I tried. God knows I tried. Two separate calls for Catskillcade 2014; one in May concurrent with the running of the Kentucky Derby, destroyed by the Alpine Club work weekend. One in June concurrent with the Preakness, wiped out by bad scheduling and a general malaise amongst the Maggots. There was a day when I could rally the Maggots with one well-crafted email. Am I losing my skill?
As a consolation ride, I put out the call for a Saturday day-ride on June 14. Only 4 Maggots answered. Konrad Urban, Thynk3r, Safety Man, and Mr. Furious. Scratch that; make it THREE Maggots. Mr. Furious would not ride, but offered his house as a waypoint on the ride.
A more creative Logistical Officer would have planned a new route that hits strange and wonderful roads, sights unseen, and new adventures to be discoverd.
But I am not that Logistical Officer. This week I am Lazy Logistical Officer so I planned the trip to take the tried-and-true route upw 23 to 97, through Hawk’s Nest, across the Delaware at Narrowsburg, lunch at the Alpine Haus (not Alpine CLUB) in Honesdale PA, then down 6 and 739 to Dingman’s Ferry and Mr.Furious’ farm in Hampton/Newton NJ. Maggots have practically worn wheel-ruts on this route, but we haven’t done it in over a year so it’s fair to repeat it once more.
The meeting spot would be Kosco Harley-Davidson on Route 23. Not a single Harley on this ride, but Kosco has a policy not to stomp any foreign bike riders before Noon on weekends. Plus my Buell gives us partial immunity. I arrived at 8:45, slightly early so that I could walk to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee. Probably the most harrowing part of the whole day because shrubs force you to walk on the shoulder of busy Route 23. How ironic would the headline be? “Motorcyclist killed while walking for coffee?”
Everyone arrived on or close to schedule, and we were off on the ride. An immediate gas stop was called by Konrad because Maggots do not just lack creativity today, they also lack planning skills. At the gas stop we lost Safety Man. Ten minutes into the ride and 25% down! He had a server crash at work, and as a small business owner he had to respond. Buh-bye, Safety Man! See you next time.
Next stop: High Point NJ
Why stop here? Why not! Sure, it costs $5 per vehicle to get in, but I wanted pictures. This time we did the ascent without oxygen, all 2,000-ish feet of it. The obelisk is finally open again for visitors to climb, but aside from lacking creativity and planning skills, today the Maggots also lacked stamina and chose to just enjoy the view.
After High Point, we went through Port Jervis to the inevitable motorcycle spot for a nice Saturday: Hawk’s Nest on Route 97 in NY.
Somewhere in this picture is a tiny Konrad Urban hammering the Angeles Crest Highway of the NY Metro Area:
Surprisingly there were only three other bikes at Hawk’s Nest. On a day like today I would expect dozens.
Route 97 was perfect. Empty of traffic to allow lawbreaking speeds up it’s 20 miles of fast turns. We made it to Honesdale PA and the best German food in the Northern Delaware Valley by 1:00
Our dirndl-clad waitresses served us wurst platter and the best potato pancakes anywhere. A few steins of Spaten Pils were lifted, but only in keeping with moderate motorcycle safety.
Thynk3r got a bit carried away while ordering and asked for a side dish of “all the different kinds of pickles you have.” The waitress (shown above in Thynk3r’s warm embrace) just blinked, like Thynk3r was speaking Swabian to a Bavarian. “What do you mean?” She asked. “All your different varieties of pickles; bring us a plate with an assortment. If there are too many, you pick ones that go with our wursts” said Thynk3r. Or at least that’s how I heard it.
Rather than making a face or getting surly, our motherly waitress said: “we only have one type of pickle. The best kind. I’ll bring you those.” Konrad mumbled something about this being Honesdale PA, not some Artisinal Pickleria in Williamsburg Brooklyn.
The pickles were indeed the best.
Bloated on Bratwurst, Krainerwurst, Polish Kielbasa, and Goulash (with shared strudel to put a final plug in the esophagus), we head down Route 6 through Hawley PA and along Lake Wallempaupak (spelling?), peeling off onto Route 739 through Lords Valley (and passing right in front of the entrance to Casa de BOTA West), we stop for gas and biology just outside Dingman’s Ferry.
And a nicotine hit:
And to ogle cars returning from the Chatterbox.
Then it’s across the only family-owned bridge that I know of ($1 per bike, please):
Konrad Urban lead us along county roads (great!) to the a Horse farm of Mr. furious and his life-partner:
Furious-spawn and hand-made Koi pond designed to calm the Fury:
Whereupon we were served burgers and chips, given some beer, and allowed to burn tobacco:
Thynk3r demonstrates Maggot dessert technique. Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate and whipped cream. Call it “Maggot S’mores”
We spent over three hours hanging out. Partially to process the beers through our finely tuned liver-factories, but really because maggot camaraderie is just THAT good.
I don’t know which is better; the riding or the company. Like dark chocolate and Redi-Whip, each enhances the other beyond the simple combination of the two.
The ride home happened at sunset and beyond. Konrad led us on the better way back to Route 15, and we zipped up every vent we had for the shivery ride home (68 degrees at highway speed in summer gear).