We picked a hot and sunny day to plot a ride south from Manchester, VT to Bennington where we picked up Route 9, a scenic, mountainous, and fun ride east. We wanted to see the windmills on Searsburg Mountain, just off Route 8. We've always loved windmills and find them awe-inspiring. Route 8 south is a little-traveled road that Mike loves to ride: no cars, lots of steep grades, and smooth pavement.
Cross into Massachusetts and pick up Route 2, the Mohawk Trail http://www.mohawktrail.com/ heading east. This was our first time on the bike on Route 2, and we loved every mile. There are several places to pull over and gaze out over the mountains to the south. One advertised a 69-mile view! The Mohawk Trail opened in 1914, but it's a lot more fun riding it on a BMW than it must have been in a Ford Model-T.
We took the Mohawk Trail to Route 5 north, heading back into Vermont and winding our way through Brattleboro. There's lots to see and do in Brattleboro and it has one of our favorite downtown areas. Don't miss the Food Co-op for lunch or a snack.
Our only real destination today was Curtis' BBQ in Putney, VT. Curtis has been in the same outdoor location for over 39 years, perfecting his vinegary BBQ sauce that drenches ribs or chicken. You'll find lots of friendly motorcycle folks along with local families and visitors all sharing space at picnic tables. Licking your fingers is definitely encouraged!
After lunch, we kept heading north on Route 5 through Westminster, VT until we intersected with Route 103 and turned west toward home. One last stop for ice cream (Curtis doesn't make dessert) at the intersection of routes 11 and 30 just past Bromley Ski Area, and then we zoomed down the last mountain back to Manchester.
Check out the route here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200162054405125744601.0004a6a50293a45254723&msa=0&ll=42.872945,-72.994366&spn=0.050825,0.1684