19 Jul: We are sitting in the restaurant of the Inn with Mac and Sudokus in hand, all the while taking time to marvel at the garden view out the windows. Patty and Murray have created a colorful tiered rock garden. In the middle is a sculpture of a hiker with a heart. Aweeeee! Today's forecast is high heat. The cloud cover, along with significant elevation gain, and a lovely cool breeze made it a wonderful hike. The stretch from the ski run to the junction is rough with roots and rocky. According to the Apple Watch, we hiked seven-plus miles. We reached Jungle Junction where the A.T., Long Trail and the Sherburne Pass Trail converge. Ron sawed a few trees that had fallen across the trail, and he gave up on a couple, too.
18 Jul: We are going hiking since rain is not dominating the forecast. And a few hours later, we are home after exhausting ourselves; six days of not hiking or walking took a toll. Or maybe aging is catching up with us? We met a lot of hikers; 'Sunnyside Up' is a lovely girl from Martha's Vineyard who hiked most of the trail last year and is back at it again. Ron didn't wear a tightly woven long sleeve shirt; a billion mosquito's proboscis dive-bombed into his back. We like the idea of doing a southbound A.T. hike next year starting at Harper's Ferry. Maybe... just maybe. Granddaughter Zoe landed in Thailand for summer work at an elephant sanctuary and teaching ESL; She is officially a freshman in college. Granddaughter Rachel is officially pregnant! YAY! And granddaughter Corrie is 41 weeks pregnant with Caleb. YAY for babies.
17 Jul: Inn at Long Trail, Killington, Vermont: We may have slept nine hours. It rained all night and all day. Cynthia worked on her DNA article, plus updating the Bankston DNA for further genetic analysis. Ron worked on Sudokus all day until he was bleary-eyed and then some. Getting old is hard work, so mid-afternoon, we took a nap. At 6 PM we enjoyed a light dinner of potatoes and salad before returning to our sudokus etc.
16 Jul: We celebrated by napping for three hours. Okie has a lot of Sudokus for Ron, plus a puzzle! Imagine that. Cynthia had lots of text and email birthday wishes that made her very happy. Annie sent a fun package of notes, watercolor greeting cards, a Norwegian recipe card, a protective cross to carry with us on the bike, and a photo of Cynthia at age 13. Cynthia sent a photo of the photo to granddaughter Zoe and asked who it looked like. Zoe said, "DAD!" Son Paul said, "I don't ever remember having hair like that." That just shows that even Paul is becoming forgetful.
15 Jul: Cynthia is awake at 1 AM, 2 AM, 3 AM and finally out of bed at four AM. The alarm is set for 5 AM. Oh well. The 7:40 AM flight out of Houston was on time; Ron arrived in Rutland in time to put ten or twenty pieces into the very colorful jigsaw puzzle they have out to entertain those of us who puzzle. The Smooches are happily reunited, fedified, and ensconced back into "our" room at the Inn at Long Trail. And a good time was had by all. The puzzle of the day is to wonder why the GPS decided to route Ron west on NH 124 to US 5 S to Keene to NH 12 N to finally get to NH 123 west into Vermont rather than merely turning left on 123 at the start. Oh, now that I try it on Google maps, the difference is only ONE mile.
14 Jul, Sunday: Ron is breakfasted and about to ride to Watertown to visit Richard one more time before riding to Sharon, NH to visit Margie and Richard. The ride to Sharon was lovely, leaving Watertown via Bedford Road out to I-95 north for six miles to MA 225 back to Dave's house to pick up luggage and say goodbyes, then continuing out 225 until MA 110 N to 119 N to Townsend, MA where a bumpy road connects to NH 124 N to NH 123 N to Jarmany Hill Road. Cynthia (in Texas) is going to worship at Grace Lutheran followed by Brunch with grandchildren. Tonight, she will drop off the rental car at the airport and overnight at a hotel nearby because of the 6:30 AM check-in for the flight to Smooch! Mmmmm! and Mmmmm2 !!
