It’s been over a month since my last post. I could say I’ve been too busy to write. That would only be partly true though. I could say I haven’t done much in the weeks since that post. That would be totally false. Since I sat in Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe on August 10th to write about MSA I’ve been:
- Out Camping: 20 days
- At Home: 9
- In Hotels: 4
- a bus pilot for about 3,355 miles
I’ve been back to Vermont with Andrea for the Vermont Overland bike race, spent a few days camping in upstate New York after shooting Windham, helped create a folk festival site and then enjoyed the music for a weekend, flew to Quebec City, caught a bus to Montreal and flew back after shooting two World Tour bike races, and started a performance upgrade on Babe’s 1.9 turbo diesel engine.
So let me expand on a few of those and inject a few highlights that I didn’t include in that list. In no particular order…
On Being Found by Sero
John and Tracy and their #SearchingForSero project featured in my last blog post. I mentioned the ride/photo shoot and hinted at something to come a week or so later. Well the photos were for a feature they decided to do on me and my way of getting a serotonin high from life. They published the feature on August 16th and if you haven’t seen or read it (I posted a link to FB but know that not everyone who follows my blog is active there) here’s a link:
I was very honoured that they found my story interesting and I think they did a great job with the telling. And of course John’s photos are amazing! Most people who know me know I generally prefer to be on the other side of a camera. That most of the shots were candid or action made it easier. Posing for the one shot… not so much ;). Here are a few photos I took from that photo shoot (couldn’t help myself!).
Berkshires, Catskills, Upstate NY and Home
While Tracy & John were busy continuing their travels and writing up that feature I was making my way to the Catskills via the Berkshires and then up to the Finger Lakes.
I’ve never camped in Massachusetts before. Or gone mountain biking there. Now I can say I have after a stop in Pittsfield to talk to some locals at a bike shop and get a trail map of nearby biking. The nearby state forest had a great network as well as a decent campground.
Then it was on to Windham in the Catskills. I’ve been there a few times before and was prepared for a weekend of parking lot camping. I wasn’t prepared for all the rain though! From Windham I made my way across and slowly up through NY. I’d had enough photography from the races so I didn’t take a lot along the way. But It was back roads and small towns. I was near Endicott so I had a look for the IBM location there. What I found was a huge campus in the process of being demolished. Not the company it used to be! From there I headed up to Ithaca. Andrea and I had stopped in there a few years ago when we were at Joel’s Westies at Watkins event. It’s the home of Moosewood Restaurant amongst many other things. Unfortunately it was closed when we were there. What I found in Ithaca wasn’t food though… turns out there’s a guitar shop next to Moosewood. And they happened to have quite a selection of ukuleles including 3 or 4 bass ukes. Well now they have one less 🙂
A couple days of chilling at Watkins, exploring the town and the bike paths in the area and then it was a day of driving back home.
Back to Vermont
A few days at home included taking Babe to Performance Diesel to get a new injector pump and an electronic variable wastegate for the turbo. I had arranged this with Giles in advance and unfortunately we had a little mix-up with dates so not all of the work was done before I need to pick Babe up to head back to Vermont for Andrea’s race. They did get the new pump in and were planning to do the rest the next day. Well that next day is today to tomorrow, Babe is back to get the rest done. It meant we were a little smokey as we drove to Vermont and back though. The tuned pump delivers more fuel to the engine but without the turbo modification it can’t all get burnt. It will be nice to have that done for the next trip.
The trip to Vermont included a visit with Joan and Guy. Andrea doesn’t get to see them as often as I do so it was a treat to be able to spend an evening together. They were getting ready to head out for a camping trip of their own and it was just good luck that our schedules worked for the one night. Then Andrea and I made our way down to the campground Andrea had booked for us. The trip was via the Red Hen bakery as well as King Arthur Flour to stock up on great breads and baking supplies.
The Overland race was on Sunday and normally we would have stayed the night but I had a commitment to get to Shelter Valley with Steff and Saba on Monday so we headed out out right after the race. The morning started out very foggy but that burned off as soon as the sun hit the valleys. There were over 600 racers at the event and it’s a tough race which is organized by the same folks as the Rasuptitsa.
Well! All of that and then some happened.
Saving the rest for another entry
And I’ve run out of time so I’ll save the rest for later! Shelter Valley deserves it’s own telling… it was an amazing experience all on its own so stay tuned. And there are evolving tales about Babe’s tune up. Yet another tale to tell.