Battenkill Valley Blog

Blessing Of The Bikes

What happens when you mix bikers and military families?  You get a celebration that moves you in more ways than one.
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The Second Annual Blessing of the Bikes took place June 14 at the Salem United Methodist Church, although as co-founder Reverend Debbie Earthrowl will tell you, it is a multi-denominational event. The idea is three-fold; to provide a blessing upon attending bikers as they move into warm-weather touring, to support our military by learning about its traditions and raising money to buy goods for troops both here and abroad, and to tour through the beautiful hills of Washington County.

This year, about 50 bikes came from as far away as Syracuse, Bennington, Plattsburgh and Ticondiroga. All five branches of the military were represented, and presented a "Missing In Action" table, where each branch took turns explaining the symbolism found in the salt and upturned goblets and other elements on the table to a tearful crowd. A silent auction and contributions amounted to nearly $1,000 which will be used by the Hugs for Heroes SUMC organization to provide much-appreciated goods and cards and notes, etc. for troops both here and abroad. (The organization is completely volunteer and extremely dedicated, so no money is wasted!) After the blessing and the demonstration, the group dried their eyes with a free ride touring our beautiful farmland on a beautiful day.

Kind of improves your opinion of Humankind, doesn't it? And it's the kind of thing that happens all across the country in quiet little corners like the Battenkill Valley you just don't hear about unless you take the time to do a little exploring.

What happens when you mix bikers and military families? You get a celebration that moves you in more ways than one.

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Al Budde

40 minutes East of Saratoga and a world away; the Battenkill Valley is a Cornucopia of Cool. No Interstates. No noise. No hurry. Called "The Tuscany of New York", the region abounds in farm-crafted cheeses, creameries, heirloom vegetables and specialty meats you can buy right off the farm. Art galleries that will amaze you. Scenery that will inspire you. And through it all runs the Battenkill River, an astonishingly clear and gentle water playground that also happens to be the toughest trout fishery in the U.S.A Like touring? There's a reason the largest pro-am bike race in America happens here. And don't get me started on the Revolutionary war history, or the “you won't believe what I found: antiques and shops.

AL BUDDE has a lot of interests in fly fishing, playwriting, canoeing (and tubing), history, shopping, dining, friendships and he counts himself among the fortunate few who have found a place where all of those things collide: The Battenkill Valley. He knows (almost) everyone here, and will be your personal guide to all of those hidden places, activities, sights and scenery it would take you years to discover on your own. Discover the Battenkill Valley. Have fun. Make new discoveries. Renew your soul. And start here!


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