Saturday, October 13, 2012

Made in Detroit, Made in Rüsselsheim

It's absolutely clear and blue out, but the temps are in the 40's just barely. Having moved and living in one floor house, one would think it would be easier to get the bike ready to go than living 3 flights up. When you live on the third floor you think in terms of only going down once, so that you don't have to climb back up for something you forgot. You organize the trek. I need to organize myself again and apply the same thinking for 1 floor as I do multi floors.

We are heading for Westport CT to recapture the 9-11 Living Memorial, but we have a bunch of places to stop before we get there. To get out of town headed down I-395. Foliage is turning but no where near peak.

He was headed for some car show.

Just off I395 heading for my first schedules stop saw this guy. Being so brightly colored I figured it had to be a BBQ joint. Turns out it is pizza. I ended up using this for the First Last Letter Tag. You have to find a place that has the last letter of the last tag which was Tombstone, thus E is the letter. So where is the E.

Right there on the side of the truck in the background. I circled it to make it more visible

Back on the hunt. Passed thru Colchester and wondered if Harry's was still open. You wouldn't think the hamburgers were that good looking at them, but they are. Still too early for something to eat. Grabbed my first BBQ place of the day for the Smoke Chasing 2012 Tour, Hilltop Barbecue.

In Westbrook I followed this guy for quite awhile. At first glance I said what great condition that Opel GT was in. These were built between 1968 and 1973 and you could find them at your Buick dealers.

Following him, I realized this was not just a plain ole restored GT, but had something else to it. The engine sounded nothing like 1100 four banger. While the pipes seemed appropriate they also seemed rather oversized. A close look at the rear wheels brought things into perspective. Still a really nice car.

Not too long after the Opel sighting, buzzing down US 1 in Madison, I saw smoke. Past this black object and made a U Turn. As I was setting up to take a picture, Ahman came over and asked what I was doing. Said taking a picture. He said I have to check with my uncle to make sure it is ok. I gave him a puzzled look, geez (to myself) this is only a friggin picture. He went on to explain how people seem to stop and take pictures and they do not know why. So after he got permission and his supposed uncle came out and nodded his approval, Ahman said you can go ahead. I am wondering now if the cooker was really an Iranian centrifuge now.

After the Iranian Encounter, headed off to grab the CT tag in Guilford. Initially there was no problems and took the pic. The Henry Whitfield house dates back to 1639, just 30 years after the first white settlement in the US and is a National Historic Landmark. I realized I had been here before and think I submitted as a tag a while back. The problem came when I went to post up the tag, I realized that someone else posted this in early September. Being Bruced is part of the game, but I was Bruced by a whole month.

Was thinking it was time to eat, which should be no problem. After all I am hitting 10+ BBQ joints. Figured my next stop I would grab something lite. Coming off I95 I spotted the place I was going to eat at, but first I had to grab my Uncle's place

U Turn and headed for a lunch stop. The place was jammed, which is always a good sign. Doesn't hurt to be located directly across for an exit off the interstate either. This was going to be the tag for the Whitfield House. Now you will just have to go to go. Located in West Haven ( N41 16.299 W72 58.447) or HERE.

The line to get food.

By the time my order was ready, alot of folks had cleared out. 

While they serve more than dogs, I figured I should stay with what they are named for. I had 2 Georgia Hots. Didn't know what they were, but it sounded it. I had chili on one. What immediately hit me was these were much bigger and longer that a regular dog, plus they split them down the middle to cook em. So a Georgia Hot has hot stuff in them like hot Italian sausage.

Hit a couple more BBQ joints, Joey C's and a place called BBQ Restaurant (guess they ran out of names) Actually I didn't pick this up in the Google search, it was probably there, but figured it was just part of the key words BBQ Restaurant. Kind of defeats the purpose of the name, well at least for me.

The whole purpose of today's trip, other than to go out for a ride, was the 9-11 Living Memorial in Westport CT on Sherwood Island. Last time I was here it cost us $16 for just a picture. Today it was free and hardly anyone was here. I needed a picture of my bike, rally towel as close to the memorial as possible.

This trip wraps up the Tour of Honor tour for me. All I gotta do now is organize the photos and submit them. The Smoke Chasing Tour runs thru November 30, so I have plenty of time left to seek out some more.

Headed further south to pick up some more joints.

Right around the corner from Papaya's is this sculpture. When I do capture the CT Tag, this just might be the new Tag. Located right outside the Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk ( N41 06.136 W73 24.994 )

The turn point in Stamford, CT

I had a good friend Booter Thompson that lived in Westport, CT. I found myself on Main St in Westport and things sure have changed with this town. I remembered a quiet suburb of NYC that came to have a bunch of artists living in the community. I think Booter's mother was an artist and his father worked on Wall Street. Had to, to afford to live here.Their house was directly on the water. What I remember was a hick town on the water with stories of Paul Newman running around in his dune buggy with the Porche engine in it. That was around 1971. Now it looks like Kittery Maine, nothing but stores.

