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Sunday, October 3, 2010

11 years ago today, Day 34

I do not like fleas, Sam I am.  I do not like them at all.  Eleven years ago last night was one of the worst nights on my entire Long Trip, and fleas were the reason why.  I am intensely sensitive to bug bites of all kinds, and I left that motel that morning with flea bite welts all over me.  At least the motel clerk was apologetic and credited my credit card. 

So I bagged Lake Placid, which was too bad, but I had also discovered that the Olympics Museum was closed on Sundays, anyway.  I did drive past the ski jump from the 1980 Winter Olympics on my way out of town, which was kind of cool. 

I headed north and east towards the Lake Champlain ferry at the tiny hamlet of Port Kent, passing by High Falls Gorge on the way:

Calling these High Falls was like calling the Adirondacks mountains, but it was pretty.

I had to wait about an hour for the ferry, and then when I drove my car on board, it was so tightly packed in that I couldn't open the car door wide enough to get out.  Which was going to be fine, since I was at the very front of the ferry, except for the tour bus passengers who did everything but sit on the hood of my car so that I couldn't see out.

It was cold (by my standards for early October, in the 40sF) and windy, with a thick layer of clouds and spitting rain.   The lake was whitecapped.  Fortunately, the ferry was big and heavy enough that it didn't rock much.  Still, I was glad to get to Burlington, Vermont, on the other side.

The first thing I did was to find a decent motel.  The second thing I did was to find a JCPenney, in the Burlington Mall, to buy a new pillow to replace the one I'd accidentally left in Lake Placid when I escaped the motel room from heck (I was just as glad I'd left it, actually, because it was probably flea-infested and the last thing I needed to do was bring the darned things with me).  Penneys is the only store I know of that sells the foam rubber pillows that I find essential to a good night's sleep.

While I was there, I found a Sunday newspaper (a Boston Globe this time) and a food court, and had myself a nice bit of normal.

Then I headed back to my motel, cleaned the car out, threw all my clothes in the motel laundry (I was not taking any chances on bringing those fleas with me), and spent the afternoon getting myself reorganized for the next leg of my journey. 

The travel section of the Globe had a very nice writeup on Vermont State Route 100, which runs north to south through the heart of the state, starting about ten miles east of Burlington at the Ben and Jerrys factory and running almost to the Massachusetts border.  It sounded wonderful, so I thought why not?

I settled in early for the night, after watching a newscast predicting snow overnightIn early October.  I wasn't worried about driving in it -- I once spent six years in the Midwest, after all.  But in early October???  Oh, well.  Surely they knew how to keep the roads clear in this part of the world...


  1. The ferries across Lake Champlain are fun. I've taken the one from Cumberland Head, NY to Grand Isle, VT both ways. We flew into Burlington, rented a car, and went to visit my brother's family outside of Plattsburgh, NY.

  2. I think I would have enjoyed the ferry much more if I hadn't been so tired (and itchy). And if I could have seen anything or been able to get out of my car. But the scenery in the Adirondacks sure is pretty, I must say.

  3. This reminds me of my own "good old days" of travel, when I was completely broke but loved nothing more than a road trip! I stayed in a couple of, um, seedy places...although I don't think I ever had this kind of problem! Glad you had so many lovely diversions to distract you.

  4. Oh, I still travel pretty frugally, but I've only had that problem one other time, thank goodness -- and it was in New England, too. Don't know what it is about fleas and New England...

  5. My not so High Falls are even lower than the one pictured here.

    As for fleas, New England may've been warming up for the recent bedbug resurgence.


  6. Perhaps. A long, slow warmup.

    Waterfalls are wonderful, IMHO. No matter what their height.