• Mary Anderson

Mary’s Cycling Challenge: Days 7 and 8

Mary Anderson is cycling through her home state of Vermont on her ebike. Her goal: to visit all 251 towns in one go.

By Mary Anderson

Day 7

Glover, Greensboro, Hardwick, Walden, Stannard, Wheelock and Lyndon

Miles: 32

Towns to date: 69


After a long day yesterday I took what in hiker terms is called a nearo. That is, I did very few miles, logging in 32. It was really dewy last night and I was in no hurry to pack the wet gear. In fact, I was in no hurry at all after the last few days. I finally pulled out around noon. I added a respectable 7 more towns, for a total of 69. I poked along on this bluebird day stopping for a good long while to tour the whimsical Museum of Everyday Life in Glover. It was a wonderfully amusing and insightful display of things, ranging from dust and toothbrushes to lists people make, safety pins, scissors, and matchsticks, including a violin made entirely of matchsticks by a man who was in prison. I highly recommend it. Then I found a wonderful farmstand in Wheelock at the Chandler Pond Farm, owned and operated by a two-generation family. I had a late lunch from goodies I purchased there, including Vermont farm yoghurt and locally made sausage, cheese, and pickled beets. After chatting with Lisa, whose husband, son and daughter-in-law comprise the rest of the cow/calf and vegetable farm, I decided to bed down for the night. It is giving me time to look at my route, which got all thrown off when I tried to fit it in with places I had to stay and recharge. I'm hoping for a long day tomorrow, but I never know what will really happen until after the fact! Until then, I am calorie-loading, and if I am lucky, I might even get a few blogs written.


Above: Morning fog at the Chandler Pond Farm. Below: Matchstick violin at the Museum of Everyday Life in Glover; Lisa and Chuck of Chandler Pond Farm in Wheelock; farmstand lunch; roadside foliage in Stannard.



Day 8

Danville, Cabot, Woodbury, Calais, Marshfield, Plainfield, Barre town, Barre the city, Orange, Washington, Williamstown, Northfield, Berlin and Montpelier

Miles: 78

Towns to date: 83

Bobby, unbidden provider of water and electricity in Marshfield

I am pooped. 78 miles and 14 more towns (I've lost track how much was on dirt and how much paved). That puts me at 83 of the 251, so almost a third! I have one more run to make in the northeast before crossing the mountains and starting on the northwestern quadrant. So far, the weather has been incredible, with temps in the sixties and colorful foliage still decorating the mountains. Besides the glorious ride, some highlights of today included meeting the Birdman in Cabot (sculptor Edmond Menard; LOTS more about him later), meeting Bobby in Marshfield, and stopping at two farmstands. I pulled into my nighttime stop with a dozen ears of corn strapped wherever I could find places on my bike. I am staying tonight with friends—the daughter and son-in-law of Karen Deets, who helped me know where the fires were on my CDT hike. More when not so tired.



Above: The Museum of Everyday Life in Glover. Below: Safety-pin sculpture.


Joe's Pond, Danville

Hastings Store in West Danville

Roadside decorations near the Marshfield/Plainfield line

Sculptor Edmond Menard of Cabot




Cabot

Barre, one of Vermont's bigger cities


Berlin

Crossing into Montpelier in the dark

Arriving with corn for my overnight hosts

 

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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