11 Sep 2009

Swinging Bachelors in Massachusetts

The Hud and I are indeed swinging bachelors. And we have moved from Colorado out to Massachusetts, having sent the Missus back to Bothell, WA to handle a possible real estate transaction.

Our 3 weeks in Colorado were outstanding. We left on Labor Day, me dropping the Missus off at the Denver airport and driving the 1,943 miles to Monterey, MA over the next 49 hours.

On the Sunday before we left I decided to do a 5-mile run up in Breckenridge. There was also a Full & Half Marathon, but not ready yet. I knew it would be tough, having been running up at 10,000ft the prior week. I had no idea. It turned out the 5-mile was really 5.7-miles, which was cool. It also had a 933ft elevation gain over the first two miles. It was the most painful experience since hockey conditioning drills ("suicides") back in college. Painful for the lungs (I did decide as I was gasping in pain, though, that it was worth the good times of having been a smoker). Coming down was way more fun, running partially out of control down ski runs. Usually in races I can do a 9-minute mile or better, but this race I did an 11.3-minute mile. Yet, being a small race I decided to hang around and see if I won my age group (Men 40-49). I went and got coffee and breakfast at this insanely great French bakery and came back to pick up my medal. Bwa-HaHaHa! I didn't come close. Pepi Peterson had beat me by 20 minutes! Damn you, Pepi!

http://www.mavsports.com/?id=13&result_id=311

Here are a few final shots of Colorado:

This is the dirt road ("County Road 6") our house was on, looking at the daily thunderstorm:



The same storm, driving up the pass to get to Breckenridge:



Two random photos on the way to Denver:




So over the next 49 hours me and The Hud - who did no driving but was a champ - crossed 8 state lines. The Missus asked that I risk my life to get pics of the "Welcome to ..." signs.

First was Nebraska. I'm sure it's a fine state, but it sucked to drive through, sucked as in finding good vegetarian food and finding non-Christian/Republican radio stations:



Iowa was cool. I stayed in Des Moines the first night. Radio stations essentially played my music collection from high school - lots of Led Zeppelin and a plethora of other hard rock. The Missus would have not been pleased. As you can see I entered the state at night and the car was tipping over as I took this shot:



Sadly I missed the Illinois sign - a truck was side-swiping the car in front of me, almost knocking it into the Mississippi River. I stopped off in Geneseo for lunch, what a cool little town. Other memorable time was listening to a fired-up Ed Shultz. Man, no wonder he got his own show on MSNBC - he should be so fiery on tv and I'd watch. Maybe Anderson is right...maybe MSNBC does lean left...

Next up was Indiana. I don't remember much, even though I think I was in it for many hours:



Then Ohio. I was definitely in Ohio many an hour. The worst part was Cleveland. At first I thought "what a cool looking part of town" and then I saw the skyline and thought "this is awesome" but then things turned. Suddenly I was right downtown and there were some sharp turns, and it was night (night vision is fine but night is not ideal when you're not sure what's coming next). Once through downtown it was Psycho Driving Derby in Sketchyville (hate to generalize, but generally strip clubs aren't in the nicer parts of cities). We made it fine but both needed a break:



Pennsylvania was a short enough jaunt but it was getting late. Originally I was going to stay in Erie, PA, my old stomping grounds for a month or so with the Erie Panthers of the ECHL. I decided to pass and put another hour in:



We arrived in Hamburg, NY on the advice of Buffalonian Kevin Tracey. It was 12:30am and we slept just fine:



After a great breakfast at Tim Horton's, it was off to Massachusetts. A beautiful drive along I-90 with a mix of Christian radio and Satanic rock (not really, but I did hear Ozzy and it sounds more dramatic):



We (me and The Hud) are staying in Monterey, MA. Population 934 and settled in 1739. House is awesome, 5 acres, great hot tub and spookily quiet at night - except for all the rustling in the woods. Have to admit being a bit antsy come night (ghosts - not prowlers). So I read Peter Lynch's "Beating the Street" until I drift off on the couch (the bed is in the spooky basement).

It is WICKED AWESOME (local phrase) being back in New England. Here are a couple of typical New England images:




So what do us swinging bachelors do come night time? Friday night was gourmet cheese for me from the town of Great Barrington and a bone for The Hud:




Today was a great 10-mile run - very flat - on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail:

http://www.berkshiresports.org/index.php?ID=bikepath

The rest of the weekend will be a working weekend, for AT&T, for my buddy and former boss Gary Stevens and - most importantly - for my Fantasy Hockey dynasty, the Halifax Sweet Leafs (draft night is in 12 days).

Me and the Hud are here until we shift to no doubt haunted New Hamphsire on Thursday...

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