Day 9: October 2, 2015
Rain Driven Change

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It was cold and cloudy but dry as I drove the few miles into Concord, New Hampshire, to look over another domed capitol. A pair of school busses had arrived just a little before I did and their passengers were forming lines in front of the building as I snapped my first pictures. The blue lift at the left of the first photo is involved in some sort of repairs. The dome can be photographed without the lift and, with a little work, it can even be photographed with the lift and with Daniel Webster.

The clock is just across the street from the capitol. Its story is here. The archway behind it leads to a courtyard with a fountain and several businesses. The stone building on the far side is a closed museum. The multi-layered ghost sign is about a block away.

There were many hints south of Concord that the roadside would be filled with color any day now. It also seemed possible that it could be partially filled with mattresses.

This is where I didn't go. I first heard of Old Sturbridge Village several years ago and I knew at once it was a place I would like to visit. I've kept it in mind and it looked like this trip presented a good opportunity. Today, however, it started raining about ten miles before I got there. I had planned to spend what was left of the afternoon there then find a place to sleep and return in the morning. A weather report check showed rain and 50 degrees for the rest of the day and more of the same tomorrow. As much as I dislike driving in rain, I dislike walking in it even more and paying for the privilege much more than that. The rain was not yet particularly heavy and it lightened up even more as I took a few pictures. I then returned to US-20, which passes right by the village, and continued west.

I now did something I've often thought about but surprisingly (to me) never tried. Numbered US Highways have rules. One is that even numbered routes run east-west and odd numbered routes run north-south. They curve and wiggle, of course, and some run diagonally across the country but the general rule pretty much holds. Another is that they can end only at a national border or another US Highway. I could stay with Twenty which would be new-to-me until I hit Albany but would be a repeat west of there and move me pretty far north. Moving to the south appealed to me more. Getting the big picture on my tiny GPS screen is almost impossible and I wasn't inclined to pull over and really study things. Besides, the one current paper atlas I own was not in the car and I was really not inclined to fire up the laptop.

So here's what I did. I left US-20 when it crossed US-5 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and US-5 took me to US-44 in Hartford, Connecticut. Near Canton, Connecticut, I moved to US-202 when US-44, which I have driven before, kept heading northward. US-202 hooked up with US-7 at New Milford and together they took me to US-6 in Danbury. It's a good thing I wasn't looking for any particular route since another rule, that US route numbers increase from north to south, seems to be given short shrift in these parts. The photo is of US-202 around Torrington, Connecticut.

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