Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Adirondacks Day 1 (A) - Weds 6/20/12

Part 1, Preparing for Launch

Well, the boys trip 2012 is finally here, and I am very excited. The plan for today is to meet at Phil's house, about an hour north of me, at around 10:00am. Pending last minute work stuff that Leo may have to get through, we will leave as soon as we can, and drive as far north as the Rodeway Inn at Lake George, NY. We expect this will be about a five and a half hour drive if all goes well, with a lunch stop and other brief breaks as needed. This will leave only an hour and a half or so tomorrow to get to our final destination. There is a Walmart near the motel where we will be able to get the last of the provisions tomorrow morning, which will mainly consist of produce, eggs, cold cuts and other non-freezable perishables. I have bought a list of non-perishables ahead of time, and Phil has planned menus, prepped food, and frozen things ahead of time for most if not all of the main courses.

9:00am - I leave the house with what I think is a frighteningly large amount of gear. In the interests of being more flexible with packing the van, I have divided my personal stuff into two medium sized duffles rather than one huge one. In addition to this I have my day pack which contains various items including my good camera. I also have an inflatable air mattress (no larger than a true backpacking sleeping pad but much more comfortable. There is also one file storage sized box and three bags of non-perishables that I have bought for the group. And a camp chair. And a frying pan and an eight quart stock pot. It's a lot, and it's only my contribution.

9:30am - I get to Dave's to pick him up on the way, and when I pull into his driveway, he has an equally impressive pile of gear to bring. His personal items are about the same as mine, but instead of the non-perishables that I have, he has the tent we will sleep in and its accessories, and an acoustic guitar. He is hopeful that there will be room for the guitar, even if he needs to carry it all the way on his lap. Our combined pile of stuff pretty well fills my post-car-accident rented Altima.

As we are loading the car, I comment that we will almost certainly need the roof rack clam shell this time. Dave points to the far wall of his garage, against which the roof rack is leaning, and says "yeah, about that...". It seems that the rooftop carrier that I am thinking we will be using is actually Dave's, not Phil's, and as it is sitting in Dave's garage with no way of getting it to Phil's, the only way we will be able to use it is to bring the van back down to Dave's house. This is an hour out of the way, not to mention the extra time to fiddle with it. We shrug and hope we can find a way to not need it.

- Dave and I arrive at Phil's. Ted pulls in almost at the same time as us. We put all the combined gear together and organize it to be ready to load when Leo arrives. We have a rented Dodge Grand Caravan, the same vehicle that we rented for the Dakotas trip last year, where it proved to be a comfortable workhorse. It's a mountain of stuff, and we hope that Leo has packed light.

When Leo shows up at around 10:30, he hasn't packed any lighter than any of the rest of us. The mountain grows. We have all the personal stuff, boxes and bags of food, 3 loaded coolers, many cases of water, Gatorade and beer. And a host of other things. I can't believe it will all fit, but after a half hour of fiddling, we manage to have it all in. I'm still not quite sure how we did it, but Dave did have to ride the whole way with a guitar between his legs.

11:01am - We leave Phil's, happy to be on the road in very good time. A quick stop at the rental place to add me as a secondary driver and we are on the way.

12:09pm - Having travelled up the Northeast extension and over on I-78 East, we cross into NJ.

1:00pm - We have come up I-287 and stop at the Wendy's just off the Hanover/Whippany exit for a quick lunch.

1:30pm - Back on the road again.

2:00pm - Into NY.

3:20pm - We stop at the New Baltimore rest stop just south of Albany to stretch our legs. We are making good time, as the speed limit on most of the non-urban interstate is 65, which means Phil can go 80 ish most of the time and be moving with traffic.

Next... Lake George

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