Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Perfect Storm

I have been following Barb Smith's blog for about 4 years now. She shared a common interest of ours, national parks and more specifically the IBA National Park Tour. Barb has 5 NPT under her wheels because she has visited our parks on a motorcycle. We have tried to meet with her previously. Once she was ridin thru New England on a Park Tour and I told her if she was right in the area, call and I would buy coffee. The next time was when MeAsWe and Me were in Vicksburg, MS.

Today Barb is running a marathon in Manchester, VT. While she was running, we were riding (in a cage) to Manchester. So after 4 or so years, we were finally going to meet Barb. This is where the Perfect Storm comes in.

First event. Barb placed the RTE on both the NER and MTF forums as follows:

Join me for lunch at Zoey's in Manchester Center VT
Saturday, Sept 8, 1:00 PM.

With this information and planning a route to Manchester in MapSource, I did a search for Zoeys in Manchester, VT. MapSource found Zoeys and I marked it. You can see the route taking us there.

The details. MapSource has the address as:
 Zoey's Deli & Bakery
129 Lincoln Ave
Manchester Center, VT 05255

 Second Event. I was reading Barb's blog about her travels in North Adams and Manchester. In one of the posts, she indicated downtown Manchester was tore up while they were putting in traffic circles. Some folks cal them roundabouts. So with this in mind, I forced the route in MapSource to come into Manchester, VT via  a back door. I even marked the turn with a special Waymark Icon.

The back door route vs the normal route. The RED route is the one that I forced to avoid the construction. It must be noted that I had no clue where the construction was, I just knew there was some. The Blue route is what MapSource would have done by default. 
We left right around 8:30am for a lunch date at 1pm. Mapsource had us arriving in 3 hours and 22 minutes. With the stops I added in like these, that gave us time so we would not be late.

West Townsend Stone Arch Bridge
National Register Historic Places
Third Event. We diligently followed the route to Zoeys and found ourselves at some dead end. Not all is lost. I brought up Zoey's in my Nuvi and called the number. 802-362-0006. So we start driving and calling at the same time. The phone rings and rings and rings and rings some more. No "The phone number you are trying to reach has been disconnected", just ring and ring and ring. I figured they were busy, but a touch of anxiety is creeping in.

We come to a main road and we have to turn right or left. Out of the corner of my eye I spot a Z. After years of chasing thing like BBQ places, Tons and Burgs, USA towns and even guided missiles, I have developed this talent for spotting stuff. A refocus and I see Zoey's. We hang a right and a quick left and land ourselves in Zoey's parking lot.

Fourth Event. It is getting close to 1pm. Even thou I have never met Barb, never had a phone conversation with Barb,  it is just  my sense she is one to be right on time and probably early. She is hosting the RTE, so I know she would be early.
What I do know about Barb, she is from Texas and IIRC she drives a Toyota. I must have read this somewhere on her blog. MeAsWe is sitting in the A Chairs, while I am pacing around the parking lot.
MeAsWe points to this Toyota that just pulled into the parking lot next door. I look thru the bushes and see a Texas plate. Barb is here. I see a door open in the car and then another as they get in and drive around to pull into Zoey's lot. There must have been one of those signs that said "Parking for XXX customers all other will be towed". I understand why, Zoey's is a very very busy place and parking is limited.
I block a spot for the Toyota. I am waving the driver into the spot like a that guy on the tarmac with the flags directing a landing flight. The person in the car ignores me and pulls into another available spot. I was gonna give Barb, heck for ignoring my directions. The first door opens and a gentleman gets out. Not what I expected, but I shrugged my shoulders. The driver side door opens and a woman gets out. Ahh there sheee, hey wait these guys are oriental. Barb does not look oriental.
Ok I ask you, what is the chances of a Toyota with Texas plates pulls into a place that is in Vermont where I am waiting for a Toyota with Texas plates standing in Vermont that is NOT the car I am waiting for.

OK, with this both MeAsWe and I go inside again to make sure we did not miss Barb, I turned to this guy standing in line to place his order. Is there another Zoey's around here, to which he replies this is the only Zoey's in the WORLD. That is what he said.

Fifth Event. I call Magilla who is also suppose to be coming up. No answer. I call my son, Sky, no answer. I scratch my head. I will call Jan and see if she could look up the thread on the forum to see if there is any additional information. Nothing about a cancellation, I ask Jan to tell me some more information. She reads the Zoeys. Confirms the name. She reads off the address, blah blah Depot St. There were 2 objects outside the door, one of which is pictured below. As I was saying the address out loud, MeAsWe was pointing to the hyrdrant. Click the photo and check out the yellow writing on the post.

We waited to around 1:30pm and decided to have lunch. I had the Irish, which was corn beef, cole slaw and horse radish on marble rye and a black cherry soda. MeAsWe had a chicken wrap. Now Zoey's doesn't put a hint of horseradish, they put a scoop. It was a great sandwich.

After lunch we go capture some more places on the National Register of Historic Places.

Equiox House
Headed for the Yester House, which is the Southern Vermont Arts Center. Some sculptures on the way up to the house.

After riding around a bit, we headed back to Zoey's to make sure no one showed up. Zoey's lot was empty, they were closed. With that we headed out of town to go home. As we are heading down RT 11 we come across Zoey's Double Hex. You gotta be kiddin' me.
When I got home I looked up the thread to see what I missed.
Zoey's Double Hex
1614 Depot Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
You figure out how this was a Perfect Storm.  The definition from Wikipedia
A "perfect storm" is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically. The term is also used to describe an actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude.
Barb, if you are reading this, we are really sorry to have missed you. Our paths will cross again, hopefully and I will not rely on Garmin lookups, people with WORLDY advice and knowledge, and me just plain ole out smartin myself, trying to get around traffic.
Til next time !! 
To put things into perspective, this guy had a shitstorm (you gotta click the link). Ours was only a Perfect Storm. I think Mo is renaming the place Mo's No Mo Market.


Runner said...

A classic case of "doing everything right, but still coming out wrong." What a story!! So there you both sat, a mile away, wondering, just as we were doing the same. As y'all say up there in Mass, "Bumma!"

Runner said...

And another got some cool touristy things done while in the area! Great photos.

By the way, I drive a Mazda CX9, not a Toyota. You were close. You had the right country of origin!