Saturday, October 16, 2010

New England bike trip October 15-16, 1985 - Central Vermont

October 15, 1985 was another rainy day in central Vermont! Guess I was learning why Vermont is so green…. It was pouring right from the start. There was no option of hanging around the hostel either… it was closed during the day, starting at 9:00am. Luckily, there was another hostel 45 miles south, down route 100 in Rochester, Vermont. I had a reservation even. Knowing I'd be dry at night made it not so bad to just go on an ride in it. I was soaked within a few miles, but as long as I was actively riding I was not cold. In fact, I only stopped once. At the Warren General Store (Warren, Vermont) I found 4 day-old rolls/pastries for $1.20. That plus water was lunch! Didn't stop for long, because I started feeling chilled in my wet clothes.

For those wondering, my gear was generally kept pretty dry but lining my panniers (saddle bags) with multiple plastic bags. Also, tent and sleeping bag were inside a massive thick plastic bag and lashed onto the back of the bike above the rear wheel.

When I set off, the rain had let up and I had a stretch of uphill to do. This got me warmed up quickly. But within minutes it was raining even harder than before! So, when I got to Rochester, I went directly to a laundromat. It was warm in there, and washing all my damp stuff was in order. Great way to kill a little time. It was only 1pm and the nearby hostel didn't open 'til 5pm.

While my wash was running I noticed two loaded bikes across the street! I went across and found their owners in a cafĂ©, eating fries and drinking hot coffee. Their names were Mark and Jim, two 30-ish guys who'd been doing trips together for about 10 years. They were headed for Boston. But first they were headed to the laundromat--for the same reason as me--and then the hostel. As was Luke the red-poncho'd hitchhiker who was also planning to stay at the hostel. Laundromat on a rainy day = precursor to "social media" for travelers… ?

Mark and Jim, stalwart Midwesterners.

October 15, 1985 in Rochester, Vermont.

Sitting on a bag of peat moss, waiting for my dryer-load to finish.

October 15, 1985 in Rochester, Vermont.

Eventually the crowd moved from the laundromat to the Schoolhouse Hostel. All these dudes plus one more, photographer John from L.A., were staying there. We all ate a big dinner of spaghetti and/or mac & cheese. And then went to the Eagle's Nest bar to drink beer and watch baseball.

Schoolhouse Hostel on a less rainy day!

Rochester, Vermont, October 16, 1985

On October 16 did a "day ride." Instead of moving on with a full load, I left most my stuff in the hostel for the day, and rode my unloaded bike on a big relaxing 45-mile loop. Nice to have a "day off" but still get to explore. And a dry, partly-sunny day was a welcome change!

Near Stockbridge, October 16, 1985

Apples & cows near Barnard, October 16, 1985.

Barnard, Vermont. October 16, 1985.

Bethel Mountain Road, October 16, 1985

Jennie from Philadelphia up on Bethel Mtn Rd.

Bethel Mountain trees..... October 16, 1985.

Back at the hostel later on, it was Ramen noodles with poncho man Luke for dinner, and another trip to the bar for baseball and beer.


arcticraig said...

Enjoying the journey, Mark. Great pics, too!

Anonymous said...

Hey that youth hostel that you talked about in Willet NY was once a big organic farm and a commune of what we called Hippies in the 70's. The group was called the "Hippies on the hill" by the locals. The man that came in that night was probably Jarloth Hamrock (I probably spelled it wrong). He is the only one left on the hill(as far as I know). That house is located on Mooney Hill Rd.

I used to live in Willet, I am now in NC.
Dan Young