Sometimes you just end up in places that you hadn't planned. Today I had planned to visit Bettencourts Honda in Bridgewater, just to loiter about. As fate would have it, I missed the exit. Not wanting to backtrack I decided to continue on with no plan. Picked up I-495 South to route 28..which I knew would go to Wareham and Buzzards Bay.  I must say it's always strange being in that town as my ex-wife lives there, and her family. No run ins. The Cape Cod canal is always a nice sight and makes for some great pictures. To my surprise, there was not a lot of traffic. The plan was to pick up route 6, across the Sagamore bridge and then cut over back to route 28 on the cape to Chatham, but time was waning and it was getting a bit cool (anything under 100 degrees to me is cool). So It was route 3A back through Manomet and Plymouth, right along the coast. 
     One thing stood out to me in both these areas, and that was the large number of houses for sale. In one stretch I counted 15 houses for sale, can't imagine what the asking price was for them, in Plymouth and right against the ocean. Recently there was a Great White sighting in Duxbury MA. So today by the beach there was a helicopter circling the beaches, my guess is that it was doing surveillance for potential sharks, but who knows...maybe someone escaped the local penitentiary...
     I often say that as riders, we develop a 6th sense for other traffic on the road with us. When riding, watching other drivers is essential for predicting who might be unaware of you and who is driving erratically. This proved true today on route 3N while headed home. A guy in a Lincoln who was speeding and changing lanes frequently (the constant lane changers are the ones you really have to watch). As he pulled up next to me at one point, I slowed down to give him space...sure enough, my instincts were right. He suddenly veered into my lane...I saw this coming just from observing his driving behavior.  The trick is to stay behind a particular car and watch them for 30 seconds or so. That is usually enough to give you a picture of what they might do...then you pull out and pass them quickly so they are behind you now and aware of your presence. That' s it for the riding lesson! Below are some pics...
 
 
     Woke up at 630, it was cool and very foggy. Quick shower and check out, then coffee. Around 800, started the ride to Greylock. The temp was rising already and luckily, the fog started to burn off.  The ride up to the summit is a fun one with hairpin curves and dense forest. One must be sharp as there are hikers and cyclists throughout. Not to mention wildlife that could jump out at a moments notice, deer, moose, even black bears. There are a couple of turnouts for panoramic views that are incredible. Reaching the summit (about 4000 ft above sea level) gives you an unhindered view of about 100 miles in any direction. There were very few people up there at that time of day and the stillness and quiet was very calming and therapeutic. The temp remained comfortable and there was just a slight breeze.
     Perhaps the most amazing sight was the cloud cover below this altitude, a soft cotton blanket covering the valley below with intermittent cracks to allow a peek of the green plains and forest lingering below. One or two hawks could be seen gliding the wind currents no doubt looking for food in the form of smaller birds, unaware of their presence. 
     I don't usually like heights, probably why I failed at getting my pilot's license, but despite the altitude, it was a very comfortable experience. I strongly recommend this area to anyone considering a visit. The local area is rustic, with Williams College as the focal point. 
     The ride home, I stayed on route 2 the entire time and experienced the Mohawk Trail. For bike riders, this has to rank as one of the best rides around. Winding roads with many areas to stop for pics. Rivers, valleys, streams, lakes, and dense tree cover , the latter of which are almost tunneling in their scope. I debating taking 122S back the way I came but avoiding Worcester is always a good thing, so I stayed on route 2 the whole way, which is boring at times, but listening to music the whole time eases the monotony. I seriosuly want to do this trip again. It's reasonable close and the scenery can't be beat. Along with the ability to escape the chaos of city life for 24 hours!
 
 
 
 
Well, I 'm here in Williamstown after a rather roundabout trip. Had planned to take back roads but  the sign posts were misleading. Unfortunately, wound up in Worcester again...ugh...before finding route 122 north...which turned out to be  a very  nice ride indeed. Stopped at a gas station in a small town, and there were three older ladies congregated outside...each sporting a Harley Davidson. They didn't really know what to make of me or the Fury.  
     Later on, the road really opened up and for about 10 miles there was only me and a Porsche Panamera navigating the winding road...both of us with open throttles, as the dense shroud of trees and occasional lakes blurred by. Then something strange happened...There was a Toyota Avalon in front of me for about 3 miles or so. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he pulls over violently and slams on his brakes...as I pass him he gives me the finger...go figure...anyway, after that he turned off.
     Eventually, Route 2 became the mode of travel.And what a road it is. Also known as the Mohawk Trail, it has some incredible twists and turns, and vistas that are stunning...photos to come. 
     Rolled into Williamstown at 6pm. Had a nice chat with the guy in the lobby. An Indian guy from Mumbai. He saw my name, and figured it out. Then it was to the Purple Cow for nachos and a Stone IPA. The guy next to me at the bar was a motorcycle salesman. We had a good talk about KTM bikes.
     Tommorow, Mt. Greylock...
 
