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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SeanPNW, Sep 12, 2013.
Beautiful Country and Epic ride! Thanks Sean!
Your mom has a cool pad out there in NH! I love the architecture of the homes in the northeast.
Hope you're doing great!
Sean, you are quite the Wordsmith! Awesome thread!
Thanks for the kind words folks, should have another post up this weekend.
Big shout out from a fellow Husky! Awesome report! Can't wait to read the TAT section. Keep it coming! Still trying to catch up on South America...
One question, noticed you rocked the goggles with the Xd3, any particular reason? Did you ever use the Xd3 screen itself? I got a Xd4 but my laser eye surgery 10 years ago is slowly starting to fade so I need glasses when I drive and ride so I think goggles are out of question for me.
This really is one of the top notch / finest RR's on this very forum. You have a pleasent go with the flow attitude. Thank you for putting in all the time and effort.
Looking forward reading new episodes.
whut whut U-DUB
I like wearing goggles because it keeps dust etc out of my eyes when I'm riding off-road (in particular when I'm riding behind someone off-road) and it also gives me another layer of venting options (visor down, visor up, goggles, no goggles) which comes in particularly helpful when the weather is changing or doing funky stuff (fog, sleet, snow, rain, torrential fucking downpoor). I also like it for riding when it's hot out, as I can still keep wind/bugs out of my eyes, yet get more ventilation through the visor being open.
If you don't mind sticking fingers in your eyeballs, contacts were a pretty stellar addition to my life when I made the switch.
Thanks Erik500, I continue to be humbled by the praise folks have put down here for my little story, I'm honored to have it even mentioned among all the other fantastic ones.
Got a pretty slow day at work today, Sean. A big fat update on your RR would be great, mmmmmkay? You've got a lot of great detail in here. I have to think that without going back over the pictures you'd have a hard time remembering all the little details and stuff. I say that because I can barely remember what I did last weekend, let alone 6 months agoMaybe that's just me and my ...uh...whatchamacallit...um short term memory issues! keep it up man!
Getting one up now, depending on how late you work today, it may just be up in time
After sitting around for most of the afternoon my sister and I got the hankering for some grub. We both have made some progress since the middle school days of cooking mac-n-cheese with sprinkled bacon bits on it for flave, but what we crave is still quite childish. Although I like to think our pallets have evolved a bit, we still both really enjoy what we like to call Fat-kid-food, because well who doesnt. This here is essentially mac-n-cheese, just with bomb local cheese, decent pasta, and a heavy helping of various seasonings and stuff that make your tastebuds go POW.
Add in some mushies for that subtle earthy flave that helps smooth out that earthy/stanky cheese and you got yourself some fine mac-n-cheese.
The next morning we are both up with sun per usual, but with nothing going on we dont really have any pressures to do much of anything. We go outside and let Todd stretch his legs for a bit. We say its for him, but I take enjoyment in the movement as well.
Although I like the excitement and activities of the city, damn its nice to have such vast expanses of openness. So simple, yet nowadays at times it can feel so special and unique.
My Mom heads off to work and my sis and I lounge around the house for the day. I get some writing done, and take a peek at the job market, Ive still got a couple more months, but at some point Ill be needing to find a day-job. Dinner time comes around and again we get to cooking. We find some ground beef in the fridge from a local farm and build from there.
Some mustard and seasoning to add a bit of kick.
I also found some plantains so decided to try my hand at what the Escobars had taught me in Colombia and do up some fried plantains.
The plantains then got laid out in plastic and squashed flat between a cutting board. Looking good.
Chuck dem meats in a pot.
And cook it down until its almost dry. Feel free to chuck in some mushies here as well.
Then dice up some veggies and flash-saute them for a hot second just to moisen them up. Theyll be going into the whole mix after so you dont want them to be all the way cooked just yet.
Then do up some rice and chuck all that shit together, then put in face. Nom nom nom.
