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 3, 2013

OHIO TO MAINE ON TWO WHEELS - DAY 6

... exhausted, i slept like a log last night ... (pa once said, "why do you say that, a log is a piece of a dead tree, it's not waking up") ... i asked my butt, which responded, "yes, i'd appreciate a day off," so mike took me over to barb and bob's house ...

... we got lost on way, which brought back the memory of ma, frustrated, "well, it's somewhere around here" ... mike took out his iphone and used the g.p.s. to find our way ... ah, the wonders of our age ...

 ... barb was one of ma's best friends, for the past three years her husband has been building a 1932 three-window ford coupe ...

... this is neither "restoration" nor "kit car," bob's project involves constructing his very own custom version of the ford ... the final car will not be a show car, it is meant to be a machine within which he and barbara can enjoy cruising the countryside ...

... i took notes, but left them at the house, so i'll have to do the best i can with the details ... this is a 350 cubic inch v-8 chevrolet engine that bob destroked to 327 cubic inches displacement ... that means the engine will have a little less torque but will be much more responsive to throttle commands ... at well over 300 horsepower, i don't think there'll be any problem with the lightweight car emulating the space shuttle at take-off ... and, yes, those of you who know a thing or two about these things, this engine is most definitely not supposed to fit into a 1932 ford coupe ... i am absolutely amazed at the "adjustments" bob has created in order to make this magic trick work ...

... when finished the car will have no outside door or trunk handles, everything that opens will do so at the press of a button ... it appears to me that the wire is one of those "enough to go around the world" things ...

... i said, "stand in front of it like a teenager with his car" ... he did ... how cool ...

... this is kind of what it'll look like when he's finished ... 'cept his will have a hard top, fatter tires, no door handles, and will have a humongous engine ...

... back home, i decided to take a little stroll around the yard ...

... these are "bearded irises" ... i know that because beth is sitting next to me ... i always like these flowers, especially because they look so pretty without really looking like flowers ...

... these little flowers are "love-in-a-mist" ... what a neat name ...

... what can i say, "barbecue craticulam" ...

... clematis "ramona" ... so absolutely beautiful that i'm compelled to present them again ...

... i stood so long barefooted in the wet grass looking at these flowers and photographing them that my toes became a bit pruned ...

... a fern, i think, offered humbly as homage to van dyke and adams and the other members of their little "school" ...

... tonight i'm taking mike and beth to see "star trek" ... what a nice day ...

OHIO TO MAINE ON TWO WHEELS - DAY 5

... after a nice, if too brief, visit with philip and his family, i hit the road for the next-to-last leg of my little wander-about ... as i reached northern new jersey i decided to take the verazanno bridge, a route i last traveled well over twenty years ago ...

... i'd say my choice of roads was a mistake, but, of course, per the whole "two roads diverged," i can't because there's no way i can know what the outcome what would have been had i taken the gw bridge or gone all the way up to the tappan zee crossing ...

... no ... no, it was a mistake ... a really, really big mistake ...

... immediately after i turned onto i278 and paid the exorbitant toll, traffic slowed to a crawl ... for those of you who've never driven a motorcycle, this has a dramatically different meaning than it does when you're in a car ... it took me almost 45 minutes to travel the six miles or so to the approach to the verazanno bridge ... as i passed the final exit before the bridge i dismissed the fleeting thought that perhaps it would make sense to ditch the interstate and instead negotiate city streets in staten island back to back to ny440 and then i78 ... instead, i drove onto the great bridge ...

... ohhhhhhhhh ...

... it took exactly one hour and fifteen minutes to drive from the cable anchor to just past the bridge's eastern tower ... adding the western side of the bridge to the longest span, which is by itself 4,260 feet,  and the total is almost exactly one mile ... the math is easy to do, that comes to approximately .85 miles-per-hour, a rather interesting figure when you consider that the normal walking speed for a human being is 2.5-3 miles-per-hour ... on a motorcycle, of cours, .85 miles-per-hour translates out to a cramp in the clutch hand ...

... to make matters even more interesting, despite a weather forecast that had promised a moderation in the temperature, it was over 90°f on the bridge ... i spent a lot of time cursing my obviously flawed judgement, my motorcycle, new york city, traffic, and ... well, i got really close to the last one ... then a guy on a fancy harley-davidson pulled up alongside me ... i asked, "is your ass burning up" ...

... "nah," he replied, "but my legs are cooked to the bone" ... i guess under circumstances like we were in there are probably few motorcycles that're going to be anything but uncomfortable ...

... all-in-all, adding in the emergency pour-a-gallon-of-water-on-my-head stop and the two other traffic jams, it took me almost three hours to go from the new jersey border to connecticut, with my navigation mistakes a distance of 71 miles ... (odd, something i would've never realized, the "normal" george washingon bridge route is only two miles shorter) ...

... later it was very merciful of the connecticut trooper who instead of giving me a citation for "i clocked you at 85 miles-per-hour coming out of that rest area" to instead have a nice conversation with me about motorcycle driving (which he agreed that it if not legal, it probably made sense how fast i accelerated to merge with the congested flow of traffic which he admitted was itself moving at over 80 miles-per-hour), law enforcement (he told me some horror stories involving texting-while-driving), and, of course, my military service (hey, i'm not that proud i don't appreciate a "thank you for your service") ... truthfully, i would've accepted the ticket without complaint ... he was a very nice man, and i most liked it when at parting he said, "my jobs to keep you save, sir, and if you help me out a bit i'll appreciate it" ... nice ...

... got to rhode island exhausted ... tried to take a picture of beth's flowers, was way too windy and i was way too tired ...


... mike provided first aid ... 

... i gave beth a new rule, she is to not tell me what i'm eating ... the green stuff looked horrible, kind of like what you clean from the lawn mower grass chute, but it tasted pretty good ...

... now, i'm resting ...