Mystic to Block Island

Margot’s welcoming flower arrangement.

 

We stayed overnight in Mystic with Tim’s sister Margot,

and her husband Peter (and dog Champ) and daughter Mallory (not pictured).

We caught up on family news and talked about Peter’s business (Smith-McArdle) in Mystic.

Tim produced pictures of our visit to Larkin relatives in Ohio, so many years ago.

After an excellent breakfast, we hit the road again. . .

Only to stop two miles down the road for a pit stop. Tim decided we had let the tires go too long without a refill. More pressure means less pedal-pushing for greater speed. It also means bumps are harder but that’s the price you pay.

 

He also greased and cleaned the chain—which hadn’t broken in over three days. So far, so good. Take care of that drive train!

 

Back on the road again we passed through Westerly. On the east side of Westerly we started looking for “Sandy’s”—a recommended stop for good treats. Unfortunately our GPS decided we should take a more scenic route (which had been helpful along the way to keep us out of traffic) and by the time we realized what was happening and got back on Route 1 (forget scenic—we just want to get there) we found that we missed it.

Instead we stopped for Rhode Island style clam chowder (no tomato and no cream) and some fried scallops. It was an OK replacement for ice cream—really it was.

And at last we did what we had set out to do. We reached the ferry at Point Judith, in time for the 3:00 ferry to Block Island.

There is something about having worked so hard before arriving at our place of paradise that makes the whole experience that much better.

 

We have arrived safe and sound at the Schneider House and have had a pleasant visit with the owners, Sheila and Jack. We’re looking forward to two weeks walking, riding, reading, taking photographs, and visiting with Tim’s brother Andy and his wife Anneke, who are arriving for a short island visit. I’ll combine the days from time to time and keep you posted. I love to share the joys of Block Island.

Thanks for all your encouragement along the way!

 

Sheila’s roses. There are LOTS of roses in bloom right now on Block Island.

Norfolk, CT to Cromwell, CT

The trip (at least our version of it) from Norfolk to Cromwell involved a little bit of ascent and a whole lot of descent. It was fun, but I had a hard time finding something interesting to photograph.

 

There were stretches of road with little traffic and towns with lots of traffic.

I tried using PRO HDR to make picture of ghost traffic, but the cars wouldn’t cooperate. I got a picture of a ghost Tim instead.

I tried a couple pictures of cell towers, but they were no match for Robert Voit’s “New Trees” which I saw in the current show of “Untold Stories” at the George Eastman House in Rochester.

I thought about pictures for Tim’s comments, such as the above for “Why don’t we plop down our credit card for two brand new shiny red motorcycles and take off?”

I thought about finding links to triglycerides and the health problems with too much sugar, but decided against it. I’ll let this picture stand for itself. We visited the same Carvel store on our way through last year. Great store and nice people.

Earlier in the day, when Tim sent a blog about me being somewhere taking pictures, this is what I was working on. The vine tendril begged to be photographed – but not with my iPhone (at least without the tripod that was packed deep in the Yak Sak). Alas it was not to be my next great grape vine picture.

I”m afraid this photograph has to represent our entire trip through New Britain and Berlin—Tim’s home town. Rain threatened when were making this passage and my iPhone went back into its plastic bag. Instead of taking pictures, I watched Tim’s excitement build as he approached “home.” It reminded of me of my recent trip to Rochester with my friend Sandy. We took a detour through Irondequoit and were given a tour of the Crane’s house at 468 Oakridge Drive. What a treat. There is a feeling about seeing home again, that for Tim and me at least, remains special.

We arrived safely through (I’d be tempted to call it) gobs of traffic to the Crowne Plaze Hotel with plenty of time to check in and enjoy an early dinner. Totally different from earlier stops, but I enjoy it. I like seeing the differences in the various places we stay.

After a good night’s sleep and excellent breakfast I started our rest day with a trip to the washing machine on the first floor. On my way I stopped to photograph what I think it a very interesting way of including a ramp as part of the decor. The short stairway goes down one side of the “terrarium” and the ramp encircles the other. I couldn’t quite fit the whole ramp in my view so I decided to try my Olloclip Wide angle lens. I had inadvertently washed the lens a few days before, and I’m happy to report it showed no ill effects. But in placing the lens on my phone I had to remove my xshot iPhone case, and in doing so discovered that I had neglected to remove the protecting film from the back of my replacement iPhone. No wonder so many pictures looked foggy! The above collage shows the film I removed from the back of the iPhone. The pictures on the right show the same shot (forgot about the Olloclip for this pair) before and after I removed the film.

Another lesson as we continue our adventure.

Tonight we’re greeting friends and family for dinner at the Crowne Plaza. Tomorrow we set off for Old Saybrook for a quick overnight before pressing on to Mystic. The end of our journey is almost in sight.

 

Hillsdale, NY to Norfolk, CT

Before I post today’s photographs I’d like to ask a question of my fellow readers. I’m currently in the second book of the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri – thank you Poppy! Amazon made a recommendation today, based on my interest in Deborah Crombie’s books featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. It’s another British mystery series, this one by Peter Lovesey. It’s about Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond. The first book is called The Last Detective. Have any of my book advisors (and others) tried this series?

And now on to today. . .

Clouds returned and rain was in the forecast. I prepared for the ride by donning my rain pants and rain coat. Tim’s strategy was to keep all his rain gear in the Yak Sak, with the idea that he would unpack it and put it on after it started raining—exposing everything in the sack to the rain. In spite of the fact that we reached our destination without experiencing more than a few sprinkles, I’m sure I was correct. I was prepared!

We rode by many of the flowers in the pictures above. I remember John told us years ago that they are wild parsnips. But some were taller than we were (at least taller than we were sitting on the trike). How does one know when the giant hogweed is what one is looking at? I wasn’t about to stroke these plants to find out.

We left Route 23 just west of Great Barrington. Once again the GPS directed us onto quiet roads with little traffic. Above you can see the monument to Shay’s Rebellion and on the lower left a ghost car passes us. Just to let you know there was a little traffic – but not too much.

Tim has been reading a book about exercise called The First Twenty Minutes. He (who usually forgets to eat when we are working hard) is now giving me lectures on eating enough while we ride. I’m sorry to say that the cool weather and the time of day that we pass ice cream stands (many are closed) have prevented us from making what I consider to be a sufficient number of ice cream stops. Above you can see my substitute (at least for today). On the way in to Norfolk we stopped for a quick lunch. I love onion rings, but NEVER order them—you can imagine how not good for you they are. But this was a bike trip and I hadn’t had any ice cream today. The onion rings were wonderful.

Just as were were approaching our final destination, the chain broke—again! With the Mountain View Inn in sight, just up the road, we had to stop. Once again Tim repaired the chain, and we made it up the hill just as the rain began to fall.

Safe and dry for another night. Thank you!!