Total Elevation Gain (ft): 1391.1
Weather: Sunny, Warm
Hillbilly Insults: 0
Roadkill: 3 (1 Frog, 1 Turtle, 1 Unknown.)
Bugs Swallowed: 0
Mean Dogs Chasing: 0
Animal Rescue: 0
Falcon (dec. ) Day 4
The Adventure Cycling map says, "Be sure to allow extra time for the Middlebury Gap," in reference to the steep climbs through the Green Mountains. It failed to mention that one should take a healthy amount of leisure time to enjoy the town of Middlebury itself.
This quintessential New England town replete with a pretentious college, "Doctor Professors," creameries, pubs, bistros, expensive bakeries and WASPs begs one to stay and enjoy its charms. Despite pushing only 20 miles up the steep mountain foothills, the site of a real bike shop and a town divertissement cemented a stay in Middlebury overnight.
The Falcon was so inadequate, I'd pay a king's ransom to fix it and I knew that Kathleen would like taking it easy after her long travel to support me. We hauled the Fargo into a tiny shop where Chaz, "the Monkey," took one glance at my jalopy derailleur and confidently announced he could fix it. Straight away, I sensed this guy knew what he was doing. Within 30 minute, he replaced the Falcon with a Deore and I was in business. Chaz's sobriquet was given to him by other roadies trying to match his climbing ability in the hills and mountains. He's a regular "Vermont Singe."
It was already decided to put the beginning of the serious climbs off until tomorrow. We paid a few bucks to sample Vermont cheese and wine at a local festival with the unique title, "The Middlebury Cheese and Wine Festival." I fell for aged horseradish cheddar and kept loitering to "sample" more and more of it. I considered this my pre-dinner or first supper.
* John Deere was born in Middlebury. No one could run like him.
* Joseph Battell, publisher and philanthropist, from Middlebury was the author of one of the most bizarre books ever written. "Ellen--or the Whisperings of an Old Pine," is a conversation between a teenage girl and an old pine tree. They discuss such gripping topics as the refutation of wave theory sound propagation and Vermont's lush green vegetation.
* Middlebury. College's Lever Grindon rates a 1.8/5 on RateMyProfessor.com and might be the most pretentious instructor in America.
One student writes:
"This man thinks 'Battlefield Earth' is 'the greatest triumph of modern film,' or 'feelm' as he says it. If that doesn't dissuade you from taking him, I should also note that he is obsessed with vintage TV merchandise--his 'Welcome Back, Kotter' lunchpail was the subject of at least three lectures."
Sounds like Middlebury might trump the ridiculous elite "Soviet-Harvard" education my sister received at Swarthmore. If you're reading Christine, please post entertaining anecdotes about the tenured cloistered clerics at your alma mater.