By October 2, 2006

Long trip, great trip

My stepfather Professor Sparx and I went on our motorcycle trip to Fort Ticonderoga today. Remember how it was supposed to be 70s and sunny? Sheah, right. At the very most it was in the 60s and overcast all day. I expected to shed my fleece vest by noon, but I kept it on all day. I also had my heated grips on all day, varying between the low and high settings. I would have been pretty uncomfortable with just my Held Ninja leather gloves on — I had passed my silk glove liners to Professor Sparx during the morning.

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Meteorology. One of the few professions where you can be wrong every day and not get fired.

What was, on paper, a two hour or so ride to Fort Ticonderoga each way turned out to be nearly twelve hours on the road. We travelled over 430 miles round trip and went through a half-dozen tiny towns throughout the Adirondack mountains.


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One of the many beautiful parking areas along Route 8.

We stopped for lunch at a Johnsburg General Store, we had a great cheesesteak sandwich made by a mother and daughter; they owned the joint along with their father. This was the only place within about twenty miles to eat. There was no public restroom. The nearest gas station was another eleven miles down the highway, although we couldn’t find it and had to go another twenty or so.

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I swear I heard banjo music in the background.

The Professor’s bike was running low on fuel, and I kept checking my side mirrors to see if he had run out of gas and off of the roadway. I would freak the fuck out after a turn, and he hadn’t made it around yet. OMG, DID HE RUN OUT OF GAS??? Oh, there he is. Bastard. Luckily he did not run out of fuel and we stopped in beautiful Schroon Lake for some gasoline, coffee, and a bathroom break.

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Helmet head strikes again! Good thing I’m bald. 😉

We arrived at Fort Ticonderoga at around one or two in the afternoon. It was $12 to take the tour, and I remarked that I’d rather spend my time and money riding instead. Two other motorcyclists walked up just as I said that. One fellow said, “$12 to take the tour? I’d rather spend my time and money riding.” We wound up talking to bikes for about twenty minutes, and we got the tour of one fellow’s super plus BMW motorcycle. It had satellite radio, GPS, dual heated seats, heated grips, a six disc CD changer, and a motorized windshield that went up and down depending on if you wanted wind in your face or not. On the downside, it weighed more than our two bikes put together. Still, neat to talk to a real touring-focused rider.

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Like any good zombie fortification, Fort Ticonderoga had a plentiful water supply in the adjacent lake.

I wanted to take a different way home from the fort. The two other motorcyclists recommended a path, and Professor Sparx and I plotted our return route with our map. Part of their suggestion entailed taking 22S to 149. Seemed easy, and the map agreed. We motored down 22S, and saw a sign for Fort Anne – 10 miles. 22S intersected with Route 4. The Professor rode right past the fork onto Route 4 until I could catch him a few miles down the road. In retrospect, it would have been much better if I had just followed him. 😉

We retraced our steps and got back on 22S. We rode for about forty five minutes until I passed another road sign: Fort Anne – 2 miles. What the fuck? I pulled over in frustration, and we looked at the map. Sure enough, we had passed by Fort Anne before. Route 22S curves around in a backwards C-shape. We would have saved over an hour of riding had we continued on Route 4 to 149. Blast.

Even despite riding home on back roads in the dark and being sore (the Professor has to lift his leg over the bike with his hands at one point), we had a great time. I’ve never ridden with someone, and I’m glad that my stepfather was willing to go with me. While the overcast and slightly-cold temperatures weren’t what I hoped for, the weather was nice to ride in. We never got hot, and without bright sunlight, the roadway was easy on our eyes.

If you’re reading this, thanks buddy. I love ya, and I loved every minute of our ride.

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