THE END OF SUMMER (TRIP TO NEW ENGLAND)

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Trip Map

Before we got on the road again, Bog had to remove a dead mouse and evict a live garter snake from the garage. We left ~8:30, came back to get the bike pump and tire gauge, left again, then couldn’t remember if we put garage door down (we did). Finally, we were really off on a trip to New England. At first, we followed the Seaway Trail, a designated scenic highway along the shore of Lake Ontario through Pultneyville and Sodus Point, which has the flavor of a New England coastal town right here in NY. We were doing well following the "no place to go, and all the time to get there" philosophy; just tooling along ~45 mph, letting those in a hurry, hurry on by. In the Adirondacks, we had little choice: the few paved roads are bumper to bumper with vacationers, the other roads are gravel or dirt. Oh, goodie, the best of both worlds. We of course chose unpaved roads to avoid traffic. However, the only other car on the road was right on our tail. Maybe he was trying to avoid eating our dust. In Inlet, we passed Erickson’s where we ate; what used to be the Loon Saloon where we drank; and the motel where Mikey, Beth, Janie, & Bog stayed lo these many years ago. Checked out a State Forest Campground for reference. Wall to wall people. Nope, this is not ND. We pushed on to the east side of the Adirondacks where we had 2 choices: camp on the lakeshore cheek-to-jowl with a bunch of RV’s for $12, or on the hillside above the lake with 2 or 3 other tenters for $9. Duh. It was unusually hot for the mountains of New York, so we broke out the brew and started dinner. Zatarain’s beans and rice are hot, too, but make a tasty dinner when rolled up in tortillas. Cherries and plums we picked up at a fruit stand in the AM made a refreshing dessert before a hot and humid night.

We were on the road by 7:00 AM, and were the first ones to cross Lake Champlain on the Fort Ti (Ticonderoga) Ferry, the same ferry we took with Mikey & Beth. Our first stop was Sugarbush Farm near Woodstock, VT. We have been mail-ordering their smoked cheddar since we first tasted it in the Vermont Country Store a few years ago. It turns out to be a real working dairy farm, reached by crossing a covered bridge and driving ~4 miles down a gravel road. Before we could park, we had to wait for the tractor to take a load of hay to the barn. The factory and store were both in the original farmhouse, which at first we couldn’t see because a large wagon, loaded with hay shrouded in black plastic, was parked in front. We walked in for the tour and found 5-6 young women performing the various tasks necessary to package cheese for sale and mail. One came over to us and began explaining the process and feeding us samples of cheese and maple syrup. After we took the self-guided tour of the syrup shed, she ushered us into the gift shop, located in the farmhouse kitchen. Bog went to the restroom, which was the old bathroom, where the tub was full of boxes and packing material. We tasted various mustards, spreads and conserves, picked out our favorite cheeses (extra sharp and blue) and syrup (Grade B, extra dark), paid, and left through the front door. We had entered though a side door at the back of the house. It was not the usual New England tourist trappe and factory outlet.

Then we were off the Catamount brewery, where we joined the tour in progress and lined up for free samples. One of the tour guides noticed Bog’s Geneseo hat and asked if we were with SUNY. He had been an assistant dean at SUNY-Stonybrook, but quit when he realized that an assistant dean was "a mouse studying to be a rat". He knew and told us about major and minor breweries and their management all over the US and Canada. He also knew of Beers of the World in Rochester, whose proprietor apparently is infamous for his excellent selection and terrible dealings with distributors and customers. We bought 2 six packs; that was all we could fit in the car until we finished the beer we brought from home. Enroute to Sanbornville, we drove through Wolfeboro, NH, looking for Pop’s Old Fashioned Hand Cut Doughnuts, but the former location was now an ice cream store. There was a festival in town, so we did not drive around looking for Pop’s new location. All afternoon the roads had been getting busier and busier. It was an omen. Southern NH is not the place for us. We may have to forego it in the future. Just too many people to make it worthwhile. Once we got to Sanbornville, we tried to get a motel room, but on Friday ~4:30, they were already full. Not knowing when/where we might find accommodations, we decided to eat at the Poor People’s Pub, then head into Maine. There were no campgrounds in the area and the Super 8 in Sanford was full, so we had the attendant call 4 others down the road: all full. It was after 6 PM, so Janie asked about unsecured reservations. One reserved, but unclaimed, smoking room was available for a mere $85! The most expensive motel we stayed at in ND cost less than half that. But Bog was not in the mood to drive another 2-3 hours, so we paid up, holed up and drank beer the rest of the evening.

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poorpp.jpg (15660 bytes) Poor People's Pub in Sanbornville, NH celebrates its 25th anniversary: 1974-1999

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