Although this fall season has been a hectic one for North Fork Moto, I think we found some super spooky ways to celebrate the season away from the crowded pumpkin patches and apple orchards of the North Fork. While the crowds help sustain our business, we’re thankful for our rock star staff that allowed us to escape the mayhem and spend some quality time enjoying autumn. Read on for our MUST-DO list of all things FALL.
First on the itinerary was a return trip to Salem. Yes, we’ve been there in Oct and done all the touristy things, but this time we went a bit earlier in the season and really got to enjoy the beauty of New England DESPITE the rain. On our way to Salem, we stopped at The Conjuring House in Rhode Island. It was as spooky as one might imagine. We took a very informative tour that included the facts vs. the Hollywood depiction which was intriguing. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, personable, and made the hour and a half tour so worthwhile. For any horror movie fans, this stop is a MUST. The entire tour and property is open for exploration, but I think the basement was the eeriest part – the child sketches of the crooked neck lady will surely send chills down your spine!
We also made a pitstop in Boston for a quick overnight. We were able to get into the extremely exclusive speakeasy, Hecate, and order exotic craft cocktails from their “spellbook”. This unique place is VERY hidden in a Back Bay alley. We struggled to find it until we stumbled into what appeared to be an oyster restaurant kitchen “entrance”. A black door on the left led down a dark staircase to the 24-seat bar that had a 3.5 hour wait when we arrived. After managing to kill time, and go back to our AirBNB to “take a nap”, we sprang out of bed when they called to tell us our seats were ready at 1130pm. It was completely worth it – the drinks were of highest quality – true CRAFT cocktails. The atmosphere was perfectly dark and mysterious with cave-like walls, and black velvet décor. The drink Clay chose came in a Viking horn with dry ice. The entire place filled with smoke when it was served. This was one of those coolest bars I’ve ever been to in my life!
Once in Salem, we stayed in a historic home that DEFINITELY gave us all the 18th century vibes of Salem back in the day – from the uneven floors to the narrow staircases – it was a pleasure to stay in a renovated home that preserved so many colonial and Victorian-era design elements. And it was conveniently located in Salem Commons making everything in walking distance. We did a few touristy things like visit the Salem Witch Museum, and walk through the cemetery. But the highlight was taking out the Schooner Fame into the harbor. They provided complimentary Dark and Story cocktails due to the “stormy” weather, and we got to learn about the ship, and some of Salem’s nautical history. Oh, that reminds me – our favorite museum was The Real Pirates Museum. It is a new museum beautifully designed to showcase authentic pirate history including many items from The Whydah – the world’s only authenticated pirate ship. The people who run this museum are also amazing – their true passion for pirates is apparent and they took time to show us items that weren’t yet ready for display as well as explained what goes into taking artifacts from the bottom of the sea and getting them “museum-ready”. On the food front – do NOT miss Goodnight Fatty cookies. We weren’t aware of their limited hours and the cookies were so insanely good, we returned for round two the next night only to find them closed.
Next on the itinerary, a trip with our moto-friends on the NEBDR. We carefully planned this for a time where we could see the leaves starting to change, without the weather been too chilly. And we nailed it, well except for the rain (as you’ll see, that was a reoccurring theme in all our adventures). We picked up the NEBDR mid-Section 3 in East Caanan, CT where we left off on our last BDR adventure. The night before getting on the BDR, we filled up with some AMAZING BBQ at Hindsight BBQ in Waterbury CT. We hit it off with the general manager and he gave us a tour of their smoking facility and even invited us to put our sticker on their kitchen door. I can’t recommend this place enough if you’re in the area. Good people, amazing outdoor vibes – even on a chilly evening.
The next day, our ride through Section 3 and into Section 4 on the NEBDR was AMAZING! Because of my passion for trip planning and all of the amazing resources provided by the BDR organization, I was able to plan and navigate “two routes” that allowed me to stay on the main BDR route, while the boys were able to go on the more challenging sections. It allowed us all to make the most of the trip without me holding them back or without pushing myself into a situation where it felt dangerous and uncomfortable. Following each time we parted, I planned a suitable place on the route for us all to meet, recharge and refresh which is vital when riding so many miles off-road. Meeting up after each challenging section also allowed us all to stay together in relatively the same “general area” while also keeping tabs on one another for safety purposes. A shout out to all the people who put together such an incredible route – it took us to the most scenic places “off the beaten path” that allowed us to soak in all mother nature’s beauty – from bridges over creeks, to waterfalls, to mountain views and everything bucolic in between. Our travels through some of the small villages allowed us to stop, refuel, and meet some wonderful people. We are so thankful to them and their communities for keeping these roads open for all to enjoy!
It wouldn’t be part of a “haunted season trip” if I didn’t plan a stop at a haunted site along the route. In northern Massachusetts, a quick diversion in Florida will lead you to the haunted Hoosac Tunnel a.k.a. “Bloody Pit”. Apparently, there were 193 deaths attributed to the building of this tunnel and some people claim you can still hear moans of the men who perished inside. It’s definitely worth some quick research and a stop if you’re riding the NEBDR. Despite the memorial to the men that built the tunnel, this place, that’s an active train track to this day, still gives all the creepy feelings of a dark, and haunted tunnel. We walked in as far as felt relatively safe, but the whole place was eerie and chilling. Luckily we got out before any ghost sightings. We only made it through Section 4 due to heavy rains, so we headed home a day early in favor of a wet, but safe ride.
To round out our whirlwind tour of New England, Clay and I made it to New Haven one evening to see Yelawolf – yes, my brother got me into this legendary white rapper what feels like forever ago. And his incredible performance, with DJ Klever at the mixing table, didn’t disappoint. He rapped some of his older classics while mixing in a few new diddys as well. And being the self-proclaimed “ghetto cowboy” that he is, he gave a few inspiring shouts outs to us working-class folks. I was even able to make a friend in a fellow East-Ender who traveled solo to see the show. Jess and I became fast friends and I look forward to having her visit our café at some point to do some moto flash tattoos.
Our last relaxing getaway, was a quick weekend trip Upstate to a “Tree Castle” – which was the most adorable handmade treehouse I’ve ever seen! Not only is it picturesque, but upon arrival, the hosts left us homemade sourdough bread, homemade pumpkin muffins made with pumpkins from their garden, fresh eggs from their chickens AND a container of honey from their honeybees. Due to the rainy weather, we didn’t get to enjoy the outdoor oasis (hammocks, cornhole, outdoor kitchen, firepit with swings.) But we got cozy in the loft and read Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark by flashlight – a perfect way to spend a rainy October night tucked away in the coziest accommodation. This treehouse had EVERYTHING we needed to make our stay extra comfortable – bathrobes, tea and coffee, and even Eucalyptus Epsom Salt bubble bath for the OUTDOOR bathtub. Yes, taking a bath outside in the crisp morning air was the absolute best start to the day – the water even stayed a perfect consistent temperature the entire time! After cooking a homemade breakfast and eating it overlooking the serene yard with colorful fall leaves, we packed up and headed to a nearby vineyard with an incredible view – Benmarl. The staff seated at the “best seat in the house” with an awesome view of the Hudson. They were very attentive and very knowledgeable about the wine. To wrap-up our trip, we stopped at Sleepy Hollow for Halloween festivities including a street fair, and taking a stroll through the cemetery. The entire town was buzzing with Halloween vibes everywhere. It was the perfect ending to an absolute whirlwind of seasonal, spooky, experiences.