Dumptrucks and Tractor Pulls, still a Long Wade to Go. July 16 – 18, 2015.

The red eye flight back east was predictably punishing, exacerbating the soreness between my shoulder blades that rafting failed to banish, but there were two things I was very much looking forward in Pittsburgh: Jack was back, and I’d soon be reunited with my own bike!

This goober again! My favorite way to and from the airport.
Serenity is BACK!

We immediately made tracks to Slagheap, but we’d caught Geoff at an off time and he wouldn’t be in for another hour – a perfect opportunity to nap in a nearby park with Jack. I had the luxury of the entire day, since I’d be crashing in town with Eileen.

When we pulled the tarp off my scooter in Geoff’s shop, it was the same sense of relief I felt after Serenity had been at the Vespa SF shop for weeks. Here she was, so familiar, exactly how I left her. I felt like I was coming home. An oil change and a milkshake with Geoff and Jack at the local diner later, and we were on our way.

Getting back on my bike after riding a spanking new 300 Super up and down the PCH, well… mine was broken in alright. The phrase ‘well-churned butter’ popped into my head, everything a little slippy, worn smooth, and soft in all the right places. Sure, the 300 Super might be all tight, shiny pickup and have more storage, and the ABS is a good idea (though I curse the traction control every time), but it seems when I ride other bikes it serves only to remind me how much I like my bike. I patted her headset, I would never trade you for a new 300, I whispered.

Many good memories from this house. I wouldn’t have imagined the next time I’d be here I’d be on a scooter. Thanks for the crash spot, Eileen!
Jack and I stopped by the hometown of revered groundhog weather guru, Punxsutawney Phil.
It was a little overcast, but we found some fun roads and rests following the Sinnamahoning.
All too soon time to say farewell to Jack again.

At the end of a full riding day playing in the forests (on one stretch, we went to bump fists in motion and had to grab the bars and swerve to avoid colliding, at another stop I went to pinch his nipple and he responded by jerking off my handlebar…good times, good times), I gave Jack the biggest hug and he turned northwest back to his hometown, Buffalo, NY. I would be meeting Tim again at his parent’s place in his hometown, Horseheads, NY.

The local convenience store is my best bet for a coffee shop, and also has something special…
Fresh apple cider donuts!
Set aside for Tim, or ‘TJ’ as he’s known here.
Tour of the land, and Tim Jr’s dad, Tim Sr’s, business.
Epic dump truck action! For moving dirt and things.
Family garden. We picked tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli for Tim to bring back to Carrie in Providence.
One of the wings finally rusted and rattled off.
Excursion to Watkins Glen.
Touch eeet.
Walking under a waterfall.
This is what happens when we try to take nice photos.
Iced coffee.

It’s difficult for me to rest, especially because after all this time I wanted to see Tim’s home turf (c’mon, sitting in a car, that’s totally resting from the bike). Swimwear on, we breezed by Watkins Glen with plans to go for a dip in Seneca Lake. It’s the deepest lake in NY state, maintaining a near constant, chilling temperature 39 F (4 C), a fact I’m fairly certain Tim failed to mention. He managed a swim, but I think I made it about calf deep before deciding I wanted to keep all my fingers and toes for the ride to Lubec.

Iced scooterist.
Beer tasting at Horseheads Brewing across the street from the Wade home. Turning up some heat with Hot-Jala-Heim, my favorite beer here.
A lone two-wheeler at the Wade household.

There was still one piece of culture here I needed to experience before leaving: a tractor show!

Snacks are required.
Salt potatoes. Don’t burn your mouth.
You can see who the Wades support.
Not to leave anyone out, I got a hat too!
Attending my first tractor pull.
The sled on the back steadily moves the weight forward, increasing drag until the front wheels of the tractor lift off and it can pull no further.
Perusing lawn tractors after the show.
A Giraffe (Tim) in his natural habitat.
Summer isn’t complete without a stop at the local ice cream stand.
Astounding, they had lactose-free soft serve!!! Raspberry for me!
We sat on a swing set and watched planes land between the hills.

Tim’s mom stopped by a riverbed by one of Tim’s dad’s pick up points, to select some stones for her garden. I took the opportunity to find a nice round massage rock. The pain between my shoulder blades had only grown sharper since California, almost like a physical manifestation of the pressure I felt to check off my final corner. The ibuprofen flowed steadily just to function between the wincing. At night, I rolled the stone between the mattress and my knots, desperately trying to unravel what was probably bunched up anticipation for the full days of riding ahead.

Can’t leave without sampling the Wade stone ground wheat pancakes.
Mmm closeup.
A little bonus gas.
Also one more garden tomato sandwich.
These sandwiches are amazing!

Tim got me hooked on these tomato sandwiches: still sun-warm garden tomatoes on white bread with mayonnaise, salt and pepper optional. I think they aren’t nearly as good if it’s not from their garden, though.

Thanks again, Tim and parents!

Thank you so much for your hospitality, Tim, Tim, and Mary Jane!

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