June 30, Vermont and New Hampshire:
Woo Hoo! I've now accomplished one of my life goals -- to visit all 50 states.
For years, I've been missing only two U.S. states, Vermont and New Hampshire, and today I had the chance to rectify that.
This afternoon, the sun came out for the first time since I arrived in northwest Massachusetts on Wednesday. So, after most of a day of sessions at the Media Giraffe conference at the University of Massachusetts /Amherst, I waylayed another conference-goer, Robb Montgomery from Chicago, and jumped in the car at 3 p.m. to drive the 35 miles or so up to Brattleboro, Vt.
I didn't know until we got there that I could knock off New Hampshire, too, simply by crossing the Connecticut River from downtown Brattleboro (Google map
The drive up I-91 is perhaps the most pristine stretch of interstate highway I've ever been on. No billboards. No claptrap apartment buildings. No Wal-Marts. Virtually no houses visible from the road. It's as if they laid four lanes of concrete through an untouched forest. The only glitch was a construction site at a short bridge that backed up the northbound traffic for miles. It took 1:15 to get to Brattleboro and 35 minutes to get back.
My only regret is that I didn't get a picture of a "Moose Crossing" sign to add to the blog. I left my camera behind in the hotel room. (I snagged the picture above from a web site
. Photo by Jason Ilyes.)
Upon our return, we visited a tiny Thai restaurant on an alley in downtown Amherst. Thai Corner it is called, and it is a family run sort of place right down to the pictures of the grandkids on the wall. The food was spectacular, and we had an entire meal -- soup, salad, chicken satay, rice and green curry, all washed down with Thai beer, for $20 each.