Monday, November 8, 2010

A Break in the Trip

The month of October was spent at home base, and it was a beautiful time of year to be home. Perfect weather for bike riding, and fall fishing at its peak meant lots of recreating for me, while Nancy took care of her business. Hey, one of us has got to be productive! We wouldn't be leaving until a new engineer had been hired and had started for a couple of weeks.

Many days found me and Dan E out hammering the trails at Cockaponset, Middlesex or Miller's Pond. Here is Dan negotiating a log at Miller's:

And here he is rolling down some steep ledges:

I also got in some rides with Gene, Austin (the Goat), Larry and Ben. We plied the technicalities at Miller's and took to the twists and turns at Tyler Mill. Austin earned our respect and disgust with his amazing log riding skills!

One weekend Nancy and I joined Drew and Karen at the Glastonbury Apple Festival, where Karen enjoyed a succulent lobster roll

and Drew tore into a smoked turkey leg:

Nancy's birthday brought Derik out of hiding, along with Brittany, Mike, Lillian and Scott. Unfortunately Kristen was too busy being a nurse and couldn't join us.

Nancy tests her new bike basket for fit on Kinsey:

Jeff and I got out fishing a couple of times. The first time the wind came up and we spent the day pounding through the chop, soaked to the skin and getting caked with salt. Jeff had the magic fly and with it caught a few schoolie striped bass, but I came up with nothing. The next time out we had excellent weather, and found The Sluiceway at the end of Plum Island to be loaded with bluefish smashing bait on the surface. It was non-stop action: bent rods, screaming reels, shredded leaders, mauled flies and snapping jaws - typical bluefish style - awesome fun. Here are the two biggest fish: 11 pounds each of angry muscle-propelled teeth:

Another weekend found Nancy and I headed up to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a Waterman/Shirley reunion, and to see the Head of the Charles regatta. Here we all are lined up on a bridge over the Charles while the boats skimmed underneath us. From left to right we are: Marilyn, Greta, Bodie, Todd, Alyssa, John, George, Bill, Julie, Nancy, Charles, Alistair, Dakota and Laurel, plus Flora and Rhona down in front:

Here are a few of the 8-man boats pulling up river:

Thanks to Alyssa and Bill for hosting the throng, and for cooking a delicious sit-down dinner for seventeen hungry mouths. It was great fun.

Our Hallowe'en carvings for this year:

When Nancy's new engineer started last Monday I got to work getting ready to head back out on the road. Gigantor's got six new tires, and the Whale has a second battery plus a 1/2/both switch. But when I pulled the wheels to check the bearings I was horrified to find that three of the four grease seals had blown, and the escaped grease made a nasty mess of the brakes. Apparently I went too many miles without changing these seals. So I had to buy four new brake assemblies and install them. Here's what it looks like when a grease seal fails inside a drum brake:

Finally, by staying into November we were happy to be able to attend Theonne's 40th birthday party! It was a surprise party, and here is the birthday girl seconds after opening the door and seeing the crowd:

Gene did a great job putting together the party, provided enough food to feed us all for a week, and he also had put together a great photo presentation of Theonne's life so far. It was a great event, and we're so glad we were able to be there.

So now I am back on the road, heading south with Gigantor and the Whale. Nancy will fly down to join me this coming weekend, and then we'll spend a few weeks exploring the south-east before scooting back to spend Christmas with the family.

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