The next day was Saturday and the mother unit had no work so we decided to jetusen and go cruising over the coast of Main. My mom had tasked me with finding a place to stay at like a bed-n-breakfast, but I convinced her to pitch some tents instead. Come on! With all the money well save on a B&B we can get some killer New England lobster! My mom isnt the biggest camper nowadays, especially after a long week of work, but she was a great sport and jumped on board.
This northeast corner of the US is very meandering and pleasant. Nothing jumps out at you, there are no magnificent geographic features to write home about, but everything is very predictable and laid back. Although I prefer the jaw-dropping and punctuating features of the western US, there is a comfort in the simplicity of the terrain and communities over here.
Speaking of pleasantries and laid-back lifestyles, what the fuck is all this traffic for! Must be a bake sale somewhere.
Most towns are small, quaint, and feature some body of water or small inlet to one side usually.
After a bit of driving we reached the coast of Main and our camp destination for the evening. Although I had gotten my mom to compromise and go camping rather than take up a B&B, I couldnt quite convince her to stealth-camp, so we booked into our KOA for the evening, and received our camp map so as not to get lost in our bustling home-away-from-home for the night.
Now although I poke fun at paying money to camp in a place like this, I cant deny that the user experience is quite good, and not having to hunt around for a inconspicuous spot to throw the tent up, or worry about being awoken in the middle of the night and asked to move because youre are on some ranchers property, are quite nice perks.
We also got to be pretty close to the water for optimal beach walking.
This jelly-fish got a little lost. Water is the other direction homie.
After we got our tents set-up it was time to go find some lobster. We didnt have a place in mind, but the coast is dotted with seasonal shacks of varying sizes and all will have deliciousness to be found within their doors. This one looked like it had a high flow-rate, so we chose it as our place to eat.
Once inside you picked out the individual lobster that you wanted to die for your eating pleasure, then waited as they stuffed him into a bag and hauled him outside and into those big pots in the pictures above.
This picture has nothing to do with the cooking of the lobster, and is merely a finely crafted pot-belly stove for your artistic and antique enjoyment.
Before you know it the freshly boiled alive lobster is steaming up a storm on the plate in front of you, just begging to be dipped in melted butter and gulped down whole.
With bellies full of lobster, we all left fat and happy. Thanks for a great dinner Mom!
My sister and mom had a tent, and I had my own. I hadnt slept in it for a few days, and it was nice to be looking up at its ceiling again. It feels about just as comfortable as my own room now. Almost like my portable home, rather than a home-away-from-home.
In the AM we meandered along the white sandy beaches of the Main coast, and soaked in that lovely briney air sweeping in off the Atlantic. I do love the smell of the ocean.
We then broke down our luxury camp
And put up the feet for the drive back home.
My sister had been wanting to go for some rides on the bike while we were both in NH, and was also planning on heading down to New York around the same time I was going to be heading down there. Why not just find a helmet and then we can roll that way together? Along the drive back home we past a garage sale that was selling used helmets for $30. They may not be the safest things, but theyll do the job for a couple days no problem.
The next evening we went for a scoot around the area that my mom lives to try the new helmet out.
Not much beats a nice after-dinner ride in pleasant weather on empty roads.
On our loop back to the house we came through another town and stopped to check out a rare bike that we spotted on the side of the road.
This is a Rokon Trail-breaker, although Im not sure of the year, it is obviously one of the older/original versions. These are produced by a New Hampshire based company and are a two-wheel drive bike that is more like a tractor. They started out in 1958 out of California, then the production rights were purchased by a Vermont company that is now headed out of New Hampshire, and are still producing the bikes to this day with currently a range of 3 separate models. They are designed to be the do-all work bike that can get you wherever you need to go. Cross a river, through a swamp, over mud bogs. You name it, itll get past it. Pretty interesting utilitarian design.
No frills, all business.
The next morning it was time to eat again, which is convenient when you enjoy eating. I wanted to do something involving apples that we had picked up, so Kristen and I put on the tunes and started slapping something together. Neither of us like to cook with a very cohesive idea or recipe, and instead prefer to sniff stuff, taste stuff, and feel stuff, to see if itll probably work well together. Sometimes it can be a bit unconventional, and even unsightly, but it never turns out tasting bad. Not knowing what we were doing we started out with apple slices and dices. We figured we could make mini pancake type baked apple slices, so we went with that idea and did up some batter with oatmeal in it for added texture and flave.
