Monday, September 14th, 2015
Trevor tried to pop open the cargo box on top of the Subaru to grab paper towels, and the lever broke. Joy. Apparently, the tent was blocking the lever and caused the break. The same tent that we drove back for when we were 30 minutes into our trip. The same tent that ended up flooding two nights before in a rainstorm. This tent was turning out to be bad juju.
We removed everything from the box, and took it off the roof in the Walmart parking lot that we had spent the night at to attempt to fix it. Trevor was in and out of Walmart, buying and returning tools until he got the right ones. This took a while since it was a ‘Japanese model’ that required specific ‘Japanese model’ tools. This lack of universal agreement tends to bother me. For example, whose grand idea was it to not follow the metric system like the rest of the world so that I’m discombobulated whenever I leave the country? Sorry America, I love you, but you got it twisted! No one else knows what the hell a ‘foot’ is, unless you’re describing the one that’s attached to you ankle.
Being completely handicapped when it comes to handling tools, I spent my time assisting him in solving the problem, and I also watched the drama unfold nearby in the parking lot while Trevor was in the store. The people in the van next to us were arguing since they were also having car troubles. I talked to the guy to see what the problem was, and he said that the belt to his van disconnected and he was pretty certain the piece that he needed snapped off somewhere during the drive. I felt bad for them, but I tried to stay in good spirits as we were having difficulties of our own, and Trevor was beginning to look defeated.
We eventually got everything fixed, reorganized, and back on the roof. We wiped the condensation from the windows, wished the couple good luck, and headed to downtown Claremont to grab some much needed coffee and WiFi at “The Java Cup.” Once we felt revived and composed again, we took I-91 north to Route 12 and through a covered bridge headed to Woodstock, VT.
We found parking, but unfortunately the meter was eating all of our quarters without clocking us in. We waved down a police officer to share our concern and he assured us not to worry about it, and that he’d have one of the meter guys fix it up and fill the meter for us to the max. What a nice dude! There were a lot of cute shops around although this seemed more like a town for retirees. One of them was “The Vermont Flannel Company,” and they had their AC cranked up. You’re not fooling me, I know what you’re up to. You just want me to warm myself up with one of your comfortable Vermont Flannels. Tempting, but not today!
After strolling around the neighborhood, we took US-4 west to our next stop at Bridgewater Corners, VT where the “Long Trail Brewing Company,” and practically nothing else, was located. We were stoked!
We’ve had their beer before, but we were finally able to enjoy their full variety! They had food too. Like I mentioned before, we had been on a vegetarian kick over the past couple years, but decided to have a cheat day and ordered their burger with bacon. Hey, we’re on vacation, why not? We also order two IPAs and enjoyed the fresh air on the balcony by the stream before taking the short self-guided tour through the brewery.
We took a seat at the bar to indulge in some more brews and chatted with the awkward and entertaining bartender. To our left was a man and his very under-aged son who was enjoying a soda. The boy lost his balance on his stool. They had to cut him off. No more soda for you, kid. You’re out of control.
To our right was a guy named Michael from Connecticut, who told us how he sometimes enjoyed camping during his days off work. He worked at a “poo plant” as he called it, and said he loved it since he got to “toy with bacteria” all day. He shared pictures of his Catahoula hound dog and we exchanged travel and camping stories. He suggested that we check out the Connecticut coast on our way back to Maryland, to swing through New Haven, and to avoid Hartford like the plague. We drank some more beers, sampling the ‘Long Trail Ale,’ ‘Limbo IPA’ (yummy!), the dangerously delicious ‘Space Juice Double IPA,’ and the ‘Imperial Pumpkin Ale,’ which was alright for a pumpkin beer.
Eventually, we decided to take our butts elsewhere and when we got to our Subaru, we noticed Michael had left us the Brett Dennen, “Lover Boy” CD on our windshield with a note written on the cover saying, “Some Happy Music for Happy Homo sapiens.” An ode to Trevor’s former Instagram handle which was #thehappiesthomosapien. We got a good laugh, and popped in the CD as we traveled along scenic Route 100 north to Route 125 west.
We made a pit stop at a welcome center outside of the “Killington Ski Resort.” A chick was working there alone, scooting around with her foot in a cast. She told us that she had shattered her foot in a mountain biking race, and recommended where we could grab a good cup of coffee nearby. We took her suggestion, and headed to the very artsy “Liquid Art Coffee House and Gallery,” and had to run inside since we arrived right as the sky unleashed its fury. Vermont’s mountains are called the “Green Mountains” for a reason, and they get it from all that rain!
After filling up on coffee and driving around Killington (which we would return to by foot two years later), we passed a cow mail box that said “Put mail in my butt” as we failed to find camping along two of the forest roads we had scoped out. The third time was a charm after taking a 2-mile drive to the Stream Mill Clearing Primitive camp site on Forest Road 59 nearby Ripton, VT. We were hoping to find a moose, but instead found a “CAUTION: CAR THEFT” sign and an amazing sunset.
A car full of people drove by the site, then turned around. Not sure if these were the car thieves we were warned about, but the night went without incident and it was an otherwise super quiet, and relaxing evening.
Jump Back to Part 2: Ninja Smurfs, Helium & Hepatitis
Jump Ahead to Part 4: Mean, Old Aunt Jennie & Extreme Bike Parking
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Highway Robbery, Festivals & A Kiddie Pool