From Portland, we headed south to get a sense of what the Atlantic coast is like. In this part of Maine, it’s a depressing collection of motels and gift shops. We pretty much couldn’t stand it, so we got out of there ASAP, and returned to the road. We headed west, directing our car toward White River Junction, Vermont, where there was a hostel we could spend the night.
It was a big driving day, with one break at the Canterbury Shaker Village. Stacy studies intentional communities, and Shakers loom large in that area of interest. If the Shaker Village is historically accurate, than what I took away from the expeirence is that Shakers were master chiselers, a the tour was something like $14, and there was a lot of emphasis placed on acquiring “Shaker” goods that cost too much money.
We really didn’t care for New Hampshire, so we were happy to cross the border into White River Junction, and check in at the Hotel Coolidge, which offers hostel-style rooms for those who want to travel cheap, and who don’t mind sleeping fitfully, because it’s either a) too hot or b) too loud (as the rain dances on the corrugated metal right outside your window.
We made it up and over to Hanover, NH for the evening. Hanover is home to Dartmouth College, so we figured there’d be decent eats and something to do. Which there was. We had a decent meal at Molly’s Balloon, and wandered around, browsing in bookstores, and getting good coffee at the Dirt Cowboy, the only place for hundreds of miles that roasts their own coffee. Newspaper articles taped up around the coffeehouse detailed how the Dirt Cowboy has fought off Starbucks, which tried to buy out their space, which made me enjoy the coffee all the more.
All of this just proved to be a prelude for what became the heart of our journey, visiting Vermont.