Fri 7 Jun - Manchester, VT

The Carlén Juggernaut is moving on. A new state beckons, briefly through another state. We are heading to Vermont via a short crossover of New Hampshire.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast for the next 5-7 days is grim. The remains of tropical storm Andrea is predicted to hit the eastern seaboard possibly all the way to Portland, Maine. Sure enough, constant rain was the order of the day. Again, we reckoned that they called it New England for a good reason.

We pack up and leave Falmouth, MA around 8am. The drive is mostly along I495 and we had planned to stop at a place called Wrentham, MA. Wrentham has an outlet mall, including a Nike store. Sand shoes (sneakers) that we both bought in Santa Fe in February are now more or less dead, perhaps not unexpectedly as we used them pretty much every day to pound the asphalt. You could say that he shoes have carried us 500 miles (sounds like a song...)

Despite the rain, we had a good run to Wrentham and arrived there at 9am. Small problem, the outlet mall does not open until 10am. Solution, there is a Cracker Barrel just outside the mall.

We like Cracker Barrel. It is a country style food chain that also sells country "goods" and their restaurants look almost identical. But, the food is good and cheap and the waiting staff a bit older, chatty and interesting. Here is a location shot from the restaurant section in Wrentham but it could have been anywhere.

The Nike store opened and we both found a suitable pair of sand shoes (with the old pairs tossed into a recycle bin they had in the store). Black and Grey, with Orange, are the predominant colors this time. We figured the dirt won't show as much!

There was also an Eddie Bauer outlet store there and we indulged in one hiking vest each and a pair of new long hiking pants for Hans. Hans has been looking for a new pair since the old pair developed a ventilation hole in the rear, but haven't been able to find the "perfect pants" with lots of lockable pockets yet. The new pair is not perfect, but will do for now. So, now we have more hiking gear waiting for a hike... rain, rain, go away. Still no boots for Di. The search continues...

Here are some location shots from the road. We did take a number of rain pictures from all the 3 states, MA, NH and VT and we could say that the first one picture is from MA (as it was flat) but we were not quite sure which photo goes with with state as we took a few along the way.

Here are the rain shots from the car anyway on this very wet Friday.



The "happy" driver...

In New Hampshire, just before the border to Vermont, we stopped to fill up on gas. It was a big gas station and looked cheaper in price than any we had seen for a while. Next to that service station was this pizza joint and we were into lunch time so we decided to try out "A-1 Pizza" for convenience reasons more that anything else.

Very retro, that's all we can say. That included the punters in the area too. We saw quite a few mullets and beards a la mountain men during our short stay, this guy does not fall into that category.

The pizza was OK and cheap, but the pizza base was clearly out of a prepackaged box. The place was run by Greeks and there were a number of those very common Greek island images on the walls. You know, white washed building with very deep blue water and sky. Well, the pizza filled up Di too.

We continue into Vermont and everything seems to be green; Vermont, of course, means Green Mountain which is exactly were we are going, the town of Manchester in the Green Mountains.

Vermont car registration plates are green, road route numbers are within a green border and of course, nature is very very green and lush.

We arrive at our cabin in Manchester, a cute small but well set up and big enough for us, one of only a handful. The place is for some reason called Casablanca Motel, but cabins are all they offer.

Here is our cabin at the far end of the row with the mighty Chevrolet Malibu parked next to it.
Lazy afternoon after all that driving, and it is still raining, so we relax with a glass of red wine reading and typing this. We had the heater on as it was only 10 degrees outside (and this is summer!).
Dinner in the cabin was a simple soup with crackers with cheese, followed by watching TV for a change. The men's semifinals of the French Open in tennis was on and we saw the playing of the 4th and 5th sets. Nadal wins out over Djokovic but it was an incredible match and we honestly thought Djokovic would win (even though Di had her fingers crossed for Nadal). Good night.


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