New England Tag-O-Rama (missed?) Adventures

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EvilClown, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    The local Tag-O-Rama threads seem to generating some action getting people out riding when perhaps they might otherwise be doing the typical New England autumn rituals such raking leaves, stacking firewood or sheltering valuable possessions with faded blue tarps for the winter.

    Thought I might start a thread where we'd all have a place to tell 'the rest of the story' or the tale of the 'one that got away'. Feel free to use this space to tell your story or post a picture or twenty!

    I'll start off with my most recent ride to claim a tag in Vermont...

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    Sunday morning, secretly happy I woke up in my nice warm bed after our campout got postponed...

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    ...we gather at the Cromag Cave for a ride to Vermont. We were heading to Maine to camp so this makes perfect sense.:lol3

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    The political signs littering the landscape tell us it's November.

    It's a bit frosty out. Rick tells me it was twenty-something when he got up. Around Temple Mountain I think to myself "His ears have got to be nearly frozen off." Right about that times he motions to pull over so he can cover them we pull into the Shell in Peterboro. Good. Today I'm 'that guy.' Not sure where the first fuel stop was going to be but I'm getting gas here.

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    We slip over the border. Notice the frosty arches. In Brattleboro it's a steamy 37°F. At least that's what the sign sez.

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    The obligatory Hogback Mountain shots.

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    We roll. We're heading to the Blue Plate Diner (?). There's something 'blue' in the name.

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    To my relief we pull in here.

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    They could be serving shoes for all I c-c-c-care. As long as it was heated. Ross claims his stomach was growling too much. Perhaps. I couldn't hear mine over the teeth chattering. Maybe it's time to upgrade to aheated jacket...

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    Ross and Rick each order an omelette. My eggs and saugage are half eaten before I remember the 'food shot'. Maybe it was growling afterall.:lol3 Killer sunflower seed bread, btw.

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    Slightly warmer outside now, we gear up.

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    We're riding along and the voices inside my head say, "Hmmmm...almost looks like sno....it IS snow on the ground!"

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    The GPS leads us doen the wrong path. That's a shocker.

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    We manage to find it anyway using the old fashioned method - signs. This is Rick and Ross's first exposure to the tag game.

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    In my typical fashion I look for wi-fi on the spot. You never know. Afterall, the library is just down the hill.

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    Nothing strong enough there and having to piss like a race horse in this residential area we gear up and head down to the store for something hot to drink and hopefully a better wi-fi signal - not to mention facilities.

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    Powers Market has everything we need. Agreeing to whatever their demands were I log on and eventually get the tag posted as we watch a couple of bikes head up to the tag.:evil This bit of competition is what might hook Ross and Rick. The post 'poxing' me for beating them to it 2 minutes later doesn't help.:lol3 Close call there!

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    We head north out of town.

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    Not too far down the road we pass this sign.

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    The last conversation at Powers Market moments before was "...no dirt today - I've got no rear tire left."

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    He wasn't kidding.

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    Trying to make up for it Ross finds a new surface to ride on.:lol3

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    Eventually he comes to his senses. Ok. Not really. There was a mutiny in the ranks.:lol3 Rick thought it could get real expensive if we continued. I didn't disagree. Had no idea how much ice was on the downhill side and didn't care to find out. Did the ice riding on the RT once. I'm all set.:1drink

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    Since the serum did not have to get through we headed back the other way.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->

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    Ross gives the signal and we roll.

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    We eventually roll into Chester where I spot this. Being the Halloween season and all it seems like it could be a good tag if nothing else catches my fancy.

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    Next stop is Bellows falls where we stop for some 'lunch'. It's like 3:30. 'Lupper' maybe.

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    Inside we meet Jeremy who tells us bikers are his family. He may be onto something - the resemblance is uncanny.

