State by State

Apparently there is an entire country between Boston and San Francisco.

cap

by Natalia

We were just getting used to how our truck makes us feel: all manly and rugged, passing for real Vermonters lacking nothing but a dog (and a cow, and a farm, and a cute name for our own brand of goat cheese).

However, the thought of carrying anything of value on the truck bed was more than we could bear. The vision of flying suitcases, of our bikes magically unchaining and suicidally throwing themselves into the following traffic, made us act. We decided to cap our irrational fears once and for all.

What Newbury Street in Boston is for people watching, Vermont is for truck aficionados. Trucks constitute about 97.5% of all the things that move (if you don't count cows). And they come in all shapes, forms and colors, with all the possible modifications you can think of. After spending a week or two closely following natives driving their vehicles and peering into a privacy glass hiding unspeakable farm implements, we knew what we wanted.

We decided to get an A.R.E. cap for our truck in matching color with tinted side windows. It makes the truck look like an ungainly SUV (is there any other kind?), and we mourn our diminished ruggedness and masculinity, but we do appreciate not having to worry about losing our earthly possessions. And if it ever comes to that, we can sleep on the truck bed somewhat protected from elements (Damian: that's never going to happen).

lake george

Lake George was empty. Not desolate, devoid of skiers, empty at the end of the winter as we are used to, but burgeoning with hope and fresh paint at the beginning of the season. Empty is not bad. Sure, most hotels are still in hibernation and restaurants are closed except for an Indian place. But you have all that emptiness to yourself: no person in sight on top of the Prospect Mountain, which in-season must be crowded to the hilt, at least judging by the size of a parking lot and a picnic area. Yes, you read right: there is a road to the top. I hate to hike all the way to the summit only to find lazy tourists prancing around not breaking any sweat,but not this time - the road doesn't open until Memorial Day so no pesky people to contend with.

head

Next step in a preparation for the trip is to make sure we can play our painstakingly put together selection of music 24/7. Because once you get used to carrying your entire music library with you there is no going back to playing CD or, heaven forbid, searching for a station that doesn't play country. And since we will be living out of our truck for a foreseeable future (or so is Damian telling me) we need to be able to connect it to our iPod. The factory radio was lacking that capability; or rather it was reserved to people on the West Coast - the only Nissan Frontier with short cab, V6 engine and iPod connection was in Washington state. Now you know why we want to go there.