Monday, October 31, 2005

Today's sky report

A few posts ago, I wrote about how bad luck seems to be happening in my wake ( Nothing actually happens to me, it's just that the places I go are affected after I leave. So, it shouldn't be hard to guess where I was the week before last. Not Cancun, but close. I spent a wonderful 5 days in Key West and a couple of nice days in Miami Beach. Of course, with the active hurricane season we've had, I guess I should have expected some wind and rain trauma. We were fortunate that Wilma stalled out a bit (sorry Yucatan), and allowed us to complete our vacation without changing our travel plans. I suppose we should have gotten out of Key West when they called for evacuated of tourists, but our hotel said it would be o.k. if we stayed until the next day (as we had planned). Once the tourists were out of the way, they told the residents to hang around a bit more, so our drive out of Key West (top down, Mustangin' north), was uncrowded and unpanicked. Miami Beach was a bit grayer, but still warm and the ocean was a wonderful 85 degrees. Payback came as we left the 85 degree and partly sunny day in Florida to arrive in NH at 42 degrees and rainy. Ecch.

If you see any reports about Brown's Lobster Pound burning down, I was there Sunday.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Today's sky report

I've been a little busy with vacation and the inevitable crush that comes when you get back to work, so I haven't posted in the past week or two. However, today's morning sky compelled me to rev up the old sky report to provide a description.

I got down to the end of my road this morning and looked left to see if the traffic was clear before turning right. On the horizon, there was a cloud bank, dark and solid. Farther up in the sky, was a set of wispy clouds, appearing like a pulled apart cotton ball. In between was an angled funnel-shaped cloud, giving the appearance that the sky was collecting the wispies and dropping them into the funnel to produce a solid cloud cloth at the other end. As the sun was rising, this whole cloud bank manufacturing apparatus was brilliantly back-lit. I've always wondered how those cloud banks were formed.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Today's sky report

After a solid week of solid gray, I'm ready for a change. Fortunately, my planning corresponded perfectly with the weather. I'll be leaving gray NH for sunny Key West very early tomorrow. It's a lot of fun to jump into a metal cylinder in one climate and step off in another. Shed that raincoat; put on those're in Florida now, sonny (or is that.. "sunny Florida now"?).

I feel kind of bad complaining about the weather when all I've gotten is wet. Many western NH residents have lost their homes, roads or bridges. And I can hear them in Seattle: "7 days of gray? He doesn't know anything about gray."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Today's sky report

I'm starting to get this feeling that there is bad karma associated with the places we passed on the motorcycle tour mentioned in my last post. We were at Lake George the day the tour boat sank. And now I see that Rt 123 in Alstead is mostly gone, a road that we traversed twice in our journey. Floodwaters did the damage. All I can say now is, look out Hancock.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Today's sky report

I spent a long weekend cruising around NH, VT and NY with my motorcycle posse.  Before we go any further, I just want it on record.  Yes, I was in Lake George on Sunday (morning) and No, I had nothing to do with any boats sinking.  My bike doesn't possess that kind of a wake.

Anyway, the trip was slightly planned, in that we picked a meeting place for Friday and we know in what general direction we might want to head.  Beyond that, the five or us made decisions on the spot, such as what road to take, when and where to stop for lunch, gas, dinner, lodging and who should lead and who should follow.  Given that even the most anal/rigid ones of us were going with the flow, it all worked out well.  I'll give some credit to the fact that it was an absolutely gorgeous weekend weather-wise.  You don't really care when you stop or where you go when the sun is shining and there are twisty roads in front of you.  The rest of the credit goes to the fact that we've all known each other for 35 years or more, and there are very few surprises in the group.

The images and impressions that stayed with me include:

  • There is tremendous amount of farm land in western VT.  We stopped for lunch at a little general store south of Middlebury and 4 out of every 5 vehicles that stopped in were trucks, real trucks not suburb trucks.  There were also a good number of farms, especially dairy farms, in eastern upstate NY. 
  • New England doesn't hold the northeast monopoly on twisty roads through mountainous regions.  NY holds it own.
  • Man, those lakes in VT and NY are big, especially Champlain and Lake George.  I've spent a lot of time on NH's largest lake, Winnipesauke and it may have more surface area than Lake George, but it's not as long.
  • Lake Placid is a tourist trap.
  • Lake George is a tourist trap with waterfront.
  • Manchester, VT, is a tourist trap with "outlet" stores. 
  • Crushed beer cans make good holders for motorcycle kickstands on soft ground, so when you have four friends coming in on bikes, you'd better get busy.
  • All the TFQ (too f'ing quaint) towns aren't in VT...NH and NY have their share.

I've managed to get some nice rides in with most of this posse over the past several years, and it's always fun.  It's one of the reasons I own a bike.