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Mar 14, 2017 - 5:37:36 PM
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1361 posts
Joined May 13, 2008

 

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

Mar 14, 2017 - 6:41:29 PM
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1059 posts
Joined Dec 11, 2008

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.

Mar 14, 2017 - 7:16:20 PM

boxbow Players Union Member

USA

2158 posts
Joined Feb 3, 2011

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

Mar 15, 2017 - 11:02:13 AM
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Viper

USA

145 posts
Joined Jan 6, 2011

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

Mar 15, 2017 - 7:57:39 PM
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80 posts
Joined Apr 30, 2012

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.

Mar 15, 2017 - 9:31:10 PM
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3374 posts
Joined Dec 8, 2007

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

Mar 16, 2017 - 3:23:01 PM
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1361 posts
Joined May 13, 2008

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

Mar 17, 2017 - 4:39:08 PM
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1059 posts
Joined Dec 11, 2008

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

Mar 20, 2017 - 11:29:10 AM

Viper

USA

145 posts
Joined Jan 6, 2011

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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