Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Travels with Sasha: End of Day 1

End of Day 1, Jan. 20, 2015 

Place: Days Inn, Port Jervis, N.Y.

Miles driven today: 271.2 

I leave Bradford at 9 a.m. under sunny skies and the temperature at 27 degrees. After a quick stop in Henniker at the bank, I am soon on Rte. 9W. Scenery is a bit blah. What there is of snow is dirty and colors dull. A part of me doesn’t to go. The Vermont border is crossed at 10:30. Interstate 91S is picked up for a couple miles before Rte. 9 continues west across the state. It’s 40 miles to Bennington. 

West Brattleboro is interesting and a place for possible photographs on another day. This is an enjoyable drive passing old New England businesses, homes, and farms. Sometimes another vehicle will be seen, but often I’m alone on the road; just the way I like it. The road narrows and meanders along winding upwards. A couple of hairpin turns are navigated and Hogback Mountain is crossed. The views are dull and I don’t stop.  

I start noticing mountains in the distance are white and soon the road is passing through areas where snow lies heavy on tree limbs and power lines. This is the winter wonderland. It’s beautiful… but treacherous. There is ice on the road in places and I catch up to slower moving traffic. We pass through these beautiful mountains and begin the long, slow descent towards Bennington. I am still not feeling the excitement and I’m so tempted to turn around and go home.

The windshield fills with salt and dirt… and I cleaned all the windows before I left. 

Wilmington is a cute little Vermont town and another area that would be interesting to explore sometime. There are quaint shops, old mill-type buildings, and art galleries. Soon Rte. 279 is taken towards Troy and the Walloomsic River is crossed a couple times as the highways swings around Bennington and turns into Rte. 7 when the New York border is crossed at 11:30. 

Hoosick, N.Y. is rolling hills, open farm land. Snow is spotty, the ground mostly bare and dull of color. Traffic is light and as I pass an old abandoned gas station surrounded by old equipment, I can’t help but stop for a few photographs. Luckily, there’s room to pull off the road and by the time the vehicle comes to a stop (speed limit is 55), I am past the building. I walk back taking picture of all the old rusty vehicles and other equipment along with the building. 

A stop is made at the Country View Diner in Brunswick. The waitress is nice, but not overly friendly. She tries to take my order before I’ve even had a chance to look at the menu. Then she doesn’t come back for a long time and it takes even longer for the burger and fries. The fries are those frozen, soggy crinkle cut ones.  

I left the diner at 1 p.m. continuing on Rte. 7 down into Troy. I-787 is a right to swing out around Troy to head south towards Albany and where the N.Y. Thruway is picked up. That’s a long drive to I-84W in Newburgh. The Days Inn in Port Jervis was reached at 3:11.  

I wait for assistance. The desk clerk is new and having trouble with the system. Room 142 is assigned and she says to park halfway down the building to enter the side door. The room is halfway down the corridor. It’s a fight to get the door open, but the room looks nice.

It’s a long walk to the lobby to get the luggage trolley. They only have one? There is ice on the ground in front of the door near the truck and there’s not a little ramp for the trolley. I pull items needed for the night and haul them to the sidewalk and onto the trolley. It’s not an easy chore, but eventually everything is in the room and I make the long journey back to the lobby with the trolley. I am limping on the return to the room. This is not good customer service!

The coffee pot is on the work table and is plugged into the only outlet on that wall along with the mini fridge. There is no light in that corner. The coffee pot is moved to the luggage table and the table to the corner with the lamp. This room may be a bit dark, but it looks clean. 

I forgot to bring a surge protector for the laptop and plug it into a regular outlet. As I’m checking in back home, I realize I also forgot the battery charger for my camera. Noooo! Now what? If I make the six hour drive home to get it, I will not leave again. Is it still in that cabinet? Why do I think I might have moved it? Could Karen Fed X overnight it to me in Charleston where I’ll be spending a couple days? We’ll see. There is a spare battery, but would it be enough?
Hey, there always has to be challenges. I’ll just have to see what tomorrow will bring.

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