2012 Vacation Day 11 - Monday: a shortcut is not always a shortcut...

A little voice woke me early this morning with her classic line... "I was thinking". I reached for my watch in the dark and learned that it was 4:10 in the morning, nothing like starting your thinking for the day real early.
The thought that woke her was whether we should catch the ferry off the island today, rather than Tuesday. Not a bad idea actually, as we have pretty much already decided that today was to be a hang around and chill day, but given the long drive we have tomorrow, it made sense to get a head start and just stop when we want to. I thought it was a good idea, said so, then rolled over to catch another couple of hours.

Got stuff squared away and headed out. We just made the 10:00 ferry, which was great. We needed gas, but decided that making the ferry was a little more important. We were actually the second vehicle on board, as they put anything unusual or large either on first thing or last thing. We were right up to the back end of the ship, as it swings around when offloading at the other terminal. Changed our reservations no problem, and relaxed on deck. A nice day today, with just a hint of cloud.
waiting patiently to hit the open road...

Rolled off and headed north up Hwy 25, planning to stop for gas at the first road sign. As we have time, and definitely prefer, we are again hitting the secondaries. The plan is to use the 25 to make our way to an older Hwy 7, which will take us north above interstate 90. Once above Albany, we will head west to catch the 87. We think we can make Lake George, and a nice private campsite where we stayed 3 years ago when the Alto in tow was mearly a rental.

As much as we enjoy the secondaries, you really have to be prepared for a meandering drive. You see so much more, but pay the price in time. An easy trade off in our minds, but for the majority in this self induced fast paced, smartphone addicted world, this concept would be simply unthinkable. When you are cruising along, absorbing all around you, you truly get a sense of what is happening in the area. Be it the extravagance of the uber rich on Long Island, or the run down ramshackle house in the depths of a province or state, your mind gets a brief glimpse of what life might be like there. Or you get a chance to observe an amazing river valley as you crest a hill, only to see something equally as enthralling when you round the next curve. On an interstate or 4 laner, you are mostly devoid of any of that experience, you could be anywhere, they all look the same.

Just around Williamstown, we decided upon a shortcut to lop off a chunk of the 7. We turned west onto the 2, and were immediately heading up a long hill. Really long, endlessly climbing towards the sky. Clearly the loop we cut off actually went around the crest of this massive climb, not directly over top of it. Climb, climb, climb is all we did. Bear in mind too, that we are towing, so I flipped the transmission into manual and shifted as needed to keep the revs OK and reduce the strain on the engine. What a great feature to have. Throw in some rough undulating backroads, some surprise curves, and you have a wide awake drive. We really felt in the middle of nowhere. Once we crested, it was right back downhill, in a series of little switchbacks. You know those yellow signs that warn you of the grade ahead and to use low gear, well I swear those damn little trucks were almost standing on their nose it was so steep. Throw in a few towns that look like they are barely surviving, and you have one very interesting drive.

Finally made it into Troy, where we needed to hop the I87 up to Lake George. Yes, I know, kinda goes against what I was ranting about, but it is sometimes a necessity. Rolled into the campground at 5:30. A long day, but tomorrow will be shorter and get us into Fish Creek earlier in the day. A little wet this evening, but we ae quite comfortable regardless of the weather.


  1. I've read a few posts you've made about knuckle white driving on steep hills and wonder if you think you'll get a different car for longer trips?

  2. The Santa Fe is just fine so far, it is more that at times you will end up on some roads that give you a bit of an extra adventure. Not sure a larger vehicle would have made us feel any more comfortable.