With my coffee in hand (it’s really in the cup and my hand is on the cup), I open MapSource to create a route for today’s travels. Alan and Jan are going to visit a library in Western Connecticut to view some artist’s pictures. Jan showed me a brochure, so I was torn on whether we (Me and MeAsWe) will view the paintings with them or travel south for other treasures. No need to make a decision now, but having a plan (and yes I do plan some things Jan, if you are reading this) would be a good thing.
MeAsWe arises out of her sleep around 7 (well I really woke her up), so that we can be ready for 9. I finish up the plan, creating 3 alternative routes for the day. First stop is the Norfolk Public Library in Connecticut where the exhibit is being held, then Toymakers Café (Ken and Steve if you read this, yes I am still gathering points) and then off to Bridgeport for the Fish Church, then to one of the ferries in CT and a pass thru Willimantic for the frog on the a spool and home. All in all, somewhere around 320 miles. The other potential routes cuts off Bridgeport and heads across the mid section of Connecticut picking up some National Landmarks and home. Yeah I said 3 routes, T2 is just a more direct root to Bridgeport, using major roads in case we are running out of time (which we always seem to do).
MeAsWe is Bejeweling and drinking her coffee and I tell her I am headed outside to get ready, plus I need gas. I ask her if she can bring down my jacket, if she comes down before I go back up. Precisely at 9am, Alan and Jan arrive (actually I think they were a tad early), pull up and dismount. Alan thanks me for calling at 7am confirming that we (Me and MeAsWe) will be ready, Alan indicates they were still in bed, which Jan says well at least one of us wasn’t up and there was some discussion about Baroque music (or some music that starts with a B), blah blah blah. Jan says she is antsy, of course I ask her why, and she said if I knew that, I wouldn’t be antsy, to which we had a general debate about one could be antsy and know why they are antsy and remain antsy versus if one knows the reason they are antsy, that simple fact is the cure for being antsy or maybe it morphs into an other human infliction. (so have I lost you the reader yet), but I digress (as usual)(but is is my blog after all, so I can digress all I want)
I asked Alan if he has a route planned, he does, so I said we would follow them. I have to say Alan found great roads across Connecticut. If they had followed me, I would have had a far less scenic route and we probably would have stopped 20 or more times for a picture of a soldier, mural or bridge. It was nice to just ride and take in the view.
Remember I said something about wet leaves and two wheels. Well there was this one stop sign that I pulled up next to Alan and Jan, put my left foot down, which proceeded to slip forward on the wet leaves, which caused the 680 pound FJR nose to begin its left arching motion to the ground, and by the grace of some external force, enabled me to reestablish a firm grip on the ground and pull the FJR back to a upright position. No sounds of crunching plastic, no domino effect of the us falling into Jan and Alan, which no doubt they would have also toppled, no expletives from all 4 of us and the day wasn't ruined. For the rest of the day I never pulled up next to them at a stop again.
We meandered thru the back roads hitting Thompson Ct, thru Stafford Springs onto Ruby Rd making our way to Enfield CT to cross the Connecticut River. From there it’s thru Barkhamstead, Winsted and finally arriving at the Norfolk Public Library.
Since this is a way marking category, I tell Alan and Jan I am gonna take some pictures, plus the Norfolk library is a neat building (I gotta see if this place is also on the National Register of Historic Places too).
From Norfolk, it's my turn to lead and we head to the Toymakers Café in Village Falls, an OSJ treasure hunt location worth 2,000 points. Arriving here somewhere around 12:30 or so, we all decide to grab a bit to eat.
This is a picture of our meal. Oh it must have been ok, it's all gone
Alan, Jan and MeAsWe plotting something
Who is that masked woman...It's FJRLoneRangeress...
After lunch I just have fish on my mind and this place eluded me for so long and we are so close, I tell Alan and Jan we are headed for Bridgeport versus taking in the exhibit back in Norfolk. MeAsWe asks me if we will be home by 6 and with an sheepish grin on my face I say “probably not”.
