Tag Archive: weather

On the way home from shooting at Five Rivers the other night, I just missed a storm that rolled through the area.

I got a call that it was pouring at home, so I hopped in the car and started heading home before it got to me out in the wild.  I could see by the wet roads and dripping trees that I had just missed it.  Not to far from home, I came across the scene above.  By the time I could get stopped in a place with a good view and get the camera ready, it was almost gone.

There was a double rainbow and a deep, dark sky.  The storm was moving over or just past downtown Albany.  I had missed it, but none of that mattered.  All that mattered was that I got to see this gorgeous scene.  It made a great day even better.

On Friday morning, we got up bright and early and were on the road by 8:30, headed back up to meet the guys for the ride we didn’t get to do on Thursday.  When we got to the hotel the guys were staying at, one of the guys was missing.  He had gone back down to the expo to exchange the boots he bought the day before.  They were a size too small and hurting his toes.

He got back to the hotel and went to put them on, and the strap on the back to pull them on broke.  Crap.  Guess we’re not leaving anytime soon.  We all got geared up and went back down to the vendor where he got the boots.  They exchanged them and this pair did the same thing.  He was offered a refund, but he needed the boots as the heel on the boots he wore to Americade had separated from the boot.  So, he kept them and we got ready to ride.  While we were waiting, we noticed that there were helicopter rides leaving from that area and flying over the Americade festivities.  They were only $60 too, which was pretty cheap.

Rose and I also bumped into someone we know while we were waiting there.  A friend of ours that rides with us every Wednesday night happened to show up and we flagged him down and said hi.  After a little bit of chatting with him and taking pics of the helicopter, the guys were just about ready to leave.  As we walked towards them, Rose pointed out a sports bike with Louis Vuitton material on the windscreen and seat.  Not something you see every day, but definitely interesting.

When we got back on the road, we headed out to Old Forge.  The guys head up there every winter to go snowmobiling, and they really like the area, so we were going to check it out.  It was quite a hike, but we pulled it off.  We ended up riding about 250 miles that day.  It was a long day, but we had a lot  of fun.  Two of us even went ahead of the pack and cut up a really great twisty road.  It made me so happy.

Back at the hotel that night, the guys fired up the grill and cooked hot dogs, burgers, bacon and ham steaks.  They even invited others that were out in the hotel courtyard to come and have some of the food.  They had an extra bed free, so we spent the night so we could hang out later and not have to ride home in the middle of the night.  The next morning, it poured.  We waited for a break in the downpours and headed for home.  We had our rain gear, so we stayed dry, but we passed a lot of bikers that didn’t have rain gear, and boy were they wet!  It pays to be prepared.  See ya soon!

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!

For the last few days, the weather has been pretty cool and rainy.  That’s not helping the pool very much.  Over the last few weeks, it has been in the 80s and 90s outside, and the pool was around 76 degrees.  That’s not too bad when you consider that I had to backwash it a lot and had to keep adding cold hose water to fill it back up.

Yesterday when I checked the temperature in the pool, it was about 71 degrees.  I haven’t checked it today, but with the constant rain and temps around 58 degrees, I can only imagine what it is now.  I don’t think I want to look.

The pool is finally starting to clear up.  I figured it would take a little longer this year, as it wasn’t opened last year and there was a lot more to clean up.  It turned blue quickly, but it hasn’t cleared up the cloudiness quite yet.  I can see the shallow end bottom and halfway down to the deep end, so it wont be long now.

One good thing about the rain is that it is filling up the pool and I don’t have to run the hose into it and waste the water.  It’s also watering my garden.  Two birds, one stone I guess.

My question is this – Why did we get Summer weather in Spring, and now that Summer is about to begin, we are getting Spring weather?

Image courtesy of Rose

Yesterday, the temperature hit 94 degrees here in Albany.  According to Channel 10 New’s Steve Caporizzo, we tied 1994 for the record temp on this day in history.  It was pretty warm for upstate New York in spring.

Every Wednesday, we ride with a meetup group called No Destinations.  Yesterday was no different, but it was a little bizarre.  We put on the gear (yes the jackets, boots, full face helmet and gloves) and set off on this adventure.  It was to be different that most days.  We usually leave here around 4:30 so we don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic on the Northway.  Sure, we get to the ride about an hour and a half early, but it beats sitting in traffic for an hour or two.

