Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gunnin' the Delaware Gap

This weekends' destination was the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area but of course there were a few diversions along the way. Headed out the Mass Pike to Exit 2 Lee and headed for Red Hook. Couldn’t resist stopping for this picture of a dam.


In Woodstock, NY stopped at the HD shop to get another double shot glass


This was somewhat unusual so of course I had to snap the button


Into the Catskills via RT28. Stopped at Brio’s for one of their infamous burgers. Now I have been here before, but didn’t stop for lunch because the place was too busy. Today it was a perfect day outside and very little traffic and Brio's wasn't over crowded

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Came across this Post Office. It was suggested to me that this place is where they are keeping the remaining Tax Rebate Checks, until the government can back the checks with some Lehman Brother and AIG funds


Now for the important stuff. Stopped in Narrowsburg PA visitor center for the Upper Delaware River area, and headed south of NY 97. Quick stop at Zane Grey NHS and the Roebling Aqueduct Bridge. It is one of the oldest surviving wire suspension bridges in the US and was supervised by the Roebling of Brooklyn Bridge fame. Zane’s place is right across the river.


Zane's Place


Ended the day’s journeys at the Carriage House in Barryville NY on the RT 97. Had some of the best Hungarian Goulash I have ever had. I stopped here about 2 years ago and it my guess the current owner had just purchased the property and it was ungoing some major renovations. It is quite impressive what he has done with the place, especially the bar and dining room. I believe the gentleman is also a rider, so supporting his endeavor as a fellow rider makes it all that much more worthwhile. The rooms are very reasonably priced.


Bright early on Sunday was a quick run back up to Narrowsburg for INK and then headed south on 97. Brief stop at this place and my traveling buddy spotted these guys across the river. Nice, but I would have rather seen an eagle.



Of course if you are in NY on RT 97 one is compelled to stop here and take some pics


At the bottom of 97 as you turn right onto RT 202 the Erie Depot sits, right next to it is a Historic Landmark the Erie Turntable. This was a major facility in it’s hey day



Dingman’s Ferry is on the agenda for INK. If you are don’t miss the 2 awesome waterfalls. One is only a 100 yards from the VC and the other maybe ¼ mile and well worth the walk. This place is chocked full of Rhodendrons, which according to one of the Park Rangers are in full bloom at the end of June [Note to myself return here in June]



At the bottom of the Delaware Water Gap NRA is Kittatinny Point VC. Last INK of the day.


Finished the day at the Gap Diner. Good food at good prices. It was then a bee line home on the slabs. The Upper Delaware and the Gap has it all. Twisty roads, scenery, INK, sweepers, panaromic views high over the river and valleys, plus it has look and feel of a time gone bye when scotch coolers, kingston charcoal, swim clubs and wood paneled cars were at their peak.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

2610 Goes CaFlooey

This post is more of an informational post, but of course I have to tell the story first and if you want the information on how to fix the problem I encounted, you have to read the story.

I own a Garmin 2610 which has well over 60, 000 miles on it, providing directions to me to all sorts of places. To say that I rely on this technogadget would be an understatement.

While I was in Maine celebrating the NER BDay, I left the GPS on my bike over night. Now I never ever ever do this, never ever never, except for this night. I woke up the next morning and looked and said geeeezzzzzzz you are getting old, you forgot to bring the GPS in. I approached the bike to warm it up before the days ride and since I have to wind my hand dwon between the GPS and ignition switch, I can't help but look down at the unit. Whoa! there seemed to be a bubble in the screen. I took my hand, gave a slight twist of the wrist and placed my thumb's fingernail directly onto the bubble. I am estimating it was a precise 22 1/2 degrees between the screen and my thumb's nail. I believe my subconcious mind wanted to see if this apparent bubble would move or maybe it was just a piece of stuff lying on the screen. ( I knew it was a bubble and not a piece of stuff, I was just self-justifying my actions, I am just making excuses here) Within a nanosecond of touching the screen, the screen screamed out with a squechnzumbling sound. I know thats not a word, but if you understand onomatopoeia it sounded just like that. That may have been the sound of my stomach made as well as my eyes watched the screen shrivel, crumble, flake, disintegrate, collaspe, turn to powder, cave in, wither, ebb and flow, detonate, squeal like a gutted pig and other such actions and sounds that I can not begin to describe. All of this happened in less that 2 nanoseconds because by the time the 2nd nanosecond elasped, I was running around in circles, jumping up and down, saying "what a fuckin idiot I am" over and over and over.