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    Running out to the bike for something I spot this dude across the street looking awfully familiar. It's fellow ADV'er crazyal! We've seen each other at Cromag the last 3 years. Of course my skill with names sucks so he has to remind me.:uhoh Sorry, Alex!

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    Back inside we have lunch.

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    Borrowing the phrase from Vermin we spot a Harley in its natural habitat before heading out. Sorry, Rick.:lol3

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    Along with this sign.

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    This one is on the front. Nice play on words.

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    Rick waits for the tourists.

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    We finally make our way out of town.

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    Back across the border.

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    We find 123/123a and some other nice roads.

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    We stop by the 'farm'.

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    Rolling into Hillsboro we find 149. At the end of that we split and go our separate ways.

    Great day for a fall ride! Thanks Ross and Rick!
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Great ride... it's certainly beautiful in New England, especially in the Fall! Thanks for sharing your ride with us :thumb
    #2
  3. hennikerjd

    hennikerjd I am Jack's wasted life

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    Nice report. Them's some of my old stomping grounds. In fact, I rented an apt in the house that would have been right behind you in that last shot of Hillsboro, NH.
    #3
  4. blackhorserider

    blackhorserider ---

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    Too Funny!!!

    We must have followed your tracks from the tag most of the way home.

    I was thinking you'd take Rt 9 back so we nearly went that way. Figured we'd check to see if you had posted a new tag yet when we got around Brattleboro.

    But ...

    After looking at the map, we decided to try this.


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    We too turned around. The thought of what might be waiting for us on the downhill side made us beat feet.



    Unbeknownst to us, we rode right by the yet to be posted new tag in Chester as well!!!! :lol3
    #4
  5. CanyonRider

    CanyonRider Celebrating Festivus

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    Nice report. Brings back memories. I was born & raised in the Brattleboro area. I was back visiting this past May and had dinner at the Chelsea Royal Diner. Best food in town! Thanks for the great pics of familiar places! :norton
    #5
  6. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Bump
    #6
  7. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Just 'bump'?

    You couldn't throw in a pic or two from yesterday's tag ride?:lol3

    It's still killing me that I was right in Bristol when I checked in to see if you posted the new tag which turns out to be just a couple exits up.:baldy :lol3
    #7
  8. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    At some point during the week I made the conscious decision that I was done with the winter. No more snowmobiling. No more ice riding. It was time to go road riding.

    The weather forecast was looking great. Household plans were looking good. As the weekend approached the local tags were beginning to look interesting. It was as if the planets were aligning.

    Keeping an eye on the tags, Friday I make the final preparations on the bike and collect the necessary gear - camera and eee. My plan is simple - bag at least 3 tags. Maybe go for a fourth. Both geode and Mudhen had done this once before. Deep down inside I wanted to be like them. :lol3

    Checking the weather once again before heading off to bed, although a chilly start, it is going to be perfect for my plans.

    Saturday morning I wake up around 3am like a kid on Christmas morning. As much as I want to there is no getting back to sleep. I finally relent and get up and have coffee. Checking the tag threads they are in the same locations. Time to suit up.

    Having left the bike covered outside, I load up and roll out of the driveway towards the first tag. It's 5:08am and 20°F. Making sure the vest is turned on I carefully make my way to the highway. Just enough melt going on now - I don't want to find any ice.

    Getting off at my exit, not only is it still dark but I discover things have been moved around a bit since I'd been here last. A couple of u-turns and I get on the right track. Dodging a couple of icy spots on the side road I find the tag.

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    Somewhere in the darkness is the Yankee Cannonball.


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    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/2Ewum2kYen8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></OBJECT>

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    I take another one just in case. Along about that time the security guard shows up. We exchange pleasantries. I explain that I'm just some nut-job out playing tag early in the morning on a motorcycle. He literally mumbles something and heads back to his rig. I head back to the bike hoping I've prevented the next interruption - the same conversation with the local constable. No time for that today.

    Up the road a short distance I get one more shot at the gate as a back up.

