Getting into why I was driving all around southern Vermont a week ago isn't important.
Maybe that it did happen was important to someone. But it's probably not you.
Skipping ahead- driving around Vermont, I never realized how old that state was. All of these little towns chartered in 1761 and 1762. They all have a village green and a church that nine times out of ten, is on Church St. But the roads are in terrible shape. Terrible. They look hungover- casually missing something, missing a few pieces and coming out a little rough and tumble. The bumps were giant bumps, deep and oddly shaped.
It got only slightly better on the highway.
But Vermont is the Green Mountain state, and the mountains you see in Vermont, are the Green Mountains. In New Hampshire, it's the White Mountains. So if you're driving north, into Vermont on 89, you see the Green Mountains of Vermont on skiers' left and the White Mountains of New Hampshire on riders' right.
They look exactly the same. And on a weekend in mid-March, they both look like white mountains. One range isn't any higher than the other one, nor is one that much more distinct or original than the other one. They are twins.
Yet these twins must have been discovered at different times of year. It's the only way that their names make sense. Obviously then, Vermont was settled in the summer. The French dudes who wandered into Vermont, probably a little before 1760, most likely did so in the summer and when they looked up at the mountains, which were healthy in green, they said that shit, those are some green mountains. This is the state of green mountains.
And boo yah! Vermont.
So maybe a few months later, a couple of dudes found themselves kicking around an uncharted New Hampshire. They were probably English and when they saw the mountains in New Hampshire, covered in icy white snow, they said that shite, those are some white mountains. Yet they didn't get as carried away as the French did in Vermont and stopped after naming the mountains, the then appropriately named White Mountains.
What a confusing situation that must have been then, when that first Vermonter stumbled upon the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but in the summer. He probably thought he was home because the two states, Vermont and New Hampshire, look much like the two mountain ranges- exactly the same. That poor bastard probably drank himself obnoxious, passed out and when he woke up, broke out south for Boston. Cause in times of wilderness-induced chaos, a compass will only help if it's leading you to a city. Cities make sense, they provide information. They are constantly telling you what's up. If you get lost in a city, you can find your way out eventually. If you get lost in the country, you're just flat out lost. I took a wrong turn out of the Sun Bowl and ended up on a few mud pit backroads in Vermont, roads that grew smaller and smaller as I went on. In cities- and I've frequently been lost in cities, the idea that if you keep driving, you'll eventually find your way, is spot on. But that doesn't apply to the country. You can't keep driving because eventually the road won't just end, it'll flat out disappear. Your only option is to turn around and backtrack.
And that is about as cool as riding a bike in the snow.
Which is really about as cool as thinking too much about the random thoughts that come across the wire when you spend two straight days driving back and forth from Stratton, Vermont to Manchester, New Hampshire.
Good talk, see you out there. Thanks for coming out.