The Kingdom: Part TwoThe Forester had six cup holders, somehow they were all full. Using my Yankee ingenuity I crafted another.
When I took the above photo I thought it was real perty. I guess there's Somerville, MA perty, then there's East Burke, VT perty. Don't have much time to write now, so I'm going to baby-step my way through this stuff. What else am I going to yammer about now that racing's done? Only so much talking trash about bad drivers a guy can do.
Again, I took this photo like I wasn't going to see anything prettier the rest of the weekend. It's probably slightly past peak foliage season, but things are still pretty rockin' up in Vermont and New Hampshire. Other parts of the country might have beautiful weather year round, but they don't have this stuff in the fall. Do they even have fall? They might have september, October, and November, but if they didn't have a calendar, how would they know it?
We left way too late saturday morning. We did hit peak Foliage traffic. Blue haired drivers did abound. We saw a couple in their late 70's, Gramma behind the wheel of their brand new Corvette. She still drove it like a Buick Skylark. It took us over an hour to get to Andover, twenty minutes from our house. We joked about riding at Harold Parker, resigned to the fact we were losing too much time to make it out on a ride that day.
This weekend was a a do over of my Mom's birthday weekend. She had a bunch of the girls up to The NEK for her sixtieth birthday a couple months ago. She hurt her back and was unable to ride, she was back to take care of some unfinished business. First on the list was dinner at Elements in St. Johnsbury, actually a birthday dinner for my Dad. This place is the bomb. Housed in a revamped mill building down by the river with a menu full of local flavors: trout, maple syrup, cheeses, and vegetables. If you drag your ass up this far into Vermont you have got to check this place out.
At most family gatherings the entertainment is provided by niece and nephew Lyla and Noah. Lyla's Richard Nixon was spot on, albeit slightly eerie considering she's three.
Noah was voted "Wooliest" (the hair), me, the Silliest, and Lyla, the prettiest. Then we had a funny-face contest and desert.
The next day we rolled up to East Burke to get our passes for the day at the bike shop. The posse found good use for the NEK stickers. Like the Star Bellied Sneeches Noah and Lyla entered into a race of sticker escalation. In the end they were covered head to toe and had to breath through straws.
The first ride of the day was the Noah ride. We left right from the back of the shop and rode until Noah had thoroughly terrified us all. On the first major descent he went brakeless and sometimes footless. On the next descent he we forced him to show us he could brake. He did, skidding left, then right, like a skier. He could brake very well, he just chose not to. Yeah buddy!
Look Ma, no feet! Then he started doing this stuff on purpose. Like his mother, his skills are uncanny. Next year he'll be riding the trails with us for real.
Energy foods, Gels, bars that taste of sawdust and sand. That's for the races. It's real food season. Eat because you want to, not because you're on a nutrition schedule.
The riding begins. That's my sister Julie, The Prodigy. My Aunt Ann Natalizia, hardcore biker and WOMBAT from way back, and Miriam, ruling the NEK on her Single Speed, she has come so far and progressed so much since the first time we came here just a few years ago, it's sick.