My second vacation of the Pandemic Era really started in 1985.
That year a middle-school me joined a church group for a bicycle tour of Vermont and New Hampshire. We left White River Junction one morning and headed up the Connecticut River all the way to the Canadian border. The guards let all 22 of us pedal across long enough to take our picture under the Welcome to Canada sign, and then we returned to the US to cross the river and pedal down through Dixville and Pinkham Notches. We ended a week on the road in a campground in North Conway NH.
Along the way I learned that my old Huffy Aerowind was up to the task, despite being built for suburban teenager duty and not real touring. I was up to the task as well.
Fast forwarding a few years, when I met the future Mrs. Mack505 I learned that I had pedaled directly past her grandparents’ farm in Vermont. I recognized it the first time I visited with her.
In even more recent times I have been privileged to repeat the Vermont portion of the journey with my rail car, running the rails from WRJ to Newport, VT twice in the last two years.
I have had soft plans to replicate the trip on a motorcycle for a few years. I had visions of puttering around the Green and White Mountains on my Super Cub, but they never came to fruition. The Honda’s limited top speed meant I would need to truck it to Vermont, and its age meant I wouldn’t feel comfortable touring without a support vehicle.
Last year I was new to the Ural and not comfortable with the speeds or distances necessary.
This year, it’s on!
I plugged my ambitions into a trip planner. I tweaked mileages and times to make an interesting trip. I added a loop through Brattleboro because I want to photograph the hometown of Joe Gunther and because I had spare time. I planned hotels and side trips, and I triple-checked the pandemic travel restrictions.
I hit the save button, zoomed out, and discovered this:
I’ll be damned if that’s not a chocolate Easter bunny.
The bike is serviced but not quite packed yet. The Chocolate Bunny 2020 Tour begins tomorrow morning, rain or shine.