Friday, May 11, 2007

Yankee Beemers Frosty Nutz Rally

Well this past weekend I attended the Frosty
Nutz Rally
in Jamaica VT.

Friday May 4th Day 1

I got going a little later than I had planned on Friday morning not hitting the road until around 8:15 am. I had to chuckle at all the junk on the bike. It looked like a small child was jammed into my duffel on the back of the bike. I unfortunately had to gas up immediately upon leaving. After gassing up in Schuylerville I rode up to Bacon Hill and took West River Rd towards Ft Edwards
and hoped to get on 9L around the south side of Lake George. I had traffic the whole time on 9L but it was still a nice ride. I stopped on Million Dollar Beach Rd to take some pics and took off again to ride around Lake George on RT 9N heading towards Hague. I had no traffic here and I was able to fly along Tongue Mountain. I was able to ride pretty quickly despite having so much on the back. I stopped at a view point at the bottom on Tongue Mountain to take some pictures.
Then it was on to Hague and I took Route 8 up towards Brant Lake, again with no traffic. Traveling on a weekday morning in the country is awesome! I rode around Brant Lake and turned onto Water Tub Road.

If you ever have a chance to stop at the natural spring there I highly recommend it. The water there is so crisp and clean, it’s amazing really. Then I went along the East side of Schroon River since I had never done that. It was fun. The road was bumpy but very twisty and lots of ups and downs. I stopped at this swampy area on Alder Meadow Rd. It was a little stinky but very quiet,
almost too quiet. Then I hooked up with Route 74 to head down to Ticonderoga to catch the cable ferry across Champlain to VT. So I get to the ferry and it says “Closed for Season”! DOH! No what. So I go back on 74 to the little village and stopped at the Getty to ask where the closet place to cross Champlain is.

Me: “Excuse me miss?”
Nice Lady at Counter: “Yes”
Me: “Where is the closet place to cross Champlain?”
Nice Lady at Counter: “Why at the cable ferry”
Me: “Yes but they are closed for the season”
Nice Lady at Counter: “Oh, well then probably the bridge”
Me: “The Bridge?”
Nice Lady at Counter: “Yes sir.”
Me: “I see. Let’s pretend for a minute I am not a local and I don’t know what ‘The Bridge’ is?”
Nice Lady at Counter: “Oh…. It’s the bridge at Crown point.”
Me: “thank you very much!”
So off I went to Crown Point going about 20 miles further north than I really wanted. Oh well.I got to Crown Point and thought about stopping in the park but changed my mind because I had been there before, I kind of wish now I had stopped. I did stop on the VT side at Chimney Point.

I rode down a small dirt road hill to the shore which I think is a boat launch.The water was really high and had some weird green hue to it. There were all the crappy ice shanties that had washed ashore. I am assuming this is because they left them out on the ice rather than take them in. Talk about litter! They are huge and there was at least five on the small shore I was on. Very lame!

From there I took off not sure where to go. I saw RT 125 and decided to take that because I was on a different part once and it was really good. Then I took VT RT 22 into Poultney VT and I decided to stop at Tots Diner for lunch. I had a really good burger and the waitresses were pretty funny and sassy. Some customer was harassing one of the girls about wanting banana cream pie because it was his favorite but they only had apple, berry, and chocolate pies. If you asked me judging by the size of him he has had enough banana cream pie!

After lunch I hoped on RT 30 and made a B-line for Jamaica. RT 30 was an awesome
road with smooth pavement and NO traffic. I went through Manchester then it
was a short 20 miles to Jamaica State Park.

I rode in and picked my camping spot. I had camp set up in about 30 minutes and numerous guys stopped by to say hello. A gentleman came up looking for my $15 fee for the weekends camping. He was wearing a Yankee Beemers hat that said “Catfish”. “Hey my name is Stephen” I said sticking out my hand. “Catfish” he replied as he took my hand to shake it. Huh. I saw him later on in the evening and I couldn't remember his name and I said “what’s your name again”, “Catfish” he replied again. Huh. I never did ask him why he was called that or what Mrs.
Fish though of Cat’s name.

So with that I walked to the little village of Jamaica, perhaps maybe a mile, and picked up a six pack of beer for the weekend. Then I started gathering some fire wood to make a campfire that night.

