Friday, October 16, 2015


"On the road again.
”I just can’t wait to get on the road again…”

-Willy Nelson
Ready to Go-9am in Peacham Vt
Dearest Readers,

This is Etta James and I about to begin our driving journey to Portland Oregon. (picture taken by Cynther Greene, my landlady and friend.) There was frost on the roof of the car as we set out this morning, and warnings from the weather people at The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury of a possible first snowfall in shaded Vermont hollows on Saturday. I sold my studded snowtires…time to get going!

Yesterday I cleaned, packed and stuffed the Scion XB (aka “The Toaster”) with my life for the last year and 4 months.
View from my upstairs window facing east toward NH on Wednesday
I stared out my favorite window at home in Peacham where I can get the best cell signal, and copped a glance east beyond a glorious wall of trees and color. I will miss this place and my friends. It’s a bittersweet goodbye.

I travelled south out of NEK (Northeast Kingdom of VT), then crossed the Green Mountains around central Vermont, and continued to the NY State border. The fall foliage was raucous, brilliant, and simply gorgeous on this sunny day.

I continued south on the NY side until Saratoga Springs where I headed west, caught the NY Thruway toward Buffalo around the town of Mohawk. This is Erie Canal and Mohawk River Valley territory, and the ancient home of the Six Indian Nations–The Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and the Tuscaroras. I saw wide vistas, modest color on the trees, some crumbly industrial towns like Gloversville and Johnstown, but I didn’t stop to investigate. Downtown Saratoga Springs felt like old money with beautiful municipal buildings and stately homes from the 19th century. It resembled some New England college towns I know–like Hanover NH, Northampton, and Holyoke Mass.

So, tonight Etta and I made it to Verona NY…a pleasant smallish city with a sign pointing away from the highway to the original downtown, now a place avoided by most travelers in favor of Seneca Street where all the ugly fast food, and chain drug store/supermarkets line up like shiny teeth. I went there too for bananas at Price Chopper, a new Brita water jug at Rite-Aid, a salad at McDonalds and a coffee on the agenda at Dunkin Donuts.  

Some people at my Microtel Inn had the over-tanned, lean and hungry appearance of gamblers, and indeed I discovered Verona is home to Turning Stone Resort and Casino. I found a picture online. I’m not sure where it is, but it looks alluring.

My goal is 300 miles per day, and we did it. That’s about all I can handle. Traffic was light–the views thrilling. I stuck to the speed limit and let others pass me willy-nilly. It relaxed me. Bring on the trucks!
Struggling to get a selfie in the motel room with Etta James, my arm, and green creature "Wei" in upper left, a temporary traveling gift from The Peacham Library

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