We left a little later than usual, probably around 4:45 or so.  The Northway was already moving pretty slow, so we jumped off exit 6 and picked up Route 9.  That wasn’t much better.  We hit every light on 9, and it seemed those lights took forever to change.  We were roasting.  I needed gas in the bike, so I pulled into the Hess in Halfmoon.  I got off the bike and Rose noticed a sign on the door that the air conditioning died, so they closed early.  The sign also said that the pumps were still on for credit card users.

Great!  I spin around to the pump and look at where the numbers should be, and there are none.  What the ?  I guess we wont be getting gas there.  As we rode up the street, we noticed a bunch of stoplights were out.  Not flashing, but out.  If you live in the area and know Clifton Park drivers, you will understand why that scared the hell outta me!

We headed up to Malta and grabbed some gas, then headed back to the Mill to wait for others to show up.  As we were heading up for gas, I saw the tire marks where my friend was riding and a van did a u-turn in front of him.  It was pretty eerie.  Word on the street is that he is coming home from the hospital tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

Back at the Mill, about 25 riders braved the heat for the ride.  We did a nice ride up to Saratoga.  We stopped at the Horseshoe Inn Grill & Bar.  It was a really nice place, just across from the Saratoga racetrack.  While we were there, I got a text from the Weather Service telling me a thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area.  I pulled up the Weather Channel on my phone and the radar showed the storm North and West of us.  Nothing to worry about right now.

When we got back to the Mill, the club had some meatloaf and mashed potatoes waiting for us.  We ate dinner and had birthday cake for our good friend Murph.  There was a sign up sheet for us to volunteer to help our friend that was in the accident, as he wont be able to do these chores for a while.  People signed up to mow the lawn, help with the pool and cook food.  That is why I love this group so much.  The list filled up quickly and people were more than willing to jump right in and help out a member who fell on hard times.  It’s like a great big family.  I am honored to be a part of it.

It was getting kind of late and it had been thundering and lightning to the north of us, so we decided to head home.  As I turned the key on to start the bike, I noticed this fine mist in front of the head light.  I took my glove off and felt for rain.  It wasn’t rain.  We got on the road and it was coming down almost like fine snow.  I joked to Rose through our communications device about volcanic ash.  It was really weird.  I chalked it up to being pollen blowing out of the trees because it was very windy.

Heading down the Northway, the lightning show was amazing!  I could tell that we were heading for some rain though.  Around Exit 8, it started to downpour.  At 70 miles per hour, the rain felt like needles on my skin.  It was crazy, but I loved every minute of it.  It was a great day.

See ya soon!

I went to a local nature conservatory today (Five Rivers) to check it out for a possible meeting spot for my photo group. The place was really nice and I am excited to set up the outing. I knew the weather was supposed to get crappy later in the afternoon, but I went anyway to use up whatever time I could before the rain got here. It was nice, but a pain in the ass, because the sun kept popping in an out and I had to keep changing settings. I didn’t get too many great shots because of it, but I will next time i go.

I kept getting text messages from the the Weather Channel telling me a Severe Thunderstorm watch and eventually a warning was in effect. A little bit later, I noticed the clouds were getting very dark off in the distance, so I started walking back towards the car. At one point, I felt a raindrop, so I got ready to put the camera back in my bag and then I saw it…

There was a bridge on the main road and on the other side of the bridge was a small lake with some incredibly gloomy clouds lingering over it. I quickly swapped the 70-300 for the 18-70 and started firing away. The wind started to pick up a little, so I headed for the car. As I was getting to the car, the wind gusts began. It was crazy. I was driving back out to the main roads and with the way the wind was blowing, I honestly expected to see a tornado forming.

There was debris all over the roads. Sticks, tree branches, even a tree across the road at one point. It was pretty wild, but I had the camera just in case anything crazy happened. Don’t know what i would have done had I seen a tornado, but I would like to hope I was at a safe distance to get some pictures of it. Call me crazy…

Anyway, I wanted some opinions. I greatly over processed the picture I mentioned above using Photoshop CS5’s Merge to HDR Pro and Topaz. I know they are a lot over done, but which one do you like best?

