Saturday, August 13, 2005

Closing the Loop

After a driving blitz across the Northeast, Jeff and I arrived in Waterbury around 6:00 p.m. A hot, humid day, temperatures in the 90's throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Crossed on U.S. #2. Heavy weekend traffic, hundreds of motorcycles. Drove about 300 miles each, yesterday and today. Since leaving Vermont, we rode a total of 3,500 miles, really more than I had anticipated. 22,709 miles on the bike, 16,610 since leaving Santa Rosa, California.

We had lunch in Gorham, New Hampshire, in the shadow of Mt. Washington. An artsy-looking cafe caught my attention, but when we tried the door, found it had closed at 2:00. We had passed a strange-looking restaurant with lots of cars in front so we tried it. "J's Corner Restaurant" appeared more like a real estate office or bank building. "Award-winning clam chowder" they claimed, so I had to try it. It was outstanding. The secret ingredient our server confided, is the Worcestershire Sauce. Steaks, not so outstanding. Flavorful, covered in garlic and mushrooms, but tough.

We decided to pass on paying the $18.00 to drive up 6,288-foot Mt. Washington, the highest point in New Hampshire. Supposedly, the World's strongest winds, 231 mph, were recorded here in 1934. Jeff's been up there before, and since it was rather hazy, I wasn't too interested.

Up at 9:00 this morning, Dr. Wayne Dyer, fund-raising on PBS, was giving an inspirational talk. Called Drew (a Dr. Dyer fan) to thank him for inspiring us to read as kids. Checked out of the Holiday Inn at 10:30. It was already hot. No breakfast, just hit the road. Jeff said he was looking forward to being among friends again: "my bed, my refrigerator..."

With sights set on Waterbury, the myriad small towns along U.S. Highway 2 became more of a nuisance. Those bumper stickers that state "I brake for yard sales" were certainly inspired by the highways of New England. There are yard sales everywhere and drivers don't hesitate to slam on the brakes to catch one, even when other vehicles are following close behind.

The landscape along the highways is littered with collections of junk, many labeled "Antique Shop". I'm amazed at how much space is devoted to vehicles: salvage yards, repair shops, new and used car lots, equipment dealers, tractor dealers, etc. Perhaps it has more of an impact when they're carved out of the woods, as most are here.

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