Mohegan Café

Last night we took the diets to the Mohegan Café on Water Street, overlooking Old Harbor. The dessert menu includes a brownie sundae with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

The clam chowder was excellent, as good as Dead Eye Dick's, I think. It's hard to tell for sure without a side by side comparison. Every spoonful showed evidence of actual clams.

Suzy ate three-quarters of her sundae, then forced me, I say, I say, forced me, to eat the rest. I ate the rest with her dessert spoon. This tool ceased to be effective when only melted ice cream and chocolate sauce remained. I resorted to my chowder spoon. This caused a temporary blending of the flavors of chocolate, vanilla ice cream, and clam. I cannot recommend this combination.

There you have it: if you're in Old Harbor, go to the Mohegan for chowder; if you're in New Harbor, go to Dead Eye Dick's. By no means go to Rebecca's. Don't expect to find Rhode Island style anywhere.

And now, for something completely different. I got up at 4:30 this morning so that you wouldn't have to. The point of this video is the soundtrack, so crank up the audio if you can't hear anything. Since I can't upload a straight sound file to WordPress, I've wrapped it in a movie. (This actually is video. If you watch carefully you can see the trees sway, and occasionally a bird darts past.) This is a chill out video, not a “get you all fired up to conquer the world” video.

 

Update: That is an HD video. If your bandwidth can't handle it, here is a lower resolution version.

Clam Chowder

I’ve climbed down off the sloth tree long enough to post a short entry.

I’ve been exploring the Clam Chowder Diet. It has simple rules. You eat what you like during the day. For dinner you must eat a bowl of clam chowder and nothing else. (You are permitted to eat the accompanying oyster crackers.) This has lead, logically, to the Clam Chowder Tour of Block Island. So far I’ve tried three places, and the hands-down winner is Dead Eye Dick’s. It’s not hard to get a first-order estimate of the quality of clam chowder by sight alone: just look for clams in the chowder. It’s a bad sign if you don’t see any.

Suzy is allergic to clams, so she has not signed onto this diet. She has spun off a variant, the Ice Cream Diet, the rules of which I leave as an exercise to the reader.

Last night we had a pleasant dinner outside in the evening sun at Finn’s. I ordered the clam chowder. Suzy had stopped at The Ice Cream Place for Moose Tracks, and walked down the street to join me. She ate ice cream, and I ate chowder, and then we rode the bike back home, the long way, up the hill past the Spring House, past South Light and Mohegan Bluffs, and down West Shore Road.

I remarked as we were riding along the south shore that when the cars were out of sight, I was reminded of Tuckernuck. One curious difference, besides the paved roads, and the electricity, and other modern ammenities is this. On Tuckernuck the sounds of gulls and other sea birds totally dominate the soundscape. On Block Island it’s all song birds, singing their song bird songs, in an astounding profusion of polyphony, starting at 4:30 a.m., and going on all day long, without a pause, into the evening. I have no idea why two islands so similar in their general ecology should be so different in their feathered fauna.

I added a page to my Block Island photo journal. The second picture in the top row shows the view from the town dump! Even that is picturesque. The smell, however, is exactly what you would expect.

Tonight the Clam Chowder Diet moves to the National Hotel.

Old Saybrook to Mystic

Tim has been very good about sending blogs as we go. I kept up pretty well until we neared the shore. Must be the air, but I didn’t want to do much more than look at pictures and hit the sack each night. Now that we have reached Block Island and are happily enconced at the Schneider House, 554 Center Road, I’ll see if I can catch up.

Tim promised more about the missed ice cream opportunities between Old Saybrook and Mystic. This happened because we stayed overnight at the Comfort Inn, Old Saybrook. It was a wonderful place to stay, and I would stay there again EXCEPT we left too early to find any of the ice cream shops open. Since you haven’t been able to taste the ice cream anyway, you could still benefit from a photo survey of three ice cream shops between Old Saybrook and Mystic. There may be more of them, but these are the three we saw.

Here’s the first: Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe. A short detour out of our way, but a lovely ride. We learned about this ice cream (and tried some) at the Pilot House. We arrived around 10am.

Next, again too early, we visited Hallmark. We have tried their ice cream on other trips—wonderful!

We hadn’t heard about this one, but I’m sad to say, it too was closed. (Open means open for the season, not necessarily open now) We were hungry by this time, so we bought a snack at the convenience store next door.

Next the ride through New London. I love this ride. I think I have asked Tim to stop for this picture before, but oh well, I did it again. For our friend Christina.