Since I did not take a picture of the screen, this is what it looked like

My fellow NER friends (at least 6 of them), who were standing around talking about last night , drinking their morning coffee, looked up to see the anguished state I was in and approached me with concern and sympathy. I am sure they thought something horrid happened or that I was seriously hurt. Mental tormentation is more painful than physical pain.

Just like I never ever ever ever leave the unit outside, I know better to try to get the bubble out of the screen with a sharp instrument like a fingernail. My only excuse is it was early and it was one of those situations this never happens to you, it is something that you only read about. Yes I have read about the infamous screen delimanation Garmin StreetPilots and knew within quarter of a nanosecond what my 2610 was doing.
With the initial shock ebbing a bit I started to plan for the future. I quickly threw out the idea of applying for unemployment and decided I could follow one of the other NERds back to MA. Oh the agony of having to follow a paper map and not the lil purple line.
When I got home I ordered a Garmin 2720 StreetPilot from GetYourFeetWet with a 4 year warranty on it. Hey for 15.00 how could I go wrong. The SP arrived before the week was out. But then I began to investigate a fix for the 2610. I called Garmin, told them what had happened and asked if they would like to provide a new one. The representative looked up my unit and said, well it is over 3 years old and well out of warranty. I had to try didn't I ?. With that resolved I began asking questions exactly what the covering on the screen did. Not knowing the technical side of the unit, he patched me over to one of the manufacturing experts. I asked if this was purely a protective element or would the touch screen be effected. He told me it was purely a protective anti-glare covering. I asked if I bought some Palm pilot screen protectors, would this be a solution. He hold me that would be an excellent idea.

Off to Staples, picked up a pack of Palm Pilot screen protectors for $25, which contained 4 or 5 of them. Dang these were expensive, but they could be returned. Next to Best Buy to see if they had a generic version of the screen protectors. Yup, something like $13 for 4 of them, however I did not purchase them at this time. The Palm ones were returned the next day. Next step, research solutions on the Inet. I came across an article that indicated you could get thin clear plastic vinyl from a fabric store. Off to Jo Ann Fabrics and picked up a half yard of the stuff for something like $.93. Now we are talking.

Got home, created a template exactly the right size for the screen on a 2610. Traced the template onto the vinyl, cut a piece out. 2 drops of water on the screen to act as a smoothing/lubricating agent, placed the vinyl on the screen, pressed out the air with a credit card and viola ! The 2610 is in working order.

So now I have a repaired 2610 and a brand new 2720 as a back up GPS. Life is whole again the earth is again, tilting at 23.44 degrees. Oh and I have enough vinyl leftover to repair at least 50 more SP's.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Us Guys can be so Dumb

As they say a pic is worth a 1000 words


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In A Slump

This weekend was the annual (we have had 2 and 1 planned for next year so this qualifies as an annual event) NER Birthday Bash. This is a get together of the folks that I ride and socialize with. I left work early on Friday and rode up with Jan, Alan, Cole and Jarrad, making stops at Heritage Harley so that I could purchase a double shot glass. Cole was on the back of Alan's VStrom, her first ride on a bike and I think she may be hooked on riding. Only took like 100 miles.

Jan and Jarrad


Alan and Cole


On the way up somewhere in NH around Lake Winni, this ST1300 passed me in a very familiar red riding jacket. So I throttled up to stay with him, passing a Suzi SV650. The rider on the ST not to be out done, throttled up, and I reciprocated. The two us had a nice rhythm going on the twisties. Now I normally do not ride this spirited on unfamiliar roads, but for some reason this was different. We arrived at a stop sign, which completed our little bout. It was Easy Ed on the ST. Later that evening, he made a comment about the Connie following him and he figured it just couldn’t be Willie, because Willie just doesn’t ride that spirited. I just grinned. Turn Turn Turn!

