As we crested a hill in nearby Dunbarton, NH, we spotted a police cruiser on the opposite side of the road in perfect position to nab passing speeders. Damn, was he first thought that crossed my mind as I looked at my speedometer to find that I wasn’t speeding and that I needn’t worry. But it was enough adrenaline to make me slow down considerably and look more closely at the police cruiser that we were now slowly approaching.
It was a Dunbarton cruiser all right, but upon closer inspection, it was a 1970s era Chevrolet Chevelle cruiser, with two bubblegum blue lights on the roof and an old bee hive siren on the hood. In addition it had an old style whip antenna attached to the side of its rear fender. So as Kim and I slowly rode by, I knew that something was up.
Curiosity was eating at me. What’s a 70s era cruiser doing on the side of the road running radar? They say that curiosity killed the cat, so I guess that I’m lucky that I’m not a cat. About a mile down the road, I signaled for Kim to stop and turn around so we could go get another look at that old cruiser. We reversed course and as we approached we could see that there wasn’t anyone in the cruiser. So naturally, I signaled Kim to stop.
We turned off our engines and both got off our bikes. It was a 70s era cruiser all right and it was in perfect shape. In fact, it was gorgeous, it had been fully restored and I was impressed. As we walked around the cruiser admiring its restoration a gentleman walked out of the driveway of the house from which the cruiser had been parked. His name was Len and he had restored the cruiser himself.
Len told us that he like to restore different kinds of vehicles and invited us to see the other ones he had restored. So as we walked past his high hedges into his front yard, we saw his large oversized garage with a sign that read “Toy Box Garage” in whimsical lettering. As we walked inside, we were in for a treat!
Not only did Len have restored vehicles including old Packards, 1 1/2 ton Army trucks, jeeps, 1930s era farm trucks, an aluminum engined Oldsmobile and tractors, but he also had the most amazing collection of gas station paraphernalia including pumps, signs, you name it, he had it. It was a thing of beauty.
It turns out Len had retired and he restored old vehicles as a hobby. He now donates his time and his vehicles for town events to surrounding towns for parades etc. He and his wife Beth both helped out as much as they could and are well known in their communities for donating their time and energy for free.
Before we could leave, Len gave us some parting gifts from his vast stock of paraphernalia he had collected over the years. He invited us to come back any time and to bring our friends. So when we had a world traveller come and visit us on his BMW from Australia, we could not think of a better local place to bring him. Once again, Len rolled out the red carpet and our newly minted Australian friend left with gifts from Len and Beth of expired Massachusetts and New Hampshire license plates that he could take back to Australia and tell his friends about.
So not to far from our home, less than 20 miles in fact, our short adventure ride enabled us to find and share our friendship with Len and Beth with our new Australian friend Geoff. Through this sharing, on a brief 20 mile ride, we shrunk the planet a little more for a person that came from half way around the Earth. What more could anyone ask from adventure riding.
Ride2Adventure – Shrink The Planet One Ride At A Time