The quintessential town in Vermont, Woodstock.

Our travels through Vermont were directed in part by a couple we met in a campground. They mentioned the town of Woodstock, VT and said we should visit this place. This place is everything one thinks about a quintessential town in Vermont. This is the one. Woodstock is a popular destination for tourists. If the length of the waiting line at a coffee house is any indication of the popularity of a town, then we have a winner here in Woodstock. We waited about 30 minutes for our coffee, ok, maybe it was 15, but this house was pumping out some coffee and breakfast. The seating was limited.

We had our coffee and surfed the internet on the high speed connection we so crave. After about an hour of walking the streets and window shopping at the boutique shops we headed back to the bus and had lunch. It sure is nice to always have your house near.

The Plymouth Cheese Corp. This is not Cabot Cheese.

So we have heard all about it, talked about it, saw it on the shelf in HEB and now we have come to find it, Vermont Cheese.

We drove by several road signs that mention, “Fresh Eggs, Fruits, Veges, Cukes, Cheese”, but those damn signs are always right on at the facility driveway. When you are dong 50 mph down winding country roads, this bus cannot just do a 90 degree turn into a driveway. But Plymouth Cheese was better setup. They had a sign about a 1/2 mile before the entrance, so we were able to slow this beast down and find the Cheese factory.

Plymouth, VT is a very tiny tourist hot spot. There are 3 barns filled with antiques and a cheese factory. Mind you this is no ordinary cheese factory, this is not Cabot Cheese.

We parked our rig in the parking lot next to the chickens, pigs or goats and tried to get those animals to come and visit us. That was a futile effort, they were busy eating. Then we attempted to get into the Plymouth Cheese Corp, but we were turned around because did not have masks. We forgot our masks in the bus, so we went back, masked up and viola she let us in.

There wasn’t much conversation with the receptionist and us during the early part of our 5 minute stay in the factory. We walked around and took some pics of the cheese fabrication plant. All nice and stainless steel and large containers. They were not making cheese right now because, I don’t know, probably wrong time of the year. Nevertheless, we then proceeded to the counter to ask some questions. This is where things we sideways.

In my unlimited ability to ask the annoying questions, I proceeded with, “Do you like Cabot Cheese?” Unbeknownst to me, Cabot is pronounced with the T at the end, not as a French word as I did. She was confused and looked at me with an odd look of I have never heard of that cheese, so I tried again, pronouncing it the same way. A few seconds later she sternly says, “Oh, Cabot!”, with the T pronounced.

I figured she would have an answer for this question. Oh boy, I hit a hot spot. As her blood pressure started to rise and her lips tightened up, she glared at me then down and the counter and politely bellowed something to the respect of , Cabot is industrial mass produced Cheese. That is milk that is pasteurized and then the ingredients are added back into the cheese.” “Our cheese is not pasteurized. We make everything right here.”, and she went on and so did I.

I asked another question, “Where is the salsa?”. “To the left!” The answers were getting short now. I seemed to have expressed my ignorance in Cheese. I could tell from her responses that she has answered these questions 1000 times before.

I then said, “I like cheddar, do you have any?” She then said “all our cheeses are cheddar.” And then quickly stated the cheeses are on the shelf, there were several different kinds and the labels describe the each cheese. So, I proceeded to read the labels, the labels stated how long they were aged, the name of the cheese and maybe the prominent ingredient in each cheese. So not really what I was hoping for. I was expecting a more verbose description, so I asked her some more questions.

One cheese had truffles in it, I asked what are truffles? She smiled! This was the first smile we have seen from her. Marina jumped in and explained to me they were mushrooms.

We proceeded to put several blocks of cheese on the counter and some salsa, paid for the products and said thanks and as we were packing our things up and saying goodbye, she said, “You made my day”. and she smiled! It was an unbelievable sight.

On to bigger and taller hikes

Stratton Ski Resort

We left Revere and were ready to leave the big city and head back to the mountains. The city life is good, but with a skoolie, it’s no fun. Our destination today is to Stratton Mountain Resort. Now if you are from Colorado, you might not call these 3,500 feet high mountains, “Mountains”, but in Vermont and New Hampshire, they are called mountains. They have high speed quad chair lifts greens to black diamond runs and all the shopping. The lifts were not running today, not a problem, we wanted to walk anyway. Off we went.

