BMW MOA Rally Recap: Vermont – It’s Not Flat

We’re back and we’ve finally dried out. It was a fun, albeit wet weekend in Burlington, VT.

(For some reason, Blogger isn’t playing nice and for two days I haven’t been able to upload the pictures that go with this post. I’ll refer you to Flickr if you want to see the images.)

Luke managed to get out of work at three on Friday so we got on the road earlier than expected. It was H-O-T hot! on Friday and we were grouchy and sticky putting our gear on but once we got going it wasn’t bad. Until Greenfield, MA, that is. The lovely folks of Greenfield were working on some highway construction that turned the two-lane road into a one-lane traffic jam for several hot miles. My clutch hand was KILLING and I could feel the sweat dripping down inside my helmet (nice, huh? you’re jealous, I know).

On the Buell, there is no gas gauge, I use the odometer to tell me how much gas I have. The closer I get to 160 miles, the more I practice reaching for the reserve switch with my gloved hand. Well, my speedo sensor, which not only tells me how fast I’m going, but also works the odometer, died before we had even hit Springfield. I had no idea how fast or slow I was going, and no clue of how much gas I had. I signaled Luke when I had the chance by pointing to the speedometer and giving the thumbs-down sign. This is the fourth speedo sensor to die on this bike so he knew what I meant. Once the traffic cleared out and we were onto open highway again, I knew Luke was looking out for me and my gas supply so I just relaxed and cruised. And got bored. So bored.

I’m the type of person who needs to have my mind going in several directions at once for me not to be bored. Yes, riding a motorcycle requires concentration, but once you’re on an open highway with no traffic, no billboards to read, and 10 miles between exits with no odometer to watch to help you pass the time, it gets to be a tad monotonous. I wish I could listen to my iPod but Luke SWEARS it’s against the law. I have my doubts, but he insists so I go with it. Instead, I listen to the thoughts rolling around in my head.

Among them:

I wonder how fast we’re going. If we’re going 80, and that sign said 64 miles to White River Junction, how long will it take us to get there? 60 miles per hour is a mile a minute, and 80 miles per hour is a third more so is that 1.3 miles a minute? Ow, it hurts to do math…

(the theme song) “Middletown NI-ssan…” that’s all I can remember and it repeats over and over in my head…

I wonder how many times I can run the alphabet forward and back continuously. ABCDEFG…

(that Shakira song) “I’m on tonight, you know my hips don’t lie…


So 1.3 miles a minute is 4 miles every 3 minutes. That’s 20 miles every 15 minutes… ow…

A, my name is Alice, my husband’s name is Art, we come from Alabama and we sell artichokes…

Middletown NI-ssan…

I tried the state capitals, too but I don’t know very many of them. It was kind of frightening how many directions my brain went. I was just finishing up my third round of “A my name is Alice” when we pulled into the fairgrounds. Thank goodness, too, cause there aren’t that many names that begin with Q or X and I was running out.

So we pulled in around 8pm, registered, found my dad, pitched our tent, and were rewarded with this sight: Sunset

Saturday morning we rolled out of the tent and headed over to the Sausage Shack for the delicious breakfast special. The “special” part was the fact that it came with coffee, which I need to maintain the open eyelids and the talking and the walking. The Sausage Shack is located right near Al’s French Frys. For the normal person, this name is no big deal. To the grammar and punctuation police, of which I am lieutenant, this sight made me twitch. At least there wasn’t an apostrophe.

We wandered around through the vendors, I wanted to thank the Kermit Chair guy for sending me the awesome pink fabric for my chair but he wasn’t at his booth when we walked by. I bought a new pair of (pink riding gloves. (This is what happened when I took them out in the rain later on.) We went out for pizza and then the rain started. The rain. I’m so sick of the rain. It was a light, relentless kind of rain that you couldn’t call a “pouring” rain, but it was steady enough that is soaked everything through. We hid out under the grandstands and in the beer tent listening to the great bands and drinking cheap Long Trail before heading back to the tent to sleep in the rain. Luckily our tent wasn’t in a low spot (like my dad’s was) and luckily, of the two tents we have to pick from that we’ve never actually used, we picked one that was waterproof.

We tried to sleep but the sound of the rain, and the campers stumbling back from the beer tent, and the early birds packing up at 5am kept waking us up. We finally decided to give up waiting for it to stop and just go get some breakfast. We packed everything up in the rain, always a fun time, and went for food. We decided to just head out in the rain and see if maybe we could just escape the rain by heading south.

My dad had told us to take this certain route 17 in Vermont. He told us that we just HAD to take it, so we planned our trip south so as to hit route 17 on the way home. Well… let me just say, I wasn’t sure my dad liked me so much after we saw what route 17 had to offer. I’m sure, on a beautiful, clear day, that route 17 would be a blast. And a beautiful ride over a mountain. But on Sunday morning as we headed over it, it was raining and the fog was like cotton. It was so thick I couldn’t even see Luke in front of me and the road was nothing but sharp twists and turns and corners and hills. We had to slow it down to almost first gear on some corners, it was insane. I laughed the whole time because my dad was worried about me riding to he rally in the rain, if he only knew what he sent me into on route 17, I wonder what he’d think.

After route 17, we wandered our way down through Vermont. We stopped at Sugarbush for a little rest. The we had lunch in Woodstock, an adorable town filled with art galleries and bookstores. So cute! I even got to go to the Stephen Huneck Gallery. I first admired his style when I saw his Sally books a long time ago and I’ve loved his work ever since. His wood carvings are amazing and I really wish I had enough money to buy this.

We wandered the rest of the way home with another stop in Northampton, MA. I love Northampton and I really wish I had more time to walk around with less riding gear on. There’s nothing worse than walking the streets of a funky, artsy town in helmet hair and swishy riding pants. Here’s Luke looking cool in Northampton. We had an uneventful ride from there. Got home around 7 and went to pick up Miss Molly. She spent the weekend eating cat food and ignoring my mom’s dog so she was chubby and excited to go home.

It was a short trip and it was a wet trip, but it was a fun trip. Thank you to everyone who helped make it a great weekend! Maybe we’ll see you next year in Wisconsin!


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