out" or "no trespassing" signs, so i decided to see how my new bike would perform on a type of highway dating back to the times of the roman empire ...

... bumpy, very, very bumpy ... was good, since one of my goals was to find out before i headed down to rhode island, new jersey, and ohio if there was anything loose or out of adjustment on the motorcycle ... good news there, everything's as it should be ...

... i remember a road engineer telling me of how there are sections of "the military road," route two up to houlton, where the modern roadbed is actually "floating" on dozens and dozens of layers of tree trunks that were put down every year to keep the surface of the byway above the level of the swamps and bogs through which it was routed ...

... i couldn't resist, i'm starting to think my first impressions may have been wrong, that my bmw actually looks kind of nice ... this, by the way, two weeks since i bought it, was also my first 1000 miles on the motorcycle ... not bad, considering the first owner took eight years to do 12,000 miles ...

... i came back along the kennebec, usually one of my favorite drives ... going through the flood brothers farm, however, it became quite evident that this time of year the first step after plowing is spreading on the fields the processed product of the the stuff we all flush ... ugh, it was difficult to decided whether to hold my breath and drive faster, or stop and put a couple of ear plugs in my nostrils ... (i opted for speed, i didn't want to take the risk that given time the pungent aroma might peel the paint off my motorcycle) ...

... when i got home i cooked up supper ... roger came over to have me snap a picture for his upcoming "iron butt" ride ... he's going to do the "four corners" of the united states, madawaska-key west-san-diego-seattle, in less than two weeks. to include a "50-hour coast-to-coast" sprint ... if a furry varmint strays into his path he needs only flick on all his extra lights and the poor animal will be cooked up well-done long before he ever hits it ...

... roger wanted me to tag along, but i think i'm going to spend a few years working my way up to extreme expeditions like this ...