Day 24 - Pittsburgh, PA, to Burlington, VT
Run - None
From the eyes of Nico.
This is the new normal. Sadie happens to be driving right now, her face deadpan as she stares endlessly ahead through her prescription lenses. As driver, Sadie has control over the music, so a continuous stream of indie tracks pulse through the car speakers, flitting from the Head and the Heart to Post Malone to Portugal. The Man. Bailee sits behind Sadie, feet curled up onto the seat, The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales open across her lap. A constant crunching emanates from the eat behind me as Charlie works his way through a bag of veggies. His earbuds, while allowing him to concentrate on writing a cover letter, make him oblivious to the racket he is making. Sadie turns up the music in response.
And then there is me. My knees are bent and twisted in an attempt to fit my lower legs beneath the dash. I alternate between reading my Kindle and staring blankly out the windshield at the rolling green landscape ahead, rivers and billboards occasionally holding my gaze a split second or two. Every few minutes I snap back to reality and sing a verse or two of whatever song is on before once again zoning out.
In an hour, little will have changed. In 1000 miles, much will be the same. Fifteen days from now, it will be indistinguishable. There might be fields instead of forests, a podcast instead of the Decemberists, but at its core everything is the same. Our day at the "office" is no different than anyone else's: routine, methodical, maybe not quite as productive as it could've been. All in all, pretty standard.
Although, to be fair, today was different. Not only was it our longest drive so far (clocking in at about 11 hours, 20 minutes), but we hit weather. Finally. Somehow, we have been blessed with relatively ideal weather in every place we have been so far. Today, that streak ended, as we spend the first six hours of our drive being buffeted by squalls or torrential rain, multiple times to the point of near-blindness. Other than that, however, everything was pretty normal. And that was great.
Now, on a slightly different note, I like beer. Like a lot. For people who love IPAs, there are two so-called "Beer Pilgrimages" that you must, during your lifetime, complete. The first takes you to Santa Rosa, California, where you wait in line for a couple of hours in February in order to get your hands on Russian River's Triple IPA, Pliny the Elder. That still remains on my bucket list.
The second pilgrimage takes you to the small town of Stowe and its surrounding area, where you have the opportunity to try Heady Topper from the Alchemist, a microbrewery from Vermont. What is unique about this beer is that it is only sold at "verified" distribution points within 25 miles of the brewery itself in an effort to not let their beer lose any of its freshness.
Well, it worked. Undoubtedly the smoothest IIPA I have had , Heady Topper drank like a Pilsner but finished like the IIPA that it was. And that was great. Exactly what I look for in a beer.
Stats/facts of the day:
Miles driven: 619
Miles run: 0
Elevation gained (feet): 0
Happy Nicos: 1
Americans living with Alzheimer's: 5 million