Sunday, September 24, 2006

Waterbury, Vermont, via Boston

Jeff and Kellie en route to lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse in Boston

Quite mild at my Connecticut campsite this morning. Foggy, sticky. (It has been some time since I've been under the "marine influence". I was awake at 7:00 and brewed a cup of coffee to have with my Tim Horton’s chocolate croissant and "Hampton Inn banana".

Random thoughts passed through my brain. "I have had 14 years that my father never had. I don’t want to live in a home as an invalid (from a stroke, or other affliction. I just want to sit down under a tree on some mountaintop."

"I don’t know shit. My 'career' was a just a 'big fakin’ it'." But I look at all the gear I have, the motorcycle, and the ability to travel, and am thankful for the effort it took to pay for all this in advance. Thanks to that labor, I can now be care-free...for a moment. But what next? Getting a job at 55 is going to be fun. "Yeah, right. Who's going to hire a 55-year-old?"

The highway was noisy last night, echoing down the valley. Slept poorly. Things quieted down later. Nature's sounds emerged. Black oaks dropping acorns with some impact. Crickets. Birds.

A 1-1/2 hour run into Boston. The weather clearing just a bit.

The "Mass Pike" (turnpike) ended and dumped me onto the city streets just a few blocks from niece Kellie’s house. I surprised her at 11:00 a.m. (As rehearsed, Jeff had told her he hadn’t heard from me.)

Coming from the opposite direction, he was (according to his GPS) due to arrive at 12:15. Kellie and I just sat and talked. I was at first a bit uncomfortable among her housemates.

Jeff arrived, and without wasting time, we were off to Longhorn Steakhouse. Kellie had been craving a steak. She had a four-hour "liberty" to enjoy with us.

Kellie had been craving a good steak. She found it at Longhorn

After taking care of the important stuff (flesh of cow), we took Kellie shopping: Marshall’s, Old Navy (the store was surprisingly "trashed and trashy") and Wal-Mart (the company I love to hate), which offered a better selection of her sizes. The Wal-Mart is in Quincy and, with considerable traffic, it took quite a while to negotiate the surface streets. This only added to the stress of having such limited time with Kellie.

I chipped in $40 for the lunch and another $40 for clothes for Kellie (haven't bought her anything in ages!)

For the three-hour ride to Waterbury, I loaded all my gear into Jeff’s Honda Pilot. In Southern Vermont, we stopped at a rest area that also houses a Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It's a lavish structure with a model wastewater treatment plant and greenhouse. ("This kind of extravagance wouldn’t cut it in California.") Rain and a hard buffeting wind crossing the mountains south of Waterbury.

Reached Jeff's house, 65,088 miles on the bike, 5,788 miles traveled from Santa Rosa.

Checked in with my nephew Matt - he showed me around his apartment (right next door to Jeff!) We all took his dog "Blue" out for a walk around the State Hospital grounds.

Cold outside. I was chilled to the bone, and ready for sleep.

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