Life got in the way of riding this morning and we didn't even get out of the barn until 12:17pm. First thing we needed to do was pick up the FJR at Giff's. He changed the antifreeze and the plugs. I still can't believe these bikes need plugs every 8,000 miles, but I generally adhere to their schedule. Bill Giff is just as happy as he pulls the plugs and probably thinks to himself I am glad Bill (this one) is convinced his FJR should somewhat stick to the factory maintenance. With the up and coming trip south coming up, I can fool my brain (not my wallet) into a justification of sorts.
Next thing is we looked at a couple of houses this morning. This ended up more time than I could imagine. House prices are really good now, interest rates are almost historic lows and I am torn whether I should at my age be even considering buying a house. Doesn't hurt to look, just maybe I will have a house sing to me.
So with that, one phone call for MeAsWe, we can get under way. We headed out the Mass Pike just to put some miles under us and get out to the Amherst area a bit faster. We have seen everything between Uxbridge and Amherst a 1,000 times before.
Get off the Mass Pike and headed into Belchertown. I love murals and will stop for them almost everytime. This one is on a Tat place. Alot of tat places have murals and they are usually pretty neat. These are no exception, even if the first one could a bit scary.
The primary purpose (if there needs to be a purpose)(I can't remember the last time I simply went for a ride without an agenda) is USA towns and a couple of BBQ joints. I am looking for Trading Post of South Amherst. Well I found Trading Post, but they forgot to put the South Amherst in their name. So this one was a bust, but we did pick up Amherst.
We rode straight thru Amherst and UMASS Campus. With the temps in the 70's, I was looking for all the skimpily clad young girls. I just don't know about the kids these days. Not many skimpily clad girls about, I think the AMA needs to cut back on the warnings of the health risks about wearing next to nothing and being out in the sun.
MeAsWe is getting hungry. Our next stop cures the hunger pains.
I still don't know what good BBQ is suppose to taste like, but I really like the sides. The collard greens are especially good here. With the new camera my eyes have been reopened to snap away at some pictures. If I take a ton of pictures, the average cost of each shot goes down, so the camera all of a sudden cost less, right?
Anywho, some shots from Bubs.
How often do you get free stuff these days ?
Full from the sides, we head out on the highway (not really just was thinking of the movie Easy Rider)and I pull over to the side. MeAsWe says whats the matter and I respond did you see that.
So to get this picture I had to borrow a chair to stand on to see if I could get the Barbecue word in. It is barely there, but it is there. I wish I knew this place was there, I would had given it a try. We got talking to RJ (at least I assume it was RJ) and told him about the Smoke Chasing Tour. He thought it was pretty cool. BBQ joints are not abundant in NE and when you come across one unexpectantly it is all the better.
We pick up Sunderland and South Deerfield for USA and head off to Ashfield. Couple of picks of that road in MA, RT 116. I could feel MeAsWe tightening up her thighs as we got into the lower section of 116. Tough to negotiate this road and take pictures with a hand held. GoPro much safer for sure.
She did make a comment that it seemed we were moving much quicker thru these turns than normal. I nodded.
When you come into these little towns I generally have a target place that I have confirmed in Google Maps that a building or sign has the name on it. However, I find myself slowing way down (I am sure the local constables are happy about that)(or maybe they aren't, the town coffers are needing gold I hear) and just looking around. I have been thru Ashfield dozen of times, but I think this is the first time I really saw it.
Not to far away is Shelburne Falls and it starts with a "S". It is not always easy to find the name of the town on something. I settled. I think we used this last year for the Water Tour.
So I wander off for a sec and MeAsWe is negotiating a drug deal. Nicotine that is, but Matt hands her some rolling papers and tobacco. Much cheaper that way, MeAsWe starts the task at hand. Matt is getting a kick out of this as well.
Corey, Matt's friend, has some neat tattoos.
Shelburne Falls is a busy place this Saturday. Oh I am clearly standing and not parking, at least thats my story.
Off to Shelburne, which is different than Shelburne Falls, for a really uninteresting pic. Both GPS's is taking me onto I91 to get to Montague. I change the preferences and head for the back roads to get there. A much better ride. As I write this I realize that I was real lucky not to get a ticket of some sorts. The only way I could get a good pic was on the sidewalk.
Last schedules stop was Shutesbury. This church doesn't get much more New Englandlyish than this.
That was the last schedules stop of the day, but today proves to be a bonanza for BBQ joints. Take a look at this cooker. It is an engineering marvel. I wish now I had taken more pics, the backside was even more complicated.
We got to talking with Tim and his wife about his place. When he hit 1,000,000 flyer miles, Tim decided he needed to make some changes in his life. How kewl is that. I gotta give him credit for having the balls to make such a change. If you need some catering done and BBQ is your choice, here's his card.
I don't know how many times I have passed this historical marker and said I gotta get that one day. I went thru the same routine as I usually do, but this time I turned around and went back and got it.
Last shot of the night
The route and stuff