• Sara Tucker

Last Heard From Somewhere Near Lewis

Our friend Mary Badass sent us a couple of mysterious emails and a dozen scenic photos on days 4 and 5 of her 251-town cycling tour. Most of the photos bear no captions, and Mary didn't say exactly where she had camped or where she was headed, but a mutual friend assured me that despite a certain “adventure”—about which I have very little information—she was okay. The field of gravel you see below is the road surface on a steep hill. Mary noted that she walked her bike for half a mile on the descent.

Messages from Mary

Day 4: Saturday, October 9

Miles: 58ish

Towns: 8, including Lewis (pop. 0)

OMG the day I’ve had and its still not over yet at 9:30 pm. Hope to camp by 11. More when not so tired and not writing on a phone but basic stats are day 4 58ish miles and 8 towns including Lewis with population zero since 1910.

My reply: Does it involve a grilled-cheese sandwich? Something with fur? Curious minds want to know!

Day 5: Sunday, October 10

Yes and I want to tell but omg no time. Worse than hiking. Hope i can find some down time to write.

My remark about the grilled-cheese sandwich is a private joke. Way back in early June, in another cryptic message, Mary alluded to an incident in a bar in South Pass City, Wyoming. She said it was hilarious and involved a grilled-cheese sandwich and that she would tell me about it someday. (I'm still waiting.)

Below is a building covered with license plates. I have no idea where it is. If you recognize it, please enlighten us in the "Comments" section below!

On Saturday, I received a note from my friend Nancy, who hosted Mary in Barnet on Days 2 and 3. She wrote: “Mary is having adventures which you will hear about soon. She stayed with us for two nights, then Jay and I drove her to the location where she was to resume her ride today. A friend of Mary’s rode with her today and we helped to locate the friend’s car in a location where they could use the car after they had done their ride. But after they made it to the car, the adventure went a little whacky.”

Rather than explain the phrase "a little whacky," Nancy ended her message by saying she would let Mary tell me what happened but that when last heard from, Mary was okay.

So that's it, folks. You now know as much as I do. Something happened in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, something that involved a car, at least one bicyclist, and a furry beast. Whatever happened has left our Mary virtually speechless. Stay tuned.


Below: Photos from the first four days of Mary's cycling tour of Vermont. She set out on Wednesday, October 6, from Bethel (central Vermont) and headed north. Her goal: to ride through all 251 Vermont towns in one go.

About Mary Anderson

When Bethel resident Mary Anderson set out to hike the southern half of the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail in the summer of 2020, nobody thought she would make it. Hikers give themselves trail names, and Mary’s was Old Lady Hiker. A few days into her solo trek, she ran into some younger hikers who decided she needed a new name. From then on, she was known as Mary Badass. In the fall of 2020, Mary began writing her story in a Korongo workshop hosted by Kimball Library in Randolph. After completing her CDT hike in September 2021, she began a new challenge: A bicycle tour of Vermont’s 251 towns. Estimated time: four to six weeks.

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