We part company as Alan and Jan head for more cultural endeavors. I decide we are going to use route T1, which has us winding south on RT 7. RT 7 is a beautiful road no matter what the season and is probably a nice even if you are not on a cycle. Of course, our route is not direct and we hang a right onto RT 45 to hit Warren for some pictures of police stations, town halls and plus it is a President town worth 500 points.
Out of Warren to Washington, which yields us a bonii for a President Town and WM's for a town hall and post office.
Thru Roxbury, picking up a library photo and off to Monroe CT for another Presidential town. We are almost to Bridgeport, where we will finally head back to home.
What's so special about Roxbury. Really nothing,but it does have a library!!!
While we were taking pictures at the Monroe Police station, it must have been a shift change for the officers. The officers were all over the lot. Of course one of them sees us snapping away so he askes us if we are planning to bomb the place, are we members of Al qaeda, or do we plan any other type of mayhem on Monroe. MeAsWe handled the questions as I snapped away on the camera.
We are only 15 miles from the Fish Church on Bedford St. Most of the travel from Monroe to Bridgeport is via 4 lane highway, so we make good time. We arrive at where the Fish Church is suppose to be and I am turning my head right then left and then right, shrugging my shoulders. MeAsWe says I don’t see any churches. What a let down, something is wrong, I spot 2 neighborhood folks, so I drive up to them.
“Excuse me" I say, to which they ignore me. Being the persistent person I am, "Excuse me, can you help me. There is suppose to be a church around here with a door way that looks like a whale tale."
They give me this look that first of all I don’t belong in this ‘hood and why are you bothering me with these really stupid questions. After a brief uncomfortable moment, the guy steps between us and his wife and son, creating a protective barrier between us and them and says. "There ain’t no church like that around here." Of course I say "are you sure." (why would I question his answer doh!!). He reaches for his pocket and out comes a phone…I say "ah you got internet access, try google use fish church Bridgeport Ct." He says, "nope no fish church" I said, "it should be one of the first five hits." "Nope", reaffirming his first answer. I say "thanks" and we part, with me thinking this guy is an idiot.
We find ourselves at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and I starting making calls. Tavana no answer, Steve no answer. MeAsWe says AJ should be home, so I hand her the phone. "AJ google Fish Church." To which AJ replies "1101 Bedford St in Stamford CT." We are in the wrong friggin town. Sigh, I waypointed it all wrong. I really do need to apologize to that guy, don't I?
I turn to MeAsWe and say "What do you think?." She lets out this heavy sigh; there is confirmation to her question back at Toymakers that we are not going to make it home by 6pm, while we still have sunlight and warmth from said sun. I say, "Its only another 25 miles south, I just can’t let this one go and oh do you want to grab dinner in NYC because we won’t really be that far way", with the most sympathic (or is that pathetic) lil boy look on my face.
Plug in the address and we head out for Stamford. This time when the GPS said we were there, we were there.
Out of Stamford, we discuss having dinner at Louis Lunch in New Haven on the way home. I inform her she can not have ketchup on her burger, to which she says I don't have ketchup on burgers, to which I say that includes mustard, she says how come, and I tell MeAsWe that that is just the way it is at Louis. A quick call to find out they are closed. I said there is suppose to be some really good pizza places in New Haven, I could call EasyEd, he will know. We decide to just high tail it home.
The GPS selects the Merritt Parkway as the preferred road to Hartford. This is a very scenic road and today was no different. I point out that each bridge was designed individually by the architect. The sun is darting in and out flashing bits of light on the road and tree tops as it was setting on the horizon. As I looked in the rear view mirror, I could see the sky with a deep blue hue, streaked with purples and yellows as the sun reflecting of the bottoms of the clouds. The sun was illuminating the the tops of the trees as if they were electrified in glows of bright oranges, yellows and reds from the autumn turn. I reached for the camera to capture this surreal moment. By the time I get the camera out, charged up and pointed, I missed the photo op and that scene will just have to be one window to a memory. I placed the camera back in the tag bag and throttled up for home.
It has been a great day of riding, lunch with friends, cature of treasures and WM's and of course the company of MeAsWe. Oh we pulled in around 8:45, not really that far off 6pm, well at least in my book