This is how these things usually breakdown: Chris gets a crazy idea. I say “sure, what the fuck, I’ve lived too long anyway” then Rich, John and Silvio decide if they want in too.
It’s been our M.O. for 40 years and, as evidenced in this latest episode of our fine podcast, things won’t be changing any time soon.
We all firmly believe that if it ain’t broke, why fix it? You see, for us the destination or the activity is always secondary to the fun we have getting there.
In true AMR fashion, Chris suggested we check out why did you want to become a teacher essay which lets you pedal through the beautiful Adirondacks on old train tracks. I immediately agreed to go along and Rich and Father John joined us there.
We roasted each other mercilessly and had a great time doing it. If we had missed the rail bike appointment, so what. More fodder for stone-busting.
If you want to gauge who your true friends are, come up with a ridiculous idea for an adventure that requires five hours of driving (one way) to visit an attraction for 90 minutes and then see how many of your buddies raise their hands.
In my case, it was a perfect score: Three out of three.
That says three things about my friends: They are committed to maintaining and keeping alive connections among us that date back 40 years. They are giving of themselves. And they’re completely nuts.
Rail bikes like the ones we rode have been operating in South Korea for about 10 years, according to Alex Catchpoole, the owner/managing director of Rail Explorers.
The ones in the Adirondacks mark the first operation to bring these specially engineered and designed vehicles outside of South Korea, he said.
Since its start in July, the company has hosted 10,000 riders.
It’s easy to see why: The scenery is magnificent and you get to easily access parts of the woodlands that ordinarily would require you to hike.
The big question we faced before we got to Rail Explorers was whether two of the About Men Radio crew – Rich and John – were going to make it on time.
Pedro and I drove up the night before and stayed at a hotel. But Rich and John were going to have to get up at zero-dark-thirty to drive five hours to make our 11:30 a.m. start time.
Not only were they on time, but John – aka “Mannix” – got them there early! (Talk about pedal power! He applied it to both his car AND the rail bike!)
The outing was a chance to enjoy a glorious day in the breathtaking outdoors of the Adirondacks. We also enjoyed a delicious homemade lunch overlooking the lake at the Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat courtesy of Ernest and Cathy Hohmeyer.
But more important, it was a day punctuated by ceaseless chop-busting, laughter bordering on tears and great company.
I got a chance to spend five hours in a car with Pedro heading north and got caught up on things in his life, and then five hours back with Rich catching up on things in his life.
For busy career guys/dads/husbands, this was important time we had together.
Much the same way we enjoyed the rail biking from Lake Clear to Saranac Lake, this trip was not about reaching our destination, but very much about the journey.