Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Year Ago...

Pipkin is sad to see tree limbs and parts of people's homes in the raging river.
A year ago today, Pipkin found a calm moment during Tropical Storm Irene to hop into town and see if there had been any damage. Hurricane Irene had been downgraded to a Tropical storm by the time it hit Vermont, but she still packed a mean punch, and left much of Vermont flooded. Roads were torn up, communities were cut off, people were left without power, and many lost their homes and businesses. Luckily, Bellows Falls, which is right on the Connecticut River, was spared any major flooding. A bridge was destroyed (not the one pictured) and some local businesses and farms suffered, but for the most part, Bellows Falls wasn't devastated.

Looking at the Vilas Bridge, you can see all sorts of tree and wood debris from people's homes being washed down the Connecticut River, which only looks this fierce after a big spring thaw. Vermont and "Tropical storm" aren't typically heard in the same sentence, so as you can imagine, Vermonters were not prepared for the damage Irene inflicted.

Pipkin now knows what it's like to live through severe tropical weather, and he is hoping for the best for the people down south who are battening down the hatches - or hopefully evacuated to safe places - while Hurricane Isaac makes his way past the Gulf of Mexico.

A year ago and a day, Pipkin was in the parking lot of White Cottage, a popular roadside 1950's drive-in. They have ice cream, burgers, fries, shakes, onion rings, all the good greasy stuff you want while on a motorcycle ride or roadtrip. It was closed, so Pipkin wound up eating in downtown Woodstock. Little did he know, it would be a while before he could eat at White Cottage again. The next day, Irene flooded the many streams and rivers in Vermont, and White Cottage was damaged, and the road leading to it destroyed.

White Cottage, Woodstock VT, after Tropical Storm Irene

But they rebuilt, and the popular White Cottage now has lots of indoor and outdoor seating, and they're back with their ice cream, burger and fries standards, and their offering of seafood. Pipkin stopped by while on a motorcycle ride, and had one of his favorites - a veggie burger and onion rings.

He was a little horrified at the lobster, but he understands different creatures have different diets. His human companions didn't bug him about his veggie burger, so he didn't bug them about the lobster. As long as they don't want to eat labbit...

Outside, he hopped around the grass and wildflowers, checked out all the motorcycles (so many bikers stop here to eat!) and found himself a quiet spot out front to have a strawberry ice cream.

He's very happy White Cottage was able to make a comeback after Irene, and he thinks it's better than ever!


  1. I remember that day well, my sister lives in Woodstock and I was following the news & reports from family closely. Glad to hear your town didn't get hit too hard.

    Good to see Pipkin's Woodstock veggie burger supply is back in full swing! Personally I'll be leaning toward the lobsters, that's become my post-tri meal of choice.(at least for this season)

    CD - From BeginnerTri

    1. Hi there, so glad to see you on my blog! Yes, my town was spared, although I was bummed that the bridge to my favorite running route was destroyed. I was training for a HM at the time so I had to get creative about where I ran.

      I'm inspired by you! I think I'll have to have some fresh lobster after Wallis Sands! Hope to see you there. :)

  2. I'll be there! I'm really looking forward to it, such a great location. The Rev3 Oly went well last weekend, lots of fun and not too much pain. :) It was a well run event.

    I check out you blog on a semi regular basis. Love your photography & the perspective you create.

    Hope training has been going well and I'll see you in a few weeks.



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