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Saturday, July 12, 2014


2009 was a most difficult year for me.  what kind of life to fashion.  certainly was not going into a "Retirement Home" or become a "BUM" living in the brush next to that lucrative intersection with my "ANYTHING HELPS" sign.

Well, I wondered, just how much can an old man's body accept in the way of crossing deserts, climbing mountains, shrugging off the elements, and loneliness...what to do about being alone day after week after month for who knows how many years.

Five years have passed with not a single answer.  My body has done everything I have asked of it.  When is enough enough?

This morning drove out of the city of BENNINGTON on Route 9 towards NEW HAMPSHIRE.  A couple miles out of town, discovered a romantic looking Pond with a waterfall...and a spot to park SPIA.   And, started walking East.

A bit of interesting ups and downs became a steep miles long hill, the top of which had caution signs for truckers:  RUNAWAY TRUCK RAMP 1 MILE...and ...8% DOWN NEXT 2 MILES.

I know personally about both those cautions...THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN...

Started down the other side anyway.  Changing the body's configuration is a traumatic experience if not done slowly, carefully, and with great caution.  1/2 mile down, I reached the RUNAWAY RAMP, finally realizing I must climb back UP that 8% Hill.

I stopped, looked back up the hill realizing I was very tired physically...psychologically, such a demanding request was unfair to this old body which has not been asked to do such a grueling task for many months.  It was simply not up to the task.

I was over 2 hours out from SPIA.  I took my first sip of water - taken from the ice cooler, where it has been on ice for over 2 months.  Had to spit it out as it was tainted...filled into a newly emptied ORANGE JUICE bottle when walking across MISSOURI.

Walking AWAY from a destination is a downer...psychologically, difficult.  I much prefer to walk with SAM...each step is toward our ultimate goal.  Returning BACK to fetch SPIA is a burden.  Complicating the situation by not testing the water before setting out is unfortunate.

My body has done everything asked of it.  It deserves better.

I stopped, sat on a guard rail, and had a heart to heart with my body.  We finally agreed we had to return to SPIA.  That was going to be difficult.  It tore my heart out, but we (body and I) set out, blocking out my shortcomings.

Three miles from SPIA remained one more steep long hill to climb.  I lifted my hat and dumped a generous splash of tainted water over my head, soaking my body and clothes clear into my socks.  Felt instantly better.  Took four more standing douche breaks on the way to the top, admiring the GREEN MOUNTAINS as only VERMONT can display.

Reaching SPIA, we drank our fill of good fresh water, ate plenty of Cottage Cheese and half of tonight's dinner SUB.

Then drove to nearby town of WILMINGTON, where we walked slowly to and fro around town, stopping for a bowl of award winning CHILI...then deciding it was best to do no more walking today.  Drove to HOGBACK MOUNTAIN where met the most lovely young lady, EMILY (our chat resulted in a much needed HUG).

I now sit in McDonald's in the medium large city of BRATTLEBORO where this blog creation is nearly complete.  Somewhere nearby is WALMART..we all know what that means...

OK, now for some of VERMONT incomperable vistas .....

SSsshh...would love to meet up with a MOOSE...

Those could be PALM TREES on a South Pacific Island.

This home is FOR SALE

...offering a view to die for...

MOLLY STARK; 1737 - 1814; wife of General STARK, of BENNINGTON battle during the FRENCH and INDIAN WARS.  If VERMONT had Saints, MOLLY would be first in line, immortalized throughout VERMONT public and private.  Worth a SEARCH click to read about MOLLY.

WILMINGTON, VT, has a river running through it.


Please say HELLO to EMILY... lovely demure young lady we met at HOGBACK MOUNTAIN

...around the next corner...over that next hill...

* * * * * * * * * *

BRATTLEBORO is the real thing.  Before continuing East on Route 9, I will spend - perhaps a full day - shaking the town just to see what falls out.

Next up will be KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.  We are closing in on PORTLAND, MAINE.

We will await Mother Nature to bring on the COLORS of FALL before we decide what to do next.  If colors are late this year, may continue on towards the city of CALAIS, MAINE while we wait.

In any event, PORTLAND is on the ATLANTIC OCEAN, marking the one-half way of our "FIGURE EIGHT" across America...a distance of some 11,000 miles.  Not a bad goal for a old man. 

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