We started hiking up the runs but it was a bit challenging because the guy mowing the runs had not reached our spot on the run yet. I think the lawn mower guy has job security with the number of runs and the size of that law mower. After a few straight up hikes, we decided to take the road that does switchbacks the rest of the way up. It took about 2 hours to hike up to the top, 3500 feet. Don’t get me wrong we did not hike the entire 3,500 feet, for we started at about 1500 feet.

At the top the views were well worth the trip.

We started hiking down, but the guy in the ATV that we met on the way up, he runs ATV tours on the mountain, stopped us and said we had to go and visit the tower. It’s just a 3/4 mile trail near the top, so back up we went to see the tower. The detour was worth the effort. In fact the Appalachian Trail is at the tour. We met another couple there and a guy who had been hiking for a few weeks and had a few more to go.

Back in Boston

It’s always nice to visit friends.

We made it to Boston, actually we go to Waltham to do our monthly visit to MERSI. This is Marina’s doctor that we have visited for quite some time now. Luckily he has a big parking lot for our bus. The visits last a couple hours, infusions are done, angiograms are taken and results are read. Then we schedule the next visit in roughly 30 days.

During the doc visit I was able to take the bus to the tire repair shop and have a nail removed. He took the tire off and checked it for leaks, as it turns out, it was not all they way through. Lucky for us. The tire shop was free this time around. Then I went to shopping at MicroCenter in Cambridge, they have everything computer. Next stop Fastenal and then back to MERSI to get Marina and we are headed north again.

Our friend Andrea lives in Revere beach and this is her view! Quite nice. She was not impressed with our coffee!

Revere Beach

And they’re off! Saratoga Springs, NY

A trip through upstate New York is not complete without visiting Saratoga Springs Race Track. I am sure not everyone likes this type of entertainment, but we sure had fun with the 2 races we saw. The month of August is a big one in Saratoga Springs, they have races every day or every few days for the whole month. Some people win and lot and some people lose a lot. The horses seem to have the same luck.

It costs about $40 to get in buy a program and get a drink, that’s the price of admission. The rest is up to you. The drinks are expensive, the food is similarly priced.

I looked a the program and tried to convince my wife I knew what I was reading. I am not sure she believed me. We walked up to the electronic kiosk to place a bet, after about 5 minutes we walked away betless. We could not figure out how to operate the machine. So we asked a guy that looked like he knew what he was doing. Sure enough, 2 minutes later we had our 2 – $5 bets and we were excited. Low and behold, I though the race was simulcast, it was not until we saw the people pointing, did we realize this is LIVE!!!!. We cheered and yelled, and sure enough, by a horse nostril hair our horse won.!!!! Our $5 bet paid 20/1 odds…that’s about $100 we won. That was just our first race.

We cashed in our winning and tried to place another bet. Unfortunately I could not find my remaining $10 ticket stub. I must have dropped it somewhere. Let’s backtrack. We walked back to the bar kiosk, nope not there, next to the bar kiosk is a table where I sorted out my wallet. Sure enough, there on the floor is my $10 ticket stub. We quickly picked it up and put it into the betting kiosk. I am sure you know the rest of this story. We lost the rest of our $20 on the next race and we left. It was a fun 2 races at Saratoga Spring Race Track.

On the road, heading east and south

Some nights we sleep at Walmart, other nights RV Parks, parking lots are not out of the question, we have been known to sleep at city parks, but tonight we are staying at a remote campsite in Green Mountain National Forest, Woodford, Vermont. I am not sure even Google can find us here. I think they call this dispersed camping. The next camp site, if you can call it that is 1/4 of a mile up the dirt road. Although there are signs someone was here recently, the camp fire ring is still smoldering. A forest fire is of no worry, for it is constantly damp back here in the forest.

