September 15, 2021
We awake to a rainy day in Essex Junction. Melanie has the day off so we borrow a car from the Heermans and take drive north to Montgomery, Vermont, to Jay, Vermont and back to the Heermans.
Checking out the lay of the lands in Vermont.
We're gone most of the day. We get back and the Heermans make a very nice dinner for us.
After dinner, we stream, we sleep.
September 16, 2021
We're up around 6:15 a.m. and after coffee and breakfast we get the van ready to travel. We've made a plan with the Heermans to ride the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.
We've decided to ride from Johnson, Vermont to the end of the trail as it now exists in Morrisville. Lost Nation Brewing is in Morrisville where we will have lunch.
It's another splendid Vermont day for a ride. We start out in the low 60's and the temps get into the low 70's. Our lunch is great and the beers John and I have are also a treat. The ride is about 20 miles round trip. We stop for maple creamies on the way back to Essex Junction.
Once we're back Melanie and I make a quick Costco run. She wants to stop at Michaels to get crocheting materials and we do that too.
We shower and I snack in the van then we do a bit of streaming before sleep.
September 17, 2021
The alarm is set for 6:00 a.m. and I'm up shortly after it goes off. Travel day. After a few sips of coffee I'm dressed and we start to get the van ready for travel.
Melanie readies the inside while I go outside to check tire pressure and store a few items we purchased on our Costco run yesterday.
We make our way south out of Essex Junction, Vermont to Waterbury, Vermont where Melanie finds breakfast at Hender's Bake Shop and Cafe.
Hender's is a take-out only bakery. We order our breakfast, Melanie, Silver Dollar Pancakes, me, the Hender's Salami Sandwich, both quite delicious. Recommended. Highly.
I also order an Apple Maple Walnut Scone for my breakfast tomorrow and Cold Peanut Noodles to accompany tonight's roasted chicken we picked up from Costco.
We drive through Montpelier and pick up another bag of coffee from Capitol Grounds. You don't miss an opportunity to purchase great coffee beans when you can.
We're then off to meet our friend John and his girlfriend, Kathy at Quechee Gorge. We meet them at Snackbar at the Gorge and walk down into the gorge catching up with John and getting to know Kathy whom we've just met.
Afterwards, John, Kathy and Melanie have lunch at the Snackbar. We say our goodbyes and travel to Springfield, Vermont. We do a bit of grocery shopping before traveling to our Boondockers Welcome location just outside of town for the evening.
Melanie works and I journal for a bit before she makes dinner. I clean up afterwards and we move to the back of the van and stream a bit before a really good night's sleep ensues.
September 18, 2021
I'm up around 7:00 a.m. and make coffee. Melanie is still sleeping when I come back to bed with the morning's brew and begin reading.
We located in a pasture next to a barn. It was a very quiet night for us with the occasional hoot of an owl nearby.
Melanie eventually is up and sipping coffee as begins her work day. We each eat a bit of breakfast and Melanie suggests since we're traveling through Bennington, Vermont that we stop and have lunch at Madison Brewing Company.
The drive to Bennington is great with splashes of Fall color along the way. Melanie tells me just before we get to Bennington that our friend, Kevin, is in town getting work done on his car.
I text Kevin when we arrive and get a great parking spot just down from the brewery. He calls me and says he'd like to join us. We have a great visit and lunch and my beer, an FBomb is good too.
After lunch we travel a short distance and park on the street again in Bennington. Melanie has a Zoom Call at 3:00 p.m. and we'll stay in Bennington for the call then travel a short 10 miles to our evening's campsite.
Melanie finishes her Zoom call and at half-time of the Alabama-Florida football game, we drive the short distance to our campsite at Pine Hollow.
Alabama hangs on for the win and we have a light dinner of Lean Cuisine. I indulge in a gin and tonic or two and watch Georgia annihilate South Carolina and Auburn lose to Penn State. And Sleep.
September 19, 2021
I'm up at around 6:45 a.m. and make coffee. We sip some it, have breakfast and each go for showers using the campground shower house.
Melanie expresses interest in attending church in Williamstown where the website indicates we'll need to be parked for her to go in at 10:30. We're less than 10 miles away from church.
