Our original plan was to leave in the afternoon on Wednesday to ride up to Americade (in Lake George, NY) and stay with friends until Saturday or Sunday, then ride home. Well, 3am on Wednesday I was laying in bed, wide awake listening to the rain that wasn’t supposed to come until the late afternoon. Now what? We went through so many plans and scenarios – we weren’t going, then Luke was going without me, then I was going to meet him up there Thursday, then we weren’t going, then Luke was going but coming home Thursday. The clothes came out of the bags, back into the bags, out of the bags. Luke was suited up and ready to go by himself when he said, “why don’t you come with me?” So I went. In the rain. The POURING rain. If you were in Connecticut on Wednesday, you’ll remember that rain – it was awful. I was looking to get a little rain riding experience under my belt and I got almost 5 hours of it that day. It didn’t stop raining until Thursday and my rain gear started to fail before we were even 20 minutes from home. It was a wet ride. It was so bad that I was crazy-laughing to myself, thinking of how I would write about it here and maybe title the entry “Wetmericade: Sogfest 2006”. The cold was getting to my brain.
We survived and got to the Hill of Happiness in Lake George around 5pm, wet and tired and alone. The group we were staying with had gone for a nearly 300 mile trip that day (despite the forecast) and were in Vermont trying to make it back – some had no rain gear and it was pouring. We found an open cabin and hunkered down until the all made it back around 8pm, wet and exhausted. We all dried off and went to bed hoping the rain would be gone by morning.
Although I wouldn’t call it sunny, at least it wasn’t raining when we woke up. About twelve of us piled in the van and drove downtown to go to the big vendor area. We shopped and wandered and had a lucky rain-free day. Luke was looking for heat grips for his bike but had no luck. He bought a few little things like a neck-warmer and a throttle-rocker and I got ice cream and my Americade 2006 pin.
Don’t tell the cops, but back at the Hill of Happiness, we put four chairs from the motel in the back of Joe’s van and managed to pile fourteen of us in there to drive to dinner. Squishy but interesting. We all had a great meal at the restaurant and, despite the waitress whose name was B.J. (I kid you not) and who had a squeaky voice and no concept of personal information, we all had a great time.
Friday (Luke’s 30th Birthday)
The forecast said rain possible but we saw the sun peeking through the clouds so we all geared up and took the long ride to Fort Ticonderoga for breakfast at the Hot Biscuit. A table for fourteen is not usually an easy thing to come by, but the Biscuit was ready when we got there.
Luke got started his birthday off right with a happy birthday song from all of us and a candle in his eggs. After the Biscuit, we took a nice ride on some curvy roads around the lake and beyond. I rode second in the pack most of the time and had such a blast taking the turns and checking out the scenery. It rained on and off but it wasn’t too bad.
That night we went into Glens Falls to a great brew pub, Davidson’s maybe? I can’t remember the name, anyway, great food, great beer, and Luke got a birthday candle in his salad, in his mashed potatoes, and then in a piece of cake from the waitress. He gradually started to loose patience for the candle and the singing, but come on! How often do you turn thirty?
Mark planned ahead and grabbed a shopping cart in case Luke needed a ride to the car but he was fine when we left. He hopped in the cart anyhow, never one to refuse a free ride, and got pushed back to the car. It was a fun night.
Guess what? More rain in the forecast! It didn’t look too bad, though, so we set out, just me, Luke, Fran and Tracy for a little riding with Fran’s friend Billy. Billy has a house up there so he took us to all the local bars and stops he likes to make.
At DJ’s, there’s a deck right against the street and you can sit there and eat and drink while you watch the crowds walk by and the bikes drive past. That’s my favorite part of going to Americade – people watching. One of the guys sitting next to us was shouting to all the girls who drove by to tell them that his friend there was single and interested in buying them a drink. He even had a set of beads, Mardi Gras-style for whoever wanted to flash him. Some girl walking by with a sexy little outfit on took him up on his offer and gave the deck a free show. Interesting. And no, I didn’t take a picture of that. There were several people walking their dogs in strollers and many interesting outfit choices. There was a terrible-looking pregnant girl with an over-burdened t-shirt stretched across her huge belly that read “M.I.L.F. in Training”. Yeah… I don’t think so. A couple we kept seeing were wearing matching t-shirts that said in big, yellow letters: “Sex Police, K-9 Unit, Doggie Style” Really? Do you think maybe she doesn’t know how to read? Why would she proudly wear that shirt down the strip for all to see?
We spent a while at DJ’s and then brought the bikes back to the Hill of Happiness and drove back downtown in the car for some dinner and more people watching. I forgot my camera, unfortunately, because there were two young girls riding this thing that looked like a three-wheeled quad. Two wheels in the front and one in the back with a motorcycle seat. It was cold that night but these two chickies were cruising the strip in tiny half shirts and low-rise jeans with their thongs proudly displayed. When people asked if they could take a picture, they half stood on the bike and posed with their butts half-exposed. Again, interesting.
Time to go home. We packed up the night before and planned to hit the road as soon as we got up. Well we didn’t get up until after 8:30 and got on the road a little late. We wanted to take the nice roads home but had somewhere to go at 4 back home so we rode some nice roads, then hit the Mass Pike and 91 back home. I was exhausted and stiff and all I wanted to do was go pick up Molly and go to sleep.
Molly was so happy to see me and licked my face all over. She stayed with my mom and my mom’s dog, Aimee, who Molly’s not entirely fond of. I called on Saturday to check in and my mom told me that the two dogs were riding in the car with their heads out the window when Molly pulled her head in and stepped on the automatic window-up button and rolled Aimee’s head up in the window! HA! She was sick of Aimee’s crap, I guess.
So now we’re back. We sort of glommed onto this group of friends and luckily they were nice enough to welcome us in. Now I feel like a part of the group and for that I want to thank all of them. Thanks, we had a great time!