Monday, June 25, 2012

Adirondacks Day 6 - Mon 6/25/12

Part 13, The Road Home

7:05am - Comfort Inn, near Albany NY. I have been dozing off and on for the last hour or so, but decide it is time to get up and get a shower. It's been nice to sleep in a real bed and I am very much looking forward to a nice long hot shower. The plan is to be downstairs grabbing a quick bit of breakfast at 7:30, and ready to go around 8:00.

7:35am - Leo, Ted and Phil are having breakfast when Dave and I get downstairs. It is the usual hotel free breakfast, but everything is nice and fresh, and they have the makings for breakfast sandwiches and coffee, so everyone is happy. The Weather Channel is on TV, and it seems like we might be spending a lot of our drive, at least in NY, in the rain. It isn't doing anything outside yet (and as it turns out, we don't hit more than scattered sprinklings of rain).

8:10am - Having only brought daypacks into the hotel, it is easy to get ready to go, so at shortly after 8 we are in the van and heading home. Phil is driving, as usual, and Leo is in "steerage", which is what we have been calling the third row seat which is surrounded on all sides by a wall of luggage and gear. Ted is riding shotgun as a reward for his hours in steerage, and Dave and I are in the middle. A tip of the cap to Leo and Ted for graciously taking most of the hours back there, and not having me bouncing around fighting car sickness. I do appreciate it.

The plan is simple: get home as fast as bio breaks and perhaps a couple of geocaches will allow. I am hoping that the southbound rest stops (as long as we are still in NY) have geocaches in them. On the way up, we got the two northernmost counties of the eight that we drove through in NY, but the southern six, five of which we still have to drive through today, are as yet unclaimed caching territory.

The first half dozen or so miles of southbound I-87 look familiar, as we have been down this road as part of our motel misadventures last night. As we drive south past where we turned off, we find that the next exit has a sign for a couple of motels. Then the exit after that has a few more. And a few more. And so on down the highway. We get a good chuckle when we realize that pretty much the only exit off the highway that doesn't have any motel signs is the one we got off at. In most cases, they are at the exit within plain view from the highway. Within an hour and a half's drive south of Albany (the amount of time we spent wandering around the greater Albany/Troy/Rennselear metro area), we go by at least 40 motels and hotels. Oh well.

Our trip through the remainder of NY is uneventful except for a quick stop down near the 287 junction, and I am disappointed to find that while most of the northbound rest stops we drive past have a geocache in them, none of the southbound ones do. I should have planned better and made sure we got them on the way up. My hope to bag a couple more NY counties fizzles.

9:45am (ish) - We cross into NJ on 287, and are making great time. Phil is content to continue to drive, which is fine by me as he drives faster than me and will get us home sooner. We are very quiet in the van, with little conversation and nobody choosing to put on the radio. We take 287 south to 78 west.

11:11am - We cross over the Delaware river and into Pennsylvania on I-78 West. We avoid Quakertown and the 309 construction again, and have a minor mishap finding the PA Turnpike connection, as it is not a simple ramp from one to the other. We make one last rest stop once on the Northeast extension, and then head south.

12:15pm - Having gotten off at Lansdale and cut across, we arrive at Phil's in fantastic time. It has taken us a few minutes more than four hours to get from Albany to Phil's, which seems terrific to me.

His kids are there when we pull in, and help us unload the van. It doesn't take us long to sort and stow our own gear, divvy up the remnants of food items we didn't use, and head our separate ways. I forgot to take a final "end of trip" picture, which I wish I had, and would be posting right here. Oops.

1:15pm - I drop Dave at his house and have a chance to say "hi" to Hailey, who has been visiting while we were gone, and is getting ready to leave to get home.

1:45pm - I pull into my driveway and the trip is officially over. Or perhaps it is really over in another twenty minutes when Amp and Grace get home and Grace gives me a very huggy "I missed my Daddy" greeting.

It was a great trip but it's also good to be home.

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