Yup…we surely most certainly do. But I digress…that part comes later chronologically…so naturally it should come later in the post…stay tuned. Meanwhile…now that I’ve cleared that up…how did we get here?
We finished up our last day in Bennington area yesterday…with the nice drive that I discussed in the last post. It got quite chilly overnight…down to about 40 now three nights in a row and we noticed as we departed the campground today that the leaves turned significantly more fall-ish since even yesterday. We had to fire up our furnaces for 1 cycle to take the chill off the inside of the rig…it was down to about 61 inside which was a bit nippy for us.
We only had 44 miles to transit today…so we didn’t even start getting ready to go until about 1030…since we had no sewer connection we had to stop by the dump station but we were underway just about 1130 for the move…east on VT-9 15 miles then south on VT-100 and VT-112 to the Shelburne Falls area in northwest MA. Only 44 miles…but what a 44 miles it was…Neil definitely needed a drink after the trip. The speed limit was 50 all the way but he could barely keep it at 40 with the curves, low branches…and have I mentioned the drop-off on the side of the road into the creek. Nah…didn’t think so. That’s about the hardest travel day we’ve had in quite awhile.
We pulled into Country Aire Campground in Charlemont MA just outside of Shelburne Falls…and got checked in. Way back in February when we made our reservation…Neil specifically asked for an open site with satellite visibility…but looking at our assigned site 86 last night on Google Maps he figured there was no way. On arrival we asked about changing to a site between 30 and 50 as those are out in the open…86 is in the middle of the trees…it’s actually a really, really nice site albeit with no visibility of the southwest sky where the Direct TV birds are located. The owner told us that all the open sites were booked for the weekend so we would not be able to change…we grudgingly accepted that since they do have cable. The bad thing about cable is that Connie can’t do all her recordings that she needs to do to keep up with the series we watch…and all the fall premier episodes are this week.
We got into the pull through site 86…and about that time the owner’s husband showed up with his tractor…he offered to go and get a couple bucket loads of gravel to make the site a bit more level for us…so we waited while he went off to do that. On arrival back at 86…he told us that he just got a text from his wife…turned out that the sites in the open were mostly reserved for a group and she had just gotten a cancellation after we left the office…and that site 47 was open if we wanted it.
We wandered over and checked…47 is a nice open site with great visibility of the southwest sky…so we changed, pulled out of 86, drove ‘round the back of the sites and quickly got pulled into 47, unhitched and leveled. After that we took a break for lunch as it was going on 1400 by that time…then finished our setup tasks.
We rested for the rest of the afternoon…then headed off about 1645 dinner…our destination for the day was “The People’s Pint” pub in Greenfield…this is the MA entry on the 50 Best Brew Pubs in America that we’ve been following the past year or so.
Connie had a nice Farmer Brown English brown ale and Neil a pint of Oatmeal Stout…both were actually pretty decent. Dinner for Connie was Blueberry Mussels…PEI mussels with a sauce of white wine, butter, and blueberries. Neil’s choice for dinner was…and now we need to get into that winner thing I discussed above.
Way back when in 2012 when we were out in the Pacific Northwest we had dinner at a place in Astoria Oregon named Baked Alaska right on the Oregon shore of the Columbia River. He had the best burger he’s ever had there…Kobe beef, bacon/jalepeño jelly, fried pork belly (bacon only better), and white cheddar. That’s been his standard of excellence since 2012…and he has always compared a burger to it…until today all entries were found wanting.
One of the menu items was a lamb/beef burger with harissa catsup and lettuce…he was really intrigued by the lamb/beef combination and was going to order that…until the DLETC noticed on the specials menu a burger called the Wild Mushroom Burger. It had a beef burger and was topped with sautéed wild mushrooms, balsamic reduction sauce, and blue cheese crumbles. He asked if they would make one of those only with the lamb/beef burger instead and with Swiss cheese instead of the Blue Cheese…the young lady bartender said “Of course, why not” and put the order in.
It showed up and after his first bite he declared it the second best burger ever…juicy…I’m talking run all over your hands juicy with the earthy mushroom flavor and the sweetness of the balsamic reduction and the bit of a really good Swiss cheese. Served on a toasted bun with some really delicious oven fries on the side…truly outstanding. Shoulda made it medium rare though…it was juicy but not pink…but the last time he ordered a burger rare it was basically raw. They do know how to cook burgers here…it was definitely medium rare.
After complimenting the chef…he decided that since the previously mentioned Best Burger Ever was no longer being made…we found out a couple years back that “The Burger” was no longer on the menu at Baked Alaska…pity. Anyways…since that’s not available this is the new holder of the Best Burger Ever title. He was also impressed by the complete willingness of the kitchen staff to build the burger the way he wanted it instead of the way it was described on the menu.
Two Thumbs Up as Siskel and Ebert used to say.
We were originally going to head over to the local Elks Lodge which is only a couple blocks from the pub…but on the way back to the car we said “ya know…we’re tired, let’s leave the Elks for another night.” So that’s what we did, headed back to the rig for the night.
Before I get into the Interesting Stuff…allow me to digress a bit…this is a bit ‘o a rant so if you don’t want to read it just skip on ahead to the Interesting Things section.
