Gina and I headed north up 91 to watch Greg and friends race in the Stowe 8 miler. Vermont has beautiful rustic scenery, decadent Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and absolutely no places to go to the bathroom. Normally on long car rides I use McDonalds as my go to choice for a pit stop (I worked there as a teenager, so I figure I earned a life time bathroom pass), but Vermont doesn't have such vulgar eateries. The lack of fast food joints adds to the quaintness until you have to... go.
I laughed when I called Greg half way up 91 for final directions. He was answering the call of nature somewhere on the side of interstate 89. It was funny until my medium coffee kicked in near White River Jct. I decided I would find a nice place to patronize. Not many places are open at 7am on a Sunday morning. My situation was becoming desperate. I finally found an open diner before disaster struck. Of course it was a small mom and pop place, so I felt obliged to order a coffee to go. One dollar and thirty-seven cents later plus another dollar tip (who really feels good about leaving change for a tip?) and I was back on the highway after a five mile and fifteen minute detour.
The race was fun to watch. Fyffe got second, and Greg was fifth man for CMS. Operation Magnum looked like a success. There really are a lot of fast dudes and dudettes at these New England Grand Prix events. After the race Gina and I headed up into Smuggler's Notch to stretch our legs.
We decided that we didn't want to hike to the top of Mount Mansfield. We didn't feel like driving the 2 and a half hours home with weary legs late in the afternoon. Here was the trailhead sign describing the trail we chose to explore.
We only climbed up the very steep, boulder strewn trail for about 30 minutes before we decided to head back down for a picnic on flatter ground. We ate lunch, farted around in the freezing cold stream, and headed straight to Ben & Jerry's for the tour and ice cream. By 1pm we were back in the car with our sense of adventure and appetites for lard satisfied.
We were seasoned Vermont travelers on our way home. We knew to mind our bladders and other areas much sooner than we would in any other state. I was amazed that there isn't a single rest area from Brattleboro to Stowe. We did switch drivers near Westminster at a Parking Area. This stop further revealed the state of Vermont's baffling stance on ones and twos. They think people want to pull over on the side of the interstate and simply park. It never crossed their minds that people might need to relieve themselves. This parking area was truly disgusting. I saw a few people committing the walk of shame from the surrounding woods. There was trash everywhere. Why wouldn't there be? There wasn't a trash can to be found in the parking area. Then I saw something truly horrific and worthy of documentation. I'm warning you now that the following image is sickening. If you are at all squeamish do not look at the last photo. Someone couldn't hold it and dropped one right on the sidewalk. I know it wasn't a dog because there was toilet paper revealing the criminal's species. It was homo sapiens... probably from out of state!
Warning! Image made small for your safety.