What makes for a great Gonzo day. Well, there are lots of moving parts. These things can't happen sitting in front of the TV or zooming about the back-country on a 4 wheeler. Nosirree, Bob, you need to at least be doing some sort of Gonzo sport, which by definition is human-powered. As well, you need to be with a group of Gonzos. Now, it could be argued that we are not 'out there' as much as we used to, but don't be getting all smug on me. We're not the Gonzo Social Club just yet.
This most enjoyable day happened in the middle of a Gonzo bike trip, a re-visit to the southern Maine trip of '98. Stay on the #1 highway and visit places like Old Orchard beach and Freeport. We had 12 people on this trip ranging from Ai-Ai, who is 3, all the way up to Betty, whose hubby is a mere 63. Not an easy task, pointing that many people in the same direction for a full week. Thanks to the planning skills of one Bruce Duffy, we all got there and back and had a great time in between. Lots of food, lots of shopping and enough biking to justify the trip. I'm not sure if we were entertaining Ai-Ai, or she was entertaining us. I know she really enjoyed having 10 more people as her audience, and she made us all a little younger, at least for the week.
Good Morning Ogunquit
This great day started as the sun came up, miraculously, just before we got on the bikes. We were staying in a great little place called Ogunquit, Maine that had flow-through room suites with a kitchen in the middle, and a hot tub. The sky was sunny and clear, with just a hint of that October nip. Perfect biking weather. The 'croo sallied into Kittery and the first great schism occured. Some people wanted to shop asap, others to bike to Portsmouth and perhaps, shop later. The breakaway unit consisted of Larry, BruceM, Betty, Carol and GordonY. As we approached the the main bridge into town, we realized that we might get split up, so stopped to make a plan. The first question was "Who has a cell phone". The obvious answer...we ALL did! No Luddite curmudgeons in this group. Oddly enough, no one had any pen or paper. Too funny. So what did we do? Well, like any 'au courant' teen-ager, we cross-called each other to get the numbers into our phone address books. Like, who wouldn't, eh? No one actually answered the calls, because, unlike teenagers, we have to pay those $$$ phone bills.
Portsmouth is a funky little town, right on the ocean, with a nice compact downtown and little spits of land jutting out everywhere. Larry took over navigating duties and started batting for the cycle. We took a little side trip out to the venerable Wentworth Hotel (yes, that Wentworth). Twas a grand place indeed. We grundged up the lobby a bit, abused their bathrooms and headed off with little bits of hotel minutae stuffed into our pockets. Back into town past houses decorated in a style you recognize right away and will soon see in Pictou if Carol has her way.
Time to eat, and Sampson's spidey-sense is tingling. We kept to the waterfront, took a chance on the first semi-dense area. The restaurant (The StockPot) was right on the water, behind a bunch of olde, industrial buildings. The location, view, food, atmosphere and company were all first rate. Someone decided to have a local beer, and everyone followed suit. Beer...in the middle of a day of cycling...with Gonzos...!!! I mean, it's tough enough that we have to deal with positive calorie days on these trips, but to add a full meal and beer, not to mention less time spent cycling...Yikes!
Après lunch, it was obvious that we needed some time before we got back on the bikes and headed out into traffic. Yes, it's only one beer, but we cycled all morning and that one beer is noticeable, escpecially to light-weights like myself. We agreed to shop for an hour. Personally, I found my shoes (Privos) and a few used CDs in the local music shop (Ray LaMontaigne, Sierra Maestra and Natacha Atlas)
Back on the bikes to head back to the motel, taking the coastal road. Again, Sampson is batting .1000. Sans map, he picks a road that looks like it will stick to the coast, and it does. Nice rolling road in great shape, perfect weather and the ocean by our side. We get passed by a roadie on a single-gear bike, set at around 70 gear inches. It takes him quite awhile to rein in Sampson, so Gordon and I start zooming to catch up. We get buddy, just as he gets Larry and we're all zoomin'. Larry's response to his query: "Oh, we're just out lolly-gagging", seems to have upset him and he peeled off without a word.
Life's a Beach
We enter the beach area, same place we stayed in '98 (Sunrise Motel) and are looking for an ice cream spot and a maybe a swim. Like I said, Sampson was in the lead, and hot. In no time we have ice creams (thanks Betty) and I get my swim in. Nice big waves and snappy water. Man, what a day. Whew!
But wait, we're not back yet. It's 4:00 PM and that 3 hour lunch and this ice cream break are taking their toll. We still have to bike. Again, we pick a likely coastal road (Shore Road, brilliant!) and it takes us right into Ogunquit. Larry and Gordon decide to do some zooming (went right past the town!) but the rest of us just head for the motel.
What's for dinner...a turkey, compliments of Bruce Duffy! This whole day has been like Christmas. Good friends to share it with, perfect weather, great roads and a few beer as icing for the cake.
A great Gonzo day. One of many.