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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

AMA Pro Hillclimb - 2011

Kevin and I headed to Canaan, NH for the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) National Pro Hillclimb this weekend. 
We spent time before the races looking at the motorcycles.  They are impressive to look at with the chrome, colors, configurations, etc.  The crews and riders working on the motorcycles were very friendly and informative.  We didn't experience one attitude from any of them.  Kevin sat on Colby McCutcheon' s (#124) rig which is in the Xtreme class. 

I took a couple nice pictures of the #3 bike ridden by Chris VanHyning in the Xtreme Class.   Tiger Strank's #9 in the Unlimited class looked impressive.

This is a row of bikes showing some good color.  As the riders come to the line they get last minute instructions, some get air blown at them to keep cool, some use a crate to keep upright as many bikes are so tall.  Once they are ready the mechanic puts the bike in gear then it's instant on ... off like a shot with rocks and dirt flying.

Kevin spent most of his time by the fence watching the starting line.  With paddle tires or chains on the back of these bikes Kevin lost count of how many times rocks and dirt rained down on him.  It can be dangerous if you're not paying attention.  VERY LOUD also.

Last year they had straw on the hill.  Not sure if that was to make it harder or to help keep the dist down.  No straw this year.  There seemed to be more accidents.  The second hill seemed to be a bit soft.  When the riders jumped from the first hill to the second several had their front end get buried and they would go down.

I tried to take pictures of different parts of the race.  The start, fist jump, first hill with jump to second hill with jump to final hill and finish line. 

At half time they had Hill Cross where groups of 4 raced to the top.  Those chains or cup tires can really throw the rocks.   If you are not out front it looked to be the equivalent of having rocks and dirt shot out of a cannon at you.  It had to hurt.  The top two from each group advanced for a final race.

We were more prepared this year.  At 6:30AM when I woke Kevin up I asked him what he wanted to eat.  He said spaghetti so I made that for him.  I was told by a one of the staff they had never seen anyone bring spaghetti and sauce to the event.  I brought chairs, a big cooler with drinks, food, snacks, etc.  There were plenty of vendors if we forgot something.

Next year I may throw the portable Webber grill in the back of the truck and tailgate ...

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in AMA Hillclimb to see past posts.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

White Mountains Family Fun Day

We decided to have a family fun day so we headed north to the White Mountains.

Our first stop was at the Flume Gorge Visitor Center.  I wanted to see the taxidermy exhibit with the 2 moose locked up in a fight.  I thought we would do the 2 mile loop to the gorge also.  

The kids decided to skip the flume gorge hike and take the tram to the top of Cannon Mountain and hike a bit.  Once we arrived we took the trail to the lookout tower.  Lots of little turn outs to rock ledge.  It would be a long fall over the edge of a couple places we stopped.  The view was spectacular. 
It was 72 degrees, wind, blue sky, sun with some clouds rolling by.  Visibility was great.  You could clearly see Mt. Pisgah with it's steep slope on the east side of Lake Willoughby.  I also spotted Owl's Head which is on the shore of Lake Memphremagog in Canada.  The tram operator said Owl's head is 110 miles away.

We spotted a glider coming up the ridge.  It ended up disappearing below us into the Notch over the road.   That looked like fun ... I can imagine the spectacular views you would get soaring like an eagle around the area. 

We ate lunch at the old bridge near Echo Lake.  Behind us is Mt.  Lafayette which is one of the mountains on the Appalachian Trail. 

Once finished, it was on to the Mt. Washington Cog Railway.   They recently custom built diesel engines which are faster and much more efficient.  Kevin and I took the Cog several years back with the coal engines.  Because the new engines are a bit quicker it gives people an hour to explore on top.

For years I have eyed the Rokon Trailbreaker for hunting, fishing, 4 wheeling, etc.  I saw one parked in front a camper at the Cog.  On the way out I talked to the owner briefly.  He let me ride around for a bit.  I felt like heading up the trails for the afternoon.  Tough to do when the other 6 are watching waiting for me.  It was excellent.  I would really like to test it in the woods.

We continued to the Mt. Washington Hotel.  There are trails behind the hotel with some nice places along the river to explore.  Several areas have smooth rocks that you can slide on.  Kevin and Kate went swimming. 

Kevin had a mishap and tore one of his toe nails off when his foot slipped on a rock.  With Firefighter Anthony and Nurse Megan in the group we had things under control.  Once back to the van we patched him up.  We decided to head for home.

As we came through Twin Mountain we took a slight detour to drive by the 7 Dwarfs Motor Lodge.  Each of the rentals are named after one of the 7 dwarfs.  Several have kitchens, multiple rooms, etc.  We stayed there a couple times when the kids were younger.  They loved playing on the rocks by the river, the campfires by the river, the swing set, and all the animals around the property.  

As we continued home we stopped in Tilton for dinner.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cape Porpoise, ME Vacation - 2011

The family loves the beach (me too) and all that goes with it.  I have to confess after the 2nd or 3rd day of the beach I am done.  Driving around taking pictures saves me.  Lucky for me I get that freedom from Pam. 

The rocks, Walkers Point, Wells, Perkins Cove, Cape Porpoise, and Dunkin Donuts for coffee ...
I had fun visiting Cape Porpoise throughout the week.  I went early one morning (4:30AM) to see the sunrise but it was a bust because of the clouds.
Another morning I saw more fishing boat activity than usual with 3 boats at the dock loading traps and/or bait and 6 more boats waiting their turn. 

The guys on the dock are working the crane lowering traps or bait barrels to the waiting captain on the boat. 

Late in the day is nice with the sun going down. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kennebunkport, ME Vacation - 2011

We had another great vacation week in KPT.  We rented a different house this year as our schedules didn’t line up with the availability of the house we have rented the last few years.  Our rental choices are a bit limited since there are13 of us. 
This years house turned out to be quite nice.  .4 miles to the beach and .8 miles to town.  We were under the impression space might be tight with all of us.  It turns out the place was 3 stories with 7 bedrooms and 4 ½ baths.  3 of the bedrooms on the second floor were 20 feet by 20 feet. 
We did the usual … beach … into town … Cape Porpoise … spouting rock … Walker’s point … kayaking … riding bikes … taking pictures … pizza on the beach … rocks … walking to the cove …
I took Kate and Kevin to the Maine Diner for breakfast … The Chase Hill Bakery opened again after 10 years. which was a big surprise.  Their Morning Glory muffins are the best.  I took this duck pic from the deck of the clam shack.
We spotted Barbara Bush a couple times during the week.  Once she was by the front security guard house so Kate waived to her and she waived back.  She seemed pretty active riding her bike around the compound.  I did catch her driving a golf cart.  The sign on it says "Property of #41  Hands off!"  I'm sure she has permission ...

I drove to Kittery Trading post and bought a gun sling for my rifle.  Already thinking about hunting season.

I thought about chartering a boat to go fishing but timing didn't work out.  Pam and the kids went kayaking.  I stayed out in front of them on shore to take pictures.  The tide was going out as they headed up the river.  Pam was in the front of a double kayak when swift water flipped them over.  Her legs were completely inside the front of the kayak so she was briefly stuck under water.  She cut her knee and ended up with a large bruise on her leg when struggling to get out.  Her life jacket was on but was still scary with her legs stuck.  She didn't panic which was good.  The front seat of the kayak should have been moved back a bit.   

We had a great week.