Rolling, rolling, rolling! 🙂
Actually, the above photo was taken on a completely different trip years after I originally wrote this. But we’re traveling, right? 🙂
The previous part of the journal is here.
Friday, August 9, 1996
It’s actually Saturday morning, but hey, who’s counting?
We got back yesterday from an incredible 8-day road trip through New England. I wish I’d kept a daily journal, because I know I won’t remember everything now.
Last Thursday, Aug. 1, we drove up to Cooperstown, NY. It’s a nice drive, scenic even. The terrain gets hillier as you go, until your driving along the edge of the Poconos and the Catskills.
I had been driving since we stopped for lunch in Binghamton. Rick got confused and sent me off in the wrong direction after we hit Cooperstown. After driving almost 10 to 15 minutes in the wrong direction, it finally occurred to me that we should turn around. Rick wrested the controls from me, at that point, and never relinquished them thereafter, claiming that I drove “slower than old people fuck.” At least I can read a map.
After we finally got to the motel and checked in, we went back to Cooperstown and found the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rick entered grudgingly, only to find himself enjoying it as we went through. It was amazing. The second floor had a thorough review of the history of the game—its development, lore, major players, etc.—with exhibits. It was like Ken Burns’ Baseball summarized as a museum exhibit. There were exhibits on baseball in movies, baseball journalism, women in baseball, the Negro Leagues, different ballparks, uniforms, baseball cards, and baseball songs. There was an umpire exhibit. There was an exhibit about each existing team, what its former names (if any) were, retired numbers, etc., etc. it was really amazing.
Cooperstown is an interesting place. It obviously revolves around the game of baseball, because the game’s influence is everywhere. We ate dinner at the Doubleday Cafe. Baseball knickknacks are sold everywhere. There’s Doubleday Field, where games are occasionally played. Even the McDonald’s in Cooperstown has workers in baseball uniforms and pictures of boy and girl baseball players on the restroom doors.
Our motel was outside Cooperstown, on Lake Otsego. We didn’t really get to enjoy Upstate New York much. We only spent one night. The motel had been rated 2-diamond, but deserved less. The faucets were screwed up on the sink and bath, and Rick and I kept getting alternately frozen and scalded as we took our shower. We did walk down to the lake’s edge that evening. It was a nice peaceful view of lake and surrounding hills, though we got a bit bitten by bugs. A prelude to what was to come while camping, as it turned out.
The next morning, we left for New Hampshire, hopeful that the good weather would hold out. It did. More tomorrow.
O’s lost tonight in the 10th. Arrghh! To Chicago—they need to beat those guys.
Monday, August 12, 1996
The story continues.
When we left Cooperstown, after breakfast at the aforementioned McDonald’s, we hit the interstate going north, then U.S. 4, which took us through Vermont into New Hampshire. The terrain was hilly, with lots of trees, especially birch and pine. The weather continued to be good. The good weather seemed to clear a path before us as we traveled. We followed the river on the Vermont-New Hampshire border for a while, before crossing into New Hampshire.
We hit a few small towns on the way to the campground. Littleton was the biggest of the small towns. It was among many of the small, quaint New England towns we would see. They really are very quaint. They invariably have a Main Street lined with restaurants and bookstores and knickknacks shops and so forth, with names like The Plucky Duck and The Pepper Mill. We went through Littleton, then Bethlehem, where the Bethlehem High School was having a reunion. The campground was just outside of Twin Mountain, or “Twin Peaks”, as I liked to call it.
We had chicken for dinner the first night, each took some time to cook, due to the immense difficulties we were having lighting the fire. We also made soggy Rice A Roni on the camping stove.
Our site was great. Each site was separated by lots of trees. Initially, we had chosen #32, but it was small and a lot of tree roots ran through it. We ended up changing to #33, which was bigger and flatter. Our first night in the tent went well.
