In Pittsfield, VT I met two of the most hospitable and generous people: Simon Burrows & Jessica LaCroix. They run Great Bike Tours in Vermont and the Florida Keys. Their yearly travels also take them to South Africa and New Zealand. They bought me a delicious dinner at Casa Bella and put me up for a restful night. Then the following morning they helped me map the rest of my route north to Burlington.
Unfortunately ten miles into my ride on Saturday it started pouring. I pulled off the road to an antiques store called Wildwood Flower that wasn’t open yet and hunkered down under the awning to stay dry (though I was already pretty soaked) when the owner came out and invited me in to dry off by his wood burning stove. I keep meeting the most awesome helpful happy wonderful people on this journey!
The owner mentioned a bike shop a mile farther up the road and when I texted Simon he confirmed I should go to Green Mountain Bikes and tell them he said hello. The guys there were totally cool and helpful. They were out of my size for the cheap rain jacket so instead they hooked me up with the expensive version for the same price. Total rock stars! They made my day and made me warm, dry and most important VERY VISIBLE!
I cruised up the VT Scenic Byway Route 100 as fast as I could and managed to snap this photo about ten minutes before the hail storm started.
I went as far as I could (20 more miles) in non-stop freezing cold rain. It felt like ice chips pelting my eyeballs. There were puddles of water in my shoes. I lost feeling in four of my toes. They went completely white! I got pretty nervous and decided to stop in Warren, VT to dry out again at the country store. Lucky for me I got rescued by my friend Rob and driven the rest of the way of the Burlington, VT.
Rob just got his 18 year-old son Dan off to college but I got to spend a much needed day off with Rob and his awesome 15 year-old son Tom, sipping maple syrup hot chocolate and eating copious amounts of cider donuts before an incredible dinner at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT.
I can’t begin to fathom losing a mother as a teenager or the love of my life at any point ever. Rob and June were a perfectly matched couple who were great role models to me when I was a teenager in dance class and learning the ropes as a stage manager in the community theatres of my hometown.
Rob would tell you he offered me a job once. I would say he opened the door to my theatre career and trusted me with something no one else had up to that point: more responsibility than I deserved. I ran with it and before I knew it I was stage managing all over the region, building quite a resume before college that eventually got me to the top of my field in New York City.
He’s good like that. And he’s great with his boys. Despite their horrible tragedy last year it’s clear he’s got everything taken care of. His sons are very lucky to have him as their dad.
So much love and gratitude to everyone I met on my way North and to Rob for opening his home to me even though he hadn’t seen me in over 20 years!