Day 10 – Montpelier, VT to Burlington, VT – 42 miles
Two (2) friendly reminders about the blog. If you are reading on a mobile device, there is a dash sign in the upper right corner of the screen. That is actually a pull down menu with additional info on the trip. And, one of the pull downs is a FAQ section that might help you out. OK one more, WS refers to Warmshowers.org a web site to find hosts for vagabond bikers like us! Please check out the FAQs – we’ll update it as questions come in, time permitting.
We started the day with fresh blueberry waffles made by Ray, our WS host. He served them up with maple syrup from his sister’s sugaring operation. Yum! Then Jess drove us back into Montpelier, as she was going to work. We picked up our bike that had been stashed in their now empty apartment and headed for Capital Grounds, the local coffee shop. After becoming properly caffeinated, we headed over to check out the capital building – so pretty with tulips blooming out front & headed off to Waterbury. Jess told us it is the only state capital building with woods in the background. Montpelier is the smallest state capital – the only state capital without a McDonalds – a prideful fact for most people in “the 802” (the area code for VT).
The first town on our way to Burlington, was Waterbury, home of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. It just seemed like we had to make a stop there (certainly Jim felt like we had to 😉 ). It was about a mile off route, so we made our way – up hill – to the factory. At a “y” intersection we thought the route to the factory was up a huge hill. We weighed our options, and decided that no ice cream tour would be worth that climb. We (Jim) were very disappointed, as we started back to our original route when Shawn finally saw a street sign… It turns out B&J’s was on the low road, and the hill climb was not required! Ice cream here we come! The tour was pretty touristy, but fun ( cow joke overload?) and we did have a great pre-lunch dessert!
A 7 mile construction zone was the big story of the day. After Waterbury, US-2 turned into a dirt road for a good mile or two. As Jim says, “That was sucky!” Luckily our gatorskins (tires) held out & kept us moving – slowly, cautiously but moving!
Got to Burlington & took care of some bike repairs at Old Spokes Home. A new chain, rear cassette & shifter cable and cable nib. (Jim says nobody knows what those things are called!). It is a really neat shop that carries some sweet new Salsas but upstairs they have used & vintage bikes for sale and a museum of really old bikes, penny farthings, etc. We saw a Peugeot like my brothers’ have – 2 of my brothers have a cool old Peugeot with a mixte frame. It was fun ogling the cool old bikes & made the time pass quickly, although Justin was quick with our bike repairs. We sure appreciate Justin taking care of us right away! All in all, a fantastic bike shop!
Next was to find our way to the home of our WS host. Patrick lives about 1/2 mile from the bike shop and he was the one that referred us to Old Spokes Home. It was a quick & easy ride to Patrick’s and he was working on some renovations at his house. In his backyard, he has a small outbuilding that serves as a sauna in the winter. There were two bunks / long benches, which had us worried because we share one sleeping bag. But Patrick offered up a sleeping bag & so then we were all set! His downstairs neighbor, Emily is also a WS host and she let us use her restroom, which was more convenient to our bunkhouse than Patrick’s upstairs restroom.
This is a “happening” area of town, close to the university & lots of trendy (“touristy”) restaurants. Everything sounded good! Patrick gave us some recommendations but as we got closer to the restaurants we suddenly felt like Fred Flintstone & followed our nose to the first place! We had beer & pizza & that was just what we needed! It was a quick walk back to Patrick’s place & we chatted with him for a bit and then turned in, quickly falling asleep as the sun went down.
We had this – for Walt!
Like a kid in a candy shop 🙂
Our accommodations for the evening — we forgot to get a pic of our host, Patrick, darn it! Thanks Patrick for putting us up & being part of our adventure – it was great!!!