Upper Marlboro MD – Southeast MA
Sun October 10, 2021
Our friends in the Cover/Rufo clan have a long-standing family tradition of Sunday brunch at the Boatyard Bar & Grill, a local Annapolis watering hole situated just a block or so from the water. They sometimes issue invitations to their extended riding family to attend their tradition, and this week they had a lot of takers from all us Voiders passing through the area. Reports of the delicious food and ambiance frequent our friends’ Facebook feeds, so I was looking forward to one last RTE with friends this holiday weekend.
We overslept our alarm a bit, but managed to get out of the hotel on time around 07:15, to motor on over to Annapolis. We again avoided 301, opting for a slightly more scenic MD 214 east to route 2 and then up to the city. Traffic wasn’t bad yet once past the boat show lines, and we arrived at the Boatyard right at 08:00, just after Lisa, who was supervising arrangements for the impending arrival of a dozenish LD riders.
The Boatyard is a sprawling, welcoming establishment, with high ceilings, a huge bar, open kitchen, and a few different dining areas, spilling to an outside tent (too cool for that this morning). Almost every square inch of the walls and ceiling is decked out with nautical themed photographs, art, mounted fish trophies, and assorted paraphernalia. Sensory overload!
The other riders began trickling in shortly , totaling some 16 strong, and we gradually got ourselves situated. Lisa had secured the services of her favorite waitress for our group, praising the woman’s immaculate memory for taking accurate orders from everyone there without writing a single thing down. She gave us a primer on the sizeable menu, making some good recommendations based on years of patronage.
Everything on the menu looked amazing. The crab cakes came highly recommended, and they actually ship them all over the country under the brand Goldbelly. I decided to go with the “Killer Cakes n Eggs” platter – poached eggs atop fried green to-maters and asparagus on english, with a couple crab cakes alongside. Char opted for a similar plate, minus the crab flesh.
Several of us had a few miles to roll today, so soon enough we settled up and headed out for a 10:30 departure. After some brief tire-kicking, riders suited up and began trundling away through the now-much busier streets of Annapolis. Gerry decided to stick with us for what looked to be a rainy ride back into New England.
Hopping on US 301 once again, the riding was quick and easy, retracing our route back across the Chesapeake Bay and up through eastern Maryland and Delaware. We stayed west of the Delaware River for now, crossing into Pennsylvania and skirting west of Philly on I-476. Exiting in Milford Township, we cut the corner to I-78 east on some nice back roads, then zoomed into New Jersey as the sprinkling rain began to come down a little harder.
We exited in Clinton NJ to pick up CR-513, which I’ve enjoyed on several past occasions – a slower and more scenic route through northern Jersey. Today, however, it made for a frustrating ride, with more cars than I would expect out on the local roads, as the rainfall grew steadier. People seemed to be out everywhere, eating at restaurants and attending local farm harvest fairs, determined to get out on the fall weekend despite the weather.
The Pinlock insert on my face shield was still not forming a good seal and created more havoc, fogging my view constantly until I finally pulled into a convenient gas station overhang to rip it out. I was feeling a bit worn down and frustrated at this point in the ride, though were were seeing some nice bits of foliage here and there as we moved north.
By the time we crossed the northern state border into New York state, we were ready to be out of local traffic and start making some time. However, once back on I-287, traffic slowed to a crawl, and it looked like the backup lasted for miles – up to the Hudson River according to Waze.
We exited in Spring Valley and pulled into a handy Dunkin, for a nature break and quick planning session. After all the slow traffic and rain and fogging issues, I was out of patience. Anticipating that we might get split up soon in the traffic, we exchanged our farewells with Gerry (and his goat) before mounting up to face the music.
We headed back out into the morass of idling cages on the interstate, and quickly lost sight of our erstwhile travel companion in the rearview. I kept us moving, finally emerging free and clear across the Cuomo Bridge. We opted to route onto the Merritt Parkway once again, after spotting reports of more heavy traffic down on 95. The ride east on the parkway flowed quickly and we made it to New Haven in no time, zipping down to I-95 for the remaining uneventful blast homeward.
It had been such a satisfying weekend getaway! Sharing food and time together with friends gathered away from home had been a huge boost after the rally cancellation and other challenges from Covid. It was fun to be journeying two-up again with Char, and we’d fallen right back in to our familiar travel routine pretty easily.
We are so extremely grateful to the Talken-Spauldings and the Cover/Rufos for welcoming us into their homes, lives, and gastronomic spheres for a couple days. Many thanks to Rick Miller (and any helpers) for handling logistics, and of course to Scott for carrying the torch of the Atlantic Coast Rally Riders club through these tough years. Thank you all so much! We are so looking forward to next year’s rally, but for now…. void filled.
Here is the full album of trip photos, including many not posted.