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 Bikepacking with my fiddle

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fiddlerjoebob

United States
1361 posts
since 5/13/08

03/14/2017 17:37:36 View fiddlerjoebob's MP3 Archive View fiddlerjoebob's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

 

I am planning a bike trip through the hills and valleys of far Northern Vermont this summer. I intend to depart from my own front door in central Vermont soon after the 4th of July crowds have abandoned these parts. I shall return several weeks later. I plan to stay mostly on back/dirt roads and camp simply every night. I am packing as light as possible but I am taking my fiddle... and a fly rod.  Although I am capable, I have no need or desire to travel great distances just to rack up the miles. I biked over a thousand miles last summer, the first year I did any serious biking since I was just out of high school back in the early seventies; I loved it.  Since last summer's new-beginning, I have been keeping in shape, so I am bringing my passport in case I decide to head farther North into Canada.  

I just finished making an insulated, waterproof bag that fits my lightest fiddle case. It fits securely on the back of my bike on a rack with the other packed gear.  I think it will be well protected from any minor crashes, the heat of the sun or any rainfall.  I am taking a fairly good fiddle with me, because, why would I want to spend two weeks with a bad one, but I am not taking my best fiddle because, why would I do that.  I would be glad to hear of anyone else who took off on a bike with a fiddle.  Contemplating a sign that says "will fiddle for food."  Or "Fiddler needs dry barn for barn dance and sleeping." I will be looking for campfire jam sessions and swimming holes and long summer evenings with nothing to do but saw away on on the strings while the fresh trout is cooking on a flat, hot rock at the edge of a bed of bright red coals.  

Arrrrooooooooooo!

Now, to shovel some of this two feet of snow that is still coming down.

 

 


Edited by - fiddlerjoebob on 03/14/2017 17:40:42

Lonesome Fiddler

1039 posts since 12/11/08

03/14/2017 18:41:29View Lonesome Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Lonesome Fiddler's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Enjoy yourself.  I'm as much a fan of bicycling as fiddling.  The two activities seem to reside in the same part of my brain.  The furthest I've ever bicycled with my fiddle, though, is to the local park.

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boxbowPlayers Union Member

United States
2117 posts since 2/3/11

03/14/2017 19:16:20 View boxbow's Photo Albums View boxbow's Blog Reply with Quote

I've always found that water will run uphill when wind is involved, and there is always wind when biking is involved. 

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Viper

United States
135 posts since 1/6/11

03/15/2017 11:02:13View Viper's MP3 Archive View Viper's Photo Albums View Viper's Blog Reply with Quote

Sounds like a fun adventure. I know Ben Townsend and Ben Guzman did a big cross-country bike trip with banjos and fiddles in tow. Look up Two Guys Named Ben. 

Here's an L.A. Times story on the trip, and the subsequent album they produced: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-old-time-music-deep-end-ben-townsend-20160106-column.html

Some videos from their trip: http://smallmediumlargeproductions.com/SML/2gnbTrailer.html

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ShadeTree

United States
74 posts since 4/30/12

03/15/2017 19:57:39View ShadeTree's MP3 Archive Reply with Quote

One thought is to test your insulated,waterproof bag using a thermometer and possibly a hygrometer, once warm weather eventually gets here. Many years ago, I took a motorcycle trip of over 1000 miles and had all of my "stuff" in a waterproof duffel bag, bungee corded behind me. All went well, but the summer heat warmed the contents of the duffel bag in a significant manner and clouded the images of my film camera. Similar conditions would be harsh on a violin.

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Humbled by this instrument

United States
3367 posts since 12/8/07

03/15/2017 21:31:10View Humbled by this instrument's MP3 Archive View Humbled by this instrument's Photo Albums View Humbled by this instrument's Blog Reply with Quote

Fiddlerjoebob, sounds like a fun trip.  I've backpacked often with my fiddle, and sometimes my mates will bring an instrument, too, but here's what I'm wondering.  How are the bugs there in Vermont?    Out here we get no bugs until about two weeks after the snow melts, and then they come out in thick clouds and remain bothersome for about a month whereupon they all die; they all die because we have the driest climate on the planet in summer--from Wikipedia:

Sacramento has been noted as being the sunniest location on the planet for three months of the year, from July through September. It holds the distinction as the sunniest month, in terms of percent possible sunshine, of anywhere in the world; July in Sacramento averages 14 hours and 12 minutes of sunshine per day, amounting to approximately 98% of possible sunshine.[40]

And as Sacramento is just thirty miles (or so) away, the mountains share this dry, hot summer to a large extent.  What I'm saying is this--after about the end of August, we are able to pick and bow and sing without swatting our arms and necks and cursing the d--ned bas---d mosquitoes!  Without spreading gallons of DEET on our bodies.  But if we try and hike/backpack around July 4th, we will be amongst the skeeters dusk and dawn most assuredly.  It must be better in Vermont?

Also, how's your "weather?"  Do you get summer storms lasting long?  

Oh, and another thing I just thought about--when I used to ride mountain bikes, I hated this plant which grows out here on the trails, one called puncture vine or caltrops.  It has a spiked nutlet which will puncture anything, and this plant is often everywhere.  My son and I have often simultaneously gotten flattened tires and have pulled twenty spikes each out of our tires.  This @#$%^& plant is the reason I quit mountain biking and am now resigned to walking.  I hope you don't have this demonic vegetation anywhere near you.

Curt

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fiddlerjoebob

United States
1361 posts since 5/13/08

03/16/2017 15:23:01View fiddlerjoebob's MP3 Archive View fiddlerjoebob's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I might need a "High Quality Passport" if I head up into Canada.  

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Lonesome Fiddler

1039 posts since 12/11/08

03/17/2017 16:39:08View Lonesome Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Lonesome Fiddler's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Hey Viper -- I'm a regular at Ben's jams in Silverlake.  Friendly, fun and high-energy. 

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Viper

United States
135 posts since 1/6/11

03/20/2017 11:29:10View Viper's MP3 Archive View Viper's Photo Albums View Viper's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler
 

Hey Viper -- I'm a regular at Ben's jams in Silverlake.  Friendly, fun and high-energy. 


That's pretty cool! I don't know either of the Bens personally. I just happened to come across their videos and started following along on the their adventures. 

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