Friday, August 18, 2017

A Few More Road Trip Pix

1. Obligatory start-of-the-road-trip shot in the loading area at Sebago. Yay! As usual, click on any photo for a larger view.

2. I've taken to reserving an "Intermediate" when I'm planning on cartopping my boat, as the roofs on the smaller ones are a little on the flimsy side. There was one trip where there was an indentation left after I took my boat off the roof at the end of the trip - I was able to pop it out by getting in the back seat and pushing up on the roof with my feet, but after that trip I decided that the few extra bucks for a sturdier car would be money well spent. I was a bit horrified this time when the agent walked me out to the parking lot, pointed to the Kia Soul, and said "That's yours", I'd actually been looking at in on the way in and thinking "If that's mine I don't know how I'm gonna get my boat on top of it". I can generally wrestle my heavy kayak up onto the roof of a normal car but this one was tall enough that I wasn't seeing how I was going to make it happen on my own. You can't really tell the agent that you want a shorter car because you need to stick a kayak on the roof. I don't think they want to know about that. Thanks to Derek O for taking this photo so you can see how tall the car is!

Fortunately there was a clubmate at the club when I got there and more turned up later (I was missing a Lake Sebago and Hudson River weekend that had been planned long after I'd committed to Women Swimmin') so I had help, and then of course I wasn't worried about the Ithaca end 'cause there's always plenty of help for loading after the event.  

3. Silly thing I liked about the car: If you add an 'okina (represented by a ' and pronounced as a glottal stop) between the e's you have the Hawaiian word for octopus, so I decided that ka he'e was the car's name for the weekend. I hope Trusty Romany wasn't too jealous, that boat and I have been an item for well over a decade now and it still doesn't have a name.

A couple more mildly entertaining notes about the car:

I was telling the friends I was sitting with at the free concert by the lake on Saturday night about my concern when I first saw it, and I mentioned it was a Kia Soul, and one of them said "Oh yeah, that's the one that looks like a freezer on wheels, right?" and I cracked up. Yep, that's the one.

And then this week I'd posted a picture of the car with the boat on top in the Delaware Water Gap, and one of my friends said it looked like a good yak wagon, lots of cargo space, and I said, "Not as much as you might think, I had crap all over the back seat" and she said, "You put the back seats DOWN". HA! I am SO not a driver, the thought hadn't even occurred to me. Next time then!

4. Another thing that made it the perfect summer weekend: First sweet corn and caprese salad dinner of the summer. What with one thing and another, I hadn't made it to a greenmarket since long before the corn would've started appearing, but I got into Ithaca early enough to go drop off my boat, and as I was headed to the Ithaca yacht club I passed the GreenStar, my friend Louise's favorite local organic grocery. A ha! I didn't have time to stop then as I needed to lose the boat and be back for a 6:00 meeting, but the store was still open afterwards and YES! they had local sweet corn and tomatoes. The tomatoes were gorgeous, I picked a great big lumpy green and red one that turned out to be soooo sweet and flavorsome; the corn was pretty picked over and the ears that were left were rather measly little specimens, but they turned out to be sweet and tender and much more delicious than I'd expected. Louise had the requisite butter and oil and vinegar around and my only regret was that I hadn't thought to grab some basil from my garden (which isn't having the best year, but the basil is the exception). Delicious even without the fresh basil, though.

5. Taughannock Falls. This is the waterfall I stopped to grab some pictures of when the clouds seemed to be rolling in and I'd thrown in the towel on the thought of going swimming in favor of going napping. The overlook is right on the way back to Louise's place so a stop was quick and convenient. Also had a nice time checking out a fossils-of-Ithaca table that a young lady with the parks department was overseeing - fossil collecting had been a hobby of hers for a while and she was quite happy to have gotten a summer job sharing it. Good stop! There are a couple of really nice hikes here too but at this point I was very focused on naptime. 

6. Valley View Farm Stand: I always stop here on the way home for summer staples -- tomatoes and peaches and corn, oh my. Plus some honey or jam or whatever else looks appealing for a more long-lasting treat. It's always further from Ithaca than I think it is and I'll always be getting nervous at some point thinking that somehow I missed it, but I never have. One of these years I'll start to trust myself more. 

7. Nice old barn near the town of Whitney Point. It catches my eye every time I'm driving out to Ithaca. This year I started back to Brooklyn earlier than in the past, Louise and I have generally done something fun on Sunday morning on past trips but the drive to Ithaca goes through some really lovely countryside and being on my own this time, I thought it would be great to start back earlier and do a little sightseeing on my way home. This was my second stop, it's a neat-looking old barn but appears long abandoned, and looks like it doesn't need more than a few more good storms before it goes down. I haven't gone past it once without thinking "I gotta take a picture of that before it goes" and this was the perfect chance to do that.

8. Roadside bar-b-q: I'd noticed this on the way to Ithaca, it looked so promising with all the big smokers out in front, so when I passed it on the way home I stopped to grab some bbq for lunch. I got their smoked brisket, it didn't come with sauce, I didn't ask for sauce, it didn't need sauce. Delicious. Although the scenery in which I ate it may have helped...

9. Delaware Water Gap: This was my last stop on the way home. The Delaware Water Gap is always the one particular part of the drive where I'm wishing I could just stop and visit for a while, it's so pretty. At one point I'd been sniffing around on the internet looking for paddling possibilities, found plenty but decided that might be overly ambitious and decided to settle for maybe a hike instead; unfortunately there was construction-caused traffic before this so by the time I got here I didn't have the time for poking around that I'd hoped to. I have to admit that this is where the smartphone I don't have might have come in handy, or at least a little more pre-trip research - as it was I followed road signs and ended up at the PA visitor center in East Stroudsburg, which wasn't on the river at all; I looked at a big map they had there that showed a loop trail by the river, decided to go find that, drove to where I thought it was to find sort of an industrial parking area, drove around the town a little more (attractive little town), saw a couple of outfitters where I could've made inquiries if it had been a little earlier (noted for another time). 

I finally threw in the towel on this particular search for a chance to spend at least a little time by the river and got back on the highway - too bad I hadn't done that to begin with because very soon after the town, the road met up with the river and there was an off-ramp to the Kittatiny Point Visitor's Center, which was exactly the sort of right-on-the-river visitor center in a park with picnic tables and people playing in the river that I'd been hoping to find in the first place. Didn't have time to hike at this point but I did decide that since I'd found it, I would take an early dinner break here - brisket, a peach, and the last of the fresh mozzarella, as the paddlers went drifting by and the late afternoon sun sparkled on the water. Wish I'd had more time but at least I got that much, which was very pleasant and I do have a better sense of things for another time. Beautiful area, with the highway so close there's street noise that means it's not quite as bucolic as the pictures might seem, but it does make a great weekend destination for city folks. Glad to get a little visit there. 

And that was pretty much it for summertastic weekend one - the rest of the drive home was uneventful and I was home at a semi-decent hour.

Hoping for another fun weekend this weekend, closer to home this time! 


will said...

looks like a great trip with fun vehicles and delicious food!

bonnie said...

Oh, it was good. Felt like finally catching up on having a proper summer!