Moto ‘Camping’ Columbus Day 2019

Columbus Day is one of those weird holidays. When I say “weird” I’m not even referring to the controversy surrounding the question of why it is even a holiday anymore. I’m talking about the fact that, even though the federal government and the banks are closed, only some businesses observe. Further, is the fact that the weather could go either way in the northeastern US. Some years it is still beach weather on Columbus days. Other years, there is snow on the ground. This year was one of those rare times when Columbus Day weekend in the tri-state area had exactly the weather that one would expect it to have; it felt like fall.

One of the local Brooklyn motorcycle shops (Union Garage) put together a ride to rural PA for an overnight glamping trip. I had been on a few rides organized by these guys before, so I knew that I could expect a mellow, no a-hole type of crew. I roped in my buddy Mike (from this ride), who also rides a Monster, to join in.

We met at the shop in Red Hook around 7 AM on Saturday and rode all day, taking back roads and enjoying the fall foliage. We even did a few surprise offroad miles. It wasn’t ideal for the people riding bikes with aging street tires, but everyone made it back to the pavement in one piece and it definitely made for some great stories. Mike and I skipped the last section of the local route and opted for highway, since daylight was fading and he only had a very tinted visor. Mike and I rolled into the campsite with about 30 minutes of daylight to spare. We were the first ones to arrive, and as result, were able to tap the keg and enjoy the sights and sounds of the rest of the group rolling in.

Dinner was prepared and served by the camp owners. This was followed by a bonfire, and a super legitimate firework show. A lot of the guys did full-on tent camping. Others (including myself) opted for the bunkhouse. In the morning, we woke up to the first frost, and it was a thick one. There was a nice coat of ice on everyone’s saddle. After breakfast, the crew split off into smaller groups and headed back east. We had a really great time. It was a great way to cap off the 2019 riding season. I hope I can do it again next year.

Some of the photos from the trip–

De la Weekend: High Uintas

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With each passing year, it becomes more difficult to be “off the grid.” It seems like there are new cell towers going up in every last remote region of the industrialized world. Last weekend I found myself in an area so remote that there was no cell service, and the nearest land line was a 4 hour hike away. It was refreshing. We spent 5 days in a Utah mountain range called the Uintas. My family vacationed there during the summer when I was young. Nestled between the dense lodge-pole pine trees on the edge of Moon Lake, there is a rustic ‘resort’ comprised of log cabins and a lodge dating back to the 1920s. Last weekend my family had a reunion in those same cabins. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to take B on an overnight backpacking trek for the first time in her life (something that I have enjoyed doing since I was a youngster). B and I arrived in Salt Lake a couple of days before the reunion started, met up with our good friend Sam Adams who came in from Portland (OR, not ME), and headed into the woods. We left the car at Moon Lake (which is where the road ends), and proceeded to hike to a remote glacier-melt called Brown Duck Lake. Even though the hike was only about 7 miles, there is roughly 2000 feet of elevation gain (starting from over 8000 feet). All three of us are in relatively good shape, and it still took us a little over 4 hours to complete. Our ginger pace may have also been partially attributable to the fact that I was carrying about 30 lbs in camera gear (which I broke out and used often along the way) in addition to the tent, sleeping bag, etc.. My shoulders are still a bit sore from the endeavor.

We arrived at Brown Duck Lake about an hour before sunset, in time to set up camp, build a fire and catch some fish for dinner. The lake is loaded with native trout. We caught a few different varieties, keeping only a brown trout and a cutthroat for dinner. After swapping Sasquatch stories and shooting about 300 frames of the night sky (mostly film and on Sam’s camera), we hung our packs in trees in an effort not to attract any bears, then hit the sack. We broke camp early the next AM and made it back down to Moon Lake just as some of my family was beginning to arrive. We spent the rest of our time in the mountains catching up with family, laughing, eating, fishing, hiking, playing horseshoes, and sitting around the fire. Sometimes it is really nice to be completely disconnected from the real world, especially when surrounded by amazing company.

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Watching the moonrise over Moon Lake

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Catching dinner.

Moon lake polaroid

Med format Polaroid by Sam Adams

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Long Exposure of B next to Brown Duck Lake. Peep those stars.

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Example of the impressive art collection that can be found in cabins at Moon Lake Resort

B rocking her Snob socks by the fire

B rocking her Snob socks by the fire

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Making wakes