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Mount Washington - Day 2

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

The weather is beautiful.I have so much to discover today, so much to see.

I go through customs at Noyan-Alburgh where the nice customs officer wishes me a good trip… without further formalities. I love US Customs… so easy to get through with no frills or useless app.

I stop at the tourist information center where Christopher, proud owner of two motorcycles, a Honda and a Guzzi, advises me on the best routes to take. I feel that he would like to be in my place.

I was eager to drive on US-2 because Google map had given me a glimpse of paradise and... with good reason.

This road crosses the Hero Islands discovered by Samuel de Champlain the year after the founding of Quebec City.

These islands were offered to the heroes of the War of Independence, including Ethan Allen, founder of Vermont and leader of the Battle of Longue-Pointe to seize Montreal. Fortunately, he did not succeed because otherwise we would not have the happiness of completing the ArrivCan when we return home...

I am really in the United States. The ubiquitous stars and stripes in front of every houses and on street poles remind me of this constantly.

There is also the price of gasoline of $4.45 USD per gallon or… $1.53 CAD per liter. A very welcome respite when you drive a lot.

Another observation, I believed that the Quebec gouverne-mom was exceptional… I met its inspiration. We learn a lot about a province, a state, just by reading its posts.

In Vermont, everything is regulated. The signs direct me at all times. There are over 900 different road signs in the Vermont Sign Guide. There is even one that advises me to brake if I meet a moose, otherwise I could die.

Oh?I wouldn't have thought of it on my own.

I even got carded to buy a beer at the convenience store.'s been almost 40 years since that happened to me. At first, I thought it was a joke, but the clerk was dead serious… almost as serious as a security guard guarding one-way alleys in a grocery store.

Fortunately, on my motorcycle I forget all these little irritants. US-2A to St-Georges and then VT-116 to Bristol and Ripton. From there, VT-125, winding through the Green Mountains to Hancock. A biker, met in Bristol, compared the VT-125 to Anna Nicol… full of curves, and those of the VT-17, more athletic, to Halle Berry.

On my way, I take the opportunity to stop at Texas Falls in Hancock, a place that was warmly recommended to me by Christopher, the tour guide.

À partir de Hancock, c'est la VT-100, plus poétiquement appelée Mad River Scenic Byway.

From Hancock is the VT-100, more poetically called Mad River Scenic Byway.

Short swim stop at Warren Falls.It's very hot today and I'm not the only one who had this idea. Fortunately, Juliette is small, so she can easily sneak into an already overcrowded parking lot and settle in a little corner that seems intended for her.

The road is beautiful, very beautiful and the curves very pleasant. There are a plethora of beautiful roads in Vermont that seem to be specially created for motorcycles.

Where will I sleep?

Now it's time to find a place for the night, except… everything is full. It seems that several weddings are celebrated in the Green Mountains this weekend and that there is not even a hovel left for Juliette and me. After the 4th refusal, I am a little discouraged.

As I head towards Waterbury, a sign by the side of the road winks at me. Okay, one last try...

I turn onto the gravel road and climb, climb, up to an alpine chalet, the Grunberg Haus. And that's when luck smiled on me again...

The huge inn seems empty. I go in, I call, and no one answers me.

Coming out, I see a man sitting on a high balcony. He rolls the biggest "split the difference between tobacco and cannabis", better known as "spliff", I've seen in my life. He informs me that he has no free room. Actually he has one but it wasn't cleaned after the departure of the last guest and today he doesn't clean. Never mind... I offer him to do the room myself...

He continues to rolls while thinking... and suddenly, a big smile lights up his face and he gestures to me that he is coming down to join me.

He takes me to the main building and introduces me to his magnificent boutique hotel. I have the impression of finding myself in the Alps. He shows me my room and hands me the sheets. In fact, it's not just a room, it's the most beautiful suite in the inn. Located on the 3rd floor, I get two bedrooms (one will be quite sufficient), a private balcony and a living room with a fireplace and a 'record player' accompanied by an eclectic collection of vinyl records.

All this for a tiny fraction of the real price...a price that would have been impossible for my wallet. But Duane, ex-skateboard athlete with beautiful remains, took me in friendship and maybe even a little pity...

That evening, after supper in town, I spend the evening putting the world to rights with the other guests of the Grunberg Haus. Everything is there. The campfire, the starry sky, the dogs begging for cuddles, Nuru's demonstration, and... the big joint going around. The Covid is forgotten, life is beautiful.

I thank my lucky stars who made me take this gravel road to bring me to the creation of the best memory of my summer.

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