THIS IS PART 1 OF A 5 PART SERIES
Given the vagaries of my job, trying to find vacation time for the MOA national in June this year was impossible for me. My wife, Wendy King and Adam Gilpatric on the other hand had no such issues and promptly left me behind for the 50th anniversary MOA national.
Instead, I set my sights on the Green Mountain rally the weekend after Labor Day and the BMW RA national in Davis WV the following weekend. With Kathy now retired, she and I were able to set off for the GMR early on Friday with a stop at Barrington Motor Works to have Ande’s crew replace the rubber bellows between the transmission and driveshaft on my 77 R100 to solve a slow drip. In short order Casey had the new bellows in place and we were on our way, taking our time and setting the GPS to avoid highways. We lunched at an excellent Italian restaurant in Lebanon NH called Three Tomatoes. Highly recommended! Arriving at Camp Thorpe early mid-afternoon, we registered, unpacked into our cabin and wandered around, reacquainting ourselves with old friends and making new while we waited for Adam and Wendy. It was a beautiful afternoon and evening in the warm early September sun. Dinner that evening was lasagna, salad and rolls expertly prepared by the GMR’s new chef /BMW rider/rock band drummer for Saturday’s entertainment, Dan Whitmore. They really rocked the pavilion with a mix of rock n roll, blues and even a couple of originals. With the coastal forecast for Friday’s weather not looking swell, I was still bullish on the weekend’s weather as a whole. While we didn’t see anything wet until at least 9p, those further east and south were getting it, including Wendy and Adam who weren’t able to leave until after work. Darkness and wet forced them into a hotel around 7:30p, much for the better for sure.
Saturday morning broke with some fog that quickly burned off and turned into a lovely day. Our companions arrived around 9:30, quickly unpacked and prepared for the day’s ride. We had the benefit of Martha Veselka from Vermont (she lives right on VT-117!) to lead the 4 of us along with new friend Lili Saito Dobert from NY through the Green Mountains on a day of awesome passes and great food at the Toast and Eggs in Waitsfield VT. The girls met and befriended Martha at the ’23 Downeast Rally and rode together with Joanie Berry up to Dave Percival’s in Andover. That led to a girl’s ride-in this past summer in VT that saw Kathy, Wendy, Joanie, Leah Mahoney and Donna Stinson all meeting up at Martha’s place for a weekend of riding and companionship. This would appear to be the genesis of some sort of new riding group of the likes that would cause Jack Riepe to reconsider his gender to join!
Saturday evening’s meal was NOT build-you-own tacos this year, thankfully! The door prize drawings were followed by the evening’s music by Blues Without Borders. And did they rock it! I understand that there was some sort of frivolity that took place during a couple of the songs, but I must’ve been in the bathroom and missed it.
Sunday dawned with the threat of rain but as the morning wore and the packing was completed, the clouds appeared less threatening. We donned rain gear anyway and were off, – I was still bullish mind you but didn’t want to boast - making pace to my college friend’s house in Canadensis NY for the night.
Attendance was down a bit from last year but overall it was another great GMR!