Friday, March 26, 2010

My Annual Guinness Ride, the 6th, March 17, 2010

You could not ask for a better riding day than today in Northern Indiana. Very scattered clouds, sunny, temps in the 40’s going up and at 70 on the way back. Roads all good, not a lot of traffic. A gorgeous riding day.

Just 2 seeks ago the ground was covered with frozen snow and ice. That is when I start worrying about the conditions for my annual Guinness Ride.

Left home about 11AM, met Brother John at the US31 gas station in Rochester and headed north, to South Bend and the Fiddlers Hearth. Up on US roads (US31) back on Indiana Roads (IN23, IN17).

I started going up to the Fiddlers Hearth 6 years ago on St Patrick’s Day. While living 40 years in Florida, I always enjoyed the St Patrick’s Day festivities at the Irish Pubs. And especially the fresh Guinness. When we moved ‘back to the farm’ in Indiana, 2001, I realized I missed those annual festivities. There isn’t an Irish pub in the vocabulary any where near Winamac. I started checking around and came across the Fiddler’s Hearth. And it turned out to be just the ticket.

John and I parked across the street in the parking garage, which has free 2 hour parking. We were a little over when we left. Fortunately we missed the checker so the luck of the Irish was with us.

Arriving at the Hearth at the lunch noon hour on St Patrick’s Day means it is CROWDED, and it was. But that is part of the ambiance. We managed, as usual, to squeeze up towards the bar and rested back along the side wall.

Finally signaled a bar lady and she started drafting a couple Guinness’s. Started talking to the young man standing along the wall next to me and Lo And Behold, he bought our 1st round. I argued a little but to no avail. I guess he thought us old codgers could use some help... He and his buddy were from the ‘heart of Detroit’ they were electricians working 3rd shift on a major remodeling of a local Wall Mart. So the luck of the Irish was with us again. Thanks a lot guys and Happy St Patrick’s day to you. That was probably one of the best tasting Guinness’s I have had.

Finally the crowd started dwindling a little and we squeezed up to the bar next to some friendly people. I ordered a delicious fish and chips, John corned beef and cabbage. I managed to catch the attention of one of the owners, Sean, and ask him how it was going. Great, although we are getting a little tired, it has been going like this since last Thursday. The Fiddlers Hearth always have lots of festivities on St Patrick’s weekend.

This years T shirt had an interesting inscription on the back.

With some help from our friendly neighbor and her blackberry we were able to figure it out. It was appropriate. Now you will need to figure it out.

After 1 more Guinness (1 per wheel, is the rule of thumb), lots of conversation, listening to the live Celtic music and several glasses of water, we decided, reluctantly, that it was time to go.

Rode the State roads down to Kewanna, where we stopped at Kibitzers to use the bathroom, and, oh yes had a big glass of water and a nice shot of Yukon Jack. The lady bartender remembered us from last year, when we did the same thing. Is this getting old? Naw it is becoming a tradition. John and I parted ways here and headed home. Me to Winamac, John to Logansport.


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