Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Travels with Sasha Day 23

February 11, the last travel day

I can’t get out of this crappy Days Inn fast enough. As soon as it’s light, I’m out of the room and getting the luggage trolley. I haul everything out and bring the trolley back while leaving the car running. The windows are all icy. The desk clerk checks me out and never asks how the stay was, never wishes me a good day. While I like Port Jervis, N.Y., as a stopping place, next time I travel in this direction, I’ll have to either stop sooner or drive later to another town. I never want to stay in this place again! 

I scrape and wipe the windows because they’re still not totally defrosted and I’m on I-84E by 7:30 a.m. The sun is blinding and I swap glasses. The speed limit is 65 mph and the roads are clear so traffic moves along. Windshield picks up salt and grime; not good for trying to get photographs; doesn’t matter anyway, as the traffic is heavy. 

Google maps had been perused before leaving the hotel. There are three ways to get home from here and all are almost six hours give or take five minutes. I could return the way I came which would be I-84 to the New York Thruway to NY 7 and to Rte. 9 across Vermont and to Rte. 114 in Henniker to Bradford. Or, I could stay on I-84E into Hartford, Conn., and pick up I-91N to Rte. 9E in Brattleboro, Vt. The third way is recommended by friends Gayle Hedrington and Candy Bliss, and that’s to take the thruway to Rte. 7, but staying on Rte. 7 in Vermont before taking Rte. 11 across the state into New Hampshire and catching Rte. 103 home. They say that way is a pretty ride. 

The final decision will be made when I get to the turn off. I tend to stick to something more familiar… especially on the return home. Plus, I want to get a photo of the bridge across the Hudson River that I missed the last time, so when the turn off to the thruway comes up, I stay on I-84E. Five minutes later, I regret that decision as the traffic becomes bumper to bumper, stop and go across the bridge. No photos can be taken in this situation. Then there’s the toll after the bridge and as I approach, the two lanes widen into many and I don’t know what lane to be in. 

The signs are hard to read, but I finally make out, on the far right, something about all vehicles. Luckily, I am able to cut over four lanes. I don’t even know how much. It’s only $1.50. I tell the guy how confusing this is and it’s hard for drivers unfamiliar with this route to know what to do. (At least it’s cheaper than the thruway… though not enough to be a big deal.) 

Connecticut is boring; at least it is to me and I again regret the decision not to take the recommendations of friends. Next time, I promise. There also seems to be more city-type areas along this route and closer together. I make it through the tunnel in Hartford and take the right onto I-91N and the traveling gets better. Snow banks are higher and some of the signs are buried. The further north, the more the traffic thins and I am more comfortable. There are better views and road crews are out cleaning up snow in preparation, I guess, for more snow coming. 

Gas is getting low so I stop in North Adams, Mass., and decide to also have something to eat. I haven’t eaten at a Friendly’s in years and order French toast and bacon. I only eat half and get a to-go box. There’s an Irving station across the street and that has the cheapest gas I’ve seen all morning at $2.11/gl. Getting out of there is tough with the traffic backed up from road crews cleaning up snow, can only go one way out at one exit which is the wrong direction and no cross traffic. To come out at the lights, I have to contend with a stream of traffic from BJ’s and whatever else is down that way and there are a lot of vehicles.

Someone finally lets me into the left turn lane and when the light turns green, I follow the car in front. Unfortunately, I forgot to pay attention that these lights don’t have arrows and the light is green from both directions. I turn right in from of some guy shooting straight across and earn a blaring horn for my inattention. Thank God that’s all that happened.  

Back on I-91N, I cross the Vermont border at 11:42 and I’m in New Hampshire at noon. I just want to be home at this point. There’s more snow, but it’s not until I reach Bradford that it hits me that there really is a lot of snow. I swear there’s more here than I’ve seen all day! 

I get to my driveway which has been plowed nicely. However, my walkways haven’t been shoveled. That’s a let-down. I back into the garage, get out, and run into the house without bringing anything else but the camera.

“Kitty, I’m hooommme!” I yell, but I don’t have to because she’s right there. She’s meowing and rubbing against me even before I put the camera down. I scoop her up. “I’ve missed you so much!” Tears run down my face and I just hug and cuddle her. I try to put her down, but she clings so I walk around the house just holding and petting her. She finally lets me set her on the table and she sits there while I bring everything inside. 

I make a second trip to the bathroom and her hear meowing again. “I’m in here,” I holler and she comes running. She’s been close by and even now sleeps in the chair beside me. 

Well, I’m home. I’m going to relax the rest of the day and tomorrow I’ll have to dive into paperwork and getting things in order. Oh, there’s a lot to do and I can’t even think about working on the book yet. Yep, home and work. There’s lots to do… starting tomorrow.



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