Although little was planned, the weekend just passed turned out to be quite enjoyable, in a low-key kind of way.
It started early, as I took Friday afternoon off from the grind. I’ve more than a bit of vacation time to use up before retirement at the end of the year, and extending weekends seems to be a good way to use it. I kicked off this one with a mid-afternoon walk around Echo Lake, not too far from here. This was the second time I’ve walked the five miles of country road around that pretty lake. This time I reversed the direction from the first walk, and went clockwise. I found that more challenging, as there is a significant hill on the north end of the lake, and when going clockwise you come upon that around the three mile mark, rather than at the start of the walk. It makes a difference on a warm day.
The rest of Friday afternoon was consumed with mowing down most of the lawn, which has grown very quickly of late with rain and warm temps. Then we spent some time watching the pond and critters as the sun dropped behind the hills.
Outside work continued Saturday morning, as the weed whacker had to be applied where the mower couldn’t go. And then it was into the garden, as there’s always something to do there.
The time had come to pull up the green bean plants, as they’d stopped producing. Next year I think I’ll try progression planting for the beans, and see if their season can be extended. We had a good yield this year for what was planted, but longer availability would have been appreciated.
All of the brassica is looking good. The direct-seeded broccoli is quite large, and on the cusp of head production. The cauliflower replanted at about the same time is up, and have generated true leaves. The transplants, both cauliflower and broccoli that were planted in the beds the onions came out of are doing well, although a couple of seedlings didn’t make it. The first of the Brussels sprouts are closing in on harvest, and the second planting of transplants are taking hold.
The grape tomatoes are ripening quickly now. The Jetstar slicers and Grandma Mary’s paste tomatoes are still green, and there are lots of them. And the eggplants keep on coming.
Overall, things are pretty good with Garden 2022 with about three months left to go.
It was noon by the time I finished weeding, mulching and staring at the plants. Wife and I had dinner plans for Saturday evening, but nothing for the next six hours. So we got in the Jeep and went for a ride.
We headed east towards New Hampshire, and then south once we crossed the Connecticut River, tooling along US Route 3. We turned off to the east again, in the direction of Berlin, and on the way went through the Town of Stark. We’d traveled right past this little village many times, but this time we stopped. I wanted to see the covered bridge.
As we were preparing to leave, I noticed a van parked near the entrance to the bridge. I went over and met the two occupants, a young couple from Quebec . I’d guess they were in their mid-20s, and they had converted their van into a camper. It was fitted out nicely with all of the things you’d need to spend days on the road. We spoke for a few moments; they were on a three day trip out-and-about, and stopped there for lunch. They were having a good time.
Continuing along over the hills we eventually arrived in Berlin, where we stopped and went through a couple of antique (junque?) shops. I have absolutely no need or desire to add to the clutter of possessions, but it is fun to look at some of the “old stuff”. Do you remember ‘way back in the olden days businesses gave out plastic litter bags for the car that hung on a door or window handle? They were always free, and usually advertised the business. There was a box of perhaps 50 of them there for $3 a piece. I don’t think the entire box of them cost that much when they were made 50 or 60 years ago.
We stopped to gas up the wagon on the way out of Berlin. Paid $3.64 per gallon, which is significantly less than the going rate in Vermont. It’s amusing to hear folks comment upon how gas “is coming down”. For absolutely no good reason other than self-enrichment, the current leaders of our government caused prices to increase over 150%, and now people are pleased to get a third of that increase back? Ridiculous. Fuel costs have a very long way to go to reach what they were in 2020, and may never get there.
We took a break at J’s Corner Restaurant & Lounge in Gorham, New Hampshire. This was another place we’d driven by time and time again, and never visited. We sat at the nice, clean bar and had a beverage. While there we checked out the menu- selections and pricing looked good, and we decided to return to J’s for a meal the next time the opportunity presented itself.
The afternoon was wearing on, and it was time to turn east, heading back towards Vermont and dinner, eventually. We traversed the White Mountains on US Route 2, up and over. The road was busy and full of weekend adventurers from away, and we actually hit a bit of a traffic jam in Jeffersonville, right near Santa’s Village. Yep- Santa’s Village. It’s the same as it ever was, and apparently still a go-to for folks with small kids. We had fun there with ours many years ago.
After Jeffersonville came Lancaster, that place in New Hampshire I’ve mentioned before. This town has captured my attention for a variety of reasons, and I try to miss no opportunity to discover something new there. As it was about 4PM and we were in need of another break from the road, the Copper Pig Brewery was the new place of the day.
Once before when I was traveling home solo I tried to visit this brewery, but that day it was closed. The Copper Pig is located in an old bank building, and the actual brewery and some indoor seating is located in the basement. In fact, the bank vault has been reconfigured as a refrigerated walk-in, which is very cool.
My wife tried the Ice Jam Lager while I opted for a porter. They were both excellent, as was the pretzel we shared. The owner/ brewmaster was sitting at the table next to us and we learned that the brewery had been there almost 5 years, and had rehabbed the property from scratch to build out the brewery and kitchen. On the way out I snuck a peek at the brewing facilities and was impressed. He also shared interesting information regarding the recently renovated Lancaster Motel, Lounge & Cigar Bar, which may be something we investigate later this year.
After finishing our snack and beverages, it was time to once more saddle up into the Jeep and head for Vermont. As it turned out, we timed the day almost perfectly, arriving at the restaurant where we had dinner reservations only two minutes late!
Another excellent day in the North Country. Thanks for dropping by!