 
Packing up and getting ready to head to Williamstown for the night...about a three hour journey there. Leaving at 2-2:30 should put me there by 530 - 600. Plan is to check out Mount Greylock in the morning, ride to the top and do some filming and photos. Quite a splendid sight. Weather reports indicate cloudy conditions with no rain, though right now there are some dark clouds which look pretty ominous..still no call for rain...so it better not! Will check in later...
 
 
Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb...ah never mind!
     It was still sunny this morning, and I had the urge to ride. So a quick load up and it was off on route 2 west.  I had hoped to make it to Shelburne Falls and then circle route 202, but that was a little further than I thought.  Decided to stop for breakfast near Fitchburg, at McDonalds...wasn't my first choice, and since there was no Starbucks around, and McD's had free wi-fi, that was the choice.Yesterday I picked up an ASUS tablet. I always figured I never needed a tablet because I have an ASUS laptop. But Microcenter had a great deal on an open box tablet...with Windows 8.1...the version that allows you to install any software you want, not just what's available from the Windows app store. Have to say, it was a great purchase. I am sold on tablets. In fact, while at McD's, I was able to pull up Google Maps and get a bearing on where I was. 
     The map showed that I had a ways to go for my orginal destination and Wachusset Mountain and Leominster State Park were in very close proximity. route 31 south skirted the park and the map showed lots of wooded areas, so that was the route, after a quick stop at Wachusett Mountain (Photo below). 
   Route 31 turned out to be a very nice ride. The forest canopy was right on top of me and I had to flip up my sun shade as it was that dark underneath the trees. There were some nice twists and only one car in front of me for a brief period. Soon in opened up into fields and hills and the warmth of the sun returned...
 I had intended to pick up 110 then 111 back to route 2 but missed it somehow and continued on rte 31 until I hit route 9. Unfortunately, rte 9 takes you through one of the most vile, and disgusting cities known to man: Worcester MA. Had to suck it up and continue through the restaurant chains, check cashing places and tattoo parlors. On a whim I diverted to rte 20 East through Marlboro. I used to work in Marlboro years ago when I was in IT, and sure enough drove right by the 'technology park' where I was formerly employed. 
     By this time I was ready to get home so it was 495 South to the Mass Pike..and here I am now typing this. Hoping that next weekend I can make it to Williamstown MA and ride the Mohawk trail and the summit of Mt. Greylock, but as of now the weather calls for rain all next weekend...which sucks because there are not many riding days left in the season. Let's hope that the predicted rain misses!!

 
 
Manchester Vermont.
    Woke up on the morning of August 9 to a beautiful day...too nice NOT to ride. After a quick trip to the gym and the driving range to hit some balls, I checked the motel availability in Manchester, booked a room and headed out around 1:30. The route was 119 to route 30 right into downtown Manchester, which is right in the heart of the Green Mountain National Forest. Manchester manages to maintain 2 distinct paradigms. Part of the town is classic small town New England, with local merchants and watering holes. The other part is the outlet section which, as you guessed, has outlet stores from the heavyweights of fashion, Armani, Ralph Lauren etc...
   The entire trip took about 3 1/2 hours from home to the Four Winds Country Motel. This place looked like a typical roadside motel, but the room was quite nice, despite the carpet stains. As soon as I entered the lobby, the strong but distinct aroma of masala greeted me, then in seconds the concierge appeared..Indian as you might have guessed. It's amazing how many smaller hotels and motels are owned by Indian families. 
     After check in, I dumped my bags and headed downtown..at this point it was almost 6 PM and I hadn't eaten since 11 AM..so the lone Southwestern restaurant in town was a welcome site...and the Burrito and Switchback Ale sat very nicely, thank you. Just down the street was a coffee shop/book store. They had a sign advertising book signings and some major players had recently passed through, most notable was Hillary Clinton. Loaded up on french roast; sitting in the parking lot was a welcome experience.  Then it was back to the room to get the action cam ready for some filming on the journey home...
     It's amazing how different the dynamic is when you leave the confines of a large city and enter a small rustic town. Everything seems much more accessible. The pace seems a bit slower and relaxed. I'm rather fond of Vermont, but I noticed that during this entire trip, I didn't smell cow manure even once. During other trips to Vermont, there were areas where that odor was overpowering...not so this time...enjoy the clip of route 100...