|Mom between her two boys|
13 Jul: Carlisle, Mass. Already since it is 1 AM again. Today's plan is to see Maggie in Hingham. In the meantime-and-in-between-time, Jul 13 in Montgomery, Texas, Cynthia is missing Ron. Family and friends created a hilarious video of her life and happy birthday wishes. Ron also made a very hilarious video singing, ”Good Morning to You!” Ron is so proud of himself that he didn't accidentally give away the surprise party by blabbing something inappropriately. The first part of the ride to Hingham was fine, being the normal route: MA 225 S & E, but once Ron turned onto on I-95, the fun soon departed as the traffic was very heavy and there were several stop-and-go slowdowns that left him baking in the direct
|Jon and Kiira|
|Cheryl and Fyn|
bridges and dams. The entire afternoon was delightful, and it was well worth suffering in the sun through traffic to get to Linden Ponds. The ride back to Watertown to see Richard in the evening was better as regards traffic and sunshine, but the choice of MA 16 was a poor choice with typical big city roads in terrible condition. Richard seemed more lively and cheerful and motivated than yesterday, but it was because he had hatched this idea that Ron could take him via motorcycle to nearby Fresh Pond where the "Jovians" had set up a time booth that could transport Richard
|Mee beloved WeeFee|
|Cynthia and kids|
11 Jul: Carlisle, Massachusetts. Day one without adult supervision. Since the motorcycle had only 11 miles worth of gasoline in the tank, it seemed a priority to find more gas, but also seemed unnecessary (to Ron) to go out of the way to get it. By the time Ron stopped at the Shell station in Bedford, the gauge was reading only one mile left until empty. Ron did spend all day with his crippled friend Richard at the Watertown Health Center today. Around 3 PM Ron rode over to Whole Foods for a huge salad lunch and frozen fruit bars dessert. Richard asked Ron to find him a pair of cotton athletic shorts, and TJ Max had those. About 7 PM Ron rode back out to Carlisle and stayed up talking with Dave until after midnight. (Smooch to Ron in Mass from a wide-awake Cynthia in Texas at 5:30 AM)(And Smooch back from a very sleepy Ron in Mass at 1:19 AM.)
10 Jul: More sorbet, but no so many awakenings last night, although Cynthia complained of too many. We breakfasted at our relaxed normal 9 PM and Ron continued packing. The two packages we are leaving here are bulging. The motorcycle will be packed more lightly than usual, and we are ready to eat lunch at 1 PM. Today Ron is pleased to report that his sore legs seem to have vanished with the additional exertions of the last two days. We had thought to hike a bit today, but Cynthia has a blister under one toenail and decided against a hike today. The plan is that Cynthia will catch a 4 PM flight out of Rutland for Houston via Boston to celebrate her birthday with her children in Houston. Don't be surprised if Ron fails to blog for a few days. ( Cynthia’s flight at four was on an 8 passenger puddle jumper from Rutland to Boston; after a three-hour layover, the United Fight took off against one of the most incredible sunsets arriving in Houston at 11:21 PM. She made the mistake of watching TV newscasts on the flight. Not good. .
9 Jul: More sorbet and another night of multiple awakenings. Since our legs feel good, we decided upon a longer hike to the ski run again today, and Ron found another few trees to saw and remove from blocking the trail. Cynthia took a couple of photos of the tree that is blocking the trail to show Murray. Tonight we made the tentative correlation that evening sorbet might be interfering with our sleep - after Ron ordered and ate a second bowl. Ron did remember to call Dr. Dougherty's office and discovered that TODAY is the day to send the remote reading of his pacemaker to the doctor. (done) Now pardon me while I get busy transcribing the route to Gill and Carlisle and Watertown onto paper in preparation for tomorrow.
|Maybe that was a pry log|
8 Jul: We decided upon a shorter hike today to allow our legs to recuperate a bit. Hiker Ron borrowed Murray's super sharp Stihl hand saw and sawed five fallen trees to remove them from the trail. He was tired/ exhausted! Imagine that! We were in bed plenty long but woke up multiple times. Perhaps sorbet is not a good night time dessert.
|First of several cuts to remove most of the tree|
|View from ski platform|
|Ron is hilariously funny!|
|Hiker Ron in front of A.T. white blaze|
|Tyler B. All America West|
Grandnephew Tyler B. was named to the Little League All America West, playing in national playoffs late July.