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    It's off to find wi-fi!

    Apparently, Staples works. Tag posted, I spot a Denny's. Time for breakfast while I warm up a bit. Rolling my toes out of the bottom of my boots like little pebbles I put them away for safe keeping until they can be put back on.

    After breakfast and more coffee I check the Mass tag thread before heading south. It's still up for grabs.:evil

    Back on the road traffic is a bit heavier than I'd expect for Saturday but then we are right outside of Boston. At least the sun is up.

    Overriding Rosie's suggested route I get back on 93 to make some time. Exit 32 comes fairly quickly and I weave my way towards the tag.

    Arriving in the area I spot a parking garage and take a chance.

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    It's the right place. The sticker on the sign even matches the one on the original tag. :clap

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    Another sticker near by:

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    "There must be wi-fi right here." There is. Despite the need to rid myself of that last cup of coffee I stay and get it posted up. While there I check the next target: Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Still waiting to be claimed. But before getting too far away I've got to get the new one for Mass out of the way.

    I'd seen a couple of great ideas on the way in but finding them again wasn't happening. My back up is Charlie Ro's place in Malden. Not only is it fairly easy to get to but he's also a bit of a hero to me.

    I sneak in the back way along the tracks making sure I stop at the box trailers long enough to relieve myself.

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    Grabbing a couple of pictures I'm on my way to Maine.

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    This also happens to be the home of USA Trains. One of just a handful of large scale (G) model train manufacturers. Not bad for a local boy.:clap

    Along the way a few things catch my attention...

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    Got a thing for bridges...

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    ...and planes.

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    I stop in Portsmouth looking for a possible new tag for the NH thread. This looks like a good spot.

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    Then it's off to Maine.

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    Yet another bridge.

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    Finally arriving I look for the tag.

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    A hopping place in a few months.

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    I find the local library and post up the tag. That makes three!:clap

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    Getting a little hungry I inquire about a good place to eat before leaving. I wander around a bit with the vague directions I have and end up just heading south.

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    Arriving here I recall goodolguzzi lives nearby. I give him a call to see if he's interested in lunch. Voice mail. Oh, well. Got to keep rolling.

    I remember a place from a camping trip up this way and make my way towards it.

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    Congdon's! Mmmmmmmm...killer doughnuts.:tb Despite my doughboy-like abs, I'm not even a doughnut fan. They melt in your mouth. This will be the new Maine tag and my lunch stop.

    Before heading in I check the time and do the math. With a St Patrick's Day party to attend tonight there just won't be enough time to make it to the Vermont tag and back home without making it a stressful ride. That's alright. A little lunch and a leisurely ride home sounds good.

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    Hearing the ingredients of the Irish stew I opt for the fish chowder and this for desert. Thankfully, by now the doughnut supply is pretty low so I leave without the bag of doughnuts I thought I might be taking home. Just as well.

    Heading home I think about a New Hampshire tag. I've got the Portsmouth shot but other ideas creep in.

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    Being March motorcycles are still a novelty for the traveling public. This little girl waves frantically as they/I go by.

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    There are a few other bikes on the road though.

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    This little Smart Car has a neat plate: PIGLETT :lol3 I note that it isn't much bigger than the GS's tank. I like it.

    Cutting through the city I spot the new tag.

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    It's the Ash Street School. Recently restored, it's looking mighty fine in the afternoon sun! Snapping a quick shot or two I make my way home.

    It's been a great day for an early season ride!:clap
    #8
  9. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    While in OOB you were literally right around the corner from my favorite breakfast place -- Michelle's Garden Cafe. :dg



    Hope I can tack a few stories on to this thread as time goes by. :thumb
    #9
  10. PWRCRZR

    PWRCRZR Grumpy Old Bastard

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    Nice mini RR :thumb Congrats on the Hat Trick:clap

    I had never seen this thread around. I could have used it a couple of times last fall when I got Bruced.