‘Round these parts…we’ve been watching the media circus about the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the SCOTUS and the related sexual misconduct charges from 30+ years ago. These paragraphs really aren’t about the relative merits of the nomination…but rather about the way in which the process was followed.
Used to be…the Senate and both our political parties recognized that elections have consequences as President Obama said…and that whoever won got to appoint SCOTUS judges…sure, there were political arguments on the Hill about it but by and large they were centered on the qualifications of the nominee and Senators from both sides judged the nominee on qualifications. Take Justice Ginsberg for instance…she is a liberal who was nominated by President Clinton…she was confirmed by a vote of 96-3 which means that almost all Senators from both parties voted for her. Similarly…President Obama’s two appointees…Justice Sotamayor was confirmed 68-31 and Justice Kagan was confirmed 63-37…each of these 3 had support from both sides of the aisle.
Unfortunately…this is no longer the case…the fight over Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment to SCOTUS has been nothing but political. The left…with all of their “Resist” and “Not My President” rhetoric is steadfastly opposed to confirming any SCOTUS nominee by President Trump. It is obvious they don’t like his politics…and that part of their objection is a tit-for-tat reaction to the failure of the last Congress to even vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination but even that was tit-for-tat with Senator Reid’s and Biden’s previous actions…both sides have valid points regarding his nomination but unfortunately neither side will admit that the other side might possibly have some valid points…it’s much more important to disagree with the other side just because and oppose any nomination, statement, claim, or position from the other side just because.
Then we get to the current brouhaha over Judge Kavanaugh. After the hearings were complete the far left…aided and abetted by senior Democratic leadership…several women have come forward with recently remembered instances of decades old sexual assault. Senator Feinstein had a letter in her possession about the first of these since before the hearings…but held it for the last minute for maximum political impact then the woman’s name leaked which led us to the demands from the left for withdrawal. Any reasonable investigation of her claims from the supposed witnesses to the date/time/location and other details of the alleged assault are found to either be non-existent, a bunch of “I don’t know” answers, or the named witnesses categorically deny it happened.
Let’s be real here folks…this isn’t about Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications. He’s a 12 year serving member of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia…so he’s clearly qualified for the SCOTUS…no matter whether you like his rulings or not. All of the unsubstantiated claims from 35+ years ago have been leveled by known anti Trump Democratic activists…with no facts, proof, or any other evidence…and the left is demanding that we arbitrarily and unilaterally believe the claim 100% and arbitrarily and unilaterally disbelieve the denials of both Judge Kavanaugh and the named witnesses…it seems to me that we’re always supposed to believe the woman if she’s a liberal and disbelieve the man if he’s a conservative. Strangely enough…a well known Democrat (Keith Ellison) who is the Deputy Chair of the DNC and is running for Attorney General in Minnesota…and has several ex-girlfriends charging him with domestic abuse as an adult in the past 10 years or so…well in this case we’re supposed to believe his denials and disbelieve the women.
Even if the charges against Judge Kavanaugh are true…and there’s absolutely no proof either way or any way to know…he was in high school…it was 35+ years ago and he has no record of any similar behavior as an adult…we all did things in high school we aren’t particularly proud of…but we grew from our experience and most of us are far better adults than we were teenagers. If he had continued the alleged behavior as an adult like the aforementioned Keith Ellison there would have been credible, non-Democratic activist accusers with some actual facts or evidence instead of just a bunch of drunken “I can’t remember any other facts besides his name”.
The mob rule the left is using…a crowd of protestors drove Senator Cruz and his wife out of a DC restaurant last night…and in Maine there’s a person who has raised $1.5 million dollars and is promising to give it to Senator Collins opponent in her next reelection campaign unless she “votes the right way” in which case the money will be returned. Yeah…right. That sounds suspiciously like an attempted bribe of a public official to me and I would be surprised if any of her opponents accepts that donation as it’s clearly tainted. The constant demands to “believe the woman and disbelieve the man just because she and we say so” is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials back in the late 1600s…if this is allowed to stand then ANY court nominee by any President can be tanked by somebody claiming “he molested me”. The description of what Dr. Ford claims happened has gone in the past 10 days from “groping outside my clothes” to “sexual assault” to “attempted rape”. Really…if he was as drunk as the victim was and as drunk as she claimed he was…he couldn’t have even gotten it up.
This isn’t about whether or not Judge Kavanaugh should be approved…I have an opinion on that but it’s not relevant to this…it’s about whether or not the President is allowed to appoint qualified persons of his choice to court vacancies. Let’s get back to judging a nominee on his merits as a judge, legal scholar, and interpreter of the Constitution and stop all of the political BS…when one side wins an election…there are consequences as President Obama said.
OK…let’s get on to interesting stuff from the net…anything has got to be better reading than the drivel we are seeing in the media lately.
I told you it was hunting season Mabel…but noooo…we just had to go visit your sister down by the lake.
Now that I think of it…this one came from Randy’sRandom.com.
I feel for millennial and later children raised by helicopter and lawnmower parents.
Putting the Fun in funeral.
And finally…this might be just a tad toward the politically incorrect…but when have I ever let that stop me.