Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trip to Montague

Towards evening of the first day heading towards Hartland from Woodstock

A view of Cobb Hill --a cohousing community-- where we stayed our first night

Charting our route for day two

Nancy moving along on her 1984 Peugeot 

Feeling it a bit as we reached Brattleboro; we stopped for some iced lemonade and tea

A stop on the Northfield Mount Hermon campus. Overtoun is the dorm just to my left that I lived in for three years

Riding with Dan and Addie to their wedding!

Nancy and I had the great fortune to ride our bikes from central Vermont to Dan and Addie's wedding in Montague, Massachusetts this past weekend.

Earlier in the spring Dan, Addie, Nancy and I been discussing the possibility of doing a bike tour together, even considering the possibility of a trip to Europe or perhaps a journey around the Gaspe.

Maybe three months ago we got a call saying that they didn't think they'd be able to do the bike trip because, lo and behold, they were getting married at just about the time we'd talked of doing the trip. We were thrilled to hear their news and immediately started looking forward to the wedding.

As we started making plans the idea came about to ride to the wedding. As soon as we imagined the possibility we got excited about it and its been our plan for a good while now.

Our trip was perfect in almost all respects. We left on a Thursday and our expectation was to get to Hartland Four Corners to stay with our friend Alan and his two daughters. We had a great ride through the familiar terrain of the Granville Gulf down through Rochester, up through Barnard and then all the way down to Woodstock. The road leading up and out of Woodstock to Hartland was some of the most beautiful. Perfect hillsides and recently hayed fields. Lovely farms. Dark wooded routes on dirt roads.

We had a relaxing fun meal with Alan and the girls and felt glad to catch up. In the morning they were off to their day and we didn't dally too long before setting off.

We made an effort to get out of the Connecticut river valley and back to the interior of Vermont, so headed out towards Chester, via Mt. Ascutney. Again we had a breeze at our backs, bluebird skies, and tolerable temps. We enjoyed a great lunch in the lovely village of Grafton. Our progress was slower this second day as we were climbing often throughout the early part of the day and it wasn't until somewhere around Townsend that we started to reap some of the reward with a long cruise along the Saxon's river down to Brattleboro. We were a bit cooked by the time we reach Brattleboro but kept on going after a brief stop.

Our endpoint was Greenfield, MA and we followed the quieter roads along the Connecticut river that took us down through Vernon and then across the state line into Northfield. I went to Northfield Mount Hermon School and Nancy's father taught there when she was a child, so we both have some history in this area. We rode through the quiet Mt. Hermon campus and then travelled down through Gill to Greenfield.

To cap off the biking theme, on the morning of their wedding we had the privilege of escorting Dan and Addie to their wedding site along the Connecticut river in Northfield. They knew of some lovely dirt roads up through Turners Falls and we had a beautiful journey together.

The whole purpose of this trip was to attend Dan and Addie's weekend wedding celebrations and we thoroughly enjoyed being able to travel in this manner. Many folks complimented us for our effort but I kept thinking that the pleasure was really all ours and there was no real virtue in what we did. The weekend was marvelous and the memories of a great couple, great community, and a great celebration have lingered with us since.

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