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June 2: State #49 Was Exciting!

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
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Upon stepping foot onto the last of the lower 49 states I hadn’t visited, I gave the welcome sign a hug. Truth be told, the grass was too wet for me to venture into it.

We started out the day with Ann sneezing. It ended with her sneezing. In the middle, there was lots of sneezing. Either she has a cold or she’s got some terrible allergies (the grass pollen is particularly high she says). Poor thing!

In between the sneezes we navigated down I-95 from Bangor, Maine, to Hollis Center, Maine, where Brendan, the operator of This-Old-Jeep, lives. He and I have exchanged many emails over the past few years. Because we both run websites using WordPress about old jeeps, we have plenty to talk about. So, it was great to finally meet him in person. We also met his wife Melissa and their two boys, Walter and Bryon. Water even drew me a picture of a jeep, which is downstairs in our jeep, so posting that will have to wait.

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Brendan and Melissa fixed us a nice lunch, which included Brendan’s freshly made bread. We both throughly enjoyed the home cooked meal and greatly appreciated it! After lunch we headed out to check out Brendan’s CJ-3B project. As we were discussion his recently disassembled transmission, Byron decided to distract my camera person: He’s a bit of a ham 🙂  Many thanks to the entire family for making our visit enjoyable!

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Not too long after we left Brendan’s place, we crossed into New Hampshire. We reached the cute town of Conway. As we entered town, a Bavarian Chocolate Shop cast a spell over us and we were forced to pull over and enter into the shop. We had no choice. Twenty dollars and two pairs of chocolatey hands later, the spell finally lifted as we were on our way out of town.

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The dark chocolate hazelnuts were awesome!

That’s when all hell broke loose. An enormous gust of wind blew past the jeep. Branches were falling, rain was pouring, and cats and dogs were dropping all over. There was thunder and lightening. We began to wonder if we’d committed some sin for giving in to our chocolate lust . . . but no, apparently the storm was a left over ripple from Oklahoma. Given the enormity of the ripple, I’d hated to have been in the middle of the central splash! Speaking of Oklahoma, Karson’s on his way there with FEMA to help coordinate the relief effort.

After the storm hit in Conway, we drove under and ran over multiple downed power lines. The power was out through the remainder of our drive through New Hampshire and into Vermont. Trees were down, branches covered the road, and rain continued to fall.

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This was along the road. The tree fell onto a building, narrowly missing the house. In other locations, people were cleaning up the mess as we drove by. Unfortunately, most of our pictures of the storm came out blurry.

Speaking of Vermont, passing into it means I’ve visited all of the ‘lower’ US states. All I have left is Alaska!

By the time we reached the capital of Vermont, Montpelier, the clouds mostly vanished and the sun shone again. We were pleasantly surprised by the quaint town. The capital building was welcoming and close to town.

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Montpelier hummed with activity as families and individuals toured its streets. We eventually made our way to the local Hungry Mountain Coop, which was a first class treat. Lots of great breads and interesting foods!

I borrowed this photo from this site: http://vtdigger.org/2011/07/29/hunger-mountain-2/

After Montpelier, we made our way to Burlington, which was another beautiful city. We are hoping to explore it a little before we leave on Monday for Oswego. Here’s a view from our hotel (another great Priceline find at $51).

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That’s the view looking west over Lake Champlain.

 

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