Good day, my readers. I started this the end of November, but with one thing or another, I never managed to finish it.
Despite my continuing writer’s block, November was a good month for me. With winter not far off, I was working on getting as many geocaches as I could before the snow arrived. Ince it’s on the ground, I generally look at snow-cover maps to see where the snow isn’t, to make caching easier. However, that usually means a drive of at least 90 minutes.
I managed to add 48 towns to my “New England towns” geocaching challenge. The idea is to find a geocache in every town in New England. I did that in New Hampshire several years back, and was sort of lackluster about the Massachusetts and Rhode Island challenges. I began working on Vermont earlier this year. However, once I saw the online tool for all of the town in New England, the challenge was on. This gives me more of an incentive to get out as I set a goal for myself to work on.
I made two trips to Massachusetts and Rhode Island in November. Two of the counties I need in Massachusetts are on islands. Since it’s the off-season, I decided it would be a great time to take a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. The cost of the ferry wasn’t terrible, and I found a hotel for $100 for the night.
I woke up early on Saturday, and I do mean early, leaving my house at 4AM to make an 8AM ferry to the Island. It was a beautiful day for the ride over; not terribly cold being out on deck and no wind. The ride over is just over an hour, so I made my way over to a restaurant on the island for breakfast. Being the off-season, many places were closed, but I found Linda Jeans Restaurant. It was so good, I went there Sunday morning for breakfast as well.
Then, it was onto my mission of getting geocaches in each of the 6 towns on the Island. It’s a very pretty Island, but I can’t imagine being there int he summer when it’s packed with people. My parents would have liked visiting here, but for me, once was enough.
The cottages on Marta’s Vineyard are very famous and pretty. There were many to look at as I drove around. There are also many historic buildings as this has been a fishing village for a very long time, before the rich and famous moved in.
There are also lighthouses galore! All totaled, I think I visited 6 lighthouses that day, including one in Falmouth, Massachusetts before I boarded the ferry.
The next weekend, I tackled Rhode Island. Now, Rhode Island only has 39 towns in it, total. I had already found geocaches in 4 towns driving through the state in the past. I’ve read that some people have been able to find caches in all the towns in the state in one weekend. That wasn’t me. I like to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, and that means enjoying the history and interesting places I find along the way.
There’s a lot of history in Providence, Rhode Island. I never realized just how much until I drove there and started finding geocaches that were either located in places of historical significance or brought me there for clues. It was early on a Saturday when I arrived there, so everything was pretty quiet.
Many cemeteries have geocaches hidden in them. When I first started geocaching, that made me a bit uncomfortable. 11 years later, I’ve embraced it. There was a time when cemeteries were like parks and people would come there on days off and have picnics with their deceased relatives. Nowadays, I often find that no one comes to the older gravemarkers any more, and many are very interesting to stop and read. I managed to find geocaches in 16 more towns in the state. Considering one of the towns is on an Island I have to take a ferry to, I think it will take 2 trips to finish the state, although I can find more in the states surrounding Rhode Island as well. The weekend I made this trip, I also crossed off two Massachusetts towns while I was there.
The biggest event of the month, though, was visiting one of my oldest friends in Pennsylvania.
Michael and I have known each other since we were 12. We used to love to play video games together and I laugh that he was the on who taught me to “do” Superman in under a minute on my Atari game system back in the day. He’s probably the best pianist/keyboardist I’ve ever known with amazing talent. He was playing two gigs that weekend at Evansburg Vineyards and I was there for both of them. His wife and I didn’t tell him I was coming, so when I appeared that first day, it was a total surprise. The last time I had seen him was when he sang at my wedding. He asked me what the song was he played, and I told him. He played that along with a few other requests I had.
My parents always had very fond memories of Michael, and before she died, any time my mother heard Piano Man by Billy Joel, she always said it reminded her of him.
That was a great weekend. I want to try to get to see him again. I capped it off with a slight detour on my way home.
In all the years I lived on Long Island and loved Bruce Springsteen, I’d never been to Asbury Park. I finally saw it, as well as a number of Springsteen-related locations. I drove by his house, well marked as private property and no trespassing, but I just wanted to look. Someone was out walking around but I couldn’t see who it was from the distance, and I really didn’t want to disturb him or anyone there – I just wanted a peek.
November ended with Thanksgiving. Although there are only five of us around the table this year, we had a pretty big feast and plenty of leftovers we dined on.
Books I read this month:
My reading has slowed up a bit, but I had finished my annual reading challenge a few months back, so it’s not like I was pressing myself. I think it has to do with the same writer’s block I’ve been experiencing. Hopefully, though, I’m turning a corner.
Categories: Personal Stories