i woke up at 8:00 ready to go back home. i immediately started packing and began disassembling the tent, waiting for my parents to wake up so we can leave. folks in the other campsites were doing the same thing, and some had already left before the 11:00 checkout. instead of packing though, my parents' first priority was to make some breakfast. when campsite 15 cleared out, i took the opportunity to investigate what looked like a secret path leading to a large empty grassy hill in the center of the tent campsite loop. it would've been a great place to watch the stars had i known about it earlier. we finally left by 10:30, taking another spin by the scenic lean-to loop to make a note of possible future campsites.

i figured we'd be back in cambridge/belmont by the early afternoon, but my parents were projecting much later. we left plymouth and traveled south via 100 through ludlow. instead of going through londonderry and continuing on 100 to townshend, the garmin gps plotted a route crossing over to route 11 and going through a small scenic road through the town of windham. i'd been to townshend at least once before, and i remember the large dam and the lake behind it. further south was a large covered bridge and townshend state park, where my parents had gone camping a few times. we stopped off at the newfane flea market. i've been here before as well, but only vaguely remember the circumstances. my parents were surprised by how few vendors there were compared to years past. i was hoping to find some glass insulators and did see one man selling a green NH insulator for $3, but it was in poor condition so i didn't get it. instead i bought a small porcelain owl for $1. i asked the woman selling it if there was a story behind it. "i just get these through donations, so your guess is as good as mine."

next stop was brattleboro, where we had lunch at the top of the hill grille. i didn't want to stop and would've preferred we drove straight home so i was in a foul mood. the girl behind the register was also rude which put everybody else in a bad mood. things simmered down after some barbecued ribs, which weren't very good and only acquired some flavor after drowning them in the sauce. afterwards my mother and i did some browsing at the nearby brattleboro outlet center (while my father slept in the car).

after that we drove straight home without further interruptions down interstate 91 and then east across route 2. central massachusetts must've experienced some serious weather recently because the sides of the highway were lined by many downed trees. this must've been the freak weather pattern that brought down two neighboring trees near where i live in cambridge.

back in belmont, i went into the backyard to inspect the garden. the corns have been so actively pollinating that they've coated the rest of the garden in their yellow dust. good to know i'm not allergic to corn pollen. there were a few more bottle gourds i hadn't seen before.

after a simple fried rice dinner i finally managed to return to cambridge. i'm always surprised to find everything exactly the way i left them. like somehow i expect things to magically move around when i'm not home. just days before i'd replaced the wireless router so i was nervous to see if i was still connected. everything seemed okay but at one point i did have to renew the DHCP. hope that was just a random occurrence.