The ride from Bethel on Route 2 across New Hampshire to Montpelier was great. Every turn brought a mountainside in full color, but nothing I could capture on my camera. This view is from the back of the AirBnB we stayed in. Montpelier is one of those creative, playful towns. Great breakfasts both days. I bought some Mary Oliver essays at Bear Pond Books, some ukulele strings at the music store. We checked out Vermont Country Store (a little too much like a Cracker Barrel), had lunch at the beautiful King Arthur Flour store, and had sundaes at Ben & Jerry's. On the way home, we had lunch in Bethlehem, NH, with our Commonground friends.
I voted yesterday and will be a pollworker on election day. Now that Hillary has pulled ahead, I'm just waiting for it to be over. Except for stuff like buying several tubes of Nasty Woman lip balm and listening to Thirty Days Thirty Songs and doing a bit of GOTV work.
The Unity College Crew did finish the checksteps last weekend. I like the way they used the rocks to stop the sides from eroding.
Breakfast at Ralph's in Brooks is always a good way to start a weekend. On the way in I saw this shot of a snowmobile bridge and we stopped to get it on the way out. Then past Skowhegan on Route 201 with a stop at the Robbins Hill Lookout for the big look across toward the mountains. And on up the Kennebec to Wyman Lake. We hit Thompson's Restaurant in Bingham on the way back for some excellent comfort food: chicken pot pie and mashed potatoes, finished off with their coconut cream pie. No need to eat again for 24 hours. We will do a longer foliage run next weekend to Vermont because we have never explored it and because it is within the 5 hour limit for driving somewhere. Montpelier is the destination because 1) It has at least 3 bakeries, 2) Girlyman wrote a great song about it, and 3) it is the only state capital in the U.S. without a McDonald's.
My culturally Catholic ability to induce guilt has worked again and the Unity Trails Crew will be finishing the check steps next weekend while we are away. Away and busy is a good thing to be in these last few weeks before the election as I remember that I don't have to attend every argument to which I'm invited. I'm old and have seen a lot of elections, but nothing ever like this one.
Seems like I've spent a lot of time on Connor Mill Trail lately. It's about a two mile loop mostly along Sandy Stream with several bridges over brooks that feed into Sandy Stream. The best part of the trail is west of Bacon Brook, hence the importance of getting that bridge in this summer. The trail follows the south side of the stream but ends just one taxmap lot shy of reaching the Route 139 bridge over the stream. There is a trail on the north side of the stream (the bike way trail plus the fairgrounds loop that goes as far as the race track). If the trails on both sides of the stream were extended to the Route 139 bridge, that would make a fantastic walk from Main Street, up one side of the stream and down the other side back to Main Street.
Saturday was Day of Service and I worked with the Unity College Trail Crew to build some check steps down an incline on the trail. We were using 6x6 treated posts and half inch rebar. They had one old hand drill with a quarter inch bit. I would help them more with planning next time. Mac's hardware doesn't carry hand drills, says they don't make good ones anymore. So this week I will go to Liberty Tools and acquire a few old ones for the crew. I'm trying to guilt their faculty advisor into getting them to come back and finish the steps. If not, I will finish it myself.