    Shame you had to do all that slab to pull it off. I hate slabbing unless I have to. always more fun to take the long way around.
    #10
  11. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Thank you!

    Feel free to post your tales now.

    For some reason I actually don't mind the slab in March. Maybe even prefer it.

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    You just never know what's over that crest or around that next bend on that back road this time of year.:deal
    #11
  12. Moto_Muffin

    Moto_Muffin Motorcycle Muffin

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    Can you give a girl a hint about your shots-in-motion? Where do you keep your camera? How do you snap shots while riding? Got any hints, tricks, advice?

    (My camera's a tiny little point-n-shoot.)
    #12
  13. SheRidesABeemer

    SheRidesABeemer Go Big or Go Home.

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    I wear mine around my neck (don't forget to put it on before the helmet). I picked up the lanyard at Ritz camera.
    You need to practice a bit so you know how to turn it on/off without looking...then shoot away.

    Not recommended for beginners:
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    #13
  14. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    What she said.:deal Although I just discovered my new lanyard will fit over my helmet.

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    You can also get lanyards at trade shows etc. (That's where the person who gave me this one got it.) I use a mini zip-tie to attach it to the camera.

    This one hung around my neck for 3 weeks this past summer.

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    Came in handy. Used to dig it out of my pocket and point and shoot before that trip. Figgered it would only be a matter of time. Keep in mind, I buy my cameras to use. They can get some road grime on them at times. They might even get ruined.

    Hints? Go buy your camera wearing your gloves then get a large memory card and take lots-O-pictures. You may get lucky and get a good one out of the bunch.

    One more thing, the EvilClown legal department sez NO ONE should take pictures while riding a motorcycle. Always come to a complete stop in a safe place out of the travel lane before taking pictures.:deal Those guys are a drag, aren't they?

    Hope this helps.
    #14
  15. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    Another thing that helps is to have a camera that you can manually pre-set to focus for infinity. Most cameras' autofocus bogs when on the move so you end up getting some lag.
    #15
  16. Moto_Muffin

    Moto_Muffin Motorcycle Muffin

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    Thanks for the hints!

    The camera I have (casio ex-z80) is apparently suboptimal for the job as all the buttons are freakin' tiny, and it resets to all-settings-on-default with a power cycle. PITA.

    Off to look for a piece-of-crap with big buttons to use on the go! :clap
    #16
  17. zhousir19820815

    zhousir19820815 Adventurer

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    good
    #17
  18. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Location:
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    Putting off the springtime chores I decided to go grab the NH tag up in Thornton. I rationalized I could kill two or more birds with one stone if I did this. I was hoping to meet someone in the neighboring Campton, and I was going to have to eat breakfast anyway so it might as well be at the tag site.:1drink Plus, I could get a ride in since the riding this week was nonexistent.

    The weather report was looking reasonable - albeit foggy. Might get up to 50-ish today. It starts at out at 38°F or so. Geared up, oil checked and tires kicked I roll out onto the road around 7am.

    It doesn't take too long and I'm questioning my sanity. The fog is a bit heavier than I care for keeping me busy wiping my visor. Keeping it under the limit I pick my way north hoping it'll thin out soon.

    As if this tag thing isn't consuming enough time dunkinDuck goes and starts up a New England Treasure Hunt thread. (Just stay out of there. We don't need anymore competition.):D Since my file photo wasn't valid (I really didn't think it would be) my first stop was a retake.

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    You can get a sense for how foggy it is. The poor guy stopped dead in his tracks for fear of ending up in the street and getting run over!

    That out of the way I pick my way up to 89. Once on the interstate the fog doesn't seem quite so bad. It's so good, in fact, that once past Concord I decide I should try 132. This is a nice little road I just discovered last year.

    Once on 132 I realize I should have stayed on 93 but it's too late. My bike does not turn around. I make my way north to the next junction with 93. In the meantime this sign catches my eye.

