Sleeping by the River

Saturday, 25 September 2010 12:03 PM Written by 

LANCASTER, N.H. -- Lancaster Motor Inn lobby

After passing on the opportunity last night to spend $70 for a box with one locked window in a mom & pop motel in mid-Vermont, I pushed up US 5 north.

The fat yellow rising moon, the dark mountains of New Hampshire and the Connecticut River were on my right as I drove toward St. Johnsbury, Vt., and the intersection with US 2 east.

The GPS girl kept trying to get me to leave the river valley and take I-91, which parallels US 5, but I stuck to the Steinbeck Highway and its little towns and big dark empty spaces. 

By 10, minutes after my wife Trudi's phone call to me dropped, I pulled over into a small turnout by some trees in the middle of nowhere. I decided to try to get some sleep in my "bed," which is made of six This End Up sofa cushions that fit perfectly when the RAV4's back seats are down.

I locked myself in, crawled in the back and hung up the Velcro-equipped "blackout curtains" fashioned by my wife.

Once the spooks were put to rest and I got used to the occasional car buzzing past, I slept almost straight through till dawn.

At 6 the light showed me what a perfect spot I had accidentally chosen.SLEEPINVERMONTRAV_copy

I was not 30 feet from the wooded edge of the Connecticut River, which was silent as a pond.

CONNRIVER_copy

I figure I had seven hours of good sleep -- twice what I had been getting in motels or on Sag Harbor's lighted pier.

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