Great Swamp Hills and Mills (2004)

DateJune 13, 2004
HostsTeam MaDDOGS (Marji Brandriss and Dave Kristol)
WhereLoantaka Park Recreation Area; Morris and Somerset Counties
Who (else) Susan and Greg Adams, Helen and Bob Bird, Judy and Dave Buckland, Barbara and Tracy Cate, Debbie and Alan Cudworth, Claire Hamanaka and Walt Willard, Diana Hodnicki and Glenn Soames, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Linda and George Wells

Team Wells report

Route Slip [PDF] (corrected)

In the end, everything worked out okay, but first we had to undergo some angst. (Well, it is the 13th, even if a Sunday.) In the flurry of activity to load up the car with the mid- and after-ride goodies, we managed to leave our filled water bottles on the kitchen counter, and we nearly left our bike behind. And the cue sheet was missing an important turn altogether.

We drew a big crowd! Nine other teams notified us ahead of time, and two more appeared at the start point, making an even dozen teams for the ride. After the customary milling around, and the customary group photo, we eventually got underway, a twelve-team snaking along Spring Valley Rd. toward Green Village. By the time we turned onto Village Rd., the snake had fragmented into several groups. We brought up the almost-rear and enjoyed the lightly-trafficked, well-paved roads in the area.

Later, as we were cruising along Pleasantville Rd. (aptly named), Marji and I suddenly realized I had omitted an important turn that should have been two turns hence on the cue sheet. If people missed it, they would miss the Raptor Trust and the rest stop and head off who knew where. I had some faith that a few of the teams know the area and were likely to figure it out, but until we could confirm that, we were very concerned.

After some discussion, I dropped Marji at the intersection of White Bridge Rd. and Long Hill Rd. (the missing turn) so she could direct the few teams behind us. I cycled ahead on an initially squirrelly, stoker-less tandem to see whether, as I hoped, the other teams had figured out the missing turn. Fortunately they had, and I could account for all the teams that had been ahead of us. (They had used the key to our other car to get to the goodies we provided and were happily munching and gabbing.) So I rode back to the intersection to let Marji know we could relax about those folks.

But there were still two teams behind us, and we didn't have a way to reach them. Our only choice was to wait for them. To shorten the story: Everyone made it to the rest break okay, and no one got lost. Meanwhile I got to make another round trip to the rest stop before I finally picked up Marji and we got to rest.

We took a couple of shortcuts on the route so we could get back to Loantaka closer to the same time as the faster riders and help get out the food.

The post-ride picnic was well-supplied, including (count 'em) two batches of different but fabulous brownies. (Thanks, Claire and George.) Obviously this necessitated trying both, to compare them. Other returning favorites included Debbie's Apple Roll-Ups and my hummus. Diana Hodnicki's DOGS bones were another hit. The photos will attest to the bountiful spread. I think the DOGS are becoming a "vulture culture."


The inevitable group photo

On the road

Where, fortunately, everyone turned right

Raptor Trust rest break

Caption contest

  • Whose foot is it?
  • You put your left foot in, you put...
  • DOGS foot stars

    Mark makes it a banner occasion!

    Let's eat!

    Diana's DOGS Bones

    DOGS Home Page

    Generated automagically on Sat Jun 19 17:20:38 US/Eastern 2004 from 040613.pho dated Sat Jun 19 17:20:26 US/Eastern 2004 by /home/dmk/perl/, @(#) 1.24.
    Copyright © 2004, David M. Kristol (text, photos); photos: Marjorie C. Brandriss, Brenda/Larry Isherwood, Walt Willard