Archive for August, 2012

The Long and Lonely Road

This was the first big road trip apart for T and I since we got married. It’s definitely less of a road trip without her, but I’ve had some good times all by my lonesome. Here are a few highlights written from my tent outside of Bismarck, North Dakota. I’ll post it as soon as I find a convenient McDonalds for wifi. Why don’t we make this a countdown? Sounds easy.

5. Michigan. This is where I had the easiest border crossing of my life (“what’s your citizenship? Where do you live? Do you have Massachusetts plates? Have a good day.”), where I filled up with gas and borrowed McDonalds wifi in a shady Flint neighborhood, where I camped in a state forest full of hunters and their dogs (I wondered what all the barking was next door), and where I learned what a pasty was on the northern panhandle. It’s also where our Accord celebrated its 250,000th mile. Here’s to another 250. Or at least to getting us into Alberta…

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4. Duluth? Sure, why not? Duluth was where I went to church at a small friendly ward, ate my lunch, called T, and planned out my free campsite in ND.

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3. Mississippi headwaters. A very scenic state park right on my way in MN. I had to put my feet in or I wouldn’t be worthy to be called a permanent resident of America. It was surprisingly warm… Probably heated by the armies of feet who were in it a few hundred feet upstream.

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2. Ontario. My first time in the most populated province of Canada felt more like a different country than my home and native land. Thankfully I hung out with two great cousins who more than made up for the angry, fast, cursing Toronto drivers.

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1. Lake superior and the apostle islands. This was a rest stop like something out of a dream. Miles of red sand beaches, cliffs in the distance, and perfect water temperature for swimming. Next time I’ll bring a kayak and a date.

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Edible Time Capsule

We have gone through all of our belongings and sorted out what we’ll keep what we’ll try to fit into our car for the move. Among the items that didn’t make the final cut was a time capsule left in our car’s trunk by its previous owner (T’s mother, who kept it in the trunk in case of emergency).

The capsule was a sealed metal can containing everything she would need to survive for 72 hours should disaster strike. PS: this really is an excellent thing to have in the car, and we’ll probably replace it with an up-to-date version.

Since rust was forming on the can, we decided it was time to open this 72 hour kit and explore its interior. Here’s a sampling of the treasure we found:

1. A stuffed full storehouse of keep from dying treats:

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2. Chicken noodle soup with raisins and strawberries:

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3. Fresh fruit (peaches???):

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3. Beanie weenie (the seal had broken… Too bad…)

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4. Granola bars:

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5. Canned apple juice (still fresh):

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The only expiration date we found was 2008 on some peanut butter crackers. Most of the goodies were stale and inedible, but a few hard candies were still good, as well as the apple juice and (hopefully) the drink mix. Maybe we’ll test that out soon.

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Things That I’ll Miss About Boston… #1: My Commute

I’ve tried not to get too nostalgic during the last weeks in Boston, but I can’t help realize that there are some things I’ll really miss. Besides the usual Boston benefits (beautiful old homes, churches, universities, and apartments; the harbor and the Charles; green everywhere…) I really will miss my commute. I probably won’t have time to post much more, so this might be a list of one thing I’ll miss.

I ride to work 4 days a week now; if it wasn’t for summer thunderstorms scaring me into the car I’d ride 5. It’s a pretty long ride, but almost the entire route from Belmont to Lexington is on a nicely paved rail trail. I thought an easy post would be to take you on my afternoon ride home. Besides, I always have time to evangelize for bikes.

I take the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway for most of the trip, which takes me from Cambridge, through Arlington, and then to Lexington. The path then continues to Concord, about 2 miles further from where I get off at work.

This post is a journey. Let’s start in the forest near my office:

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Then I pass the Lexington battle green. Buckman Tavern is the building ahead and slightly to the left, for the historians.

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Then I ride through the old Lexington Train Station.

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Then past Arlington’s Great Meadow.

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Then past Spy Pond (beautiful sunsets here earlier in the season)

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As the path gets closer to Cambridge it turns into a busy little bike highway

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Then I get onto another path at Fresh Pond in Cambridge and always think, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not angry and sitting on traffic right now… Those poor souls…” No matter what the weather is like, it beats driving in Boston! The trip is 11.5 miles each way but it keeps me in shape. Just multi-tasking the workout and the commute.

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St Peter’s Festival

Gloucester, Massachusetts is the home of St. Peter’s festival, a Catholic celebration on St. Peter’s day with a carnival, games, and a greasy pole climb. We attended the outdoor mass on Sunday morning, which is basically the same as any other mass except for the sea chanties and the sermon about fishermen. The holiday really celebrates all fishermen because Peter was one himself. And aside from the Sea of Galilee, there’s really no better place to do the festival than America’s oldest seaport.

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