A short drive to Cooperstown, New York to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It was fun to see the historic bats, balls, uniforms and other items on display, most of which were connected to baseball moments that, as a lifelong baseball geek, I was familiar with. Doreen asked me if I’d learned anything I didn’t know before. I couldn’t think of anything major, but just seeing a bat that Ty Cobb once used or a warm-up jacket Jackie Robinson once wore did bring out the kid in me. We noticed that a lot of the middle-aged men visiting the Hall had childlike smiles on their faces. I suppose that’s why the Hall exists, and why there was a line down the street to get in by the time we got there at 11:30 a.m.
After leaving Cooperstown — if you live there, you have to like baseball or at least appreciate how important it is to your town, otherwise you’d become homicidal with all of the tourists and youth baseball teams that invade every weekend — we took several county roads and state highways through the mountains around Albany and then east into Vermont, a state I’d never been to before. Bennington looked interesting, but we wanted to get to our motel and some dinner before sundown, so we kept on across the bottom of Vermont on state route 9. The mountains were rather imposing. Living in a fairly flat part of the country, it’s a challenge to get used to the up and downs and curves of two-lane mountain roads. I pulled over a few times to let the natives by so they could resume going 60 miles an hour down an 8% grade with a 180 degree switchback at the bottom. Woo!
Arriving in Brattleboro (“The One and Only Brattleboro”), another town that would be worth exploring if I had the time (by the way, Vermont has a guy named Brian Dubie running for governor, which seems really appropriate for this politically offbeat state until you realize he’s a Republican. Then again, he has an issue statement on his website about “Growing Vermont’s Green Economy,” so who knows?), we ate at 99 Restaurant, where kids eat free if the Red Sox win. Since they beat the Tigers Saturday afternoon, I was looking to cut my bill in half at least, but apparently the offer only included young children, not the adult and quasi-adult I brought with me.
Now we’re off to find some Vermont cheddar for Andy before we cross into New Hampshire (which, in honor of WBZ Boston’s former late-night host Larry Glick, I always pronounce “New Hamp-Shire”), another state I’ve never been to. Then into Maine (ditto) and on to our destination for the week, Camden.