Arriving at 10:30ish, we wait until close to 11:00 and Melanie exits and walks away towards the church which is about a block away. I leave to run a brief errand.
I get to the spot of my errand and the phone rings. Church services are about to be completed. Apparently, their website hasn't been updated to reflect a change in time for service. I retrace my drive and pick her up.
We run my original errand and I find a place for us to have lunch. We eat in Williamstown at Water Street Grill which bills itself as the Best Tavern in the Berkshires. Food's good.
While we wait on our lunch, I purchase tickets to Mass MoCA located a few miles away in North Adams, MA. We're in the parking lot of the museum while I'm composing this as we have about 30 minutes before our tickets' times.
Today is the last day of our time in Vermont, at least for a while. Tomorrow we head south to Summit, New Jersey for a few days' visit with our friend, Diana, on our way to a memorial service for a dear friend who recently died in Louisville, Kentucky.
Our visit to Mass MoCA is great fun. We spend most of Sunday afternoon there.
We return to our campsite. Melanie has a Zoom Call and we then sit outside and enjoy the evening for a bit before she goes and prepares a simple dinner of Costco chicken and a side of summer salad made by our friend, Cece, in Essex Junction and given to us before we left there a few days back.
I clean up dishes after dinner and together we take the trash. Along the way I notice Georgia and Alabama license plates. We strike up a conversation with those campers and find out the Alabama plates belong to folks who live in Trussville, Alabama.
Not only that, but they are the parents of a former associate who worked at Cabaniss Johnston where Melanie practiced law for 30 years. Small world.
We return to the van, stream and sleep.
September 20, 2021
My alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m., but I linger and doze through a couple of 10 minute snooze periods. Coffee is made and sipped, but only briefly. We've got the longest travel day we've had in a while today at 195 miles.
We'll travel south to Summit, New Jersey to our friend, Diana's, home there.
I top off our fresh water as we'll be parked in Diana's driveway in Summit for 4 days. I empty the black and grey tanks and reset the flow of our toilet to low.
We're gone from our campsite around 9:00 a.m. After about an hour or so we stop in Coxsackie, New York for breakfast at Chrissy and Tim's Diner. It's a hole-in-the-wall place in the best sorta way. Solid breakfast and local color eating their breakfast.
We retrace our path back to the interstate and then south again. We make Summit and have time to unload our Trek EBikes and take them to Trek Bikes Summit. I'd used them before when they first opened. I had my front disc brakes replaced and they did a great job taking me in on short notice.
This time around and since we're nearing three years owning our bikes, they will replace my tires and give both bikes a major tune up and cleaning. Melanie's bike needs her lights repaired. My chain needs replacing. They agree to have them done by Thursday.
We travel on the Diana's home which is a couple of blocks away. She catches up a bit with us then she continues her work day while Melanie and I enjoy the cooling afternoon on Diana's front porch.
Diana and Melanie put together a very nice dinner as we continue to catch up a bit.
We off to bed not too long after Diana and Melanie clean up.
September 21, 2021
We slept in Diana's home last night. That's the first time we've slept out of Miranda in a good long while. It was the suggestion of a new mattress that cinched the deal. 😎 That's a joke, but the new mattress provided us with a good night's rest all the same.
Diana leaves for the morning walking of her dogs.
We're up around 7:30 a.m. and I go out to Miranda and make our morning brew. We sip coffee in bed and then get into our respective days. Melanie and Diana work downstairs and I remain upstairs reading.
I'm up around 10:00 a.m. and get a shower and move out to Miranda for a bit of journaling and photo processing.
The afternoon finds Melanie and me walking in downtown Summit. We find a place that does pedicures and indulge. A pedicure is something we haven't done since we began traveling.
It reminds us that in Birmingham we would show up at our local place and sometimes run into our friend, Martha Jane Patton. We miss Martha Jane.
We make our way back to Diana's home and wait until she's finished her work day. We all go to dinner at Ani Ramen House in Summit. It's a favorite of ours.
After dinner, we walk back home and spend some time together before going our separate ways. Melanie and I stream and sleep.
Steven and Melanie