Highlights of New London—at least from my point of view

Tim sitting by the Mystic River and composing a blog entry.

Highlights of Mystic

Another leg of our trip completed. We have arrived at Tim’s sister and brother-in-law’s house on Mason’s Island in Mystic. More in my next blog about our final ride to the ferry at Point Judith.

Cromwell to Old Saybrook

We left the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell at about 10:00 this morning. I like the room, the food, the people, and the streets behind the hotel, but I don’t like the road we used to get there. There was so much traffic that we used the button at the crosswalk to get to the other side of the road. I have to thank the people who run the hotel for thinking about pedestrians. Now that I think of it, we might have worked our way past the back gate and found a quieter route. Another time.

 

As Tim has reported, it was a lovely day. The wind was behind us and there wasn’t a hint of rain. The pictures above show my impression of Middletown. Wide roads and interesting buildings. It’s fun to ride through town and I always enjoy it. We passed the bike shop this year—no need for repairs—at least that we know about.

Next (after stopping to make the post about the thin men of Haddam) we stopped (as reported) for ice cream. We often stop at the Pilot House, and we weren’t disappointed. Great ice cream!

After Joe invited us to dinner, Tim wanted to stop to buy a shirt. He left his only t-shirt in Norfolk (not on purpose of course) and the bike shirt wasn’t what he wanted to wear for dinner. We stopped in Deep River and I sat on a bench near the trike while Tim went shopping. Remember Tim’s discription of the young man who made an unfriendly gesture earlier today? I want you to know that 99.9% of the people we meet are just the opposite. Friendly and curious, with waves, beeps, and thumbs up. The pictures above show just one small episode in our daily life on the road. In the top picture Tim is returning to the trike with his new shirt. Note the two people walking behind him. In the bottom picture the man has stopped and started a conversation. He was interested in the tandem trike, and after seeing our Cornell flag related that he is in our class—the class of ’69. We didn’t know him, but enjoyed the short conversation. Travel in an unusual way and you get a chance to meet new people.

It’s possible that we could have kept going for a 50 or 60 mile ride today, but we’re glad we didn’t. It seems that the closer we get to the beach, the more we begin to feel like we are on vacation. 34 miles was perfect. We look forward to dinner with Joe and Jane tonight.

Old Saybrook

This turned out to be a fine day. It has been a testimony to the redemptive power of recreational drugs. It didn’t hurt that the wind was behind us, the skies were clear, and the air was warm, but not hot.

We usually take state Rt. 154 south of Middletown. The GPS suggested another route that looked like it avoided some hills (I’m not sure this was an accurate assessment on my part), at the cost of being a bit longer, but certainly avoiding traffic. The picture shows a sight that will bring tears of joy to any cyclist, a shady descent, where the highway engineers have not felled “those aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled, quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun”.

We rejoined 154 in time to find the Pilot House, where I took in some excellent Toasted Almond ice cream made by a creamery in Old Lyme.

I was not disappointed that the distance from Cromwell to Old Saybrook was 35 miles, not the 40 that Google had lead me to expect. Maybe we could have made it all the way to Mystic, but I am glad not to have put it to the test. As a bonus for not going to the limit (thus God rewards all slackers), we ended the day close enough to Clinton that we received an invitation from Joe for dinner and homemade lasagne.

Tomorrow we head for Mystic, which is either 20 or 40 miles, depending on whom you ask. The day after that we’ll arrive at Galilee, RI, where we get the ferry to Block Island.

Finally, as I promised, that jar.

How do I know that this is a picture of that jar? I read it on the Internet.

My Secret Ingrediant

200 mg. of kick-ass caffeine goodness in each golden tablet. I had coffee with breakfast, and forgot to take these until New Hartford. I’m now cranking with 600 mg. enriching my blood.

Oh, my other secret ingrediant:

This is the basic cyclist’s diet: Snicker’s, chemically pure caffeine, and ice cream.

We’re enjoying Carvel’s in Avon, CT, about half-way to Cromwell, our destination for tonight.

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!!

Ginger


It’s 2 o’clock on the bright afternoon of the soul, the perfect time for three scoops of ginger ice cream at the Hallmark.

We’re 13.8 miles from our destination, where we will pass our last night on the continent for a while. I’m feeling fine about that.

We passed two cyclists. It almost killed us. But pass them we did. The Hallmark saved us from the humiliation of a change in our position.

– Posted from my iPhone

Location:Shore Rd,Old Lyme,United States