New Hampshire, with 60 friends on motorcycles
The weather was pretty scary. My alarm went off at 9am on Friday morning. I thought "Why the hell would my alarm go off at 9am?" Thought about it for a while, got up, checked the weather. Decided that the 6 hour winding ride up was a bad idea and got back in bed in favor of the 4 hour slab ride.
We missed all of the rain on the way up. I am thankful.
Twice the traffic on 93 dropped to about 30mph, so on my gps I hit "menu, detour, 5 miles", and it said "turn right". Beautiful thing. Possibly the best gps feature.
After going 142mph with a passenger and luggage, 65mph seems stupid.
It's always nice to see the dozens of great bikes lined up when I arrive. But the wall of all the corresponding friends is always a little overwhelming. Good to see them. Most of us walked to a nearby restaurant and took the place over. There was much interesting conversation. We were there for a long time. Then back to the lodge for drinking and more rowdiness. cathijosephine crashed early. I went to bed around 11. I figure there were people up until at least 3.
The weather Saturday was beautiful. I think most of the day half the people were napping and half the people were riding. cathijosephine told me to go off and ride without her. I told her she needed to see this incredible mountain road.
"Not maintained for winter travel" is one of the most exciting street signs I've seen. That thing is sick. I love it.
On the other side we checked out a couple fire roads. "Honey this isn't what your bike is made for." Hah. They kept dead ending though. I'd made an unfortunate decision about fueling in my haste, and we ended up just (hah!) going back over the crazy mountain road.
A 590 lb bike plus passenger completely off the ground, with a beautiful landing, is a wonderful thing. I asked her how she felt about it later, she said "Didn't you hear me laughing maniacally?" and told me I was allowed to do that any time. Yay. She thanked me for making her go.
Then more hanging out, and alcohol, and fire, and ping pong, etc..
cathijosephine and I got along incredibly well. We were both impressed at how smoothly packing and leaving went, in both directions. And it's great to be cozy enough to prefer to share a tiny bunk for two nights instead using separate bunks.
Sunday for the trip home was my first attempt at serious non-slabbing. I pulled out the route I originally planned to take up, and improved it with what I had learned from conversation. West Side Rd. to the Kanc, to Sawyer Highway - a nice winding route hitting a few small towns on the way home, 6 hours, planning to reroute directly home if it started raining. My god those roads were beautiful. I... can't believe I've gone through that area before and didn't ride up to the top of Kancamagus Mountain. I also can't believe my camera's battery was dead for the trip home. Fortunately cathijosephine talked me into putting my rain gear on when we stopped on top of the mountain.
I pulled over just before we crossed 93 (the fast boring route) because I saw some potentially unhappy clouds ahead. But we hadn't actually hit any rain yet, so we decided to keep going. Soon after that we hit rain. Fairly substantial steady rain that just didn't stop. I pulled over and told my GPS to reroute. Chrispy and Mr. Bill pulled up to make sure we were okay, I thanked them and assured them I was just rerouting, and they went on. I love these people.
I thought the GPS would have me turn back to 93, but it didn't, so we continued maybe 12 miles on beautiful roads, in the rain, before we got to 93. At the junction we stopped at a burger king to thaw out a bit. I was really missing my rubber overgloves. While leather gloves with a waterproof lining do keep you dry, they do not keep you warm. And after you take them off, well, it only gets worse. Rubber overgloves good. Milkshakes yummy.
Many miles later I hit a toll. I was pissed off. Tolls in the cold and wet are really miserable. Which is why I'd told my shiny new gps to freaking route around them. Which I confirmed. After that toll cathijosephine suggested we head off on 28 to skip the rest of them. We did. I tried to figure out how to get my gps to just stay off 93 but failed. Telling it to avoid major roads worked well though. Nice roads too. But still raining. Once I figured we were past the tolls I told it to use major roads again.
We stopped at a McDonald's about an hour from home to thaw some more. I felt guilty for being off my bike because it had stopped raining, I felt like I should be pushing on. But it was very clear that I needed to be off the bike for a bit. Their $1 sundaes rock.
cathijosephine decided not to put her rain gear back on. I said "You are... not me." As we approached her place our path began clearly intersecting with this massive cloud. This was apparently when she was impressed with my ability to move quickly in traffic. She still got drenched, but not for long.
So much in life seems... rather silly, after you bother to go outside for a bit. Going outside is good.