Motorbiking home, getting stuck in Vermont

Trip Start Jul 24, 2008
1
4
Trip End Jul 27, 2008


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Sunday, July 27, 2008

I woke up at about 6 a.m. to the sound of pouring rain and thunder on the roof and windows. I pretended I didn't hear it and said to myself, "OK I'm going to close my eyes, sleep some more, and when I wake up, it'll all be gone." So I did. And when I woke up yes, it was in fact, all over. The sun was shining once again and I was ready to go!

I decided to take the long way home, through New York State Park, Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. It turned out to be a pretty smart move. I only hit rain once in a place called Bellow's Falls, Vermont. I pulled off the road to find a cozy organic farm with a doubly cozy cafe attached to it. I ordered some lunch and limeade, and sat down to get a better handle on my route home. While I was tracing it out on the map, the super friendly hippy who served me at the counter was just about ready to sit down for lunch, so I invited him over. He gladly accepted and we chatted away while the rain poured down outside. Mike was his name, and he owned the Cafe Loco. He lives in Vermont most of the year, but he's originally from Sarasota, Florida and played in local cover bands in both places. He says that people just like to give him real stuffed alligator as gifts, so he keeps them at the cafe. I kind of regret not satiating my curiosity by checking them out now, though. Anyway, the soup was a little salty, but the crab roll and limeade were heavenly.

Mike was interested in fireworks, so we talked a little bit about the giant international competitions they have in Montreal and Ottawa every year. Soon, the rain died down, and we said goodbye. The other Mike warned me about the hippies in Vermont and I joked that I'd get stuck there on Thursday. So this serendipitous lunch was all the more satisfying to me. I'm really regretting not going to see those stuffed alligators now.

I made my way through Vermont and continued on through Princeton and other quaint little towns. The road ambled through tree lined strets and alongside stars and stripes bedecked manors. Wonderful. My route also brought me right through the heart of Lake Placid. But before we get to this, I will tell you about Elizabethtown. I had gotten a little sidetracked, and before reaching "E-town", I found the sun was behind me, I wasn't going west anymore. I attempted to turn around and whoops! fell over once again. I waved down a nice young man in a sports car, who came and helped me pick my bike up. Another old man in a pickup truck let me follow him through town, and he put me back on track. I kept driving and soon found myself in Lake Placid, behind two ladies in ponytails, cruising down the main drag in their forest green convertible. This allowed me to take it easy and enjoy yet another quaint tourist town, with wooden signs and ski-chalet themed everything. There was not one thing on that street that I wouldn't call "rustic". I was once again inspired to buy something quaint. Maybe a wool sweater this time. Alas, I had no time for such indulgences.

The lakes, valleys, forests and mountains are all beautiful in this part of the world. You can smell the sheer vastness of the vegetation as you drive by pristine lakes and the golden sun sets on the horizon, dipping behind the Appalachian mountain range. It's some of the oldest rock formations in North America, but that doesn't make it less lovely. I soon found my odometer coming up to 250 km again. This was not good, because I hadn't seen a soul in at least an hour. I also had no idea how close I was to the next town of Malone. I also thought that maybe I had passed it, and not noticed since I saw a sign welcoming me to Malone about an hour back. It was twilight and I started panicking, thinking I would run out of fuel before I found anything like civilization.

So I stopped at the next house with lights on. A very nice lady saw how worried I was and assured me Malone was just a few miles down the road. I was soooooo happy. I finally got there, bought the overpriced gas, and took Hwy 37 to Cornwall, through Akwesasne, past the famous casinos and over the bridge to Canada. Finally, I would be able to know exactly how fast I was driving, things would now be in metric again! Hooray. But wait... Oh God, what is that in the distance? The entire sky, lit up, literally, all of it. Bright yellow lightning and just barely audible thunder. I took a deep breath and silently wished the rain was falling over Montreal, anywhere but Ottawa. Again, normal people would probably stop when they saw and heard that kind of lightshow in the sky right ahead of them. Not me, oh no, I had to get home anyway, and I was stubborn enough to keep going. It began to rain and I stopped to put on my jacket. It was gross only for about 10 minutes, so I just kept going. I made it home at about 11:30, called my mom and Mike so they knew I made it alive, and went to bed. Sweet, sweet, sleep. Eleven hours on a motorcycle, I deserved it.
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