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Puff and I just got back yesterday evening from a 9 day, 3500 mile trip to Vermont.

Great trip.

Puff was good company. We stayed at "Motel 6" inns exclusively since they have a pet-stays-free policy.

I took along my Zojirushi induction rice cooker to make my customary steel cut oats/AKA "Irish oats" for breakfasts; it cooked overnight and stayed warm for eating next morning.

Trip to Vermont started with HOT weather -- bright sun, temps in the 90ºF/105ºF heat indexed. Had to run the A/C almost all the way which hurt my attempts at maximizing MPG (and trying to beat the EPA rating of 40 city, 46 highway for my Honda Civic Hybrid). Our mpg for the entire trip which traversed the Adirondacks and Green Mountains ranges twice, the Berkshires once) was 47.70 mpg and our best 500 miles (over flat stretches of OH, IN, IL) was 49.88 mpg at a cruise controlled 63 mph and very little A/C while on the way back (with cloudy overcast and outside temps no greater than 75F).

It's rained so much in New England that I don't recall ever seeing the Vermont trees, vegetation, etc., being so lush and green.

Two years ago, when Puff and I made a trip to VT followed a few weeks later by an equally long trip to Oregon, we stopped every 2 hours and I'd sling her training dummies for a few minutes for us to stretch. Worked great for both of us. Something has changed for Puff in those 2 years -- this time she just wanted to sniff and read all the various pee-mail messages left by previous visiting dogs. So when we stopped, there was little/no exercising. BUT, it was nice having Puff along and her fur to rub and pet. She's small enough to fit (in various positions on the fully reclined front passenger seat); when she tired of that, she'd hop onto the back seat. Lucky dog! I had to sit the entire trip with very little change of position.

In Brattleboro, I spent a couple days with Steve (nephew) who's doing great work in his new vocation as a potter. He's now throwing some very large, beautiful pots (some over 5 ft high, 3 feet wide) and has a new studio with a kiln large enough to "cook" several at a time. Not the best of economic times for starting this new career but he's making it. Got to meet his SO and her daughter -- very nice people, good choice. Steve introduced Puff and me to a great state park just across the Connecticut River in New Hampshire and Puff and I got some great walks there (and which we will revisit in coming years).

Spent a day and evening in Springfield at the annual alumni parade (THE biggest event of the year for the town) with floats from many classes, fire trucks from many adjoining towns, many bands, antique cars, road graders, military vehicles, youth groups (hockey players, BS, GS, etc,). That evening, our class had its annual supper which gave opportunities to visit old friends.

On the way north, Puff and I detoured and drove by the one room, 8 grade schoolhouse to which I'd gone (now modified into a private dwelling) and then to the home where I'd grown up in Reading township -- it's at the end of a one lane dirt road and now marked "Private Drive" but we ignored that, no one was there, and I got a few pix of Puff and my "old homestead" (a 12+ room Federalist style buikling built ca. 1790). It's recognizable but various out-of-state owners have poured millions into it as a summer estate.

Then to Cornwall (near Middlebury) visiting with my niece Abi and her extended family. Her son was having a birthday and I met his SO; his sister and her SO were also there as well as another sister, her husband & MIL, & 2 children, and my nephew Mark. We had a long afternoon picnicking, drinking micro-brews, swimming, kayaking at a state park on Lake Champlain.

Abi & hubby Bill have a great chocolate Lab (bench), Kiana, that they rescued from a Puppy Mill. Puff and Kiana have met before and get along great. My great-niece & SO have a chocolate Lab, Bella, (mostly field) probably from a BYB that's 9 months old and kind of hyper -- but mostly pleasant. The state park prohibits dogs so they stayed home while their peeps partied.

If and whenever I relearn how to upload to and use my photobucket, I'll post some pix.


 

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What a full trip! Sounds like some really wonderful memories to call up on a dark and stormy Kansas night. Glad you're back. :)

Your nephew, the potter. Made me wonder if Becca (OurTrinity) ever took up the art again.
 
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