The Snow Bonnie
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Christmas Day, 2006
I rolled Bonnie out of the Castle at noon on Christmas day with the air temp registering 36 degrees F. After deftly negotiating The Gravel, or in this case, The Mud, I made pavement with relatively minimal collateral spatter.
Rolled through a very quiet Ayer's Cliff on my way to Burrough's Falls where I took on 4.6 litres of high-test before heading south on 143.
Nearly delirious with joy at being out on Bonnie on the twenty- fifth of December, I settled into the vibrations and enjoyed the vistas to the south and west.
Ok, so I needed a route and itinerary. First, I wanted a witness! I decided to crash in on Kevin, so after crossing the border I headed up Nelson Hill.
Nelson Hill Road is right up there in altitude and it alternates between pavement and Gravel so I figured I was headed for some interesting road surfaces. I wasn't wrong!
Passing the trailer that sits on the left just before the first 90 degree turn, I exchanged waves with three guys outside in shirt sleeves. They're all holding a bottle of beer and one of them's wearing a Santa Claus hat.
Between there and the corner turn it's about a hundred yards through a desolate little hollow. I'm clipping along at about 40 mph and I suddenly realize that the road surface is solid ice with a bit of slush on the surface. No sand, no gravel, just ice.
Whoooooeee! I held my breath and tried not to wiggle around much and what seemed like an eternity later I cleared the ice and downshifted onto bare asphalt in time to turn into the corner.
It was so exhilarating that I decided to circle back to Santa's and make another run at it. Secretly I hoped to get a picture taken with Santa, but he and the other two guys were already driving off in a pick-up truck.
When I pulled up to Kevin's, he was out in the driveway. I tried to entice him into joining me for a jaunt around Lake Memphremagog, but he reminded of that quaint tradition known as Christmas dinner.
Jeeze! In my euphoria I had somehow managed to put that little detail right out of mind. Of course! That's why I had been smelling cooked turkey everywhere!
Obtaining a rain check (not to mention reality check) from Kevin, I continued on my way, now slightly apprehensive about the possibility of missing the family Christmas dinner.
The thought of spending the next two hours circumventing Lake Memphremagog suddenly seemed like it was not my best option, so I pointed Bonnie towards Seymour Lake instead.
Surprisingly the beach at Lake Seymour was deserted. After touring around the head of the Lake I turned around at Toad Pond Road.
I took the long way back - Morgan, West Charleston, Derby Center, around the east side of Lake Memphremagog and down Darling Hill Road to Beebe Plain and Derby Line.
After crossing the border I jumped on the autoroute and, blowing out the carbon, made it back home just as the broccoli was being put on the fire.
After the family dinner Bonnie got a double hot shampoo and rinse at the Newhouse before getting put into the Castle. There I performed the ritual end-of-season seat removal.
What a great season finale!