Food foreman Todd gives his sniff of approval.
Nom nom nom.
Any extras can be made into one big apple/pancake/oatmeal monstrosity.
With nothing of importance to do Kristen and I sat outside and watched cars go by again and judged how the garden produce was coming along.
Eventually we got hungry again so we made more food.
We then sat outside again and watched some more cars go by. A particularly large brown one swung through and dropped off a package I had been waiting for. Although its great to kick back and relax, after leaving NH in a few days Ill be back on the road again for the next month or so while I ride the TAT over to the west coast. So this is a good time to do some maintenance and order any parts that I have been needing.
Only the best. I love and will happily stand by this shit.
Out with the old.
And in with the new.
Bike maintenance done. Well would you look at that, time to eat again. First though, better have some wine to get the cooking taste-buds going.
This dish will require a bit more forethought, but itll still be delicious, which is the most important thing. First thing, make a thick and hearty tomato based sauce. Add whatever veggies you want, think about italian flavors for inspiration. This has mushies, cucumbers, and your typical italian herbs. Also, cook up some penne pasta, but pull it out of the water a bit early, as for this dish itll be getting thrown in the oven for a bit after as well and you dont want it to get too soft in there.
After the base sauce is good, add a metric shit-ton of your choice of melty cheese. This is super tasty and super not-so-healthy havarti. Like I said, I like fat-kid food.
You should now have a large vat of tomato sauce with a bunch of seasoning flare mixed in with a bunch of pasta and melty cheese.
Now take a baking dish and pour that shit into the baking dish. Then take some thin cut prosciutto (or other thinly cut and salty cured meat) and make a layer on top of all that pasta-sauced goodness. This will trap in the flaves, or so I like to think, and also add some more tasty shit to the pot.
For good measure, add some parmesan or asiago cheese on top of dat prosciutto.
Plunk that whole dish in the oven for 30 minutes or so at something in the 300 - 375 range and youll be stuffing your face with a bunch of stringy tasty deliciousness in no time.
Damn. It's 08:21 here saterday morning. I just had breakfast.... and I'm getting hungry
Later this day, I'm gonna make me a home made Pizza with red and green pepers, mushrooms, salami, chorizo and lots of cheese.
Another one "outta the park"! Thanks Sean. That country looks real pretty ; but cold!
now I am hungry again....
keep it coming
Been chipping away on a post for 2 weeks now. Funny how you can find time to write when you are travelling on a bike full-time, but not when you are living in one place full-time.
Rest assured, it is on my priority list. Hoping to have another post up before I'm gone for the weekend.
Youre working too much. Entertaining your devout followers should be priority.
That is a monstah lobstah !
With everyone being gone during the daytime, my sister and I were running the roost. You can only run the roost for so long before you feel like you need to flee the coop. Luckily I got wheels, and my sister now had a helmet. Sunny days in NH dont last forever, and I only had a few more left here before heading south again. Best to enjoy.
Scooting around this region is easy. The roads are simple, the layout isnt intuitive (think grid pattern), but because of that it also feels natural. Roads twist, bank, and roll with the natural features of the land.
We dont really have anywhere we are trying to be, nor are we specific about what we are doing. Just scooting about for the sake of scooting about. We come into a town and stop in to the town convenient store. Yes, it appeared as if there is only one.
Inside we find some wannabe moonshine.
Their clever advertising said it was new, and that we should try it, so we did.
We scooted on down the road some more. Small towns pop up here and there. A cemetery usually tells you that you are either entering or leaving a town.
I like these old buildings. Here in the US, these are about as old as they casually come. Man we have such a relatively new country when you think about it that way.
Careful not to always be fooled by the architecture, as sometimes the new does fill the old.
