I was really excited about our next stop because we were going to visit friends I have known since I was 5. My parents had invited the Smiths, with their 5 kids over to our house one Three Kings Day after the parade. The Smiths had not yet moved permanently to the island, but would several years later, right up the hill from us. The 2 youngest, Nulsen and Tracy, were as much a part of our family as my siblings. Tommy (and the 2 oldest "really old" brothers-Norm and Peter-were teens) went to school off island so we'd see them when they came for visits. Then the parents were tragically killed in a plane crash in 1964 and it would be 15 years before I saw any of them again but I had not seen Tommy since the day of his parents' memorial. Norm had offered the use of the driveway at his house so we would be driving there from Button Bay with a stop on the way at Crown Point, NY.
The route from Vergennes to Crown Point is easy and Crown Point State Historical Site is located right on the NY side of the Champlain Bridge so it would not take us long to get there. With the ruins of both the French fort, Ft Frederic which was abandoned in 1759 and the British fort, His Majesty's Fort at Crown Point, was built. The ruins of Ft Frederic have really only the outlines of the former buildings but the British fort has several buildings. After touring the historic site we'd eat lunch and then get on the road.
|model of the British Fort|
Which way we would be going was a bone of contention between us because I wanted to take the smaller. more scenic route but Don had driven it on the way back from Plattsburgh and did not want to. So, we were headed to I-87. I'd checked the route for low overpasses and saw none so we were good to go. We made good time and after a few small roads got to I-87, which, even though a major highway, goes through such beautiful areas, that it wasn't bad. We took the exit for Keene Valley and LO and BEHOLD we almost missed the sign that said Low Overpass 12' 9"-Uh Oh we are 13' 1" since we had the vent covers put on. Oh, what to do? For one minute we discussed getting back on 87 and going north and coming in from Lake Placid but then I realized if I removed the vent covers we'd be 12' 4" and we'd be OK. So I climbed the ladder with a screwdriver and 10 minutes later the covers were off and stowed in the MoHo and we were one our way again. Then I checked the atlas again and realized that there was a warning for the low overpass at Underwood but, not having been there for 35 years, I had forgotten the name of the town and had not checked the map to see. The rest of the route was beautiful and mishap free. The one thing that was distressing me was that we had no cell phone reception and it did not return even as we drove into town. I had to call Tracy so she could meet us and lead us to where we'd park and with no signal...I went into a nursing home on the main street and within no time Tracy and I were heading up the hill to scope out the site. An hour later we were in place and had walked up to Tracy's to see her husband, Scott. Later still I had met Tommy's wife and seen him again. And it felt like we all picked up were we'd left off. Over the next three days we'd start out with an outdoor shower then a dip in the frigid John's Creek and then we were off doing something-Farmer's Market, climbing Mt Baxter or swimming in the pool at a friend's house. We had the chance to see Peter's daughter Ade and her adorable little girl.
|Don enjoying a "bracing" dip|
|Drops of water on a cobweb in the shower form a necklace|
Hike up Baxter
Too soon it was time to leave again...This time we were headed to MA to yet another friend from childhood