Thursday, October 14, 2010

New England bike trip October 14, 1985

I had a couple plates of excellent blueberry pancakes at the Inn for breakfast. Got all my stuff into Marija's car and headed off. She had traveled and worked all over the place for almost 10 years so had a lot of interesting stories to tell. High up on the pass the leaves were all off the trees. Down on the other side of the mountains we enjoyed some hot apple cider at a roadside stand. Then we crossed the Connecticut River (my second crossing of it this trip!) into Vermont. There we stopped and I loaded up the bike. Marija drove of toward friends of hers; I headed west-northwest toward Montpelier.

Marija at Eaton Center VT. October 14, 1985

In Woodsville, Vermont, ready to ride. October 14, 1985.

It was gray but dry, and I found Vermont to be gorgeous. Rolling mountains covered with colored trees and bare branches, with very pretty farms between them in the valleys. Now and then a quaint town. The word "quaint" really was the most appropriate.

Two views west o' Woodsville, October 14, 1985.

I rode through the Groton State Forest on an excellent road with few cars and fabulous trees. There were 10 miles of gentle climbing and then a great 5-mile plunge through farmland to the town of Marshfield. There a bunch of dogs along this last stretch. You'd see 'em hop off the front porch of their houses and start running down toward the road (toward ME!). But with the downhill and a flip of the gearshifter I was able to accelerate and leave each one dissatisfied in the driveway. Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaa! This was a terrific riding day, the kind I still crave today.

Groton State Forest, Vermont. October 14, 1985.

East of Marshfield, Vermont. October 14, 1985.

It got better. Better is spelled B-A-K-E-R-Y, in case you did not know. The Rainbow Sweets Bakery and Café satisfied sweet and savory needs both. I had some kind of corn bread thing with a layer of butter, spinach and spices. And then a big piece of chocolate cake. Yes! Perfect fuel for the 17 miles into Montpelier and beyond to the youth hostel at Waterbury Center.

Rainbow Sweets Bakery, Marshfield, Vermont. October 14, 1985.

Montpelier struck me as very small for a state capitol… no wonder, because even currently the population is estimated at less than 8,000!

Montpelier, Vermont. October 14, 1985.

As always, the hostel stay was a great chance to meet other travelers. Kim from New Jersey was there, a recent high school graduate who'd spent the summer and fall doing volunteer trail-building in the nearby Green Mountains. Arriving later was Grant from Australia, who was hitching and busing around the U.S. looking at graduate schools. Good folks with whom to share spaghetti dinner and swap stories.

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