After finally leaving NH, we headed south through the diesel desert of Massachusetts. Have you EVER tried to find a diesel fueling station on Route 495?!?!?! We drove our no-more-than-250-miles-a-day allotment and stopped at the Brook Bend Campground in Thomaston, Connecticut, where only two tenths of a mile away, a gas station sold diesel – yay! Thomaston does not look like a town that would have a campground. It’s an old mill town, having been the home of the Seth Thomas Tower Clock Manufacturing Plant and many other large factories during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It LOOKS like an old mill town. But tucked away between the sewage treatment plant and a large brook, an old horse farm was converted into RV and tent sites. No need to enforce the 5 mph rule here – the road in (between an ancient oak tree and the original farmhouse) is so narrow and curves in so many places that cars and campers just naturally go slow. Once you’re “down in the field”, it’s an amazingly lovely little place filled with friendly seasonal campers, dogs – lots of dogs – and one African Gray Parrot who sits in the front window of his owners’ Class A and curses the dogs.
Passenger train service from Thomaston was shut down in 1963, but the station has been restored and is operated by the Railroad Museum of New England. Their billboard on the highway drew our attention. Their website informed us of the Saturday Pumpkin Train. We HAD to stay. The depot building is an incredible example of architecture from a time when making public places beautiful was an art and craftsmen took great pride in their work. Look at these roof joists!
The train ride itself was an hour and a half of gorgeous views, happy families, and a well-narrated history of the area. The only flaw in the entire day was when Everett learned the pumpkin patch stop was for CHILDREN ONLY. He complained his adult ticket had cost more than a kid’s ticket, so he ought to get a pumpkin too!
Our 2-day Thomaston adventure was topped off by discovering a great little cigar bar in the next town over (The SmokeEasy, Watertown, CT). The hosts and some regular customers made us feel right at home by sharing a good smoke, friendly conversation, and some of the owner’s delicious homemade sausage and cheese.
Coming soon: Part 3 – Shartlesville, PA (Cabela’s, Roadside America, and Matilda)