Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 146, 10/01/10 - Ticonderoga, NY

Just the Basics: This is our second layover day in Ticonderoga - thanks to Tropical Storm Nicole we had rain most of the night and most of today so far - it's about 12:15 as this is being typed.

We've made pretty good use of our time while we're here, but are very anxious to get back on the road.

We've meant to mention the rather unique Super 8 where we're staying. It's designed in a rustic style. It looks like a log structure on the outside and our room has: One pretty wood-paneled wall, two nice Adirondack pictures, and knotty pine wooden furniture which looks like the kind you might find in a little cabin somewhere in the Adirondacks! According to motel staff there is at least one other Super 8 in this area built in this style.

With two full days off, we've been doing lots of trip planning. As we close in on Portland, Maine, we are trying to coordinate our arrival so that some or all of our Boston family members can come to meet us if they like - which, with all the kids in school pretty much requires a weekend arrival. If things go well, we should arrive on the morning of Columbus Day.

Today's Photo: A maple (?) tree in a Ticonderoga front yard, taken yesterday.

Tomorrow: We go about 31 miles to Ripton, Vermont - our 14th state! We will be staying at the Chipman Inn B & B. There are no restaurants near there (unless you're travelling by car), so we have permission to eat dinner in our room if necessary - likely crackers, cheese, fruit and wine. If the timing works out we might have "dinner" at East Middlebury, about 7 miles before we get there - but there are actually not supposed to be any restaurants in East Middlebury either (or anywhere else on tomorrow's ride!) so "eating out" would be eating something at a gas station/convenience store in any event!

For Those Who Want More:
Researching lodging. The fall colors season is in full swing and that makes being assured of lodging trickier. All things being equal, we prefer not to make reservations for more than a couple of days ahead - changes in weather or bike troubles are harder to adapt to if we are tied to reservations which we can't easily change. Right now we've made reservations for Saturday and Sunday but we're still not sure how much further ahead we'll make reservations. We plan to call some places today and ask how likely they are to fill before making decisions.

Eating: Surprisingly, the motel room lacks a fridge and microwave - although you can use the microwave in the breakfast area and rent a fridge. Super 8 has minimalist breakfasts but that's what we had yesterday. Lunch was peanut butter sandwiches, an apple, cookies and tea in our room and will be about the same today (we carry all of those food items all the time).

The 1st night we ate dinner at an OK restaurant nearby. The 2nd night we ate in our room: NY extra sharp cheddar, Wheat Thins, fresh pears, and a bottle of Turning Leaf CA Merlot - Yum! This morning we split a toasted and buttered motel bagel and a motel English muffin and ate the rest of our cheese and had motel juice and coffee and, in Riley's case, motel corn flakes. Tonight we'll try a different restaurant. There is a coffee pot in our room and we carry tea and Starbucks instant caf and decaf, so have those available, as well.

BTW: We are also carrying dish detergent, 2 sets of Titanium super-lightweight silverware, two metal camping plates, Riley's pocket knife, and paper towels, so eating and clean-up in the room can be pretty comfortable - in fact, this motel has only tiny paper plates in the breakfast room so this morning we took our own plates to breakfast!

Making Good Use of Time: We are trying to make good use of our layover time - here's what we've been up to in addition to the planning referenced above:
  • Lots of catching up on email;
  • Some phone calls;
  • A walk into town to pick up our 3rd General Delivery mail - our friend Barb sent back the cold weather clothes we mailed to her in August to lighten our loads;
  • Shopping for groceries and sundries;
  • Getting flu shots from a very cheery nurse at WalMart - which seems to be the only big store in town . . . .
  • Walking to a near-by gas station for papers - we are treating ourselves to both a local paper and a New York Times every day of late;
  • Reading the paper - and Riley is busily compiling a little notebook of clippings of facts about various items of interest from the Times - for example, a report on TARP and one on the distribution of government expenditures and how it has changed over the years as a percentage of GNP;
  • Sadly - not doing laundry; the motel doesn't have a guest laundry (more common than not and a real problem for us, as we carry little clothing);
  • You get the idea!

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