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Packing them in

I keep having to remind myself that they’re not all going to be as fast as this.

The New England states all nicely packed in together meant that I can hit many ‘stops’ quite quickly in the first few days, but there are going to be some moments in the weeks ahead where it takes three days to get from one place to another.

Leaving Epping, I headed straight through New Hampshire to touch Vermont. Making sure I was playing Keane as I passed through the town of ‘Keene’ I ended up staying at a KOA campground for a second time in Brattleboro VE. I was actually in a crappy mood by the time I got there because I couldn’t find it (the GPS does NOT always know where things are correctly!), it was late, dark and I was tired but I eventually settled in.

The morning stop was just up the road – Putney. Which has already caused some controversy, as on the tube map, the relevant stops are either East Putney or Putney Bridge, not an exact match but close enough for me. If it’s going to bother you that a few of them are tenuous like that, then you might as well stop reading and following along now! There are going to be more more like that where the name is not an exact match.

Putney

Putney wasn’t really open when I got there because it was 8.30am in the morning. I’d got up early and checked out of the KOA reception bang on 8am when they opened, but not before Beverly told me about a Black Bear that had come through a few weeks ago. A what! I was expecting bears out in the National Parks of Colorado, but Vermont? She showed me one of the claws that they’d kept from where it has been taken down … the local sheriff took the decision to shoot it dead instead of just tranquilize it.

I’m also amused by the amount of signs around the place pertaining to snow & ice, because they do get three foot of snow in the winter. But a “Warning! Falling snow if you park here!”, sign in the summer of June looks a little silly. I snapped a photo, also too of a Vermont license plate – I’m starting a collection where I’m going to try and get one of every license plate in each state.

I headed east, back into New Hampshire to the delightful town of Plaistow. Interestingly, there was no coffee shop of gas station (which is always the best place to go to strike up a conversation with someone), instead there were a chiropractor, optometrist, and craft shop. And beautifully maintained gardens and war memorial around the centre piece building if the town with a clock tower – the town hall.

I end up going inside, and have a lovely conversation with Sean – the Town Manager. He tells me that New Hampshire has the lowest crime rate of all the states in the USA, and being as close to the state line as they are with Massachusetts, they do good business here as MA has a sales tax of 6%, and New Hampshire … ? No sales tax! He’s obviously proud of his town and of his state.

Plaistow

“Is it true that 80% of the state though is trees and forest though?”, I ask. “It’s something like that, yes”, he replies, “And that’s why there’s low crime … it’s basically just wood and logs here”, and we chuckle. I also get him to sign my t-shirt : I’m trying to get one person in every stop/state to sign a t-shirt I’ve had made to say that I was there.

I ended up leaving sooner than I wanted because it felt like I could have pulled up a chair and we could of chatted all afternoon, but traffic was against me and I had to get to Gloucester – a lovely tiny fishing village on the east coast of Massachusetts – whilst then trying to beat the rush hour traffic back down in Boston that night.

Alas, the Boston traffic got me, I got snarled up, I swore, I took wrong turnings, and what should have been a 60 minute journey was almost a two hour one as I got back with Mike & Melissa so that we could go to the Red Sox game who were playing that night.

Thursday I pressed on and covered Warwick in Rhode Island, and Warwick in Connecticut. And there is almost nothing to tell you about them – because Thursday was a crappy day. It rained, I drove. It rained some more, and I got caught in traffic jams. Then it rained a bit, and then my TomTom kept guiding me to Starbucks branches that had been closed down, and then it rained and I got wet some. It was a miserable day, and I was fed up of driving alone for so many hours with no one to keep me company.

There is nothing to tell you about Warwick RI, because it is really just a district of small suburban villages that is in the shadow of Providence. Although there is a big shopping mall there, that is an identikit shopping mall just like any other in America with a lot of miserable looking people. Maybe they were just pissed off that it was raining continually too.

Wapping CT, turned out to be even more disappointing and I got out as soon as I could, talking to no-one, because there was no one about because they were all inside sheltering from the continual rain. Did I mention that it rained yet? Like, ALL DAY Thursday it just rained, and rained, and rained some more.

It rained all the way down the I-95, as I maneuvered amongst giant trucks that were going faster than me in the slippery and dark conditions, and managed to not get killed to arrive back in New York in time for a beer and to realise that tomorrow would be better.

4 responses to “Packing them in”

  1. BevMor says:

    …not before Beverly told me about a Black Bear that had come through a few weeks ago.

    ?? I had no idea.

  2. tami says:

    Glad to see you are moving along nicely. I know that when you get further west and south the stops will be far between. I dont know if I could stay in a campground after seeing Blair Witch Project!

  3. Amandeep says:

    In New England, Warwick is pronounced “Warrick.” Is that the same or different from the British pronunciation?

  4. geofftech says:

    in England? it’s a soft-RW … “Wawwick”

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