|Sherburne Pass Trail Before Deluge|
6 Jul: We have another few days of hiking before Cynthia departs on July 10th via Cape Air for Boston to Houston for yet another 18th birthday party. Then Ron will be without adult supervision for five whole days until she returns. At his age, we doubt that he will get into much trouble. We are extremely proud of ourselves for two days of industrious hiking. We made it to the ski run for another six-mile day. Ron rested there, hat overhead. The view was lovely but obscured a bit by low clouds that forecast rain. (As did the approaching thunder.) The trail was nice and dry until the rain came when we were about thirty minutes down the mountain. Dinner tonight at Rosemary’s Restaurant was delicious!
|Hiker Ron Resting|
|Mountain View of Deer Leap (white spot)|
|Thundering Falls and Cynthia's Finger|
4 Jul: Happy Independence Day! Hurray, today we intend to get to the Inn at Long Trail, God willing. That will be worth celebrating, too. Then we can go hiking uphill. Wynn: Today's plan is the Taconic State Parkway N to R on NY 295 E to L on CR 5 N to R on NY 20 E to L on NY 22 N to R on NY 7 N into Vermont where it changes to VT 279 to L on US 7 N to R on US 4 E to Killington and the Inn at Long Trail (click here.) Oh goodie, I just wrote a statement that I just love, "I'd rather live fully by eating healthy rather than live poorly by eating richly." Warning: You will see this repeated often in the next year. And now I've come up with a suitable alternative statement,
"You can choose to eat healthy to enjoy life fully or to eat richly to enjoy life poorly." Well, the ride to Killington went without a hitch, except that it was a bit hot all day, 90+ degrees. The few times we saw 86 or 84 degrees seemed downright cold. The highways in New York were busy without long vistas, but Vermont corrected that with less traffic and nice mountains up close and personal all the way to the Inn. Thank God.
3 Jul: Another snoozy morning, but tomorrow we need to arise earlier, so tonight we need to get to bed earlier. After Ron's huge breakfast of omelet and multiple bowls of oatmeal with pineapple afterward, we walked the 1.3 pleasant miles to the Post Office to mail one letter to Don C. and the key to the Archives back to Lisa. On the return trip, Ron bought a loaf of sourdough bread for the salt, (He was a bit dizzy this morning from low blood pressure.) Then we decided to stop at Charlie Brown's for their salad bar, which surprised us by being one of the best we've seen. Maybe that is why the Ruby Tuesday here closed. This afternoon, we lazed about the room and computered. Ron is considering the index for Volume 7 after finishing these trip descriptions, but it is now 8:39 after our evening walk. At least I have finished documenting our routes for Wynn. (I hope she can follow our routes although the ones on Jun 24 in the city will be a challenge.)
2 Jul: YAY! We slept for over eight hours! YAY! This Hilton Garden Inn offers a pleasant stay for a couple of days. After being lazy and computering all day, we walked around the neighborhood and then to Charlie Brown's for salmon and baked potatoes. They did an excellent preparation of the potatoes, and Cynthia declared the salad good.
1 Jul: Birthday Month. Little SmoochSmooch turns 18 again this month, and she celebrates all month long. Poor old Smooch is worn out by August. We began the heralded birthday month by riding towards our Killington, VT destination to enjoy three nights of R and R at Fishkill, NY. The ride was particularly cool and enjoyable going through the Poconos and the Delaware Water Gap (click here.) We started north on Maryland 27 until turning L on MD 30, then R on MD 86 which turns into PA 516 at the state line. We stayed on 516 too long, too close to York before heading over to I-83 N to bypass York, then US 30 E to the Ruby Tuesday past our turn, so after lunch we backtracked to go North on US 222 and missed getting onto I-78 early enough to pass by Bethel, so missed opportunity to see if Popeye was home. (I forgot that Bethel is further west and that we need to pass close by Harrisburg to get there.) It was great fun to see Kutztown up close on 222 and remember my Uncle Vint. Eventually, we found PA 33 N and US 209 N to Shroudsburg and through the Delaware Water Gap (so cool in the shade) and then I-84 E across the Hudson to Fishkill (click here) and our Hilton Garden Inn where we've enjoyed doing less for a couple of days, 284 miles total today. The GPS threw me for a loop because it wanted me to return west across the Hudson - after reflection, I realize that I set a map waypoint on the bridge, and the GPS must have placed it in the westbound lane.