Friday, March 17, 2017

The Blizzard

I'd be remiss if I didn't visit here with at least a few words about the March blizzard of 2017 that hit us three days ago mostly, on Tuesday, March 14 with significant snowfall overnight from the 13th into the 14th.

I'd been out on the scooter for my birthday not even a week before on the 8th and then again for a quick run to the bank on the 9th, and I was as comfortable as could be, slightly bundled for the 50 some degree weather then.  When the forecasters started prognosticating for a major nor'easter early this week I thought for certain that it had to be an early April Fool's prank.  With talk of exceeding all records in terms of snowfall, it just didn't seem possible.  I'd been having my coffee out on the deck for most of last week.

This was the view from my front door as the snow started tapering off on Tuesday.  That's my Impala behind the blue car.  It's been dug out.  The street's been plowed.  A lot of snow remains in huge heaps, but the roads are traversable depending on where one lives and whom one believes on Facebook.  I haven't left the house for four days now so I'm relying entirely on heresay.

As for the scooter, I fear it may be a good while, probably a number of weeks, before it'll enjoy rolling about again.  Here's the alley that leads from where its parked under the deck to the street.  There's no way that its width could fit through that channel cleared by the snow blower.  At its worst the snow between my house and the neighbor's was higher than the business part of the blower.  It was a struggle by the inch to get it to the front of the house where it was most needed.

Atop the deck under which the scooter rests when I'm not on it, this was the view with the yardstick buried to the 18 inch mark on the table.


While the amount of snow around the Piaggio's tires under the deck isn't that bad, there's a patch of ice in front of the lead tire that isn't going to thaw any time soon as what's in the alley way melts by day and drains down the sidewalk to refreeze at night.

The good news is that my scooter's been serving a useful purpose since the snow began falling.  It would appear that at least one of the friendly neighborhood feral cats took shelter under it, as well as a bird or a few.  Thankfully I saw no feathers, fur, or blood lying about to indicate that any became a meal for some of the others.

Here's hoping for some long stretches of above freezing weather in the next couple of weeks to reduce the snow mounds to only ice cube sizes, and for a successful outcome to an ordeal I'm facing next month that will determine if I'll have the funding to get some much needed work done on the bike to keep it running smoothly for another 10 years or so.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In Flux

I have not given up on riding, nor on writing.  I got this comment on my last post from Steve Williams who writes, "Scooter in the Sticks," which to me is the Gospel of scooter blogs:

OK. Just because you reach a mileage milestone it doesn't mean you quite writing and posting. Seems like that scooter has at least another thirty thousand miles in it. That translates into at least a few more posts... 

I felt guilty when I read it.  I put it aside for a while, as I have this entire blog for nearly the past three years during which my life has been on hold in a limbo of sorts. The end of the tunnel is in sight and it's terrifying to me.  The entire course of the rest of my life is going to be decided sometime in April and I'm scared to near death.  No, it's nothing like I might go to jail or anything horrible like that.  I haven't been THAT bad yet.

Now I hate on Facebook when somebody posts, "Oh no!  I can't believe it!" leaving the reader wondering what the hell happened.  Good?  Bad?  How big?  But for now I have to do that.  Still I felt the need to reply to Steve's note in some manner and here I am, simply saying that before summer I'm going to be back in riding and writing mode, or perhaps not getting to do much of either of them again to any great degree.

If you're a person of prayer, I'd appreciate your offering a few or many intercessions on my behalf for a favorable outcome of the ordeal I'm facing.  If not, perhaps cross your fingers for me now and then and send me some hopes and wishes that all will be well.  Thanks!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Major Milestone: 20,000 Miles!

The odometer read over 20,000 miles after my ride yesterday which I didn’t know I was taking when I left the house with no particular destination in mind.  It was simply one of those days that promised to be gorgeous from start to finish without a drop of precipitation anywhere in sight, cooler air temperatures, and sunlight aplenty to offset the breeze created by moving on two wheels through standing air.  I meandered here and there, changing my course as often as a girl changes outfits before an important date, and managed to make sure that I was somewhere safe to stop at when the big 20K rolled over from 19,999.9. 
As you can see, it was also my first jacket day even though technically it was still summer, albeit the very last day of it.  I enjoy stopping beside moving water whenever I can.  There’s something peaceful about a brook, creek, stream, etc. that’s moving along without a care in the world.  

I ended up in White Haven, and it was there, after consulting the odometer that I realized it would be a good day to make the milestone number of miles.  After that it was just a matter of deciding where to go and how to get there.  

Well, I didn’t decide it all at once.  This kind of haunting pic was made on a road I’d never taken before as I headed to Blakeslee.  It promised to lead to Lake Harmony and it did, but the lake wasn’t impressive enough to hold my interest more than a quarter of the way around it. 

The same road gave me this unique view of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike which leads to where both my daughters live, though an hour apart from each other. 

Diuretics aren’t much fun when one is out riding.  Bathroom breaks are a necessity and here I am after taking one at the Wawa convenience store at Blakeslee Corners.  I picked up a huge brownie too, but didn’t get around to munching on it till I was back at the house.

Like a little kid, I’m still fascinated by heavy machinery doing its thing.  I paused at the red traffic light that controls the single lane of traffic that has to take turns here because of the construction in the other lane, and after snapping a few pics I looked up just in time to see the light going red again.  I wasn’t in any hurry, and nobody was behind me, so it didn’t matter.

I was still 20 miles out from rolling the odometer numbers to the new milestone, so I thought about where I might head so that I’d be close enough to the valley to be able to stop for the picture safely.  I road a bit more toward the Poconos and then turned around, headed back to Blakeslee Corners and then turned onto Route 115 north which would bring me back to the valley. 

The scenery when I take the back roads and byways is always worth taking in around here and whenever I could I stopped to get a picture of something I enjoyed seeing.  Here it was a stand of pines lined up like soldiers right beside the road. 

This “Pinchot State Forest” on a map makes one’s head spin.  It’s not a single area, but rather a whole bunch of different places not physically connected to the others.  I’ve been on roads where multiple signs welcome you to Pinchot State Forest, and then inform you maybe a half mile later that you’re leaving Pinchot State Forest.  And then after a few miles, the same thing happens.  Very odd indeed, but that’s Pennsylvania.

And here it is!  Twenty thousand miles, just a month shy of nine years from when the Piaggio came home with me for the first time.  I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every single turn of the tires on the BV!   In order to get to the spot where the odometer actually read the perfect 20,000 I rode about a half mile down a side road from Rte. 115, and then turned around to complete the mile where I knew I’d be safe to take the shots I took.

I was wearing a kind of goofy smug look of satisfaction as I snapped pictures to capture the joy of the moment. 

And I frolicked among the flowers at the nearby Bear Creek Cafe to add to the fun I was having from rolled the numbers over. 

After that it was down the mountain, back into the valley, with me wearing a huge grin the whole rest of the way. 

When I finally parked the bike under the deck I’d gone 11 miles into the next 10,000 miles that I hope to mark on the trusty old scooter.  Finding the perimeter of the continental United States to be 8,878 miles, I’ve gone over the equivalent number of miles twice!  Here’s hoping to do the perimeter of Eurasia next!  LOL!