Hopped on the Merritt Parkway or CT 15. The Merritt is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated at a National Scenic Byway. It is a pretty road that moves quickly. It is also known for its distinctive bridges that cross over the road.

Jumped off in Trumball to pick up a non-descript joint, Dickeys. Hope the food is better.

And a bit more lively joint. This place eeked of old boiling fat from the outside, but the customers were coming and going while I was there.

Back on the Merritt heading north. Off in New Haven. Thought about stopping for pizza here. New Haven is suppose to have the best pizza in the world. Also home to Louis Lunch and Yale University. It's getting late and I am losing both the sun and temperature.

Two more stops and I get to head for home. Passed this and just had to turn around. Who could resist. A very nicely done 46 or 47 Caddy.

Thought about skipping the next 2 joints, but they were on the way home, sorta.

Thought I was done with day, but did a U Do It for the final pic of the day. Another potential CT future tag.  Ya gotta love it, a pawn shop called JAWS. They will take a bite out of you.
Having nothing more to capture, no more sunlight (even thou I looked for a sunset photo op), skies that are getting cloudy, a temps hovering right around 40, it was time to call it a day. Rolled into Uxbridge to put the bike away in my brand new garage (well it was built in 1949, but it is new to me), my son Sky has his dirt bike pulled all apart right at the entrance to the garage. I guess it sitting outside one more day is not going to make a difference.

The Trip

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Soggy Stoggy

Today I headed out with my friend Bill Gifford for a ride. Nothing to chase, no flags, no particular place to go, just a ride. Matter of fact I let Bill lead the whole way. No route in the GPS, no waypoints. Bill asked if I really could do this ride. I said we shall see.

Having moved last weekend and somewhat anxious about the place we  just bought I needed to get out and ride. I was content not owning property any more. There is freedom not being responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of ones home. However our apartment was on the third floor and it was killing MeAsWe to climb those flights. She is still recovering or maybe it is permanent the damage our Clyde Park deer caused 2 years ago. So we moved. With property values suppressed quite a bit and interest rates at a record low, I think it made sense to buy a place. Back to riding.

Bill headed out into Connecticut. Weather was sunny, but crisp. I was grateful that I had worn a long sleeve shirt. The foliage has started to turn, but not really at the peak. Not alot of reds. The roads already have their fair share of pine needles on the them, with piles along the middle lines of the road for the two way traffic blowing them to the center of the road.  The smell of burning leaves was in the air. Autumn is definitely here.

About an hour into our trip, Bill stopped at Stoggy Hollow General Store. Having not eaten all day, this was perfect timing. We both had chili, but I got cheese on mine. Actually it was really pretty good. As we sat there munching talking about how perfect Fall is for ready the skies began to turn and the sun decided to take a nap. Having finished up we headed south.

At one intersection, Bill said I think there is a Starbucks right around here. We finally pulled into Starbucks in Mansfield. Grabbing a small coffee, just a plain ole coffee, we headed back out for talking more about riding.

Bill phone goes off it is is about the Wing he has up for sale. He shows me the text he received and immediately can tell this is hoax and one of those Craig List sham responses. He is convinced this will works it way into I will buy the bike sight unseen and will wire the money to you, however I need you to post a bond up to blah blah blah. We never waited until the Nigerian uncle came into play because the skies we turning a deeper gray. Then the sprinkles. I put the camera in a plastic bag and stuck in in the Givi.

We are about an hour+ out from home and the skies decided to open up and empty its bladder. It poured, and poured. The kind of rain that impairs your vision. Of course wearing mesh, the water has no resistance and it soaks us right to the skin. Not wearing gloves my hands begin to cramp up form the cold.

At one of the stop signs I pull up next to Bill and tell him I need to pull over to put gloves on. Right around Pomfret Center, right after the Vanilla Bean, Bill pulls off at an intersection. Already soaked I open up the saddle bags looking for my rain gear. At this point I am not looking for a water barrier, but looking for a layer to add some warmth. Bill heads into the woods to add to the deluge. At this point he might as well pee himself and warm himself up.

Gloves on and Frogg Togg jacket on, we head back out into the rain. I was pretty chilled and was amazed at how warm I was. The rest of the ride was a cautious one, rain and leaves do not make a great combination on the road.

From alot of peoples standards the second part of the day would be considered miserable. From where I sit it was a great day of riding, good food, a bunch of laughs, and a little wet.