Friday, November 14, 2014

Coffeeneuring 2014 - Seventh Cup

I checked the Yellow Pages before bundling up, setting out on my bike. Stumped for ideas for another local coffee shop to fulfill Day 7 of the Coffeeneuring Challenge, I was reminded of two establishments that I hadn't patronized for a couple years. As it turns out, I didn't end up in either of those places. En route to browse a newly opened L.L. Bean store, I remembered the Blue Bird kiosk. I pass it all the time. I'm just not a frequent customer, so it remained on the periphery of my coffee-seeking radar, and overlooked until now.

The cappuccino was delicious. I drank it, standing beside the kiosk window, engaging the young man inside the storefront. The tiny booth stays open all winter, offers sandwiches, creemees in summer, and your pick of espresso drinks. It's a perfect downtown location, capturing tourists and locals alike. Oddly, they use Chicago based Intelligentsia coffee and not any of our delicious local roasters. 

Hilarious accouterments in a kale field.
Charged on caffeine, I visit LL Bean, and continue on a loop through the Intervale. The single track trails call to me at certain times of the year, especially in the Autumn when the air is crisp, frogs aren't kamikaze-jumping in front of my wheels, and trails are often dry.

I was having such a great time that I extended my ride onto a trail that I usually avoid when I'm alone. Burlington, like many cities has a homeless population. People camp in parks, beaches, anywhere they can live undetected and undisturbed. Authorities leave the homeless alone unless there's a disturbance. Even so, I'm wary but took a chance anyway as I turned onto the detour. I didn't come across anyone living near the trail, thankfully, and I immensely enjoyed riding in the woods. So much so, that once I meandered again into the open field, I continued to avoid the main trail, instead easily riding a grassy, nearly obscure path (I've skied this in winter) around the Intervale Farms. I stopped, laughing at someone's Halloween decoration: three nude manikins, seeming rising from the earth, a pumpkin perched as a head on one figure.

There is still leafy color, you just need to look down.

The emerald ash borer - a pest that's eating our trees.
The Intervale changes throughout the year. I've come across birders, hikers with dogs, a few bike riders, and fortunately mostly older humans. Only once have I witnessed school-aged kids walkingit's far from most schoolsand to be fair, it's even a stretch to find a homeless encampment this far from the city center. There are closer wooded lots for shelter, which puts the homeless within walking distance, where they're offered two hot meals a day.

I never know what I'll find along the trail.

This beautiful tree has three main trunks.
And speaking of woodland, I came across this grassroots effort on the waterfront trail. Squeezed between railroad tracks and boat access parking lot, a section of paved trail has been difficult to negotiate for years. The asphalt zigzags around trees, crosses rail tracks at a dangerous angle, and is very narrow. Slated as part of this fall's trail renovation, and as such will be widened for users' safety, there is an appeal to save a huge cottonwood tree that's, unfortunately, smack in the way. It's also part of the problem; the tree's roots have eroded pavement, creating a hazard for bicycles.

At the same time I understand the concern to save the tree. Removing the cottonwood will leave a section of trail without tree cover, a place that lacks foliage to begin with.

Curiosity, plus it seems appropriate (considering the purpose of this outing was to drink coffee), I photographed Coffee Enterprises building. It's in the Lakeside district, a slight detour off the waterfront path. I stumbled onto the building a week ago, and was reminded that in the past the business was located close to downtown, a place I frequently passed where luscious aromas once filled the air. Internet research reveals the company provides coffee consulting and marketing. Coffee Enterprises also has expert testing analysis equipment onsite. Who knew such a business was located in Burlington? 

And with the final outing I'm done with coffeeneuring orat the very leastdone with logging my coffeeneuring exploits. Call it what you want, but I'm far from finished riding my bicycle this fall. Or done with drinking coffee. As a matter of fact I 've earned a free espresso drink at Panera (part of their club). It's not a local business, nor does it require a long bike ride to get there. I can even walk. But, with sunshine and lacking slippery roads so far this fall, you can bet I'll be out on my bike, stopping for at least one more cup of joe.

Just the facts:
The Place: Blue Bird Coffee Stop kiosk
Date: Monday, November 10
Drink: Cappuccino
Observation, Bike Friendliness: Pretty good cappuccino. I can roll my bike up to the kiosk and order something hot—perfect quick stop.
Total Miles: 10

1 comment:

  1. Definitely not the end of coffeeneuring for me either, just the documentation bit. As a former Vermonter myself, your adventures make me wish I had a rode my bike there more often. Thanks!


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