Vermont is a special place...

Trip Start Jul 01, 2013
Trip End Sep 07, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Vermont
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

...and everyone knows it. I remember seeing old subarus in California beat to shit with stickers like Vote Clinton or Listen to Bob Marley; these are the cars of ski bums from Vermont, always complete with that forest green license plate. Their parents undoubtedly paid for an expensive private liberal arts school in the state, and they chose to drive out west to work at a resort for a few winters before retreating back east to work in finance or law or what have you. Not far from my position I suppose.

The Vermonters I have encountered were in the same place 40 years ago, but now live quite comfortably in the highest taxed state in the nation, arguably. The cost of living is astronomical, but it pays for a very high quality of life; the roads are in excellent shape, co-ops and health food stores abound, nearly every town, small and smaller has a bike shop, and the environment is pristine. Vermont is the most beautiful state I have had the privilege to explore.

Riding was slow again today as I received my cell phone tonight in Middlebury. While I am certainly looking forward to the increased ease of my trip and being connected to the world, it has been wonderful to be off the grid. It has given me the chance to read more and look at paper maps, a novelty! I also would not have picked anywhere else to take some slow days as the scenery is breathtaking. I have some doubts that my disposable camera actually works; it may have been sitting on the shelf since 1995 when the last person bought a disposable camera, so I don't know how many pictures I have captured, but we will hope for the best.

I have also been reunited with my Quebecer friends; we passed each other on the road today and road into Middlebury together. They are also riding only about 40 miles each day, so we may ride together for a little ways. We arrived in Middlebury and went to a bar on the river for a while before I went to my warmshowers for the evening and the Quebecers went to... well I'm not sure where they slept, I did not feel it appropriate to impose them on my hosts so last minute.

David an Patty are my hosts this evening, and they are wonderful. Their home is a beautiful construct of their own design, and their backyard is the Middlebury college campus; they say it keeps them young! Their hospitality is incredible; they host exchange students for the university and are active with warmshowers. So active, in fact, that my friends from the Honey Hub in North Dakota (see July 23), Kory and MJ, stayed with them early in their trip and wrote nothing but amazing things, so naturally I had to check it out. We had a great meal and dessert, and I will sleep soundly yet again.

Burlington VT > Middlebury VT, 38 miles, day 59
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