Apr 30, 2016

The Ride to Peggy Gray's

I'm sure that I went for rides around my house after I'd learned to ride a bike.  But the first major ride I remember as a rite of passage was the ride from Camp Lambec to Peggy Gray's candy store, a few miles up the road.

Ours was the store on the bottom. The "home shop".

We weren't allowed to go completely without an adult until we were a little older, but what we WERE allowed to do was go with only one adult, and without our parents. And that adult was often Ranier DeVido.

Not only did we get candy, but Ranier would have us all put change on the railroad tracks and wait for a train.  It would of course smash the pennies flat, and then we'd search through the gravel around the tracks to find our treasured flat coins.  If you've never done it, it's hard to explain, but it's quite a thrill, in a relaxed, patient sort of way. 

Back to the candy store, though—I think of it as being a lot like Harry's trips to Hogsmeade in the Potter books (right, Dylan?  :) ) It was that kind of a store.  When we talk about R.E.I., or a bike shop, or whatever, as being a "candy store", we're thinking of this sort of place. It wasn't even in a small town, just at a crossroads. For all I know, the camp kept it in business. But it was small, and it was, in my memory at least, perfect. And we were there. Nearly alone. With money.

I wonder if this isn't what I'm searching for , deep inside, on every ride I go on. This first great adventure.  This most perfect of mid-ride "rest stops". And I'd venture a guess- though it would be only that- that for Dylan, and Mary Alice, and who knows how many of my other friends, this is true. And that shared experience probably added to the experience. It wasn't just an adventure, it was a shared adventure. Something we ALL looked forward to. The measure all the kids of Lambec (at least for our week) were up against, bike-wise.

A common unifier. Community.

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