Part of the weekend fare centered around me taunting and teasing Teri with TP. Last year she TP’d my bike, changed her mind and cleaned it off before I ever saw it. I only saw pictures. The week before the Bash, on at least a daily basis I would post a picture of duct tape, silly string, toilet paper and other images, to set the scene of the impending crime. Dave, Teri’s husband, apparently came prepared for a retaliatory strike with multiple cans of silly string and the comment, “You know this stuff is really hard to get off”. During BBQ on Saturday, I placed an empty roll of TP at their table, as another remainder that the wee hours of the morning were approaching. On Saturday night or Sunday morning, I tied a neatly made bow TP around the handle of the trailer where they kept their bike. For this year, I decided the UNDERSTATEMENT was more than enough to set Teri up for NEXT YEAR IN VERMONT!!!


Teri and Dave (in the purple shirt)
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Saturday, I met with Lunatic Tim for breakfast at the Deluxe Diner in Rumford, ME. He is the most knowledgeable person I know about motorcycles, how they operate and what a particular model's idiosyncrasies are. He is the-go-to guy when I have questions. If he doesn’t know he will find out. Oh he is a great guy also and so is his wife Kimi.

The Deluxe




Before I left for breakfast, I realized I left my 2610 outside over night. I never ever do this, but I did (so much for the never ever). Low and behold there was an itsy bitsy teeney weenie bubble in the screen. Of course I had to touch it and of course I used my fingernail and BAM the whole screen shriveled up. Yes the cursed delamination of a Street Pilot. Sigh (actually it was more ah FUCK,but there was people standing around when I did this). I figured the whole unit was a gonner, as I peeled stuff off the screen. However the unit seemed to be working, so I justified in my head that I got good service out of this one and maybe it was time to upgrade to a new unit. Self Justification is such a good thing, especially when you know that is bull shit, which is another form of self-justification

After a great breakfast at the Deluxe, I headed for North Country HD in Augusta for a shot glass. I spoke with Carlene a bit, who owned Chips in Northbridge, MA. It was still early, so off to Wiscasset to Red's Eats. This is one of those 1000 places you must visit before you die places. I have been here once before and I think the line never goes down. I wasn't about to stand in line for fried food. So I accomplished one of the 1000's, 999 more to go.


On the way back to the Riverview Resort, I came across a sign that said "Bridge Out 2 miles", so I simply started to find other roads to get around this. Well even with the 2610 I managed to get myself hopelessly lost. The 2610 got me out of my mess, taking me some back road, which had Dancer and Prancer merrily coming across a field. I stopped, they stopped. I stared them down, they stared me down. We were at an impasse. I reached for my camera, pushed the on button, lens extends, raise the camera in an aiming position and Dancer dasher across the road, Prancer turns and high tailsin the opposite direction. Here's a pic of Dancer, telling me exactly how they felt about the situation.


On my journey back to my weekend home, I came across Dancer's and Prancer's family reunion.


Saturday night was about good food, lively topics of discussion and just hanging around with friends. Oh there might of been some beer and jello shots involved during those hours as well.

Sunday I rode home with Pam, Dave, Denise and Bill. It was nice just to follow and not be chasin stuff. No agenda, no place to stop at, no pictures that had to be taken, just riding. We rode out RT2, took a left onto RT113 passing Evans Notch, dropped down into Fryeburg and Conway, over the Kanc Rt 112, and down 175. At this point Dave and Pam split off and I followed Bill and Denise to home, where we finished the day with some great Chinese food and of course some really good conversation about life in general.

Now with all that said, doesn’t it sound like a perfect weekend. So why am I in the DUMPS. Because right now I have run out of places to go and there is still plenty of riding season left. I am sure I will figure out places to go, see, take pictures of and will manage to put another 2,000+ miles on in the next 7 weeks, so this is just a temporary void, soon to be filled with chasin stuff.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Driving with Mr Walter

One of my favorite stops was the Walter P Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, MI (just outside of Detroit).

I could try to write my own little blah blah on Walter but Wikipedia does such a great job, why not give them credit, so here you go

My short video on the Museum
Click here to watch "Chrylser"