Tag Archive: thunder


Every year, Rose and I head to Americade in Lake George to see the massive influx of motorcycles.  The bikers come from all over the the US and Canada to participate in this rally.  It is estimated that 50-60,ooo bikes will ride into Lake George for the week of Americade.  I didn’t take the time to count them all, but there were a load of bikes there, despite the gloomy weather we had last week.

On Thursday morning, we put on our rain gear and headed up the Northway knowing we might hit some rain.  It’s annoying, but not a big deal if you are prepared for it.  We have friends that live close to us that head up every year and stay in the same hotel.  So, we went up to meet them for a ride to Old Forge.  There was a threat of a pretty strong thunderstorm, so we decided to stay local and head downtown to the expo and the forum to see what the vendors had to offer.  The picture below is of the parking lot outside the expo.  Despite the threat of rain, the bikers turned out in droves to peruse the forum.

Inside the expo we found hundreds of vendors.  Some of the bigger names were companies like Kuryakyn, Givi, Nolan, Mustang seats and so many more.  If it is motorcycle related and you are looking for it, there’s a good chance you can find it in the expo.  You could get new tires, pinstriping, seats and many more accessories added to your bike while you wait.  It is truly a one-stop shop for bikers. As we walked around, I saw something that made me smile.  Indian motorcycles seems to be back in business.  They have gone out of business and been brought back a few times, and it seems like they’re back again.  Indian motorcycles are the epitome of a classic motorcycle.  Even the new ones look like the classics of the past.  Here’s the truck and some of their motorcycles.

After a few hours in the expo, the sky started to look a little dark.  As we were walking out, we heard thunder off in the distance.  Time to hustle up and get on the bikes.  We got back on the bikes and headed back to the hotel.  On the way, we saw a few bolts of lightning and it rained pretty hard.  Luckily, I hadn’t taken my rain gear off, so I stayed nice and dry on the ride back to the hotel. This is what we saw when we left the expo…

We hung out at the hotel and had some great times with our old neighbors from Delmar.  It’s a really great time, as a lot of the same people come back there every year.  So, it’s like a family reunion each time.  People are incredibly friendly, and more than willing to come hang out, sharing great stories and good company with you.

Around 10pm, Rose and I hopped on the bike and headed back to Albany.  We were tired, but needed to get home to take care of the dog.  Be sure to stop back by tomorrow to hear more about our trip back up on Friday.  See ya soon!

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The sky is falling!

The driveway

The driveway

Well, maybe not the sky, but last July it was hail.  Big, giant hail fell that day.  I remember it very well.  I had been home from work about 45 minutes or so.  I was sitting in the living room checking my email when I heard two or three heavy thuds on the roof.  What the — ?  Within seconds, I knew what it was, without even looking out the window.

I jumped up and ran out to get Rose’s car into the garage so it didn’t get trashed.  As I got in, the hail was slamming the windshield.  I was surprised it didn’t crack it.  The noise was fierce.  I got her car in the garage and went back in the house.  At this point, the hail was pretty small,  maybe a 1/4 of an inch.

I went straight for my camera bag to get some pictures of the event and got even more of a surprise.  By the time I got out to the porch, the hail was much bigger.  It was a lot louder hitting the house as well.  I was standing on the porch taking pictures, and I could hear the thunder and lightning getting closer.  The storm was getting much more intense by the minute.

As I m standing on the covered porch, I keep hearing this loud surge and seeing a flash of light.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was.  Down the street about 50 or so feet, a power line had come down and the transformer was shooting sparks and the power was surging, until eventually going out.

The police and the rescue squad came to shut down the road, and a little later National Grid came and got the power back on.  I measured the hail in the meantime and it was 2 inches in diameter.  Huge!  I had never seen hail like that before.  I can’t believe it didn’t break any windows in the house.

After the storm ended, and the power crews finished up, I made a startling realization.  Just 45 minutes before that storm started, I arrived home on my motorcycle.  I can only imagine what would have happened had I been stuck in that storm on the bike.  I get chills just thinking about it.

The pictures below show the size of the hail.  If you look closely, you can see the layers that formed as the hail fell into the atmosphere.  I picked the bigger ones up to measure them so you could see how huge they are.  On one piece of hail, I put a quarter on top of it to show the size a little better.

Back in August 2008, Rose and I decided to take a trip to Montreal.  I had never been there, but had always wanted to go.  So, we made a reservation for two nights and packed our stuff.  We left around 5 pm on Friday, and hit monsoon like weather most of the way up.  High winds, torrential downpours, thunder and lightning.  Rose even thinks there was hail.  No big deal you say?  In a car, no.  But we were on the motorcycle.

We left Albany and the weather was threatening to rain, but didn’t start until the Adirondacks.  It was pretty brutal, but I loved every minute of it.  We had on raingear, with the exception of my jacket.  It had zippers on the sleeves, so the rain poured in and ran down my sleeves and into my shirt and pants.  Luckily, the Yamaha has heated hand grips, so my hands kept warm most of the trip.  My upper body, not so much.  If you don’t ride, or don’t know about riding in the rain, here’s a quick lesson.  The gloves are leather and dyed black.  When they get wet, the dye covers your hands and makes them black as well.  Until you scrub them with some type of a bristle brush, they will stay black.

We arrived at our hotel around 9 pm, parked the bike and went to our room.  I immediately stripped down and laid my clothes out around the room.  It was time for a hot shower, as I was freezing.  After we warmed up, we went out for a walk to see what we could find to eat.  We found a Chinese restaurant and then hit a grocery store for some soda and snacks.

And then it happened – I found Kit Kat Dark.  Kit Kats drenched in dark chocolate.  I haven’t been able to find them in the Northeast.  If you find them, please let me know.

The next day, we walked around the city, with showers off and on.  It is a beautiful city.  Of course I had my camera, and I took a few pics.  There was a church that I took this picture in, but I can’t for the life of me remember then name of it.  I didn’t have a tripod with me, so I had to brace the camera on top of one of the pews in the choir loft and hope for the best.

Overlook

Overlook

This window was also from that church…

Outside the church

Outside the church

We also went to see the Notre Dame cathedral, but it was closed for a private wedding and they wouldn’t let us in.  Here’s Rose sitting outside by the bike when we were getting ready to leave.

Rose

Rose

We were sweating, as we had our raingear on over our clothes.  It was supposed to rain that day.  It never did, and it was extremely warm instead.  So, we were lucky and stayed dry. Here’s a few pics of Rose getting ready to get back on and a horse and carriage.

Rose again

Rose again

Horse and carriage

Horse and carriage

Waiting

Waiting

When we left there, we went to St. Joseph’s Oratory.  It was huge.  I am not a religious person at all, but I do appreciate the architecture.  It was incredible.  I took quite a few pictures while we we there.  I could have spent hours there shooting, but we needed to head home.  Here are a few shots I took while we were there.

Incredibly tall

Incredibly tall

So many candles

This was handheld. Can't believe it came out so well.

Go towards the light

Go towards the light

Coming home took a bit longer than going up.  For some reason, we went through customs going into Canada in about ten minutes.  Coming home, it took us at least an hour, hour and a half to get through customs.  Why does it take so long if I am an American coming back into my own country?  Talk about being efficient.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the extra security that is hopefully keeping the undesirables out.  However, they should put in a line for U.S. residents to come back in.  I understand having to wait to go into Canada.  But coming home?  Ridiculous.

It was a great trip, all in all.  I hope to get back up there soon.  The one thing about taking the bike is that it costs almost nothing for fuel, but you can’t pack too much.  It’s definitely worth it if you have the time.