Sunday, September 13th, 2015
My neck and back were stiff after the first night of sleeping in the Subaru. We probably should have slept in the opposite direction, which would have been a little more comfortable. Once we felt up for it, we packed away our sleep mats and sleeping bags, reconfigured the car, then we debated what to do with the soggy tent. The tent, which we had intended on sleeping in overnight had a defective rainfly, and was completely flooded after suffering through last night’s rainstorm. We thought it was destroyed and not worth saving, but decided to throw it in a tote bag and shove it in the cargo box on top of the car anyway until we got home. A decision which would pay off later, when we would learn of a manufacturing recall with the rainfly that the company would honor once we mailed it in.
We hit the road along Route 9 in search of a warm meal for breakfast, and found one at a place called the “Chelsea Royal Diner” in West Brattleboro, VT. We both ordered the ‘Popeye Omelet,’ which was delicious! Once our bellies were full, we headed to downtown Brattleboro.
It was still really early in the morning, so a lot of the shops weren’t open yet, but we found parking at the “Brattleboro Food Co-op.” We browsed around there to kill some time, appreciating the nice beer selection and the juice bar. We then moved the car down towards Main Street as we waited for the town to wake up, and found ourselves at “Mocha Joe’s” for some coffee to get us on the same page. There was a huge outdoor store to get lost in and a few other cute shops nearby which were slowly opening up one by one. After strolling around town, it was time for a beer, so we went to “Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery” for a ‘Whetstoner Session IPA.’
We really enjoyed Brattleboro, but it was time to do some more exploring. We would be returning to the grand old state of Vermont, but while we were next to the state line, we decided to make a quick hop across the border to the place to “Live Free or Die;” New Hampshire.
Digression Alert! As a blogger, I feel obligated to mention a thought that I had that shows how gullible I am, especially as a Bio major. I had heard about a brewery that makes a helium beer that was in driving distance of where we were at the time. Perhaps you’ve seen the video floating around the internets. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but such an awesome thing as beer that makes your voice hilariously cartoonish can’t and doesn’t exist. Fortunately, I realized it was an old April Fool’s clip before we drove out of our way to get there. I would have felt like a total dumbass asking for it at the bar. Welp, there’s plenty of more half-baked opportunities in the future, but I dodged that mo-fo!
Instead, our first visit was spent in the cool little college town of Keene, NH. We checked out the stores along the main drag, bought ourselves a mini-coffee grinder at “The Kitchen Store,” then grabbed a couple brews at “The Pour House” which came with complimentary chips and salsa, and football on the side. This must be the place where college kids come to drink since there was a game show wheel in the corner to spin to select the shot or shooter you should drink. I admired the creativity, and it made me miss having a 20-something year old liver. After visiting the “Monadnock Food Co-op,” we made our way out of Keene via Route 12-A, passing a flock of turkeys crossing the road.
The road took us passed a lot of cool, old buildings and welded sculptures before we landed in Claremont, NH.
Before checking out the town, we scoped out the local Walmart to see if it seemed like a good place to crash for the night. It looked legit, so we took Water Street in search of a place to eat, and found ourselves at “Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza.”
After placing an order for our food and a couple of beers, I noticed that there was blood on our napkins, which led me to follow the source which was a cut wrapped in another napkin on the bartender’s hand. Even during times when I probably should complain at a restaurant, I very rarely do. The only time I can recall doing so was after being served a turkey burger made from spoiled meat in the Moab. Instead, I cautiously watched his hand positioning as he slid the plates to us, and examined them for body fluids. I failed to find any, so I went ahead and ate my calzone with a side of hepatitis.
As we watched the Raven’s football game across the bar, we met a homeless guy named Patrick who was sitting nearby. He was a bearded man in his mid-60’s who said he had family that lived all over the country. He claimed he was laid off work 2 years ago and has been jumping from couch to couch since. Trevor shared his RV-sized hepatitis calzone with him as we talked about travel and sports. He was spending the night at the Walmart too, and so we threw out a few tips for him regarding how to determine the likelihood of whether a Walmart will allow overnighters or not, and the perks of forest roads and Starbucks. The Ravens ended up losing the game and so we made our way back to Walmart. It was another rainy night, and I would toss and turn throughout it due to the noisy “neighbors,” and the bright lights burning through my eyelids as Trevor slept soundly as usual.
Jump Back to Part 1: Highway Robbery, Festivals & A Kiddie Pool
Jump Ahead to Part 3: Broken Cargo, Flannels & Happy Homo Sapiens