Day Forty-Three: New Hampshire, Vermont, Upstate New York

As you can tell by the title of the blog, we did some traveling today. No specific sightseeing, just hour after hour of amazing scenery rolling by our windows.

Before we get to that, though, I’ve got to talk about Bob Seger. No, Bob didn’t have anything to do with any of the states we drove through today, but we did listen to his music for several hours today. Most of the time, we either listen to one of our satellite radio stations or our own Spotify playlist we put together just for the trip.

Here’s the thing about satellite radio: they play the same damn songs over and over again, just like a normal local station. I don’t understand it. Sirius XM has a station called The Bridge that we like to listen to. It’s mostly seventies and eighties folk music, with a little softer rock thrown in. Pretty good for a quiet afternoon, driving through gorgeous foliage. However, I would guess that they are playing about 400 songs on heavy repeat. That sounds like a lot until you are listening to them on day forty-three of a cross country trip. Then, you realize you’ve heard that same James Taylor/Dan Fogelberg/Carly Simon/America/Cat Stevens/Harry Chapin song too many times.

Typically, we switch over to our own playlist, which has 600+ songs, and listen to that, but that requires at least a smidgen of signal on our phones. Today, driving through the wonderfully twisting, winding roads of Vermont, we didn’t have that. So, we turned to our music of last resort: a few CDs I threw in at the last minute, including Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits. We both love Bob Seger.

One of the songs on the CD was Main Street. Great song. One of my favorites. But, have you ever listened to the lyrics closely? If, like me, you’ve always half-listened to the lyrics and were mostly swept away by the gorgeous music, you might not know what the song is about. I didn’t. I always thought it was Seger as Springsteen, with a nostalgic look back at small town America.

In fact, if you go to Songfacts.comit says, in part: “Seger wrote this song about his high school years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The song explores the promise of youth, and what Seger calls his “awakening” after being a quiet, awkward kid for most of his youth.

I don’t think it is. I think it’s a song about stalking a go-go dancer/exotic dancer, then returning to the whole scene, many years later. Here are the lyrics, as written by Bob Seger:

I remember standing on the corner at midnight
Trying to get my courage up
There was this long lovely dancer in a little club downtown
I loved to watch her do her stuff
Through the long lonely nights she filled my sleep
Her body softly swaying to that smoky beat
Down on Mainstreet

In the pool halls, the hustlers and the losers
I used to watch ’em through the glass
Well I’d stand outside at closing time
Just to watch her walk on past
Unlike all the other ladies, she looked so young and sweet
As she made her way alone down that empty street
Down on Mainstreet

And sometimes even now, when I’m feeling lonely and beat
I drift back in time and I find my feet
Down on Mainstreet.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then. (Yes, that’s another Seger reference.) I’ll never be able to listen to that song with the same sense of innocence again.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog. Thanks for letting me have my rock ‘n roll moment.

Before we got out of Vermont, we were hoping to not only see amazing scenery, but also, of course, get some maple syrup. That is not a tall order. It seemed like every little town we drove through had maple syrup, maple candy, maple… everything, pretty much. After half an hour in Vermont, we were well-stocked with everything maple we ever needed.

Here’s a couple of shots we grabbed as we drove:

img_2033

img_2040

How peaceful is that road? We felt like we were driving through a postcard.

Here’s something we’ve learned on this trip: seven weeks is not enough time to really see this country. So, we are looking at it as a sampler trip. We are using it to see where we really want to come back and spend some quality time. We’ve decided we’d love to spend a week or so in the Florida Keys – as long as it is in December, January, or February. We also have our heart set on coming back and spending several weeks in New England in October. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are among our three favorite states of the entire trip.

We just crossed the Vermont-New York state line, when we saw this place:

img_2048

img_2049

We love a place with a sense of humor, so this is where we had lunch. At least, we went in intending to have lunch. We came out with lunch, several magnets, stickers, and assorted other souvenirs. I think their marketing plan is working. Here’s the type of signs they had inside:

img_2052

I know I’ve written about a number of memorials on this trip, but not too much about Veteran’s Memorials. It’s not that I don’t care about them, because I do. Instead, it’s that they are ubiquitous. Almost every single town has a sad memorial to the young men and women that they’ve sent off to war, who never returned. The one in the little town of Hoosick actually made me feel good:

img_2050

Of course, it is sad to see those four names, but in every other memorial we have seen, the names listed are in the dozens, or hundreds. Nice to see that in two bloody wars, this little town only lost four men.

We spent the afternoon driving through upstate New York. This area is as similar to Washington as anyplace we’ve been. It’s beautiful. It is making Dawn a little homesick.

Speaking of which, we are likely to have a few more days like this over the next ten days or so – more driving, less stopping. We’re like pastured horses who can see the barn door open and hay inside. We know we are getting close to the end, and we’re close to wanting to be home.

Tomorrow, though – Niagara Falls!

Cheers, and safe travels.

Shawn

5 comments

  1. Oh how love autumn time!!! All those beautiful colors mix together to create a postcard masterpiece. I would love to be in your shoes sometimes and just travel, I love the small town atmosphere & the little lesser known mom & pop restaurants & such places. Enjoy your sight seeing!!

    Like

  2. Can’t believe you guys were in my neck of the woods. WOW! Hoosick is about an hour away from where I am in Albany, NY. Glad you enjoyed our little patch of the world. We do have some beautiful colors and scenery this time of year. Enjoy Niagara Falls!!

    Like

  3. I so enjoyed your entry tonight. You cracked me up with your rock ‘n roll moment. My husband and I are about your same age and loved listening to Bob Seger through high school and college. I’m shocked after reading the words to Main Street. I, too, will never be able to listen to that song again with the same innocence. Your photos are making me homesick. I lived in upstate NY 5 different times over the past 35 years and just moved to Indiana a year ago. I really miss it. Anyway, your photos are beautiful! If you can, cross over the border and see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. It’s a much more spectacular view from that vantage point. Also, take a ride on the Maid of the Mist. You can catch it from either the American or Canadian side. Enjoy your visit! As always, I can’t wait to read about tomorrow’s adventures. Safe travels.

    Like

  4. Sounds heavenly to be driving all those back roads with amazing scenery. Love to hear all about all of this! Safe travels!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s