Like I always say, if you aren't getting caught in the rain on your bike, you don't ride enough. And if you're not riding enough, why do you have a motorcycle?
I am not the old Glypto of 25 years ago when I had my previous bike. Back then, I would make these elaborate plans for a ride, and then feel I had to cancel them for the slightest chance of rain. I would then get so angry about it I was unbearable to be around. Not any more. While I won't venture out if it's already raining, I no longer cancel plans for a simple chance of showers. That's what rain-gear is for. And if plans do get washed out... oh well, just hafta ride another day. No sense walking around all pissed off about something I have no control over.
Several other riders were invited for a ride today before plans or a destination was decided on. They all either had other commitments or simply didn't even respond to the text messages. Since it just ended up being me and my fellow Goldwing rider, we decided our final destination would be Brattleboro, VT for lunch at a place we had been to before. But we were going to definitely take the scenic route to get there.
The plan became meeting for breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts on Windsor Avenue in Windsor near his house at 09:00, because right around the corner is I-91. We take 91 north to exit 27 just above Northampton where we can jump on RT. 5 without too many traffic controls to jam up the ride from there. South of that area are several downtown areas of too much stop-n-go for a nice motorcycle ride. We took RT. 5 to Greenfield where we picked up RT. 2 west, also known as The Mohawk Trail. Since We didn't have all the live long day, we did not go to Shelburne Falls and The Bridge of Flowers this time. We did stop and visit Mohawk Park because I knew my bud had never been there. The plan is to do a foliage ride and go back up there in the fall, stopping at the Bridge of Flowers and then on to Mt. Greylock.
|The magnificent, life sized bronze statue of a Mohawk Warrior|
|A close-up of the arrowhead shaped plaque at the base|
|"Hail To The Sunrise" |
I am so glad to see that like so many bronze statues and plaques this one has not yet been destroyed by junkies cutting it up to sell for scrap to then buy their junk. There is also a stone monument that has all the tribal names, Chiefs and Sachems from over the centuries. We got rained on a little while we were parked there. Just enough to wet the road. A mile west and the road was dry. We continued west on RT. 2 and crossed the railroad tracks as shown on the GPS in Florida, MA but there were none to be seen. That's because they were several hundred feet below us in the famous Hoosac Tunnel. There is also a sign on the side of the road that lets you know you are passing over it. Next up, the famous hairpin turn before the descent down into North Adams.
|The Hairpin Turn circled in yellow|
Just before you reach the turn you cross the summit of Mount Whitcomb with the large bronze elk statue and vistas on both sides of the road. The westbound side has a distillery, and the eastbound side has a brewery. It was pretty crowded so we did not stop. We did stop at the hairpin turn.
|Looking down on North Adams|
There was a biplane flying up and down the valley. We were watching from the parking lot of The Golden Eagle. When the plane turned and came right at us to fly over the building, I did my best Cary Grant imitation and ran from it looking over my shoulder like in the movie "North By Northwest." The restaurant staff got a good laugh and the chef said, "Yeah, but he's not shooting at you!"
|The Golden Eagle on the Hairpin Turn|
We mounted up and headed down into North Adams to pick up RT. 8 north to Vermont. The plan was to hookup with RT. 9 over Hogback Mountain to get to Brattleboro. The trip was uneventful except for a few sprinkles and the traffic jam in the little tourist town of Wilmington. All kinds of little shops, cafes, bars, and pedestrian traffic. It is also where RT. 100 continues north. We sat through a couple of traffic light cycles. Those sprinkles were so brief in places, it was like someone sprayed you with water as you drove by. Finally into downtown Brattleboro where we headed north on RT. 5 to our lunch destination... the Top Of The Hill Grill.
|Yup, the little piggy sculpture on top is made out of old license plates|
When we were here last summer, the place was a zoo and we got in just in time before the huge crowd hit. It was about 2 PM when we got there today, so the big lunch crowd was done. First thing to do after parking was to hit the restroom. My back teeth had been floating since Wilmington. We got right to the window to order food and it came out relatively quick. I got a catfish wrap and a side of delicious coleslaw, washed down with a Pure Leaf raspberry iced tea. My bud got a combo plate with pulled pork, brisket, and burnt ends. The food is really good but a little pricey. Meh... since I didn't go away on vacation who cares. I sprung for lunch for both of us.
After lunch it was going to be a straight ride all the way down I-91 until I got off in Enfield and my bud continued to Windsor. A quick fill up with fuel was in order before getting on the highway. We got spit on a few times traversing MA, but when we hit Springfield it was raining harder. We pulled over under the I-291 overpass to get on the rain-gear. By the time we hit Longmeadow there was no rain and the road was dry. Oh well, better safe than sorry. Good thing, because I got rained on one more time on RT. 190 in Stafford and then nothing the rest of the way home. So how far did I go today? The next photo of the display from my bike tells the story.
|TRIP B is my daily ride total. TRIP A is used to see how far I've gone on a tank of fuel.|
Since I didn't go on vacation, my wife is staying the extra day we would have had to miss out on to get back since the house/animal sitter had to leave a day early. Good for me! I will be out on my bike again tomorrow, but for a much shorter duration.