The next day, we drove around mainly through Franconia Notch State Park. We saw the Old Man of the Mountain and the Basin. The latter was formed by glaciers. It was an indentation—a deep indentation—in the rock beside a stream. The water from the stream would flow into it and swirl around. It was supposed to be 15 feet deep. We also rode a tram up Mt. Cannon and walked to the observation tower on the summit.
The campground had a hayride and “make your own sundae”. I did the latter. Someone took #32. A family with two sons and a dog named Coco. I know this, because at 1:20 AM, Rick and I were awakened by Coco’s owner, who called the dog’s name repeatedly and slammed the door of his van several times.
More later on the trip. Today, Connie R, Connie S, Pat S, and I met with school officials about the Mock Trial program.
Saturday, August 16, 1996
More on the trip. We drove the back roads of Maine—primarily U.S. Route 4—to get to Bar Harbor. The campground was very different than the one in New Hampshire. Most of the campsites were on the perimeter of a large, grassy area. We were able to get a spot with a little bit of space defined by trees, providing a small, sheltered area. Some of the campsites didn’t even have that much shelter. The one next to us was just an open, grassy area with trees in back. The couple camping near us had a cocoon-shaped pup tent sitting out on the grass. I was amazed that two people could fit in it.
The next day, we drove around Acadia. Our first stop was Cadillac Mountain. It had a spectacular view of Bar Harbor and the area surrounding the peak. Then, we continued on the Park Loop Road and drove along the shoreline. Now, that was truly spectacular. The rocky shore was reminiscent of the California coast. We stopped at one spot that had a great view of the rocks and a buoy with the bell that rang occasionally in the distance. It was very peaceful.
We drove into Bar Harbor and spent some time there. It’s a tourist-y town, full of gift shops and restaurants. A lot of lobster. I wish now we’d had some decent lobster while we were there. We were amused to see that it was sold at McDonald’s. Naturally, we had to try it and they didn’t give you a whole lot. It was nothing like the picture. But we had our opportunities. The road to Bar Harbor was lined with “lobster pounds”, as they called them. Maybe next time. We settled for an Acadia calendar, a “Maine woodsman’s weatherstick” (it points up in fair weather, down in foul), and some blueberry jam for me, Nancy & Jane. Blueberries are a big product de Maine (along with lobster).
I forgot to mention that we were awakened our first morning in “Bah Hahbah” by the cawing of crows. It might not have been so bad if that nice little shelter of trees weren’t also their favorite gathering spot. They would caw, and a group across the grounds would caw, and it would just go back and forth like that. And it was 6:30 AM.
The next morning, they didn’t seem as bad. They didn’t caw as much or there weren’t as many. We had to get up early anyway. We were on our way to Boston.
The night before, I did laundry at the camp laundromat. That’s the nice thing about camping at these facilities. We had showers, too. In New Hampshire, they were in the bathroom, nothing more than a curtained off dressing area with a shower separated by another curtain. In Maine, it was a private, separate dressing area and shower, coin-operated. I also noticed that the Maine campground had religious services on Sunday.
All finish the trip in my next entry.
I got a call from EPA—It’s second interview time! I’m meeting with Scott F, formerly of OE (Office of Enforcement), now Deputy GC for OGC. Looks like a shoe-in. I left a message at SSA about the second interview, but I haven’t heard back. Don’t know what that’s all about.
If I do go back to EPA, which seems likely, I may as well forget about bar association activities. I’ll barely have enough time to write and do a little gardening, if I remember correctly. I’ve got to recognize my priorities, and my limitations.
Shadow had another lump removed. Flavia took out a lot of stuff—scar tissue and everything. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Tomorrow, Rick and I are going on a picnic with Karen and her two daughters. Karen, since I last saw her, has discovered Judaism apparently, and told me she will be observing the Sabbath, which apparently involves not using the phone or driving a car. Okay. I asked Ellen, who is Jewish, about this, and she’d never heard of anything like that. Interesting.
PS: Well, actually, now I know! 🙂