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 sixth 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.

April 22, 2014

WANDERABOUT CATCHUP

... back from my first motorcycle ride ... not much, a bit over 400 miles in three days, just a warmup for the roads ahead ... as i promised, here're some of the highlights of my adventures of the past few days ...

... as i mentioned in the last posting, my niece called with a last minute dog sitting request ... refrigerator full of good food, a well-stocked keurig coffee machine, one of those orthopedic pillows that my head finds seriously addictive, and, last but hardly least, a backyard hot tub in which i can enjoy a bit of slow cooking as i enjoy the night sky, yes, she's correct, i must be some kind of saint for gladly performing such favors ...

... on the way over i stopped in falmouth to visit with my friend ... i parked the bike and she took me on a ferry boat ride to what quite oddly was my first ever visit to peaks island ...

... actually, i've still never been to peaks island ... when the boat docked we sat on the upper deck and chatted until it departed ... not a problem, something more to look forward to ...

... the last half-hour or so of my ride over to new hampshire was in 41°f air ... i'm getting good at handling this kind of riding, and my careful layering of gear kept me warm enough that my core temperature began to drop only when i was within a few miles of the house ... still, i'll be glad when i get my heated under jacket and add it to my top bag ...

... on saturday i decided to take rufus for an outing ... figuring to eat lunch late, we stopped in madison to see new hampshire's big rock ... just as i was getting him out of the car a stray dog showed up and rufus twisted my finger off as he slipped his collar ... the two of them did the ol' sniff one another's parts introduction (there are times i'm so glad to be human), and then rufus headed off down the trail ... for the hike in he would charge towards me at a hundred miles and hour, veer off at the last second, then wander around finding a place where he could top another dog's pee with his own ... when we lived in alaska we would watch alvin the wonder dog do this, marveling at how dogs were capable of creating pee seemingly on demand ...

... after a short stroll, the great "madison rock" appeared in front of us ...

... it is very difficult to get a sense of scale without having a person or other known object standing in front of this huge glacial erratic, but to help you get a sense of the size of the rock simply picture that a 5' tall person could stand inside the little arch shaped recess that shows just above rufus ...

... of course, maine's gimongous hunk of granite, "daggett rock" in phillips, should be counted as being larger than new hampshire's wannabe attempt at one-upmanship, but it seems that sometime during the early-1800's a bunch of coos county rowdies slipped over the border and after pounding on it all night with their axes they cracked daggett rock into three pieces ... (rumor has it that over a century later it was in retaliation that a cabin-fever driven mainer snuck over to new hampshire and pulled out the metal pins that were holding their old man on the mountain ... if true, serves 'em right) ...

... it was very strange ... i took a lot of pictures from all angles, chased rufus a bit, then approached closely this massive piece of stone, only then to find myself hesitant to touch it ... while i know that the mile-thick glacier that covered this area of new england over 15,000 years ago broke this piece of stone off a mountain three or four miles away and in an icy embrace carried it to this spot, where it was deposited when the glacier melted, i wonder what the native americans who lived in these woods thought of it ... i've a feeling they, too, were reluctant to put their hands to it ...

... during the walk out, rufus still playing his back-and-forth kamakazi game, i came upon something very, very creepy ...

... back at the car rufus was almost ready to get in when another stray arrived ... off they went ... it was about an hour before that dog wandered away ... once again i managed to convince rufus it was time to leave when two more strays arrived ... another bout of sniff-the-parts, then they were off ... after about an hour of driving back and forth along the dump road i ran across them ... rufus' two new friends were quite willing to get into the back of gordy's hatchback, but rufus disappeared ... after another half hour, during which i ran across the owner of my two passengers, i finally chanced upon an old couple walking their dog ... as i pulled up to ask them if they'd seen rufus, i noticed he was the dog they had on a leash ... "he came right up to us, we were looking for his owner" ... no sense in getting angry with a dog, so i gave him a big hug and we headed up to conway for a roast beef on a bagel sandwich ...

... what is going on with strays on madison's boulder road ... ??? ... sarah says, "lots of poor people," but i think it has something to do with the giant rock ...

... if you follow my wanderabouts, you already know that on sunday i drove up over the kancamagus highway, then circled around route 3 and route 25 back to freedom ... at 2,855 feet atop the pass spring was struggling to make its arrival ... custom seat works like a charm, back carrier i design functions exactly as intended ...

... this morning, after having decided that we weren't going to be intimidated by the forecast of rain, john picked me up and we headed north to forks ... there we walked in to enjoy moxie falls ... along the trail john noticed the melt pattern around the trees ... question: is there a name for this ... ??? ... if not, what would be a good term ... ??? ...

... the snow along the trail is as much as a foot-deep, and has an extremely high water content ... things were okay on the level, but the downhill stretches were rather treacherous, and made me wish i owned a pair of sharp crampons ...

"I have a room all to myself; it is nature."—Henry David Thoreau

... much as i enjoy doing landscapes, it is when i find a photograph such as this brings me to a sense of great accomplishment ...

... moxie falls ... in the summer, when the flow has diminished, a wonderful place to go picnicking, swimming, and cliff-jumping, but, for now, a place of thunderous power ...

... john was out of sight taking his own pictures when i climbed over the wooden rail and descended the side of the cliff to the rocks at the edge of the precipice ... snapping this, i thought to myself, "if i slipped, how far downstream would i be carried, and, perhaps, would it turn out to be one of those 'unsolved mystery' things" ... needless to say, i suddenly found myself being very, very careful as i made my way back up to the trail ...

... i wonder if at some time during the winter there was a mist-formed ice bridge spanning the face of the falls ...

... feet soaking wet, john and i stopped for an excellent late lunch at the famous thompson's restaurant in bingham ...

... it was a great lunch on a great day ...