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2004 Magical Mystery Tour

Groton MA to Lake Bomoseen VT

The Holbrook Family's Magical Mystery Tour for 2004 took us to Vermont again. As usual, a good time was had by all.

My ride down to Turtle Biker's place near Nashua to stay in the area the night before started with torrential rain through most of Vermont, coming down so hard it hurt right through my jacket. Things clear up in New Hampshire though and Saturday dawned bright and beautiful. Unfortunately it didn't bode well for the Mystery Tour that we made two wrong turns just trying to get to the diner where the ride started.

I made three mistakes on the route this year, two of which I will do the traditional American thing and completely absolve myself of responsibility for them. The first mistake cost me more than 25 miles as I turned onto a road to "Follow Numbered Route" but it had two route numbers. I picked the wrong one and took a slow little trip up to Nashua from Pepperell.

The second time I just flubbed it on a good clue. At one intersection the route sheet said "Stop sign @ T (it would seem), head tower Perennials". A sign on the opposite side of the road, toward the left, said "Perennials". Underneath a somewhat more subtle arrow pointed to the right. Should I go left (head toward the sign) or right (head where it says perennials are)? I opted for the right turn, but three miles later where the next instruction should have made sense it didn't. So I turned around and headed back, prepared to go left. That's when I noticed the T intersection was not a T and there had been a road across it, up which was where the perennials were sold. I took it and was back on track. Only later did I find out that there was actually a fourth option at that intersection, another road across the T but to the left. Turns out that amongst all participants at least one person made each possible mistake. This instruction was wonderfully sinister (pun somewhat intended).

My last mistake was based on odometer discrepancy and only put me off track for no more than a mile. An intended right turn that should have been at 0.3 miles was more like 0.2, and the two other right turns closer to 0.3 were each roads that ended abruptly (one with the rather unusual placement of a stop sign entering a cul-de-sac) so it didn't take long to find the right way.

After socializing at the camp ground for the evening, I headed home around 10:30pm as it was only about an hour and half from my house and I decided that I'd rather not put away a wet tent in the morning (it was supposed to rain) and I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do on Sunday. As it turned out, it was pretty chilly, I didn't have my liner, and so my ride home in the cold and dark really was pretty much the opposite of fun. Sunday the weather was pretty good in Montpelier and I probably would have had a better time if I'd just stayed. Cie la vie.

Thanks, Mark, Judith, Jamie and John!

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Gathering of bikes at the diner.
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Note TOWN FOUNDER for a later left turn
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Note BRIDE'S NAME and JOHN'S AGE for later turns
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Note WATERWORKS BUILDER for a later left
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The waterworks of Ashburnham MA
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Note ELEVATION and convert to inches to later make a left turn
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Note HUGE THING at car dealership to later pick straight at a four way intersection
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Note ROCKING thing then later go left
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Count GRAVESTONES, a sucker task; just needed to estimate if there were more than 100 to later make a right turn
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Count GRAVESTONES, a sucker task; just needed to estimate if there were more than 100 to later make a right turn
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"1st 0.1 mi. really crappy" if someone wanted to skip it
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"1st 0.1 mi. really crappy" if someone wanted to skip it; Karl and Jessica Paxton opted not to
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Note FOUNTAIN color and if you could later associate this with Triumph, you'd turn right
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Note FOUNTAIN color and if you could later associate this with Triumph, you'd turn right
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Note FOUNTAIN color and if you could later associate this with Triumph, you'd turn right
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Wooden decked bridge; the BRIDGE DATE on the plaque at top was 1889 and knowing that was a prime number meant a left turn later
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Glenn? and Susan
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The BRIDGE DATE on the plaque reads 1889 -- figuring whether that was a prime number or not made the difference in whether you correctly took a left turn later
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Glenn?, Susan and Paul
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NEDoDers at the cool bridge
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Karl and Jessica Paxton on smoother ground
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Note unusual SIDING to later make a left
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Note CLEARANCE of the Bartonsville Covered bridge and convert to metric to later turn right
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Note CLEARANCE of the Bartonsville covered bridge and convert to metric to later turn right
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Note JOB of person on largest monument for a left turn
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Note JOB of person on largest monument for a left turn
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A monument further back in the same cemetery that gave Judge Harrington's monument a run for its money, but was indeed shorter
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Inscription on the second tallest monument
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Inscription on the second tallest monument
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Inscription on the second tallest monument
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Inscription on the second tallest monument
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Impromptu gathering in Middletown Springs, VT (Scott's bike)
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Impromptu gathering in Middletown Springs, VT, with Scott, Mark, Jamie and Glenn
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Nice Victorian on the Middletown Springs town square
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A well-defended church in Middletown Springs
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Foliage growing on a fallen log over a brook, with touch-me-nots foreground
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Foliage growing on a fallen log over a brook, with touch-me-nots foreground
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Newest member of the NEDoD; the pipe on his bike made a dirtbike sound when he rode
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Well-informed biker geeks
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inTENTsity
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Biggest stuff sack EVER
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Andy made it but sans guitar or funnelator
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Mike works to get a stake in through typical campground hardpack
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More campground setup
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Julia's postride stories amused me the most, especially after she got to her "I just didn't care anymore!" point
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More stories from Julia
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Who let the Canadians in?
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Well you'd not mine either, nyah
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Happy puppy on a roadtrip
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You really need fading light and a slightly unsteady hand to capture the true essence of Joe
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He just doesn't look right without a bird on his shoulder
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More fading light bluriness
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Amused, I think. Maybe pissed. No I'm gonna stay with amused.
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Queer Eye for the Biker Geeks visited and helped with colour coordination
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More post-ride jawbonin
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Still smarting just a tad from his international performance award

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Last modified: Tue Aug 17 21:41:25 2004
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