Miles Today – 198 – Total Miles – 429 – Average – 214.5
12:30pm-6:30pm – 6 hours
New Haven, CT to Brookline,NH
(-stayed at Karen’s brother’s home -)
(CT-RI-MASS-NH – 7/48)
– DISCONCERTING EVENT – WONDERFUL RIDING –
During the night, at 2:30am to be precise, my cell phone rang. In the muddleness of half sleep I let it go, but then five minutes later, I thought I’d better listen to the message. I sleepily pulled the phone off the charger and listened aghast to the message from the man from Brinks, the home security company. He was saying that an alarm went off in the home. It was ‘zone 6’ the motion detector in the dining room. He said the police had been sent. I asked how the room detector could have gone off if the door or window alarms hadn’t. He said it was probably an insect ambling in front of the detector!
Well, the concern of the house being tampered with was a most disconcerting thing! I found the Haverford Township Police number almost instantly on the internet, called and chatted with an officer who told me the police, had in fact, gone to the house and that it was ‘secure’… So, I was left to just worrying, and although I was able to put it out of my mind a bit, the whole incident (and the concern afterward) took a huge bite out of important sleep time.
It had a great effect on the day – and the next day. Because we then had to sleep later, which put our re-packing plans and breakfast with my uncle off until much later, and as a result, we didn’t leave today until 12:30pm!
Before Leslie’s aerobics class, we got to chat with her some more. I mentioned to her how much I’d just “love to take that wireless network with me on the trip around the country.” She countered with a big smile and a twinkle in her eye, “Why don’t you just stay here for the next six weeks and make everything up that you write and send to folks?” When Leslie went out, my aunt Rena came over to watch two year old Jacob and 4-month old Elise. That Elise! What a huge simmering intelligence behind those wide dark eyes! Rena was playing delightfully with those kids as they romped in the little outside plastic pool. It was a warming grandparent-grandchild scene, and I managed a few touching photographs.
My uncle Sam arrived shortly. Karen and I packed up the bike. Then before following Sam to a restaurant, we got some fun photos of Jacob, then Jacob and Rena on the motorcycle. The tiny two year old looked cute dwarfed by the mammoth machine. After good-byes, we followed Sam to the Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave. Sam was quite taken by the name “Enclave”. As it turned out it was only a pseudo vegetarian-type place. And I suppose it was trying to cash in on the more healthful aspects of eating that’s fadding around parts of the country. I mentioned to Sam that I thought I had left my pepperment soap in the shower at Leslie’s. He noted wisely that it was nothing to be too concerned about, as it was something that could be replaced. It was a good meal, and we had a veggie concoction of grilled tofu and bulgar and friendly conversation. The service wasn’t the best there, and as a result our take-off time for Rhode Island and beyond was a pathetically late 12:30pm.
It was good riding to Cranston, RI where we had a lunch date with Jeannette, aka JJBIKER! When switching to Citizens Bank recently Karen got in a conversation with the personable bank woman on the other end of the line. Seems they were the same age and both have an interest in motorcycling… AND that Jeanette was right on our route. She had invited us to stop by Citizens Corporate for lunch. We followed her instructions and arrived with no problem, but late because of our late take-off time. We parked in the hot expansive lot, and I checked in with security as Karen waited with the bike. Seems, JJ, what her biker friends call her, had been at the outside picnic tables waiting, and had just gone back in. In fact, she later said that she had seen us arrive, but thought our yellow outfits meant we were construction people of some sort. JJ was a wiry dark-haired lady with a warming smile, bright eyes, and a friendly out-going manner. JJ had bought us two scrumptious salads which we gobbled down in the friendly, cool, and nice-sized cafeteria. Soon we were being shepherded through the maze of offices and cubicles which made up this part of Citizen’s Corporate. Heads were popping up out of those cubicles across the expansive building as JJ presented us as visiting celebrities of some kind. When I took out the AAA map which showed our tentative route all around the entire US with a big circuitous purple-marker routing, the number of folks around us intensified. They had questions, they had comments, they took pictures. A photo was taken presumably for a Citizens Bank publication. This went on for the better part of an hour. I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so weary from missing sleep last night – if a cot had been offered to me I would have dozed for an hour right there. Karen was all smiles and bubbly enthusiasm as each person of the crowd would ask things of us. We met executives and secretaries and maintenance folk, and JJ was proudly showing us off to one and all. JJ frequently noted that another employee had asked her if she was nuts to invite strangers for lunch. But she suggested that person just didn’t… understand. And she was right!
Finally, it was clear it was time to go – we had to get back on the road or else we would be arriving at Karen’s brother’s home in Brookline, NH way behind schedule. Because of our heavy and brightest of yellow outfits, we are often mistaken for persons involved in other activities. It’s usually as firemen, but today we were mistaken for construction workers and skydivers of all things! After leaving, we strode along some wonderful miles over rolling terrain with a million trees around us. The clouds were sumptuous and punctuated a sky of pure blue.
We arrived at Ron and Ethel’s around 6:30pm and rolled carefully along the almost quarter-mile dirt and gravel drive up to a huge home. Because we only have a carport at home, it was the first time in it’s life that the mc got to be garaged! (I said to Karen jokingly that I hoped it didn’t get spoiled.) This time it was Karen’s turn to talk with relatives and get caught up – and she did just that. Again, it was a good warming feeling being in the home of folks that one of us knew well. Ethel made us a just fabulous spaghetti meal with fresh bread and strawberries and homemade pineapple cake. It was a perfect meal for us! Talking with Ron about stuff we had brought with us, he said that I sure knew how to pack things tightly. I allowed that when one spends more than a year of life on the road on a bicycle you know how to do things like that. Regarding the bike trips, and this mc trip, Ron noted sagely, “If there’s something you want to do, you should do it, because when they close the box, that’s all there is….” I told him how this was the 25th anniversary of my cross-country bicycle trip. I said I didn’t know which was crazier an idea – setting across the USA continent alone on a bicycle, or this ambitious plan of likely 10,000 miles in a journey twice across the country on a motorcycle. He thought about it a few moments, and then asked how old I was when I made that solo 4,435-mile bicycle trip. I told him I was 33. Then he thought and thought about it a bit more, and then with a somewhat wry smile around his eyes he said, “Yeah, it’s a toss up!”