Sunday, August 21, 2005

A week around Waterbury, Vermont

According to Jeff, Montpelier is the only state capital without a "McDonald's".

For over a week, I stayed in Waterbury, recuperating from the ride through the Maritimes, preparing for the journey south, and enjoying my brother’s company and hospitality. A re-cap follows.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Spent virtually the entire day working on the blog. In the evening, we went out to the “Longhorn Steakhouse” in Burlington, where I had to try the “bleu cheese encrusted fillet of beef” and a glass of 2001 Chateau St. Jean “California” Cabernet Sauvignon. (What’s with the California appellation now? Sourcing cheaper – and inferior – grapes from around the state now?)

Monday, August 15, 2005

The postman left a card showing the attempted delivery of a parcel. Assuming it was my glasses, I was at the post office first thing, waiting for them to open. With my progressive lenses restored, it will be much easier to read maps, menus and such along the way. Feeling it my responsibility to sample the wares at all boutique coffee shops, I tried the "Full of Beans” coffee shop in downtown Waterbury. They brewed the local “Green Mountain Roasters” coffee so weak, that I didn’t even finish it. Instead, I went to the “Bagel Café” and bought two "Everything Bagels" with cream cheese “to go” for our breakfast.

Jeff and I washed our bikes. Later, delivered my bike to “Frank’s” so that they could repair the fuel gauge (fuel sending unit) and charcoal canister. Lester said he has seen both problems before. Regarding the canister, he said it’s located in such a position that the frame can impact it, and snap the inlet (or outlet) nipple. He said there would be no problem taking care of both under warranty.

Joined Jeff in the Pilot for a run to “Costco”, “Shaw’s” market (stocking up on energy bars), “Staple’s” (where I bought some notepads to attach to the tank bag) and “Eastern Mountain Sports” (where I picked up a larger toiletry kit – so I could consolidate stuff scattered throughout my bags).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Jeff was considering moving his Honda 1000RR (Race Ready) motorcycle inside the house for the winter. He talked me into taking it out for a spin. What a strange feeling, to sit on a racing bike. It was like being the warhead of a guided missile. Its handling is very different. So quiet and fast. And absolutely no buffeting from the wind. Took it down the interstate a few miles, driving no faster than 90.

I saw another blue bike following behind me. I finally realized it was Jeff. He had pulled out his "Blackbird" and easily caught up with me. My bike was apparently not ready; no call from “Frank’s” today.

I lobbied for dinner at the “Alchemist” again. It was very busy tonight, and we had to wait, which makes Jeff quite uncomfortable. In the full house, we were eventually seated next to a group with five small children. How inappropriate, I thought. I resent it. “This is a brew pub for chrissakes!”

Making slow progress with the blog, wrapping up much unfinished business. Perhaps 12 entries lingering in draft form, yet to be completed (not that this are highly-polished literature, but I try to at least make it readable!)

Wednesday, August, 17, 2005

(See separate post below)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Watching golf tournaments on TV and seeing the pros with logos emblazoned all over their garments, I am repulsed. No logos for me. “You have to at least make the effort to learn who I am and what I represent, not read it all over my clothes.” Okay, I know it’s virtually impossible to be logo-less these days, but there are degrees of submission!

Fuel prices are up to $2.51 per gallon. I don’t think I accounted for this! But a quick calculation makes concern unwarranted: if I’m going to travel 40,000 miles, that’s 1,000 gallons. If I assumed $2.00 per gallon average, and instead it’s $3.00, then my expenses will be over by $1,000. That won’t bankrupt me.

Jeff and I rode our bikes out to visit Bob Moshinski in Plainfield. It felt weird, heading back toward Maine! I’ve heard a lot about Bob, a real character who also happens to be an outstanding mechanic and former champion drag racer.

Bob has unquestionably the cleanest shop I've seen. I asked him, "do you do any work here?"

You may be wondering what I've been up to the past few days. Today, Jeff and I went out to see his irreverent friend Bob Moshinskie in Plainfield, Vermont. Bob's quite the character (and a major Beatles fan, as evidenced by his Beatles commemorative plate collection on display in the shop.)

