Sunday, March 21, 2010

Well, well, well, and not so well

After last minute bouts with Lyme disease rashes, tax credits, and the last bits of putting my household to bed, I departed a day or two later than hoped, but at 10:28am on Saturday I turned left out of the driveway, thereby completing the sum of my official plans for the trip. Looks like I'm winging it from here.

By my evaluation, my progress was perfect, eventually making it to Kettletown State Park on the Housitonic just in time for a "rapid" walk before sunset closed the park. I know, slow, but that is the point. If I make too much forward progress, it will mean I'm falling back into the old mode of travel to arrive somewhere. This is travel to stop and see, not simply transport.

My "rapid" walk through Kettletown State Park

So, roughly seven hours to not make it to the CT boarder, I must have stopped along the way. And how. After a quick stop at Goodwill to part with some last items, and Best Buy so I could use up a gift card and bring you these photos by way of a memory card, my first real exploration came along the Quinipiac Trail south of Rt 42. I'd never hiked any section of this trail, but lucked onto a good one, complete with panoramic view, a spur trail that allows for a loop, and even a cool flowing stream near the road so I could test the water filter and wet my whistle after the hour plus jaunt. Well done Connecticut trail system.

View from the Quinipiac Trail and part of my finger

There's something post-apocalyptic about an empty swimming pool, especially when part of a deserted YMCA camp in spring.

Leaving the car in the care of the trail head, I back tracked down the road by bike to take a look at the Farmington Canal Greenway I'd motored across earlier. For years, I've known of this trail, and even once rode the southern section from near Sleeping Giant towards New Haven, but I'd never made the pedal down to see the rest. I seemed a silly opportunity to skip, although I did have to convince myself with a reminder of my purpose.

Farmington Canal Greenway earning its name

On one of the first truly warm days of spring, the greenway was packed. Think downtown Hartford sidewalk during lunch hours pack. I was just about to give up on it when I seemed to hit the magical distance of being just far enough from one of the access parking lots that the crowds started to thin. If you get the chance, and it isn't the first nice day of spring, I recommend a spin down this lovely lane, and be sure to take full advantage of the sections of crushed stone side-path that parallel the main trail; they even have their own (narrow) bridges at the water crossings. Bike path singletrack!

Some condos, and oh yeah, the western end of Sleep Giant

So all is going well, right? Not so fast (was I going fast?), what's that groaning noise coming from the rear of the car as I near Kettletown State Park? Hark, might that be the sound of a failing wheel bearing. A hand on the right rear wheels confirms excess heat (and no brake drag), so in light of my short distance from home-base and a shed full tools, after a diagnosis and contemplation in Sandy Hook's Park and Ride, I turn the wheel east and limp the old lady home, taking advantage of the cooling night air. In preparation for the trip, I had replaced a great many parts preemptively lest they fail on the road, but it seems I missed the spinning items support the axles. I guess this is turning into an adventure. So be it.

Sunday's excitement: wheel bearing service!


  1. I think I have several pictures exactly like that last one. Let me know if you need any help diagnosing 240 sounds while on the road.

  2. Love the pics and reading about your travels thus far. Glad you were not too far from home when you needed to do more repairs. Good luck with the car and I can't wait to read more!