Things to read...

If time is short, I'd suggest reading at LEAST The Prologue and Legend of The Pinto Bean Posts!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We march on Niagara at dawn, ready the troops.

Hello all! As I sit here in my fold up recliner, looking back on the day and trying to figure out what to type, I draw a bit of a blank. Two beers later and the blank is still there, but at least I'm happier! I stayed the night in Burlington, VT because I needed to do laundry, and by the time it was done it was too late to travel onward. I went to a campsite near Lake Champlain, and managed to get one of only three sites left. Luck has smiled on me! Or so I thought...

Once inside, I cooked up a little dinner on my handy dandy travel stove, and then quickly realized I have NO IDEA where my hobo fork/knife set is.... I popped the top and drank it anyhow... Gotta do what works, right? I then set about making camp for the night when I encountered what is apparently the Vermont state bird, the Mosquito. Now these particular mosquitoes were not of the bird of prey size as the ones in Maine, which one would THINK would be a good thing. Sadly, what they lack in size, the more than make up for in intelligence and numbers. They apparently organize themselves much like the bombers of WWII into some sort of "Flying Box". Apparently one then becomes flight lead, and decides when and where to attack. I credit them with intelligence because they chose the left arm, and my hook provided little defense against this... At one point I think I saw them actually try to carry Rocky off. Of course, that didn't work because I'm still stuck with him... As their attack progressed I honestly think I heard Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries"! I finally managed to DEET myself and get the net over the back window, and lock myself inside the truck. From that point it was only a matter of slaughtering the 89467 that were still IN the Bean with me. Eventually, I managed to fall asleep. Either that or pass out from blood loss...

In the morning, at 5:42 A.M. to be exact I was awoken by an entirely NEW sound... It sounded a LOT like those boxes of "Saturn Rockets" you buy for the 4th of July. You know the ones... The ones that come in a box of about 9000, and when you light them, they go off in succession with a loud whistle. Then drunken Uncle Earl picks up the box and starts firing them into the family members still hoarding around the potato salad. Yeah you know... THOSE rockets... Anyhow, after a few minutes of that RTD finally gets up, apparently concerned that maybe the sound is effecting his food bowl, and starts to bark. Finally I get up to see what the commotion is, and was greeted with a sight never seen before. Apparently a flock of seagulls was having some sort of gang "jumping in" initiation about four feet behind the suburban. Now at this point you might be wondering what in the world a group of 1980's era boy banders would be doing gangbanging around the hard streets of Burlington, Vermont, but I mean this was a group of the feathered variety. Of course, was transfixed. Now I'm not sure if this was some initiation or what, but a group of several seagulls was whooping the stuffing outa one seagull. I looked to see if maybe he had the wrong colored bandanna or what, but I never did figure it out. Luckily it all ended before there was a drive by pooping, and I grabbed another couple hours of shuteye.

I woke up again when the temperature of the bean crossed 100 degrees fahrenheit, and got everything stowed away. I then ambled on over to the shower area to clean myself and spare innocent travelers of my scent. I hopped into the shower and searched for the knobs. Odd, none to be found. I looked outside the shower and found a coin box. Seriously? I went back to my truck (clothed!) and got $1.50 and came back. I got everything ready and prepared myself for the suspected ice cold shower. I've had a lot of cold showers in the Army, so this wasn't gonna be new. I hopped in, and was happily greeted with nice warm water. Amazing, I thought. Then the water got hotter... Now I don't know if you've ever heard of geothermal heating, where water is heated from really hot water underground, but that is not what this place used. I suspect they used Luciferous heating. Don't bother googling this, I already did (maybe) and here's what you need to know. This is where a campsite or whatever signs a contract with the devil guaranteeing water that is heated well above the 212 degree boiling point of regular water. Not sure what the exact # is, but it's somewhere between "temperature of the sun" on the low side, and "temperature women like" on the high side. Yeah, so my shower consisted of brief interludes in the water followed by long periods of soaping and soft sobbing out of the water. Once I had peeled my top layer of skin off I headed back to the Bean to start the trip!

I headed out west thru the Adirondack state park, and I must admit that I was surprised at the overall loveliness of the park. If you're like me you picture all of NY as towering buildings, attitude, and bad accents. There was NONE of that to be found here...Only miles upon miles of rolling hills and forest, accented by the occasional farm and small town. The roads were typical New England bad, but I didn't mind, the view made up for it! The mountains were small, but they were often topped with towering rocky outcroppings, and the road that paralleled them also followed the Hudson river quite a ways, which was also a spectacular sight! Once out of the park though, the world became flat and uneventful, and I quickly lost interest and spent much of my time trying to entertain myself... This usually involves playing with various electronic gadgets while staring at every person who passed the Bean. Scary for most people, but at least I was entertained!

Well folks, tomorrow I'm heading over to the Falls, and from there I don't really know yet. If anyone has suggestions or offers, shoot me an e-mail and we'll see! Sorry for the lack of pictures today, but one can only see so many pictures of trees! (ok I forgot to charge the camera). Until then....

8 comments:

THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

Daniel,

Just picked up your story from B5, and what a story it is. You've come quite a ways since your "unscheduled stop" in the desert.

Enjoy your trip--I'll be posting about it this coming week.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, have to ask.
Have people come up to you to say hey or thank you for your service or anything? Or is everybody just really interested in Rocky? He's probably getting all the attention!

Just wondered, what with the writing on the truck and all, if that was bringing anyone to you.

Have fun at the Falls. Don't "fall" in!! (Couldn't resist that one.)
Kath

Scott said...

Daniel,
I don't have much experience with I-90 in NY but if you swing a little further south there is Cooperstown, home of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. It's well worth a visit.

Further south still (and a bit out of the way) are Oneonta and Binghamton, both of which have great minor league ballparks; especially Binghamton, which features a "beer batter" every few innings whereby if the opposing team's batter is struck out by the Bing. pitcher, everyone gets a free beer.

Usually, what follows is a series of the pitcher's nastiest slider/curveball options and escalating cheers from the crowd as the strikes accumulate. Good times.

JJ Daddy-O said...

Yes, Cooperstown merits a visit-- don't forget to stop off at the local microbrewery! (http://www.ommegang.com/)
And yes, The Hudson is one of the US' great rivers, why else would it have it's own painting movement? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River_school

Joanne said...

Hey, what's wrong with us New Yawkers? :0) The Falls are majestic and awe-inspiring! Any chance you are going to turn around and head to NYC and LI? WTC, Statue of Liberty, last year of the house that Ruth built...Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Daniel,

Enjoy reading the blog since seeing you and the Bean on I89 in Vermont. You should map you route and where you have been in some manner? Did you stay in North Hero? The smack down of the 'Gulls was probably some poor Comerant who just happened to stray too far inland in the islands.

Anonymous said...

Daniel -
Thanks for the memories!!! Growing up, my family used to camp often in Vermont - I had forgotten about taking a stack of quarters to the shower until I read your post ... thanks for bringing back fond memories!
- Kate

drumbugg said...

I love the picture...engine bay...Campbell's chunky....I can't stop laughing. Classic!