Our day this morning started with breakfast at the Quality Inn at 7 a.m. so that we could start the bike ride by 7:30. I sound like I am complaining about getting up so early, but I know it’s necessary in order to do everything we want to do. I also know we couldn’t do it all without all of Martha’s prior research and establishing our detailed itinerary of precise Amtrak, subway, and bus schedules. I’ve just been retired long enough to be more laid back with time and not getting up with an alarm clock. However, missing any one of our designated travel times would mess up everything else with a domino effect. I’ve thought about just copying our day’s itinerary to illustrate this point.
Anyway, once we were on our bikes it was a great morning, with the cool fall temperature and colorful leaves. The trail was only about ten miles total, but we extended it with a little duplication at one end and a little excursion at the other end to ride about fifteen miles again today. We saw other bikers and lots of joggers, but the trail was not crowded. It went from Bedford to the Alewife subway station in metro Boston. Lots of wooded areas along the way.
We met Kay at the subway station (Cheryl had dropped her off there) to get on
the Red Line and go back to the Amtrak station. Since Alewife was the beginning of the line, pushing our bikes onto the train was no problem at all, almost feeling quite natural to have our bikes with us everywhere we go. With a two-hour wait in the Amtrak station, we had lunch and hoped that we had a nearby track to go to because schlepping the folded-up bike and bags was getting a bit more cumbersome. This time they asked to see our tickets before we boarded, but they didn’t notice that Kay’s had the wrong date. The guy inside the train noticed it, though, and that caused Kay extra panic trying to get that straightened out for the transfer we had to make to a different train, but she did.If it weren’t for Amtrak I don’t think we could cover all the territory that we do. It has opened up a whole new world of travel to me, and I’m ready to keep traveling on the railroad. It’s also a bit sentimental since Ron’s father was a conductor on the Clinchfield Railroad. The fold-up bikes have been essential. In Springfield, Mass. we had to cover them, which is the first place requiring this, but like good scouts, we were prepared. This last train was also one with high steps, so getting the bikes on board was another challenge. Martha can somehow do it, but I think someone has helped me in these situations. Maybe my age is showing. I’m going to miss not having any more Amtrak rides on this trip. It’s so much more friendly than airlines.
The scenery has been beautiful here in New England, which made today’s 8 hour ride quite enjoyable. The leaf colors are great. We picked a good time of the year to make this trip. I want to add here that we are really glad to have Kay along on the trip. Not only has she helped in carrying bags and transporting us to one end of the trail, she has been fun company on the train rides and at night in the lodgings. I hope she comes on another trip and does the bike rides with us.
Getting the taxi in Essex/Burlington was an experience also. The driver definitely didn’t like his job and didn’t deserve the tip because he just stood there while we loaded bikes and bags into the trunk and car and even called the car rental place to get the address for him. Oh well, it takes all kinds. So we drove to the Golden Eagle Resort in Stowe where we will complete our adventure. It’s good to have friends who like to do the same kinds of weird things. I forget how old I am when we are on these trips, and I feel blessed to be able to make them.