A little later I was talking with some guys in a campsite across from mine and I saw a Guzzi pulling up into my camp site. I had spoken with Seventies Man from the Pelican BBS and he had told me he might be swinging through on his Guzzi. I walked up and said “You Martin?”, “Yep” he replied. So we shook hands and chatted a little. We decided to go to dinner since he didn’t have any food and I didn’t have enough to spare. So we rode down RT 30 a few miles and stopped at the Dam Diner. I had the Catch of the Day which was basically like a fish fry. I can’t remember what Seventies Man had. Mine was okay but they didn’t give me enough tarter
sauce. After dinner, we said our goodbyes and he was going to continue on his journey. I beeped and took off back to camp. I made a fire, had a beer, and crashed to bed around 9:30.

Saturday May 5th Day 2

It was pretty cold that night, I heard someone say it went down to 25. I had
my new Big Agnes sleeping bag and pad and I was pretty warm. I did get up in the middle of the night and put on the liners to my riding pants and a long sleeve shirt. Other than that I was fine. I realized I was getting cold because my sleeping bag was right up against the edge of my tent. I woke up about 6 but didn’t get out of my bag until almost 7 am. I got up, and fought with the Whisperlite to get it lit. I think the leather cup in the pump is getting old so it’s not generating good pressure. I got it going though and started to boil some water for coffee and oatmeal. In the mean time I made a fire. I was still wearing the jacket and pants liners from my motorcycle suit. I love that that can be worn alone when just hanging out.

While I was eating my oatmeal and having my coffee Catfish came by and asked me what my riding plans were for the day. I told him I didn’t really have any since I didn’t really know anyone. So I asked where he was going and he said he was going to check out some covered
bridges up north
. I asked who he was riding with and he said “No one” so I asked if I could tag along and he agreed. So we head out around 8:30ish north on 100. We stopped about 20 miles down the road in Ludlow VT for breakfast. I had already eaten but I didn’t want to just hog up space so I ordered a coffee and asked what kind of muffins they have. Dang it, only blueberry!
I am not a blueberry muffin fan. They have a weird taste. I got it anyway and as soon as I tried a bite I knew I made a mistake. I asked to have it wrapped figuring I could eat it later if I got hungry. So we mounted up again and headed out. We stopped again a short time later at Vermont Country Store. I guess every time Catfish is in the area he picks up socks for his wife. Then we rode on heading north on Rt 100. I can’t really remember all the roads since I wasn’t leading but I think we hooked up with 107, 14, and 12 maybe throughout the day. We saw a gentleman stopped at a Getty and he had a Yankee Beemers sticker on his bike so we asked where he was heading. He didn’t have a plan so he decided to ride with us. He rode a little slower than our pace so we would just wait up for him at intersections. I want to think his name was Paul but I can’t quite remember. So we rode on stopping at some bridges here and there. Some where too far from the road or slightly hidden so we didn’t stop at all of them.

At one particular covered bridge the road to get down to it was like a 180 degree turn down a hill from the uphill curved road we were traveling on. As I was turning the guy in front of me suddenly stopped and so I stop but when I went to put my foot down I realized I was in a small dip in the road and I couldn't touch the ground so I started to fall over! I managed to catch it by
leaning over far but the hill was so steep I couldn't pick the bike up so I had to set it down on its side. So now I have a heavy bike with the seat facing down the hill blocking traffic and I have to pick it up. So I put my back to the bike, grabbed the front bar and the rear passenger peg and pushed my ass against the seat like doing a squat. No damage though it just scuffed the engine
guard and the saddle bags a little. Whew! Then we stopped and had some lunch and worked our way back along 30 and 100. The older gentleman decide he wanted to go his own way from there and head back a different way so we went back to camp.

My morning troubles with the stove had me wondering about using it that night so I decided to swing by EMS in Manchester on my way and poke around for a rebuildkit of the Whisperlite and try to find a belt for my riding pants. The riding pants are a little too big without the liner in. So I asked for help with findingthe rebuild kit and it was $30! I originally only paid $60 for the stove in the mid-90’s. I had been growing weary of the Whisperlite recently because of having to get the liquid fuel, priming the cup to vaporize the fuel and everything. It did stow small but I was ready to try something different. So I asked what else was out these days. She asked if I mostly just boil water or actually cook. I mostly boil water to make coffee and prepare freeze dried foods. So she showed me the JetBoil which is propane. It comes with a small propane tank, a 1 liter aluminum mug, burner with electric ignition, and a French press for coffee. I decided to purchase it.

