Daily Archives: June 14, 2015

Finally leaving New England – driving from Connecticut to Tennessee


29-May & 30-May, Friday and Saturday


Just a quick note about driving down to Tennessee – it wasn’t really anything especially unique, except for the sheer length of the driving that I did in two consecutive days. But… you know, that’s kind of part and parcel for a cross country road trip, right?

Friday, 29-May-2015

  • After leaving Connecticut, I drive far… very far for a single day. Just about 500miles, over the course of 10 hours.
  • I take a mid-length stop once to check on the car’s front bumper and do some quick repairs. Nothing major, just some extra stuff to hold everything where it should be. A cool old dude gives me a quick hand and some advice, & I take some time to do a bit of staff spinning to stretch my muscles.
  • The place I reserved? Excellent campground, though I was a bit worried about bottoming the Mustang out on the trail in. But the site is glorious – directly on the James river with a full secluded campsite just for me. I’d love to bring a group down here and do some canoeing and kayaking sometime…
  • Set up camp, make myself a simple dinner, chill, and head to sleep.


Saturday, 30-May-2015

  • I’ve got a long day of driving, but I let myself wake up slowly… even go for a swim before breakfast.
  • Then, I actually make breakfast… followed by quickly breaking down camp, and moving out!
  • DRIVE! The miles go a lot quicker this time, versus the day before, since I’m not really making any major stops.
  • First thing I do when I get into Chattanooga – I hit an outdoors store called Rock/Creek to get myself a real guide book… but the mission is a failure, since they don’t have one. But they do have a lot of awesome info, a guide to another area, and an impressively tall sales girl in an impressively tiny dress. So I count the trip as a success, overall.
  • Quick stop at Whole Foods to get some groceries… this is where all the redheads live. What. Why are there more redheads in Tennessee than there are in Boston?
  • Head into the campsite & set everything up… But this is NOT like the site from the day before. This is a true RV park. We’re talking gravel everywhere, tiny sites, and huge RVs all around me. Balls. Whatever. Can’t change it, so I’ll set up and be the cool kid in the tent.

A stop in Connecticut before leaving New England: Vising and Hiking with Big T


27-May, 28-May & 29-May, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday



Wednesday, 27-May

Since I’d run into a bit of rain earlier in the day (Ed note: see “Exploring Cairo, Climbing in New Paltz… and getting rained on”) the first thing that I did when arriving in Danbury was call T, and drag him outside to help me carry wet gear into his place.

With that fun dealt with, we set about the the real duty of the evening – rocking out. I hadn’t seen him in months at this point (I think the last time was his surprise attendance to New Years 2.0?) so we had to do a lot of catching up in a pretty short period of time. First up – kicking his sorry gamer self at an old time classic, GoldenEye.

Let’s just say that I totally won, hands down, no question. He didn’t beat me at all. I don’t know what your talking about. Be quiet.

GoldenEye done, we crack some beers, relax, and chat. Then – crash.



Thursday, 28-May

This is the thing with T – He’s one of the only people who I regularly wake up earlier than. He works the late shift (noon to 8:00, usually), so he’s not used to getting up anytime before 10:00… whereas I’ve been making myself get up earlier than usual on this roadtrip… say, 7:30 or 9:00.

So I had some time before I got fed up and kicked him awake – I got some writing done, I checked on the gear, and I took a gloriously long shower. THEN I got bored and kicked him out of bed.

Library to drop off books. Diner for late breakfast (aww yes, pancakes and bacon and eggs and coffee). Home to get some hiking stuff. Then, car to go hiking. All of which involved walking, chatting, and generally just playing the “Old college friends who haven’t seen each other in a while” game.

The final choice that we made for hiking was A park called Wooster Mountain – It was close, we hadn’t hiked it before… yeah, sounds good, right?

Well… turns out that Wooster Mountain is actually a shooting range, specifically a police shooting range.

Thankfully, it seems that the police take Thursdays off, because the sign said that it was closed every Thursday for the whole day.. Perfect for us… but a strange day to take off, no? Meh. Either way, it meant that we could take the trails behind the range ( Ed Note: Ben assures me that he was never in the firing line, and that he was careful to confirm that there were no people on the range before even thinking of heading down the trails )

The trails weren’t anything to write home about. Humid, poorly packed down, but they had very good blazes on the trees. We walked ’till we got bored, then we headed home.

Home meant grocery store and liquor store, and a massive, drenching rainstorm, by the way.

Home also meant me giving T a quick “how to cook a damn fine steak dinner” lesson, and then us eating a damn fine steak dinner. Ribeye, tomatoes, and sauteed onions. With Whiskey, obviously.

Then more of the same – GoldenEye, chatting, and marathoning Season 18 of Southpark. Seriously. We got through the whole 18th season in one night. We also got through a fair number of beers as well… so those may have helped us with getting through the entire season without noticing. But I admit to nothing.


Friday, 29-May

On Friday, I wasn’t so polite about kicking T awake. I had to make a long drive down to Virginia, so I needed to get out of town pretty early… and I couldn’t carry all the now-dry gear down to the car myself. So we carried.

Then, as I was packing the gear, we were watched by a creepy dude in a creepy old truck, who wanted my parking spot. He gave up after 15min of watching us pack though, thankfully. He flipped us off as he drove away. Meh. I told him it’d be a while…

Then goodbyes, and T headed back inside to sleep until he had to head out to work.

While he slept, I hit Dunkin Donuts. Have to have one last Dunkin break before I actually leave New England, right?