Bob said he is about to head off to do some “stripper fishing in Porno Bay” (translated, striper fishing in Portland Bay.)

Bob, like most Vermonters, is armed and dangerous. Jeff, well...he's into wheels.

Following Bob’s mentioning the restaurant, I told Jeff we HAD to try “Positive Pie 2” in Montpelier. Just down the street from his DOT office, the trendy new establishment serves up outstanding thin-crust pizza. That and some Wolaver’s Belgian Wheat beer made me a happy fellow.

Drew in rare form tonight as we had him on the speakerphone and I related my phone company “customer service” experience (see separate Wednesday, August 17th post below). He then launched into an hilarious rendition of an imaginary Indian customer support representative. (Actually, it’s not so rare. He is always a bit whacko.)

Friday, August 19, 2005

The early morning sounds outside my window: of those driving in to work at the nearby state offices, the chirping of crosswalks on Main Street, service trucks driving through the neighborhood, sirens (as the local police pull people over for minor infractions). This is quite different than living on Sonoma Mountain!

At 8:30 I went over to “Green Mountain Coffee Roasters” again. Cappuccino and cream cheese bagel. Read the local paper. International Paper wants to experiment with burning tires for energy at their New York facility just over the Hudson River. It’s causing an uproar in up-state Vermont.

Gave my helmet a thorough cleaning, inside and out. It’s first such bath. Getting ready to go! Every day, I’m getting more impatient to leave (though the time is certainly not being wasted here.)

Jeff reminded me that we had a “date” for lunch: we were meeting his assistant Judith for lunch at “Sarducci’s” in Montpelier. She came ready to hear about our travels, armed with a mental list of questions.

On my blog, I’ve now begun getting advertisers using the “Comments” section to promote their products. Now I have to go in and individually delete their comments. It’s really sucking my life! Trying to find a solution via “”

Late in the day, I discovered about 12 more entries that were left in draft form and needed to be fleshed out – from Canada and Alaska! Finally stopped at 8:30 p.m. after losing my mysterious downtown wireless connection. I have become quite an anti-social creature because of this damn thing! (Just ask Jeff.)

Tonight we walked downtown to “Arvad’s” for dinner. Surprised at the number of young people out. Many attractive women (or men, if you’re so inclined)! Waterbury (just down the road from “Ski-Mecca” Stowe) is becoming quite THE place. “Arvad’s” is less pretentious and a little more comfortable than “Alchemist” (though I still prefer “Alchemist”!)

Saturday, August 20

Awakened by the sound of rain, rather than "rush hour” traffic this morning. Much better.

Wireless connection restored, plunged into the (damn!) blog again.

Then I started to uncover entries from a journal that I had never entered into the blog, primarily from May and June. This is never-ending! Added a counter to the site, so I can view the number of visitors, but it’s clear by the ticker that I’m my number one fan! Worked all day long on this stuff.

Though I wasn’t enthused, Jeff convinced me we should just eat in tonight. God knows he has a very well-stocked pantry and freezer! But soup, salad and steak fries proved quite satisfying. “Why don’t we do this more often???”

The anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival; watched the movie on TV tonght. Quite an amazing historical event.

Also watched another movie, understated and quirky, Off the Map.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

At 8:30 this morning, it seemed very warm. I went downstairs to check Jeff’s weather station. It was only 70° outside, but the humidity was 90%!

Another day on the blog and for a little variety, laundry too.

Clearing and cooler later, turning very nice.

Forgetting yesterday’s lesson, we went to “Longhorn Steakhouse” again. It was easy to justify “one last steak”!

Not only was Woodstock running non-stop, there was a Bill Murray marathon on TV as well. Had to watch Rushmore and Kingpin! Another very late night! (Common in our family!)


Christopher Trottier said...

You mean, it is possible for a city to not have a McDonalds?

timtraveler said...

Amazing, but true! (For the moment.)