After the storm, the sun came out and it was calm and a little cooler.  I went out back to cook some burgers on the grill and the sun was setting with some amazing colors.  Between flips, I grabbed the camera and snapped off a few pictures of it.  Here’s what I saw…

It was a great day!  See ya soon!

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.

Here in the Northeast, the weather can be pretty brutal during Winter.  Even more so if you have a motorcycle, or two in my case.  It’s awful.  I love the area, and wouldn’t move, so I just have to suck it up, but I don’t have to be happy about it.

As I was going through ideas I had written down for possible blog topics, I found one that made me smile.  It was about a great ride I took this past summer through the Catskill Mountains.  One of the reasons for thinking about the ride (other than five months of cold weather) came from a few announcements today on Twitter.  One of them was from Harley-Davidson© announcing their new $36k bagger.  Yes, I said $36k for a Harley.  Have they lost their mind?  They are nice and all, but not my thing.  I could pick up two bikes for that amount of money.  Secondly, a friend on Twitter ( @MotorcycleFans ) posts and re-tweets some great motorcycle info everyday.  A lot of the tweets are news in the motorcycle industry.  There were some great tweets about some new Victory motorcycles as well.  I’ve come to know @MotorcycleFans as Chessie.  Chessie has a great blog called 365 Degrees, photos from each day.  Check it out.

So, this past summer, I felt like going for a ride.  Rose didn’t want to go, so I headed out on my own on the FJR.  We have a GPS unit for this bike, but I don’t use it a lot.  I learned my way around Albany a few years ago by filling up the tank and picking a road to see where it brought me.  No matter where I went, I would always find my way out.  I would also learn fun roads to everywhere, rather than taking the main roads. I get around very well now after being here for only a few years.

That day, I wasn’t sure where I was going, but remembered a fun ride that our good friend Dusty had taken us on a few weeks earlier.  Dusty’s friend was in the middle on her bike and is a little timid, so I wanted to ride this one particular road again, but this time at a much faster pace.  It was amazing.  County route 308 on Delmar if you are from the Albany area.  Lots of twists and turns, great for laying it right over.

I got on that road and it was pure bliss.  These are the times where you remember why you love riding so much.  All your cares and worries seem to disappear.  It is so therapeutic.  After a few more roads, I ended up in Athens, NY.  I stopped for a drink and a snack, then I debated what to do.  I could turn around and head back, or I could keep going and keep taking roads to see where I would end up.  I went with the latter.

Next thing you know, I am on Route 23 in Catskill and and a huge smile comes across my face.  I know exactly where to go.  Up into the mountains.  The ride up there is a motorcyclist’s dream.  25 mile per hour corners, 15 mile per hour hairpins, double lane uphill passes, sweeping corners…what a ride!  If you ever get the chance, get on the bike and ride this road.

This road continues through the Catskills and by Windham mountain.  The ride after Windham is pure countryside.  Beautiful vistas, mountains soaring into the sky and views for miles.  Somewhere on route 30, I stopped and took a break to grab some pictures.  As I pulled into the overlook parking lot, I saw a great site.  An older gentleman and his wife on their Harley that had stopped for the same view I had.  As soon as I got off the bike, I noticed the gentleman’s haircut.  I pegged him immediately as a former Marine.  Dead on.  I struck up a conversation with him and his wife, and they were great people.  They asked me about GPS units, and I pulled mine out of the trunk and showed them how it worked.  While I was there, I grabbed the next few shots.  The panorama was taken by standing on the guard rail.

Panorama 2
The trunk held the camera bag and GPS

The trunk held the camera bag and GPS

Catskill Creek

Catskill Creek

After the overlook, I kept on going up 30 until I hit Route 20 and back into Albany I went.  What a great day.  It was about 150 miles round trip.  Here’s a map from the Harley-Davidson Ride Planner© that I used for the trip, in case you want to try out this ride.  Or let me know.  I’d love to go again.

Trip Map

Trip Map

Do you ride?  Been on a bike?  Love them?  Hate them?  Let me know.  Please feel free to subscribe to my blog.  Oh, and if you’re on Twitter, follow me @TCRPMG …See ya real soon!

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.



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.



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



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.