A moose and a biker walk into a bar…

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Jul 10th, 2013
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Day Three:

 

Leaving New York State and heading into Vermont, we were again dealing with the rain.  Big, fat drops of rain.  The kind of rain that tells you it’s gonna last all day while it runs down the back of your neck and soaks your underwear.  But we are determined.  It’s vacation, dammit.  A good time WILL be had by all.

 

 

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Vermont is full of wonderful odd little tourist traps, centering on their love of Moose, syrup and bacon.  Seriously, what’s not to love?  Any state that embraces large clumsy-looking creatures and breakfast foods is alright in my book.  I had to resist the urge to buy bacon-flavored chapstick in this particular place.

 

Along with the rain that WOULD NOT GO AWAY, the temperature had decided to drop down and make sure I was not only wet, but also cold.  Now tell me, good readers, when you pack for summer vacation, what do you throw in your bag?  T-shirts?  Cute tank tops?  A couple of pairs of jeans because you’re riding?  Well, of course you do.  Me too.  I did bring one sweatshirt, because I thought evenings on the coast may get a little cool.  I also brought my leather jacket because of the whole biker thing.  Vermont made me put all of these things on AT ONCE.  So I was basically waddling around like that one kid from the “Christmas Story” movie in a biker version of his snowsuit.

 

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Yup, this seems familiar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had visions of riding through the Green Mountains while mainlining maple syrup straight from the bottle and oohing and aahing over quaint little villages that hand everyone a block of homemade cheese when they enter town while herding smiling moose through the courtyard.  Hey, a girl can dream.  Instead I got wet underwear (and not in a good way) and a sneezing fit that threatened to knock me off the bike.  I felt icky, but decided that I had waited too long for vacation to pay any attention to not feeling 100%.

 

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My feeble attempt to take a picture during one of the 2 minute breaks     from the rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I talked with a couple of different people about where we should go and what we should see while there, but the only person that disagreed was the weather man. One look at the radar told us that the rain wasn’t ending anytime soon, so we now had a decision to make. Try to see Vermont in the rain, or head out for drier ground.

 

 

It wasn’t a hard decision, although it meant that I had to forgo several things that I truly wanted to see.  But ONWARD!  Keep moving!  We can outrun the weather!  (Sidenote: We are fools.)

 

Somehow, and my guess would be dumb luck, we entered New Hampshire during Laconia Bike Week.  For those who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, Laconia Bike Week is the oldest bike rally in the United States.  It started in 1916 at the pier on Weirs Lake in Laconia, New Hampshire as a place for motorcyclists to race and climb up incredibly steep hills.  Over the last 96 years, it has grown to become an iconic biker gatherings that is on a lot of bucket lists.

 

So of course we had to go.  I mean, what are the odds?  I honestly thought it was the week before, but then again I wasn’t that surprised that I was wrong.  I’m wrong a lot.  But I saw a shopping opportunity.  And at the top of my shopping list?  A new rain suit.

 

We splashed, dripped and sloshed our way into Laconia and was pleasantly pleased that the rain had died down to a gentle drizzle.  At the time it felt like a sunny beach in Bahamas.    Here’s a shot of the main vendor row in downtown Laconia, next to the pier.

 

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There might be a few bikers here.

 

 

Being from Indiana, I have a slight southern accent.  I know this about myself and use it to charm Yankees and shame my high school teachers.  But as we walked around the rally, I tuned my ears to the conversations around me wanting to hear the accent of the locals and maybe pick up some tips on what was happening in the area that day.  What’s this?  I don’t understand?  Are those real words?  Is that even English?  By this time I was running a fever and not sure I was hearing anything correctly.

 

As I stood puzzled over my lack of understanding, I happened to notice that several of the bikes had Quebec license plates.  Ack!  I was surrounded by Canadians!  French-speaking Canadians!  My charming almost southern accent was going to waste!

 

Suddenly, my plans of haggling a cheaper price for a rain suit so that I could also afford to by some sparkly things seem to fade as fast as my so-called waterproof mascara.  Like a typical self-centered American, I had “forgot” that Canada was so close.  And I’m guessing here, but I bet that bike rallies aren’t near as commonplace in the frozen tundra of Canada.  (Again, my only knowledge of Canada is hockey and bears, so the entire country must be a frozen tundra, right?)

 

The good news is that everyone also spoke English and I did get to buy a rain suit that fit.  OK, it was a little big, but that’s a good thing because I had plans to eat a large portion of the lobster population while I was in the area.  Wearing a rain suit while eating lobster may seem weird to you, but those little plastic bibs with a giant picture of a red crustacean on them aren’t attractive either.  Plus I’m saving the environment from plastic lobster bib pollution.

 

The Man and I walked vendor row and checked out all the bikes while still trying to ignore the fact that rain was pouring on our heads.  After purchasing a new rain gear for me and a pair of waterproof boots for The Man, we spent a couple hours looking at bikes, chatting with vendors and picking up some mementos.  Oh yeah, and marking our hometown on the map at the visitors booth.

 

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So yeah, we rode into one of the most legendary biker rallies in the nation.  Cool.  But the heavy rain was catching up to us again, so it was time to head out.  I stripped down, pitched my old, janked-up rain suit in the nearest trash can, donned my new full-body lobster bib rain suit and we headed out towards Mt. Washington.

 

We made it that evening as far as Ossipee, New Hampshire before calling it quits for the day.  We grabbed a room, ordered a pizza and enjoyed being dry to the rest of the night.

Fun fact:  Ossipee, NH is where the snowmobile was invented.  This fact pertains to nothing, other than there isn’t much else to tell you about Ossipee, NH.  I will try to be less boring in the next post.  Unless you like snowmobiles, in which case, YEAH!

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