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Monday, May 25, 2015

Breaking In The Goldwing

Yesterday, my husband and I decided to take our first official day-trip on our new Goldwing motorcycle.   We set out from Barre, taking Route 14 to Route 2 toward Plainfield.

Photo: (edited) duischoolnv.com
As you turn off of Route 14 and onto Route 2, you do have an option of taking a left to drive toward the Hardwick area, which, in itself is a beautiful drive, but instead, we drove north-west toward St. Johnsbury.  One of the wonderful features of the Goldwing is not only the GPS, but the radio.  As we toured through Plainfield, Goddard College at 91.1 FM, we listened to an Irish ballad, and then some lovely East Indian music.

As the station faded, Russell  turned up the radio, and, we both sang loudly to music from the classic rock station, Frank and alternative music from The Point.  I can't help but wonder if people heard us driving by screaming to  "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring....but, in the end, we have fun and laugh a lot while we sing.  I should point out that we have ordered helmets that include communication devises, so if we continue on this path, we will end up hurting each other's ears.

One of the greatest advantages of traveling by motorbike is the fact that one can truly experience the rich content of your surroundings, that you don't necessarily take notice of, if you are in a car.  Another advantage, is being able to hug your Sweetie, at will.

To me, the full season of spring doesn't actually occur until this time of year in central to northern Vermont.  This is evident by the lilac and apple blossoms that are now in full bloom.  It seemed as though every town had these fragrances held in great clouds of perfume that were released just for us.

The smell of pine and cedar are also prominent as we entered into heavier forested areas.  I absolutely love these smells and tend to breath deeply passing through the wooded areas.  A word of warning, if you are in these Heaven Scent areas, and decide to pull over by the side of the road, be warned of the Noseeum bugs that will quickly swarm you, in groves. And yes, you can see them, and yes, they do bite. I got bit on my temple yesterday, but was fortunate not to have a reaction.

Other pests that you may encounter are the deer-fly and the mosquito.  Deer-fly bites hurt, swell and make that spot miserable.  (I have only been bitten once, just slightly above my knee - and the little devil took a tiny piece of me with him before I killed it.  I still have a small scar - and I can tell you that it happened at Groton State Forest).

Old Rusty, biting into his burger at Anthony's Diner.  Since it is Memorial Day weekend, it seemed only fitting that we ate All American.
We continued up Route 2, arriving in St. Johnsbury where we stopped and had lunch at Anthony's Diner.  The diner is clean and the waitress was sweet, and lunch was very good.  I was kind of shocked that my BLT was $5.95 and the milkshake Russ had was just a buck less.  That was my only complaint.

The Rock - At Island Pond
From here, we set our destination for the village Island Pond....just because.    Island Pond is actually a village of the Town of Brighton. Arriving there, I was struck with the architecture and how every building seemed to have been raised from a movie set.  I can't describe it, the lay out was just...different.  The pond located in the heart of the Village is very pretty, so Russ and I walked the path along the waterfront to get a cup of coffee and chill out for a while.

Island Pond
As we left Island Pond, we randomly traveled north-west onto Route 105, before turning south onto Route 5.  After traveling a relatively short time; suddenly before us was the unmistakable beauty of Lake Willoughby.  I am always awestruck by the mountain gap that allows the lake to run through.  It is a breath-taking view at any time of year.

Photo: Lake Willoughby: source unknown
Wind Power on Mountain top
Here I am, taking a short break, yesterday...Helmet head and all :)
To wrap up our excursion, I wanted to comment about the contrast in homes that I have noticed.  I suppose this is true anywhere, but since I live here, I tend to think about the contrasts of our environment.

It is interesting to me that you can be riding along and in one moment, you will pass by a very stately, well maintained home.  The lawn is immaculate and sometimes there are statues, or a gazebo, or perhaps an expensive landscaping theme.  Some are Federal style, some are Chateaus, and some are just plain gorgeous.

The flip-side is that it's neighbor will have a collapsing [mobile] home whose yard contains rusted cars and car-parts, a bathtub or toilet, wood pallets and piles; and other metal and wood debris piled to the sky and surrounding the entire "lawn".  Often this includes swing-sets commonly turned on their side and various other brightly colored plastic kids toys.  Sometimes you will see old school buses or trucks, abandoned, rusted and dead in their tracks on the side of their property or in an adjoining field.

The kicker is... often, next to the disheveled, garbage filled home and lawn, is a new immaculate 2 story garage....Go figure...

And, I almost forgot!  May 25th - Happy Birthday to me!

Here are some suggestions for your Day trip, somethings we learn the hard way!
Bug spray

Tool kit (we discovered our license plate was half off!)
Cell phone 
Map or atlas - a physical one - don't rely on your GPS which will often try to take you on a dirt road that isn't part of the plan.
Scarf (optional)
Spare reading or regular glasses (I wore contacts and my eyes were demon-colored by the time we arrived home)