The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 July 2005

It was funnier than Pawtucket

Woonsocket, Rhode Island — 2075.4 miles

But let us not make fun of Woonsocket. It is an old, established Native American name that means "You might as well be in Massa-freaking-chusetts already." And really, I can't tell you too much about it, since the hotel is something like three-quarters of a block inside the corporate limits and therefore I haven't seen much of anything other than the faux-aluminum diner on an outlot.

(Addendum: I got out a couple of hours later and saw the town. It's bigger than I thought — 45,000 people or so — and, as in most cities that go back this far, it helps to have lived here thirty years to be able to find stuff. I suspect things would be different in Woonsocket, South Dakota.)

The escape from New Jersey was supposed to have been up US 1/9, which eventually drops one onto the George Washington Bridge, but radio traffic warnings and sudden recollections persuaded me otherwise. So I threaded up the east end of Bergen County, saluted the town of Tenafly, where Lesley Gore grew up, and crossed into New York state.

Yes, I know, I missed NYC again. But there are 19 million New Yorkers, and 11 million of them don't live in NYC, so I don't think I got such a bad deal. Besides, US 6 through New York is quite lovely, if inevitably loaded with traffic.

Seen on 6 near Mahopac: Mr. A's Ice Cream and Chicken. I assume they have both white and dark chocolate.

Priciest gas of the Tour so far was purchased in Southington, Connecticut, for $2.379. Not that I'm complaining, really: this was 15 to 25 cents cheaper than anything I saw in New York. Of course, if I'd waited until I'd had lunch (Wendy's on Queen Street), I'd have found it for two cents less, but life is like that. (In this lifetime, I have yet to buy any gas in New Jersey, despite the obvious novelty value of full service.)

Sublime/Ridiculous Department: A shout-out to Mike West on WDRC-FM in Hartford, a man who has the courage of his request line, a man who followed "Surfin' Bird" with "American City Suite." My initial reaction, per my voice recorder, was "My God, he's got guts."

A pizza place near the Connecticut/Rhode Island line is called "Kikapoo," a name which seems both familiar and slightly deranged. I assume it is not related to either the tribe or to that other fine New England product, Kickapoo Joy Juice Indian Oil.

Toll report: Bear Mountain Bridge, $1.00; total $22.35.

Posted at 5:49 PM to World Tour '05

TrackBack: 10:41 AM, 11 July 2005
» Yep from Accidental Verbosity

I spoke with Charles on the phone last night, while he was staying in Woonsocket, RI, not to be confused with Woonsocket, SD. Sadly, his route would not bring him much closer than that and he has a fair distance to go today, though I considered twis...

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And you never came over???? WTF??

What time were you at Wendy's? I was right next door between 11 and 12:30 at the gym - I bet you even saw my car!

Posted by: Vickie at 9:38 PM on 10 July 2005

PS Where'd you get the gas for a 2.37? The Mobil across from Wendy's? You should've gone to Hess half a block down -- 2.29.

Posted by: Vickie at 9:40 PM on 10 July 2005

But did you remember to bring your Woon?

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 3:56 AM on 11 July 2005

Actually, we're talking 1:30 here, and if it's the same Hess, I seem to remember they were charging 2.359.

(Actual fillup at a Valero on South Main.)

As for my, um, lack of presence, I was under the impression that you were getting ready to leave and didn't want to complicate the issue. (Please advise.)

As for my Woon, it remains unsocketed.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:26 AM on 11 July 2005

We're leaving TODAY.

Posted by: Vickie at 8:56 AM on 11 July 2005

Please feel free to make fun of Woonsocket all you want. It's a miserable little place to live, and my husband and I are in the process of escaping to New Hampshire at the end of the month.

It could be a charming place if somebody cared enough...

Posted by: lisa at 11:20 AM on 11 July 2005

This is likely true of many towns (and not just in New England, I suspect) which have seen better days.

Posted by: CGHill at 2:47 PM on 11 July 2005

You probably should have gassed in Jersey, if not for the novelty of full service, the novelty of cheaper gas. In my general area it was going for $2.09 five days ago (last I filled). This morning, I see $2.20 or more, but I still guess this is lower than whatever you can see out of the window up there in Maine.

Enjoy your tour!

Posted by: Nightfly at 8:44 AM on 13 July 2005

I filled up today at a full-service place in New Gloucester, Maine for $2.299, which was two cents cheaper than the self-serve pumps in Augusta.

Which, if nothing else, persuades me that it's not fear of someone handling my gas cap. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 5:08 PM on 13 July 2005