Sunday, October 15, 2006

Waterbury, Vermont to East Aurora, New York

Jeff worked on the computer as I packed up. Maybe he was uncomfortable with the prospect of my leaving. He and Kellie asked me to stay longer, but I have to move on!

Low gray skies, gusty winds and temperatures in the 40s. On the road at noon.

Into Burlington. The "Burlington Bagel Bakery" was too crowded. I filled up on gas and continued on.

Disobeyed Jeff’s order to go south and took highway 8 over the Adirondacks. It got pretty frigid on top, a dusting of snow in the shadows. Showers off and on. I kept watching the distant mountains to gauge the rain ahead. Without the heated grips and electric vest, this ride would have been intolerable.

Past Lake Pleasant and Speculator. All the lake shores up here are lined with cabins and docks. Each town I pass through is pretty. I could live here.

Dropped into Utica and took some wrong turns. Ended up pointed toward Rome. Had to make a u-turn, and back-track through Oriskany (with its "Skyhawk" bomber jet and anchor from the Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. Oriskany.) Got lost again, this time in Utica. Stopped at a convenience store to ask directions to the Thruway. "Take this road up 3 miles, left 4 miles, then right 4 miles." How could it possibly be, that I got so turned around?

At a Thruway service area, I went to the "Dunkin’ Donuts" shop. (Lousy coffee!) Left the Thruway to look at motels in Geneva. (The highway sign said "hotels next exit". I finally found some five miles from the turn-off.) It was kind of like a treasure hunt.

As the sun set, the skies cleared and the temperature dropped. I was anxious to find a room for the evening.

$120 for the "Hampton Inn" at Geneva! And $70 for a marginal "Motel 6". (Whatever happened to $6 - as their name once implied?) Drove west on route 20, to Canandaigua (home of "Constellation Brands", the devil’s lair.)

Stopped at another motel, as the temperature continued to drop. This one was an "apartment hotel". I asked to look at a room. Noted the tricycles outside the neighbor's room. "No thanks." At $60, I was too close to my destination to pay this much.

Riding this deserted highway at night, I passed several deer carcasses. They served as warning, keeping me on edge. Called Priscilla from Geneseo. She said I was an hour from East Aurora, so I decided to drive all the way tonight. Reached there around 9:30. Called Jeff to report my safe arrival and left a message for Drew. I was safe, but thoroughly chilled.

Priscilla and I caught up over a glass of wine (the 2004 Murphy-Goode Cabernet 375ml that I’ve carried all over the country.) I had brought her two other wines as well: the 2003 Mondavi Cabernet and a 2003 Ring-Bolt Cabernet from Margaret River, Australia.

Retired early, my energy drained by the cold.

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