We did a have a couple cars drive by, but they just turned their head and starred as they kept on going. I am not totally upset that there were no other guests, for there are stories of bears living in these here woods.

It was a grill night, I think we had more chicken to cook. This grill here is a royal piece of you know what. There are so many vent holes in it that it won’t keep the heat in to get it hot. You can see the tin foil I used to plug the holes in hopes of keeping the heat in. We did not have grilled chicken tonight, instead it was more boiled, or slow cooked. Not the desired effect from a grill.

The night was uneventful, thankfully, that is what we hope for every night. You can see the quality screen work that Marina did to keep the bugs out.

Tomorrow we are headed to we want to do a hike in Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont

Cottage Life in Canada

Happy 2nd Birthday Sasha

We made it to the Jeff and Anna’s Cottage in Canada near Rideau Ferry for our grand child’s 2nd birthday. I am not sure he will remember the details of this event, but we will have a life time to remind him of them. We were there about 5 days and boy did we eat. Patty and Doug sure do have plenty of food to go around.

During the day we swam, well I didn’t swim, but the rest of us did. We drove to town and had lunch with Anna and Sasha. It’s always interesting how meals are going to turn out with Sasha around. Sometimes things go flying across the table, other times it’s crying and sometimes he enjoys it. The rest of us just laugh, which only encourages his behavior. Nevertheless, we all ate well.

I spent most of the days trying to install a heater for the bus so we can have our heated floors and hot water. Between Doug and I we managed to get the heater installed, parts fabricated, diesel line installed in tank and the heater mounted. That only took about 2 or 3 days. Doug also fabricated me 2 more solar panel mounts because one broke. I really like the new term I learned when I explained that I purchased those mounts off of ebay, Jeff explained to me I purchased Chineseium. This is a special metal that life expectancy is near the bottom for a metal product.

The neighbors supplied us with the largest tomatoes we have witnessed in a long time, as well as garlic and cucumbers. We ate some of them, and then the US Border control took the rest of them.

We went a plumbing store to get some pieces for the heater install and across the street was Canada’s largest Canabis grow facility. It was closed, for we tried to go for a tour, but Covid has it shut down. Nevertheless, you could smell the product from across the street in the plumbing parking lot.

It is always a special treat to visit the cottage Thank you Doug and Patty

I am not sure anyone really enjoys playing Mexican Train Dominoes, but we do it every time and I hope we continue to play.

We made it to Canada.

We were lucky to get our Covid test and results within an hour. And oddly enough we did not have to pay for the tests. Not quite sure how that worked out. Nevertheless, we did the nose swab and then walked across the street to do laundry while we wait. The results were going to be at the front desk in about an hour. So while laundry was in the works, we walked back and anxiously opened the envelope to find out we passed.

Off we go to Canada, we crossed the border at Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. Lucky for us there was no wait and we zipped right across. Then we had to spend the day before we met up with Anna and Jeff the next day.

Not quite sure which way we were headed we decided to stay in Brocville at the city park. It was not the best night. We parked in the middle of the parking lot and that seemed like a great place for people to come and park next to us throughout the early evening. Mainly it was kids hiding from the traffic on the main road on other side of us.

We walked around the park a bit, Marina swam, not me..too cold. We walked to town twice. Down the healthy trail into downtown. There was the first canada railroad bridge which we saw last time we were here a few years back. Covid has this town shutdown and getting a place in a restaurant was difficult. We ended up eating at a bar and walked the 2 miles back to the bus in the st lawrence park.

Oxxshire Creamery, an Amazon delivery Partner

The Creamery has no cream.

We need to receive some package from Amazon but did not have an address because we are constantly moving. So Amazon has a feature that you can ship packages to lockers, certain stores, and other places. This Oxxshire Creamery is just a place for this. The unique thing about this place is that the location is far from everything. We were trying to go to Canada to visit our daughter and before crossing we needed to get some packages. We are headed to 1000 Islands and our Covid test is about 30 miles before there. So we needed a place to get some Amazon packages, would you believe this Oxxshire Creamery is the closest place at about 45 miles away. We actually ended up going there twice because the package did not arrive in time.