Up this morning at 6:30 am to be ready to take the outdoorsmen group off-campus to Purgatory Chasm. The kids were supposed to arrive by 7am. They actually trundled out of their campsite at 7:30am. Then we discovered that the van I’d been left to drive had an empty gas tank, and we had to wait for the maintenance folks to show up, and unlock the school’s gas pump so we could refuel. Then McDonald’s, for breakfast — they were supposed to make breakfast out in the woods, but there was a logistical foul-up, and pancake batter et al. got left in the school kitchen, and locked up for the night. Oops.

Purgatory Chasm was wonderful.

arrived down here in the quiet corner around 2:30pm. We hung out for a bit, and then she went off to a sweat lodge just down the road. In theory she’s sweating out some of the stress and difficulties of the last couple of weeks. I hope so for her sake. She really needed this. For my part, I have a free evening tonight, and I’m probably going to head into town and have some coffee across from the train station.

I was there earlier today, and it turned out to be a Train Day. Some toffs at Amtrak, PRovidence and Worcester Railroad, and the Northeast Connecticut Tourist Bureau have conceived of this grand notion that we need to have day trains running on weekends from New London to here, so that passengers can enjoy a stress-free ride through the foliage to the local antiques district. When the tourists get here, they find they’ve arrived in the middle of the Art Fair, or the Open-Air Antiques Fair, or the Farmer’s Market. The tourists are thus persuaded to buy lots of things they would ordinarily find tedious and ugly, because they were displayed so charmingly.

The display in the train station parking lot today shows that there is a need to get some things straight with whoever the local organizers are. Someone selling “Birthstone Angel Bells” and “Precious Moments” cards and statuary does not count as locally-made crafts. Admittedly, the rustic carpentry on display was rather nice, and there were some beautiful scarves and some elegant pottery. But in addition to these displays, there were also two artists whose work had clearly not been vetted in advance, and some people selling what can only be described as junk. The price for this little art fair was twenty car parking spaces, which cut into the local business of the three restaurants and the coffee house that look out onto the square. Replacing twenty car spaces with five artisans’ booths, and eight junk booths, is not productive, I suspect.

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