The Haunting Begins

The night of the elections, I slept in a cemetery in New Hampshire near Dartmouth. Not on the graves, but back in the forest. No ghosts but maybe I woke up haunted.

I don’t carry a smart phone, for a variety of reasons. Mostly because I’m cheap, but also because I know how addicted I’d be and I don’t want to go there. That morning, I woke up not knowing who’d won the election. I didn’t find out until I walked into a Dunkin Donuts and heard the radio.

The rest of the afternoon is sort of a rage blur. I pumped up my go-to angry music and cranked down the road. Glaring at everyone with laser eyeballs. I didn’t come upon any spontaneous protests breaking out in Providence, Rhode Island. I would have joined in if I’d seen one, just to feel the comfort of kindred anger. I found a cheap AirBnB in North Providence and spent the night being dismayed at my Facebook feed. My hosts were both from South America. The Argentinean said cycle touring is exploding in the Andes.

Maybe I should get south of the wall for the next couple years.

All this after a really fabulous rest in Boston. Where I could maybe live, for a few reasons.

Rowing on the Charles River


Taiwanese flag flying in Boston Chinatown.

One reason to love Boston is Halloween in Salem. Also food. Boston has awesome restaurants.

I can’t resist a cupcake with my name on it.

Leaving Boston was rough. Literally. I had to ride over some truly terrifying rusty bridges.

The pedestrian walkway, hanging  by a few rusted bolts. Rattled like it would fall off the whole ride across.

One jokester drawbridge operator dropped the gates before I could get to the other side and trapped me. Haha.

Tiny bottles of Fireball – the preferred beverage of drunk drivers in Massachusetts. Add cranberries for more festive fun!
I was stupidly excited about seeing a real life cranberry bog. There were men wading around in there, harvesting with over-sized rakes. None of my pictures captured the awesome colors, more of a merlot than a cranberry shade of red.

On the way to my cousin’s house in Connecticut, I gradually woke up to the fact that my bicycle was in dire need of mechanical love. The sort that includes new parts and a real bike mechanic. Riding on the small cogs makes for slow progress. The end of daylight savings means the sun goes down at 4:30 now. Meaning that I had to be on the road early if I wanted to make the most of the day. To motivate an early start, I camped in places where I would likely get ticketed for vagrancy if I hung out too long. Don’t want to get busted in the park by early morning dog walkers.

State Number Whatever.

My cousin (who is not a fembot) lives in Darien, location of the original Stepford Wives. We haven’t seen each other in more than a decade, but family is family and what a comfort that is. The dog has been sleeping in my bed every night. I have a few more days of familial rest while the local bike guys replace my drive train. And pedals. And something else. Basically, they’re going to jack up the bike and install a new bike. Which is still cheaper than a car.

And then… New York City, here I come!

2 thoughts on “The Haunting Begins

  1. It’s been a rough, infuriating week and a half. Refreshing to hear you woke without knowing election results and had a few more hours of sanity than millions of us!


  2. Gretchen – you have me for the distance.
    A wonderful writer you are, so insightful.
    If you remember – oil was needed on your chain in Dartmouth — a month ago – just saying.
    Oil on the chain – grease in the bearings – carbs in the engine and water in the bottle; you can go forever.

    Ps. I noted the wheel bearings needed a bit of lovin too.


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