Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New England, Day 2

8:15 AM- Breakfast at Friendly's, then out for an hour of exploring the Bennington Bookshop and Jay's Art Supply for postcards. Dad wants to go to the Grandma Moses museum, but it doesn't open until 10. He also wants to get started for NH, so he may skip it. It's raining again and there's some flooding south of here. Unlikely to have much bearing on us unless it KEEPS raining.
10:00- (Dad's note) Visted Bennington Museum to see Grandma Moses paintings. They had about 20 GM paintings. Bought a book and a wooden cardinal.
10:55- (Dad's note) On US 7 North. Saw first moose crossing warning.
11:02- (Dad's note) Red-tail flew up from ditch along US 7. Beaver lodge spotted along VT-313 on way to Shaftsbury.
11:30- Found an alpaca farm in North Bennington. The farmer let us visit with the alpacas. He laughed when I scolded the guineafowl. Bought yarn to make a shawl. Am working on my postcards.
1:26 PM- Reached Weston, VT. Yes. Weston, VT is the home of the Vermont Country Store. No, I didn't buy anything.
2:15- Forced to pull over by inclement weather, i.e. heavy rain, light hail, and low visibility. It didn't let up until we pulled into Ludlow, and then it continued to rain off and on.
3:40- Stopped for lunch at a roadside burger joint. I remarked that we've been in New England for two days and eaten neither fish nor blueberries.
4:00- Crossed the Queechee Gorge. The bridge is vertiginously high and I wanted to sit down. The river is benefitting from all this rain, so it made little rapids waaaaaaaay down at the bottom of the gorge. After we got back to the car--drenched from still more rain--I called a yarn shop in Lebanon, NH. The lady I spoke to laughed and said, "You're not from around here, are you?" It seems it's pronounced Kwee-chee, which only an outsider would pronounce Kee-chee.
4:25- Crossed the state line into NH by going over a bridge across the Connecticut River. Still raining.
4:33- Stopped at a shop called Country Woolens, which is off Route 4 in Lebanon. Dad's eyes sort of glazed over while I chatted with the proprietor--Debbie--about Elizabeth Zimmerman, patterns, fiber fairs, gauge, and other knitterly arcana. Debbie is delightful and her shop is very comfortable and organized. She has a dog who helps her keep the shop and he (?) peeked out long enough to acknowledge our presence before going back to his nap. Debbie has a little lending library full of knitting books; she was kind enough to offer to let me take one of the books if I found a shawl pattern I really liked, and said I could just mail it back to her when I got home to WV. I was touched by her generosity and told her so. Bought a shawl pattern and pair of circular needles.
5:19- Saw a rainbow. We're heading into MORE RAIN.
7:00- Still looking for a place to stay. Went through several small towns on I-93, got turned around once or twice in the process, and finally ended up in Plymouth. Our choices are:
A. Common Man Inn. This turns out to be an expensive tourist spa. One vacancy w/ king bed, fireplace, and deck for $175 a night. No fanks.
B. Red Carpet Inn. Never actually found this one.
C. Pilgrim Cottages- Cabins and a handful of vacancies.
D. Red Roof Inn. Only vacancies are in smoking rooms. Definitely no fanks.
Finally picked option C and got a cabin with five beds-- O.O --because it was the only vacancy with more than a single bed in it. Am tired, cranky, and sore. Want food, shower, and sleep. A massage would also be nice, but this isn't that kind of place.
It rained all the way from Bennington. Got drenched more than once.
9:00- Back in the cabin after dinner. Watched the end of The Scorpion King. Snoooooooore.

Notes: Am disappointed to learn that the rock formation known as The Old Man of the Mountain, which has been there for hundreds of years, has fallen down.

The alpaca farm is Shaftsbury Alpacas, which is a few miles from Bennington. The folks who run it are more than willing to take time to chat about alpacas, the weather, and the time of day; the alpacas are also pretty personable.:) The website can be found here.
Unfortunately, Country Woolens doesn't have a website, but if you google it, the phone number is given on the Wool Works directory. I'm sure Debbie would be happy to put stuff in the mail and answer any questions you might have. :)

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