Endurance on man and machine on a nostalgic journey, Wednesday, June 8th. Last year I had wanted to go see the Lupines in Sugar Hill, NH, in the TR3, but it was not ready, so I planned to do an overnight there this year. With all that is going on in Walpole, I decided to make it a day trip instead. There was a chance of storms today (in fact it started 20 minutes after I arrived home at 8:08 PM – cooling off a scorching day), so I tried to get my top on yesterday for the first time. Well, I failed, so headed over to Sports Car Services for a lesson. Butch and John got me trained! They suggested that I leave it on to allow it to stretch some, and I am glad I did — more later.
I left just before nine after talking with Bill P. and Dave D. at their “morning coffee office.” They laughed at the top up!! Then I headed off to I-91 and travelled with the traffic to Corinth, VT to visit Mike B. — one of the TR3 kings in the world. I wanted him to see Black Beauty because he had helped with many parts, and I had a few more things to get from him. Now visiting Mike is an experience, and it does not take 2 hours to pick up a part, but he truly is a Reader’s Digest “Most Unforgettable Person.” I had so much fun listening to his TR3 car and part stories, and the trials and tribulations with customers. I had headed up mainly to get a “new” speedometer. On the way up the loaner I had (mine broke last year) was reading 60 as I travelled with traffic – NOT – but Mike (the pro) said Tach RPMs times 2 is your speed in 4th gear, and add 20% for overdrive. That is assuming your Tach is correct, and if so I travelled from Exit 5 to Exit 16 holding 70-72 MPH. I left after Noon, and Black Beauty must have known that there was a new speedo in the boot (truck). I was about a mile from Mike’s looked down just as the needle on the speedometer settled to zero — I used Mike’s Tachometer calculations for speed on the rest of my journey.
Cathy and I had many, many wonderful breaks in the Sugar Hill, Franconia area. I cruised from spot to spot, visited some of our “haunts,” but wanted a few pictures of Lupines from the same spot we shot several years back. In fact, Cathy loved one image so much she used it as a screen saver on her computer, which ironically quit two weeks after we lost her. Well, I was sure the spot was down Lover’s Lane (how appropriate) and I was hoping that I would not attract ticks like the last time. I found the same spot.
I told you I would mention the top up advantage, and endurance on man and machine. One of my recent TR3 problems was the cooling system. Butch solved that, and what better day to test cooling in a British car but in 90+ degree heat on a run of 250 plus miles. Black Beauty performed as she should have, and the man (me) would not have survived the heat and sun if it were not for the top up. I still used sun screen, the Harley riders may have laughed (or Ducatti – sorry Scott) but I endured fine in a brutal day. Man and Machine conquered.
Well, from Franconia I headed down NH 116 to the western end of the Kancamagus Highway. Opened in 1959, I travelled the route in my 1929 Model A Ford in 1963 (once a Shunpiker, always a Shunpiker). Then I followed NH Route 10 down to Orford, NH, and crossed back, to Fairlee, VT. I visited Chapmans General Store (Chapman developed a salve that Scott took on his expedition to the South Pole – now you may not know I have been to the South Pole twice – now, that is Shunpiking). We both enjoyed the shop, and I would sit for ages while Cathy browsed the card shop next door. We always found gifts there, I bought some, and then had a cream soda on the porch relaxing as though I was waiting while Cathy card shopped. I then travelled down US 5 to Norwich, VT. Now, US 5 (the original route the I-91 replaced) is truly a wonderful TR3 route along the Connecticut River. Too bad there are no tolls on I-91 (ha-ha) so I could avoid the tolls using US 5. I do not think I had ever been on this stretch before – yeah, new territory. I had dinner at one of our favorite spots – The Norwich Inn in Norwich, VT – and ate on the patio. And, yes, when I was done, I took the top off and sailed on home as a sports car really should.
So, what is next? Still may head to a British car show at Tanglewood next weekend, and then in July I travel with David and his family to Italy for 18 days. We are spending 5 days in Sardina, and my book on Sardina was at the post office this AM, and got read at lunch and dinner. Do you believe in signs? I do !! I had sort of forgotten about doing my train trip across Canada, but on Monday I read about a possible train/bus route to Montreal (where I would catch a train to Toronto to get the Canadian, the sleeper to Vancouver). Then Monday afternoon I got two checks from an auction house for items I forgot about – pays for the train! And then yesterday while scouting books in Keene I found a book (that I did not know about) on the train itself, and its history and history of Canadian train travel. Meant to be — I will go ahead and book for August.
Catch you soon, thanks for reading, as always, RAY