Location: Bennington, VT
Written by: DJ Doran
TAKE NOTE: This post was written while DJ & Joey were on their RV roadtrip across America. Sadly, their trip ended before it really got started. No worries, Shelly & Lucia are taking the Connextions Out n About Roadtrip to new heights, exploring one RV park at a time!
The drive to Bennington Vermont was easy and quiet. Joey was working in the right seat as I drove Priscilla at a comfortable pace. I took in the changing landscape and colors and reminded Joey to stop and take photos as we passed any particularly photo worthy scene. I was excited to arrive in Bennington because I had read so much about its quaintness and beauty. The day started out with bright sunshine and just a touch of coolness to make it comfortable. We finished passing through Syracuse and Schenectady NY and entered Vermont, The Green Mountain State.
I eased Priscilla off of the highway and onto Route 7 (The Ethan Allen Highway) and the drive became a leisurely passage through rolling hills, red barns and white churches. New England is known for its maple and it was evident everywhere we stopped. Maple syrup, maple candy, maple ice cream etc… As we made our way to Bennington I happened to spy this small building with animal decorations all over it and even a giant ice cream cone. It wasn’t my fault that there were no signs or warning that this cool place was just up ahead on the right! I had to make a command decision and I did.
Forgetting that I was driving a 37,000-pound motor home I pressed the brake -- hard, probably too hard in hindsight and turned abruptly right into the parking lot full of cars. Joey immediately starts yelling at me that I am crazy and reminds me that I am not driving a 2-door vehicle. I carefully slide Priscilla into a parking spot in the back of the building and lock the air brakes. Joey, glaring at me and clearly irritated says, “You will never get her out of here”!
Now I had to deal with Joey’s irritation. As we disembarked Priscilla things seemed to mellow out a bit and we walked toward the building. It was called the Big Moose and Deli. The tourists, mostly from NY & Canada were crawling all over the place so we just tuned them out and took our own photos before wandering inside. After I picked up a gourd that that was shaped like a telephone receiver (sort of) and Joey took my photo we made our way inside. The first thing I smelled was apples, apples everywhere. The store was deceptively large and had all sorts of cool stuff on the shelves. There were pickled fruits and veggies, touristy things and trinkets to satisfy every tourist taste and desire relating to Vermont. Joey and I walked down each aisle and I was prodding him to “look at this” and “take a photo of that”. After a while we drifted apart and I found him in the back of the store taking a photo of some toilet paper with a wrapper that said “Buck Shitz”. I wanted him to hold it up so I could take a photo and then got irritated when he didn’t understand what I was trying to do so he bit my head off. Now I did it. Joey was no longer irritated he was pissed. He stood there with clenched jaw while I took his photo and then walked off.
I decided it was probably best to give him some space and lagged behind. After a few more minutes we left the Big Moose and walked back to Priscilla, silently. Vroom, and once again the big caterpillar diesel engine came to life. I slowly backed up and turned the wheel all the way to the right. I asked Joey to go to the stern and make sure I didn’t hit the barn and he abruptly got up and walked toward the rear. With visions of another recent tight turnaround I eased her back and forth until finally we were heading out of the lot and onto the road.
Waiting for the seemingly endless line of cars to give us our chance Joey piped in that I would have to go around the block to the left in order to turn around. I of course had a different approach. I saw my chance and made a wide turn to the left at first before turning hard right and merging onto the road in the direction we wanted to go and off we went. Over the next few SILENT miles it was like we were driving through a Norman Rockwell postcard. Both of us focusing on our own thing and stewing about what happened at the Big Moose. As Priscilla weaved her way through the picturesque roadway toward Bennington we saw a lake surrounded by mountains. I found a place to pull over and I told Joey to grab the camera, we were going to take some photos. We stepped out of Priscilla and we both stood there by the lake. The water was like glass, reflecting a tapestry of colors from the surrounding mountains. It was hard to be angry or in a sour mood when you are confronted and surrounded with such beauty and Joey and I were not impervious to the effects. We walked and talked as we looked over the lake and took photos and we both apologized to one another for what had happened earlier. We rested our foreheads on each other and kissed and reminded ourselves what was important about this trip, about us, before climbing back aboard Priscilla and continued our trek toward Bennington.