My mom lives right on the border of New Hampshire and Vermont, so we looped back through Vermont. Sounds way bigger of a ride than it is, as she almost literally lives on the river that separates the two states. We pull over at a small hydro dam just before crossing back over into NH for a peek.
On the way home this guy was out with a metal detector. Must have dropped his keys earlier.
When we got back it was bout that time for lunch. Tasty leftovers are the best leftovers. Poor up a glass of that wannabe moonshine for good measure. Id be lying if I said it tasted good though, that drank was actually quite terrible, couldnt even finish it. Not for high alcohol content, but it just tasted terrible. Food was good though
Not much else went down for the rest of the day. Just lounging, eating, and a bit of job hunting.
Seeing as Ill be getting back on the road soon I still had a bit of maintenance to do on the bike. I cooked some delicious oatmeal for a mid afternoon linner and fancied it up with some good milk and granola, then threw the bike up on a pale to do some fork maintenance.
The pale promptly broke under the weight, as I should have expected it to, so I tried the ol kickstand prop (aka gopro stick) that I use to change tires on.
Needing to pull the forks out though requires a bit more stability than swapping wheels, so I gave up on that idea for now. Ill find a day to go down to the neighbors farm and throw it up on some blocks and do the job there. Time to eat. Left overs round 2, repurposed by baking a second time and putting some quesadilla type business in along with it. Nom nom.
That afternoon my cousin Emma tried her hand at some marange. A few flavors were attempted, but the lemon was by far the tastiest. Some of the others were less of a success, but its trial and error when experimenting with baking.
My sister and I are on duty for taking Emma to gymnastics to work off that marange, so we roll her down the highway for 30 minutes to her class. Out here in the sticks, nothing is close by.
Emma promptly crashes from the sugar overload and falls asleep.
Back home its dinner time, and tonight its another experiment. This time pizza without the dough. My sis is trying to go gluten free right now to see if it makes a difference for her. Shes found that she has a gluten intolerance, but also an intolerence for bull-shit food. Tonights question, can you make pizza without gluten (aka dough), and not end up with bull-shit pizza. The solution, a zucchini powder crust. Yep, you heard me.
The texture is different, but anything that isnt real dough will be funky. The key is finding something tasty and edible that fits the general idea of pizza. The crust must be cooked first, this can be done in a skillet, like you would a pancake. Then put cheese on top and throw that shiz in the oven. Not sure how long, just keep an eye on it for that optimal golden crisp on the cheese.
The zucchini crust ads a great flavor to the overall pizza and it complements the cheese well. It doesnt chew like pizza, but the flaves are damn good.
If youre worried about it, pair a hoppy IPA with it. If youre reaaallly worried about it, pair 2-3 more IPAs with it.
- - - - - - - - - - -
I found a used phone online and picked up a cheapo plan (~$30 - 40 bones/month). Seeing as my camera is starting to shit the bed, I figured this would be the cheapest way to kill 2-birds with one stone. I really wanted to keep my luddite burner phone, as it was pretty refreshing not being inundated all the time with information that I really had no use for. Nevertheless, here I am, synced back up.
The next morning I found my cuz practicing her bubble skillz. Shes got promise.
Its Saturday and seeing as its my last weekend here with the Mother Unit we wanted to go do something fun. We heard of a Highland Games that was going on about 45 minutes away so we rolled out to that. If you havent heard of a highland games before, think kilts, bagpipes, drums, good food, and large men throwing big heavy shit like trees and bags of hay. Its good fun I assure you. En route to the games we stopped off at a local orchard that happens to make some damn fine pies from its apples. They sell out each day, so being up early needed to occur to scoop this tasty worm.
The lady that makes the pies started out working at the farms on-site store back when she was a little whipper-snapper. The owner asked her if she wanted to make a pie or two to bring in and sell out of some apples off the farm. She agreed and they sold just as hot apple pie should sell. She started making more and more, along with some other variations and types, and the rest is history. Now, she makes around 6-12 pies every evening when she gets off work during harvest season, and she makes enough money to get her and the shop through to the next season. She cooks with real lard from the butcher, just as any pie maker worth their salt should.
