Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer Time, and We're Inside Hiding from It

July 31st. We're into the meat of the summer and our plate is full of... boring stuff that does not involve swimming, trips to the beach, hiking, biking, ice cream, or anything that makes the most out of these precious few warm months.

I believe we are failing at summer.

We haven't even done as much garage saleing as we normally do. Both Best Guy and I have been filling most of our weekends up with various other engagements, and most of our money and vacation days are being saved up for our UK Honeymoon.

Oh, did I mention we're considering the overseas trip a honeymoon now? We are.


The first few days will be dedicated to the festival BG's band is playing in, but that ends Sunday and we're not leaving until the following Friday/Saturday. So the rest of the time is ours. We've got a loose plan sketched out that we'll finalize a bit as we get closer. But there will definitely be exploration of castles, henges, tors, and cliffs.

There was also this a couple weeks ago:

That's right, I've gone up another rank! Next up is Blue Belt, and from there a Purple Belt and a transition from beginner courses to intermediate. That's when things start getting serious.

My Dojo puts on a yearly "adult martial arts camp" the first weekend in August. A lot of people get promoted to new ranks in those three days (and you can watch all of the Black Belts do crazy things to earn their stripes). I want to go sooooo badly. But the cost would be better placed in our Honeymoon account so I'm sitting it out this year. To my insane disappointment. I could go up there an orange belt and come back a blue belt. Alas, I am telling myself  hiking up Glastonbury Tor is worth more than a weekend with sweaty, exhausted dojo-mates. Next Year.

Damn it.

But onwards and upwards. August has us heading back to the Northeast Kingdom for a family get-together. Labor Day weekend sees me being trained as a Reiki Master/Teacher. And October? Well. That's what we're heading towards, isn't it? It's all downhill from October.

At least until we can figure out the Next Big Thing. 😉

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Project 251: Boldly Going to Nowheresville, VT

Last week, we decided it was time to knock off some of the most difficult towns in our 251 Project. We made an entire weekend out of it: we took off to Newport after work Friday night to spend the weekend at my Mom's. From there, we spent all of Saturday tooling around the most sparsely populated section of Vermont. We managed a new record for towns visited in one day: 16. On Sunday, we headed back home and knocked a few more towns off on the way. We passed the halfway point of our adventure, got another corner piece, and visited a whopping 20 towns in one weekend.

Oh, and on Sunday after we got home and had lunch we bought a new car.


We got rid of Veronica the Ford as she wasn't going to hold out much longer anyway. I am inheriting Best Guy's old car (who has informed me his name is Bob), and BG is using the brand spanking new fully electric car as his main commuting vehicle. Because of its 100-mile charging radius we probably won't use the as yet unnamed new vehicle for future 251 adventures, but you never know.

In the mean time, enjoy all the 251 pictures. There is a lot of them, and many of the captions are lifted straight from BG himself. We really ran the gamut of weather on Saturday's trip: rain, sun, humidity and dampness. A great many of these towns are also incredibly familiar to me, as I grew up in this area. While there are some I'd never been to, many were old hunting grounds for my Dad.

#109: Derby. Literally a few blocks from the Canadian border. Note the sign says "Lat 45 North: Where half way is far enough." Half way between the equator and North Pole

#110: Holland. Lots of gravel roads, in fact, in this part of the state.

#111: Morgan. My Mom's maiden name is Morgan.

#112: Norton. Norton borders Warren Grant, Warren's Gore, and Avery's Gore. We drove through Warren's Gore to get here but the grants and gores are not on the official 251 list.

#113: Averill. Right by Averill Pond where Toby had a poo. BG bagged like a good dog owner but couldn't find anywhere to throw it out. So he hung it off the radio antenna in hopes of finding a trash can later. We hit 35 mph and the bag flew off somewhere on Rte 114. Sorry!

#114: Canaan. CORNER PIECE! The borders of Canaan intertwine with NH and QC.

#115: Lemington. Towns older than the country (chartered 1762).

#116: Bloomfield. Bloomfield. This was a special stop. It was time for our picnic lunch and came across this seemingly abandoned church. The picnic table was leaned up against the side of the building so we tilted it down and set it up. The folks in the trailer home across the street came by and unlocked and showed us around the church. They had an old school pump organ that BG got to play. His feet were moving like peddling a bike while his fingers fiddled about. Fun! 

#117: Brunswick. Hard to tell if these buildings are abandoned.

#118: Ferdinand. The first of our two challenges for the day. This town has a population of 32.
It's mostly a wildlife preserve and some hunting areas. I think my dad used to hunt here.

#119: Lewis. Ah, Lewis. Population: 0. Zip. Zilch. Last registered population was 8 in 1900. There are no paved roads into Lewis. The map we used lied about some of the access trails. We finally found one that would take us into Lewis. We stumbled along the dirt path in the Prius not knowing if/when we crossed the border. And there was no data coverage so BG couldn't check on his phone. We steered around or through a few road hazards (a nasty wash out and a large pipe). We finally came to a ditch in the road that BG just didn't dare attempt. BG marked the GPS coordinates on his phone and checked it when we got back to civilization. We did, in fact, get into Lewis by a few hundred yards. BAM.

#120: Brighton. So many beautiful little pond and beaches in Vermont. We need to camp out at one of these sometime.

#121: Charleston. We enjoyed the swing set though we scared the crap out of the dog who had no idea why we were flying back and forth.

#122:  Westmore. On Lake Willoughby. Toby saw the sign as a dare.

#123: Barton. The annual Orleans County Agricultural Fair is held here every year in August. We used to go as kids sometimes. Known colloquially as the Barton Fair. Or, in my household, the Fartin' Bear. 

#124: Brownington. Our last stop on Saturday, and a new record of 16 towns in one day. We were pooped by this point.

#125: Coventry. Starting off Sunday in style. This was right behind a diner that smelled like heaven.
In BG's vegetarian heaven, bacon is not made out of pigs.

#126: Irasburg HALF WAY POINT!

#127: Albany. This gas station has been closed up since gas was $1.23/gallon, apparently.

#128: Craftsbury. 

#129: Wolcott. Donut break!

#130: Hyde Park. PHEW. The end. For now.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Freedom Adventure

Yesterday was Independence Day. It was also a beautiful summer day in Vermont. We have had far too few of those this season so far. We've had rain more days in June than not, and someone told me last week saw four inches of rain in just a couple days.

So, to have some blue sky and warm temperatures meant we had to get outside. We found a nice little hiking trail around a pond not too far from us, and spent a couple hours hiking. It was stunning. And very muddy in more than a few places. But overall, it was wonderful to be outside.

Would you like some pictures? Okay, but they're in no particular order. 😉

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