I had the most wonderful thing happen to me yesterday while on my ride. I had stopped at the Hadlyme Country Market just up the street from the Historic Hadlyme Ferry. If you are not familiar with this area of Conn I suggest you take a ride down and do some exploring. It’s a wonderful place to ride your motorcycle, and you’ll find yourself on some tight little twisty roads that have elevation changes and some challenging corners.
Lots of driveways to some grand old properties with some blind corners so you should take a relaxed pace if you want to truly enjoy yourself and soak in the flavor of the area.
I had been thru this area a few times before and remembered seeing the Country Market, today I decided to stop in and visit. It’s a quintessential New England Country Store.
Old wooden floors, shelfs with a little bit of everything, plus fresh hot coffee and to my delight a crock pot with hot cider. Something I wish you could get year round at places like this, but maybe that would take away the special feeling you get from hot cider on a cool autumn afternoon?
I had noticed on the window walking in they offered pizza as well, and I was hoping to see some slices for sale. When I ask the friendly women behind the counter about that she said “we just make whole Pies, and they are the best in CT’ hmmm, that gave me pause and I quickly remembered a scene from Alton Browns series ; Feasting on Asphalt where he says something like, if a cook says it’s the best around you must try it!
Or maybe that was me who said it once?? Anyway I considered ordering a “pie” until I saw the specials on the chalkboard , I love places that name there sandwiches! These ones were named from the local places to Hadlyme such as , The Castle, The Sherlock,The Selden and The Gillette. Then I noticed another little sign with a Hadlyme Hot Dog and their special “ Relish” a sweet and Spicy corn/pepper relish, Oh my!!
You can tell I’m a foodie cant you? That term is way over used these days, but let me tell you I’ve been travelling miles and miles to try certain foods long before some young hipster came up with that term!
So of course I ordered that Special hot dog and asked for my bun to be grilled and then sat out on the front porch with my hot cider and waited for my lunch. When Barbara brought out my dog and handed me this masterpiece I had a smile a mile wide! However that is not what this story is about, but I do recommend you go visit them and try the dog with that relish, it was fantastic and one of the best dogs Ive had ever!
So while I was sitting outside eating, I noticed a small older Subaru wagon pulling into the parking area, I could tell right away it was an elderly driver. She was very cautious and very slowly maneuvering her car into the spot next to my parked triumph. For a second I thought should I get up and help direct her? She had lots of room all around her but was driving like she only had inches to spare before she hit something. Once she got out and walked by me to enter the store I said hello and she smile and asked how my Hot dog was. I told her it was the best ever and she said she was getting one too! Then entered the store.
While she was inside, I watched the Jaguars, Mercedes and even a Porsche Pan-American car came and went, the store shares the parking lot with the post office.
When Evelyn came out with her Hot dog wrapped up in tinfoil to go she asked if she could sit with me while she had her lunch. Of course I welcomed her to enjoy that warm sunny spot on the porch. Like many travelers I love siting and talking with locals when I’m on the road. We talked about the days weather, covid19, the Market and Christmas. She asked me where I was from and about my traveling and where I’ve been on my motorcycle.
She once dated a young man a few lifetimes ago (as she put it) who had an Indian motorcycle and she always loved going for rides, but her parents didn’t approve of doing such a rebellious activity! I offered her a ride on my Triumph, but she politely declined saying those days a long over.
Then she caught me off guard and asked me why I was alone on such a beautiful day so close to the Holidays? I jokingly replied, I’m not alone its me and my triumph again this year, I didn’t tell her about my Christmas mop in my trailer! She laughed…I laughed, but deep down inside of me I cried a bit when she said no one should be alone for the holidays. I told her I’m not really alone, I have amazing children that take good care of me, plenty of loving friends and family members that make me feel like I belong I’m just missing a girl by my side.
She told me how she was married 2 times, lost her first husband to cancer, the second to booze and finally her 3rd time around was going to be her last. I asked her where he was now while she was out eating a hotdog with a motorcycle guy from Massachusetts? her response was “ he is home napping”
We talked a little more about life, love and finding happiness in what you do with your life. She was a very sweet old lady that opened up to me as I did to her. It was a beautiful moment to share on a porch in Hadlyme CT on a sunny Monday afternoon. Then she got up, wished me well and got back in her old car and took about 15 min to back out into the roadway to head home to wake up her guy.
I sat there for a few more minutes, finished my hot cider then geared up and fired up big blue for the ride back to my trailer. I gave her a little tap on the tank as I accelerated away from the stop sign, whispering to her “Thanks for spending another holiday with me!”