Obviously their apple cider is top notch as well.
Back on the road we found our way over into Vermont and up to the location of the Highland Games.
Yes, the excitement was abounding.
We parked and a school bus shuttled the influx of spectators over to the fairgrounds.
Once at the fairgrounds, of course there was plenty to take in.
Even the police get into it.
This is Clan with a C folks, no need to worry.
IIIiiiiii spy a rock wall.
Theres fairly typical activities to entertain kiddos. And plenty of food and trinkets to spend your money on.
Ive been coming to these since I was just a wee lad, and Ive always been a fan of Haggis. Haggis is basically the butchers pluck, which is the (typically) unused parts of the animal minced up with oats then seasoned and packed into a stomach (typically a sheeps, feel free to remove it from the sheep first though), tied off, and then boiled until cooked. What you end up with is something similar to meatloaf, but everyone kind of makes it their own way, and obviously textures and flavors vary quite widely depending on how you prepare it. In the end though, the result is a delicious and nutrient rich meal that you can supplement as fuel for a nuclear reactor. Should you need to do so. Alternatively, it can be used to fuel a human body for an entire day of chasing your farm animals up and down in the highlands of Scotland. For modern day folks? Well, itll just make you feel fat and slow
.but damn satisfied with yourself. Nom nom nom.
These guys know what Im talking about.
The festivities carried on throughout the afternoon, and there was entertainment for all.
Bagpipe bands (or pipe bands if youre in the know), do actually compete at these. They run a regional circuit that goes from highland game to highland game where you compete and accrue points to be crowned the winner at the end of the season. Heavy drinking always ensues, regardless of placement.
Mmmmmm, more food. This is a meat-pie being eaten by 3 people like wolves.
If you are at a highland game and dont fancy the sweet sweet sound of bagpipes whaling into the abyss. Bring your eyes over to the strong-man competitions. This is where big men move big shit with speed and precicion. Typically there is a caber toss, wherein you pick up a large log of telephone proportion and try to flip it into the air and have it land in a 12 oclock position. There is also the bag of hay toss with a pitchfork, the stone throw, and the hammer toss. All great fun. If this man looks familiar, you may either be a Icelandic Strong-man fan, or a Game Of Thrones fan. If you are the latter, this is the behemoth who plays The Mountain in the HBO series Game Of Thrones.
Nay get to close, these folks can and will pick you up.
Alright time to leave this crazy land where people wear skirts and large men throw children.
What a lovely state Vermont is though. Quite pretty in its own simple way if I must say.
Back home it was time to bon-fire. The nights here in New Hampshire are getting colder and colder, although they are pleasant now, you have to enjoy them while you still can.
Uncle cooked up some chickens and greens.
And we ate some o dat pie. Daaayyyuuummmm, look at that pie.
Naturally, no bonfire is complete without topping off the tank with some smores.
With my time now nearing an end here. I still needed to do service my forks, so I went over to the neighbors farm who had kindly offered to let me use one of his shop-barns.
I normally am able to make conversation with anyone, and as this man was in his late 70s I figured wed have even more to chat about. However I think he found me peculiar riding around on my motorcycle, so he got back to working his farm. Lots of respect for that guy, hes fit as a whip, and thats after a hard life of hard labor. Maybe thats whats kept him so healthy though. They do say that sitting is the new smoking.
I pulled the forks and set them to drain. His drain pan must have held the oil of a hundred various farm machineries over the years. For some reason I dig old stuff like that. Hes probably been using the same one since he was a kid.
I pulled the spacers, dampeners, and springs out to give them a bit of a clean. Then filled her up with nothing but the best. These are all my tools, and all the tools I need.
Everything now back together. Im ready to roll. Man Im getting excited for the TAT.
Really do want to get this story down. It is nice when I prioritize doing so. Don't want to be forgetting thins either.
Daaaamnnnn straight. Tasty too.
Can't wait to hear about the TAT!!
Did you do that on purpose?