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    Never knew that about Moses.

    Back on 93, the rest of the run up to the tag was uneventful. Thankfully, the fog cleared a little further north. A quick stop right off my exit for fuel in Campton and it's on to Benton's.

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    I grab the picture, go in and see how long of a wait then ask where the library is. "I'll be right back."

    Turning around I head back to the school I just passed. The library is in there. Glad I asked. Connected, I post up the tag and head back for some vittles, walking through the door just in time to hear, "Mike on a bike." My table is ready.:clap

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    "Mmmmmmmmmm..." Good stuff!

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    Tummy full I realize I didn't check my email while back at the library. Campton dood was 'sposed to get back to me with a number. Back to the library, get the number, call it, leave a message and wait...

    :ddog :looksatwatch

    Ok. That's enough of that. Got to roll. With a tag in mind I head north on 175 towards the Kanc.

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    Right about here I realize the SD card for my camera is still stuck in the computer. I stop and remedy the situation. In N. Woodstock I swing by Alan's to see if he's at the ski house to say hello. Nope. More than likely at Loon.

    Continuing on I stop in Lincoln to see if the 'other boxcar' similar to one used in a tag is in fact still there.

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    It is. It's alot uglier than the other one. If I keep playing tag this will be on the 'test', btw.

    With the temperatures in the mid-thirties in the lower elevations I move cautiously across the Kanc. One never knows...

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    Along the way I try to get some great shots of the White Mountains as I head across.

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    Instead, I get these.

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    I actually turn around to get this one for the 'Great Road Sign' thread as someone just posted they were hoping to get back here one day.

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    On the other end, Lower Falls is looking pretty tame compared to last year.

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    Rolling into North Conway I snap a shot as I blast past the overlook. It doesn't come close to capturing the orange light reflecting off the snow capped mountains in the background.

    At my 'back up' tag I snap a couple of shots of the Geep...

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    ...with...

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    ...and without.

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    Then the actual tag.

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    Not the best lighting, etc but this has got to be my favorite building in the state.

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    They spared no detail back then.

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    As it should be.

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    A little history of the building of the rayroad.

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    It's fun to imagine what it must've been like back then. Nowadays we throw the skis on the rack and drive up for the day.

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    The obligatory 'bike through the station' artsie shot before heading out. There, under the lanterns.:deal

    Wishing I was hungry enough to hit Horsefeathers, I just look towards it longing for some calamari Caesar salad before leaving for the intended tag.

    Fast forward...

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    Since the intended tag isn't accessible I might as well get something for the treasure hunt while I'm out. "Town with same first or last name of US president*.....500 points" Of course, the school won't do (that's what the asterisk references) so I have to find the Post Office.

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    All this time I'm hoping my memory of past president's names is not failing me. (He was our 4th, btw.)

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    Not too far down the road I stop in at the Silver Lake rayroad. This was once the Madison stop. Apparently KTM used to manufacture locomotives.

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    Out back there's this old diner with all kinds of potential.

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    By now the day was shaping up. What a great afternoon to be out on a bike!

    Another distraction along the way...

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    I thought I shook this one a month or so ago but maybe not.:huh

    Back on the road I look for another treasure hunt item (along with possible wi-fi). "Tank....100 points"

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    Hope this is what he had in mind.:lol3 Those are good for 300 points!

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    If not, I grabbed this one, too before making my way home.

    Great day for a ride!


    #18
  19. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    Good stuff, EC. 132<-->175 is a wonderful bypass for 93. :nod :webers


    If you fall for the Wr, lemme know when the KDX hits the flea market... :deal
    #19
  20. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Thanx!

    Hmmmmm...perhaps you could push me over the edge. If I could convince myself to get rid of it and the KLR I think I could stay out of trouble with the WR. But those are two favorite bikes...both finally set up perfectly for what they get used for. The WR would start that process all over again...

    Must resist...must resist...must resist...
    #20