I went back to camp and decided to read a little since I was a little tired. I had wanted to tap a nap after my ride but I was in Manchester longer than I thought I would be so I decided to read and have a beer. As I was reading I saw Brian from the Dead Horse Motorcycle Club. I said hello and I could tell he knew my face but couldn’t place it. I told him I had met him last year at the Buzzard Crest Bash. So he told me to stop by later on. I was unsure if I wanted to so I told him I would after dinner.

I started my dinner which was Allegheny Alfredo Noodles that you cook in a pouch,
just add water. So I fired up my new JetBoil and it boiled almost a full liter of water in about 3 minutes. That’s pretty impressive. So I added the required 12 ounces of water to the pouch then added the noodles and let it stand 5 minutes. While it was sitting I was thinking that was way too much water for the powder packet I was holding in my hand. After the 5 minutes I added the cheese mixture as instructed and sure enough it was like soup. I have a feeling I was supposed to drain off all the water but it didn’t say as much. I tried boiling it to see if it would thicken up more with no luck. So I drain off almost all the water, cooked up some Ramen noodles, added those in, then added the packet of brown salt, otherwise known as Beef flavor. I have to admit is sounds nasty but it was pretty tasty. I did my dishes and heading over to
see the Dead Horse gang.

I reintroduced myself to everyone and once again I can’t remember everyone but Dirty Dave and Joanie were there along with Ray McKenna, Joe Goneau, and Brian. I had a good time hanging out with them and shared some laughs. They even had pie for Joanie’s birthday and I had a small slice of apple crumb pie and a piece of berry pie which was really good. By 10 I was beat and said my goodbye to head to bed. I was planning on heading out early to meet up with
guys from work to go riding.

Sunday May 6th, Day 3

I slept right through the night and I was plenty warm. My alarm went off around 5:30 but I didn’t get out of bed until about 5:50. I quickly made my oatmeal and coffee. It was very quick with the JetBoil. I started packing up around 7 and by 8 I was ready to hit the road. I said by to the DHMC and off I went. I took Rt 100 south to Wilmington. I was able to travel pretty quickly since there was no traffic on the road and it was really sunny although cool. I hopped on VT RT 9 and made it to Bennington just after 9. I decided since I was making good time I would head south into Mass to Williamstown and take Rt 2 into NY. I hadn’t been over that mountain pass in years. When I got to Rt 2 I pulled over to rearrange my jacket. When I have the duffle on the back seat it makes some kind of wind draft that pulls my jacket up in the back. I remembered there are small strings on the side I can pull to make it tighter and that seemed to help a little. While pulled over I could hear a twin coming down the hill and it was a new BMW F800S in red. I waved and he waved back as he went down the hill. A moment later I heard it coming back. He pulled over and asked if everything was okay. I asked where he got it and he said, Max’s BMW, and he said he worked there also. I thought that was pretty nice of a Max’s employee to make sure I was okay on his day off out riding.

I pulled into my work parking lot around 11am. We were supposed to meet up around 11:30 so I was early. JG pulled up around 11:10 and I was surprised he was so early. Geoff was late not getting there until 11:45. We head out of US Rt 20, the Great Western Turnpike towards Duanseburg to meet Roger. We got to the Stewarts and there was no sign of Roger. Geoff comments he thought the Stewarts he thought we were meeting at was on Rt 30 and Rt 20. So I check the GPS andthere was one on 30 and 20 about 5 miles up the road in Esperance. We took off and sure enough there was Rog. So we head north on 30, going through Amsterdam, Sagandaga traveling along the west side of the lake and river. Then we stopped for lunch at some place none of us can remember the name of. It was a really good place with a great burger. We continued our trek north past Speculator and then finally to our destination Indian Lake. We made out way back east on Rt 28 past Gore Mountain, North Creek, and in Warrensburg we got on 9 through Lake George. We hopped on RT 9N south towards Saratoga. We made a stop in Lake Luzerne to check out the Sacandaga River falls. JG had to make a nature break, I snapped a couple pictures, and off we went on the final push to Saratoga.

Once in Saratoga I said goodbye and pushed on home. When I rolled into the driveway
I think I had done about 330 or so miles for that day and 781 total miles.

You can see all of the pictures here.

It was a great trip and I couldn’t have asked for better weather.

In the new couple weeks I will post full reviews of the Big Agnes Sleeping Bag and the JetBoil stove.