Yesterday’s short day allowed us to catch up on some rest and other chores, but we were still looking for a pick-me-up at the continental breakfast at the Comfort Inn this morning. Since a bottle of Ensure or Boost was not on their menu, we ventured off to a sluggish start. After hill-climbing for twenty miles, Debbie said, “I just wish I could lay down and sleep for an hour. I feel so tired.” Wouldn’t you know it, after climbing the hill out of Stafford Springs, there it was–an empty park with a port-a-potty, plenty of shade, and a gentle breeze. I asked her if she wanted to stop, and she said, “Sure.” So I took out an air mattress and inflated it. Moments later, Debbie got her wish–well, partially. She got to lay down and rest, but the diligent maintenance man was having too much fun on his riding mower. So there she was, without the sleep she expected to go with the rest. Regardless, we departed after an hour or so and finished a hilly ride across the State of Connecticut. There was at least some satisfaction in deploying camping gear that hadn’t yet seen the light of day on our trip.
We couldn’t help but notice that Massachusetts law on the road in the accompanying photo was to limit the speed of traffic to 40 miles per hour. We can assure you the traffic was more determined to get to their destination than heed this restriction. We also noted the road’s shoulder immediately vanished at the State line. We opted to travel an additional seven miles to avoid the heavier traffic on this seemingly periless road. We were certainly willing to defer our entry into our home state in favor of a pleasant traveling experience. After some conversation with locals and havig enjoyed our chosen route, our decision paid off.
A late lunch near the Massachusetts and Rhode Island borders provided a renewed impetus to enjoy more of the scenery in Southern New England, as well as some intense freefalls. These reminded us of Vermont on our 2010 trip, although not quite as severe. Of course, we enjoy the downhills, but what goes down also must go up, or something like that!
Eventually, as the sun began to plummet from the sky, we made our way to Thompson Motor Speedway and the Northeast corner of Connecticut. It was race night, and evidence of this was just an earshot away. The revving of stock car motors accompanied our ride for miles while we traveled into Rhode Island and then Massachusetts. What a beautiful day, and even more gorgeous evening. But we were about to be thrust into darkness with no accommodations in sight.
Once into Massachusetts, darkness set in even before the sunset. The heavy tree cover shielded the waning sunlight. We had a decision to make about where we would stay the night. As we happened upon a tranquil reservoir, the notion of camping had some appeal. We called a couple of local campgrounds listed on our maps. We are feeling a bit obligated to utilize some of the camping gear that we’ve been hauling for 2,100 miles. After two phone calls, we were perhaps relieved that, in one case, they had no openings, and in the other, they didn’t bother answering the phone. Our gps identified a motel nine miles away. As the sun set, we selected this option rather than chasing more camping options. We have the motel routine down to a science. Setting up camp would be much more time-consuming, especially in the dark. With headlamps strapped around our helmeted heads, and flashing red lights behind, we set out on what would soon become an hour-long ride in the dark, guided only by the beeping sounds of our gps unit. Motel “rewards points” have never been so rewarding!