Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Trooper

Our niece Christina is visiting us from the Los Angeles area for a few weeks. When she began planning her trip, I noticed that it fell right along side our weekend getaway to Stowe Vermont with the New England Riders. I asked her if she would like to spend the weekend on a motorcycle.
“Sure Aunt Pat. I’d love to hang with you and Uncle Andy and your Bad Biker Buddies!” she said.
“What a trooper.” I thought.
With that we put her on the back and took her away to Stowe Vermont. We thought we were going to show her a good time. What I didn’t expect is how she gave us the best weekend we’ve had in a long time. Tina found everything new and exciting. Having just escaped the smoke and ash from all the fires in the LA area her first question was,
“How do I bottle this fresh air and take it home?”

On Saturday we followed a few other New England Riders on a trip north from Stowe. We encountered a misty rain for the first 30 miles or so. Tina did not complain one bit.
“Rain!” she said with excitement. She sees so little of it, and there is such a need for it back home that it was refreshing to be in a bit of damp. Along the way, the small towns and farms where of great interest as well. General stores, small libraries, town halls and small fire stations; all were photographed by her at our stops and from the back of Andy’s bike.

We made our way to Lake Willoughby and stopped there to enjoy the lake. Christina wondered if it were possible to reach the Canadian border, just to say she had. On our lunch break, Ed, our leader, adjusted his GPS to accommodate the request. Added to that request was one for “maple” something. Ed found a quaint general store where Tina found maple candy and a bonus too; a bone for her dog Buddy.
“Buddy won’t know the difference” she said. “But I will!” With that she happily packed it away with her other treasures.

Our ride back to Stowe took us through Smugglers Notch. This was my first time through the notch. The road narrows so that there is barely enough room for two vehicles to pass each other in opposite directions. There is no center line painted in the roadway. Added to that is the fact that the road twists and turns through the notch around boulder outcroppings so that navigation is blind turn after blind turn. Yet, Christina hung on and even managed a couple of photographs of me negotiating my way through the maze.

We took the leisurely way home on Sunday to give Christina the full experience of Vermont, taking in parts of Route 100, which as any motorcyclist knows is the best motorcycling road in all of the country. No ride into Vermont is complete without a stop at Curtis’s for ribs. Here Tina purchased a bottle of their barbecue sauce. With all the food treasures she has collected, she is planning a meal for her family fit for a king when she returns home; and Buddy will have his treat too.

Take a moment to enjoy a selection of photos taken by Christina. It won’t be long before you understand how she had us seeing things with new and appreciative eyes.


fasthair said...

Ms. Pat: Looks like someone had a ball!!! Isn't it fun to watch someone discover motorcycle touring for the first time? Christina has many stories to tell now and they are all going to start with, "My Aunt Pat and Unlce Andy took me..." I enjoyed seeing her photos because they are sure different from what you share with us. Kind of wish you would have slipped in some eye candy for Andy and I though :)

fasthair said...

LOL! Fasthair you are too funny! I will consider eye candy next time. Need to keep you happy.

mq01 said...

FABULOUS!!! what an incredible journey you all had. im speechless. hey, btw, we should stress to mr fasthair that WE ARE the eyecandy... LOL... ;) great read and pics pat!!!

Willie aka NomadWillie said...

And here I thought you got a Performance Certificate....Great read and the photo's are outstanding

Tina said...

I'm having motorcycle withdrawals's time to go riding again!

The Trooper said...

I'm having motorcycle's time to go riding again!