Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 8

06 Sep

Fri. Aug. 27, 2010:

            The breakfast
at this hotel was sub-par; there was no milk for my coffee, just coffee whitener
which is gross. And the oatmeal did not have ingredients listed on the packet,
so for all I knew it was full of awful bad-for-me stuff so why not just go all
out? Dunkin’ Donuts strawberry frosted donut for breakfast it was! It looked
just like the stereotypical Simpsons donut (but tasted way better, they had
movie promo ones for sale at 7-Eleven once). The plan was to get done today
what we had planned for yesterday: explore Essex County, CT which consists of
Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton. Essex is right on the Connecticut River (about
which they have a museum) so there were some nice views there, and because it’s
a “retirement community” everyone was awake that early in the morning and
cheerful and happy. On the way to Centerbrook we stopped at Essex’s other
tourist draw: the steam train. As we were getting out of the car the steam
train was actually pulling into the station, good timing on our part. There were
lots of old train cars and even a red caboose. As the steam train passed we
found out that the steam smells really bad. In Centerbrook the only thing to
see was a small river going over a dam? It didn’t really seem like a dam, nor
did it seem like a waterfall. And in Ivoryton there was nothing but houses. Historic
Litchfield also consisted of houses but these were older and cooler looking,
they were from the 1800s and there were lots of old churches as well. Everything
there was painted white, one store-front was actually putting on a new coat of
white paint. This place was also small and had not too much to see. Off to West
Cornwall to see a covered bridge, except we passed through some smelly cow
country. For a while it looked like we were lost, but then we saw a sign
promising the bridge. But the sign was off, it was way further than the sign
had said, making us think we were lost again. When we got there it was just as
promised, a covered bridge. It looked cool and we got to drive through (over?)

            We almost
missed the parking lot for the Appalachian Trail to the top of Bear Mountain
(north of Salisbury CT) just as the trail guide had warned us. The first two
miles of the trail were to be steep and grueling warned the travel guide we had
found on the internet, and they were not exaggerating. It was indeed steep,
hell on the hamstrings (at one point I couldn’t completely straighten my leg),
but we kept passing people on their way to the top or on their way back down
and we kept thinking, if they can make it so can we. There was even a family
with children and 2 dogs! There were some cool mushrooms along the way but that
was about it, no wildlife of any sorts, well that I could see anyways, the
forest was pretty dense. It took us about 1.5 hours to reach the top… or what
we thought was the top. There was some exposed rock and the trees had cleared,
there was a great view of the mountain range, but according to the trail guide
there was supposed to be a pile of rocks, which we did not see, so we continued
on. It took us another half hour before we reached the actual top! And then we
climbed that pile of rocks, so we were at the very actual top. The view was amazing;
you could see towns and lakes and more mountains and so much blue sky! Plus it
was nice to sit down. The plaque said that we were about 2000 some-odd feet
above sea level. It also said that the pile used to be a tower. While sitting I
saw a bird fly by, the only wildlife I saw during the entire hike. The descent
was only slightly easier; my hamstrings got a break but only at the cost of my
knees now taking the brunt of it all. It was all a bit unnerving now though,
slowly making way down steep paths, especially the exposed rock which was
rather smooth and hard to walk down. We made it back down in less time, about
1.5 hours? Everyone we passed on the way up and down was so nice and said hello
or smiled. As you got closer to the top the people seemed more
rugged/experienced, having on hiking shoes, carrying camel packs (water bags)
and even a couple who had clearly not showered in days.

            We were
so hungry after this, having not stopped for lunch, we were basically running
on snacks.  My hunger of course lead me
to wonder, was Salisbury steak invented in Salisbury CT? Well it was invented
by an American, so maybe. My hunger was really getting to me, I joked that when
we finally got to a restaurant it would be like the scene in Harold & Kumar
when they get to White Castle and order an exorbitant amount of food. I kept
saying that I was hungry as a bear. We had dinner at Applebee’s because our
keycard to the hotel gave us a 10% discount. I had the most delicious dinner that
hit the spot: peppercorn steak with asiago cheese on top. For snackage, yes we
were that hungry, we had chocolate covered pretzels that we had seen on the Price
Is Right earlier, Cape Cod potato chips (apparently it’s not just a regional
thing) and cherry Dr Pepper. I forget where we were staying, I think we were
still in Connecticut, yes, yes we were. Sadly there was nothing on TV, so we
just watched and made fun of the Real World. Later Les Straud’s (Survivor Man)
new show was on, and right as I was going to go to sleep, Freaks and Geeks came
on. How could I pass up a good show like that? Plus it was fun picking out all
the celebrities, it was like a young not-yet-famous stew.

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Posted by on September 6, 2010 in Uncategorized


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