Sun. July 1, 2012- Vermont to Upstate NY to Kingston, ON:
It’s Canada Day! Breakfast was subpar however, there was no milk for the coffee and the only good food was muffins so I grabbed a chocolate chip one because the only other appealing one had a crumble on top of it, a possible warning sign of banana. Back in our room I took a bite of it only to realize it was blueberry! Brent laughed; he had almost grabbed it but realized it was blueberry, so much for breakfast. As we drove, I did the usual, staring out the window, looking for interesting things and I hit the mother lode: someone had a camel on their farm! An actual living camel, as I took his picture he laid down. We had to drive over Lake Champlain to get to New York State but there was no sign of Champ, I guess even lake monsters get statutory holidays of neighbouring countries off. We stopped at a gas station to fill-up on gas, and American candy (no mint M&Ms but I did find Coconut Three Musketeers and a Triple Chocolate Snickers bar). There were signs all along the highway for the various trails through the Adirondack Mountains, as well as parking lots, it made finding out particular trail really easy. We hiked to the top of Cascade Mountain, the terrain here was different though, it was rockier and muddier but also easier. It was a popular trail with a lot of people. We got to the fake top but knew we had to keep going because there was no sign of all the people that had passed us (I am a slow hiker). To reach the very summit, you basically had to scale rocks; it was less than ideal for someone in running shoes and holding an expensive camera. It was worth it though, the views were outstanding, the sky was clear and you could see really far. I had to crabwalk and slide down on my butt to get down from the summit, kids were just zooming past me, which Brent tried to use as an argument for why I should not be worried and I replied that anything the kids do is something I don’t want to do. Kids are just plain nuts. I was starving at this point and ready to start going back, I was searching through the backpack for another water and I found a granola bar, never had I been so happy to see a granola bar. It did not satiate me for very long however. As we got closer to the end I could hear the cars in the distance, interspersed with grumblings from my stomach.
Our next destination was Lake Placid; we were going hunting for a giant crocodile. Fine, I kid, we were going there for lunch and canoeing on the lake. We drove along Main Street looking for parking and the canoe rental place. Neither was anywhere to be found, so we circled the lake and tried again. This time I saw that the rental place was under construction. We were starving so we drove to a nearby McDonald’s for lunch. There was some confusion as to my ordering a happy meal (for the Pokemon toy, for Brent). The cashier did not seem to understand, she also did not understand that there are different chicken nugget sauces. Full of food, we got a second wind and we circled again, looking for any rental place. No luck, there were only resorts, private clubs and a public launch for people who owned water craft. For the first time ever I actually understood why my sisters want to buy a canoe. Lucky for me there was also a Dunkin’ Donuts on our way, before which we had stopped at a pharmacy for candy (selection was subpar) and I had to settle for Mallo Cups. When I went into to Dunkin’ Donuts I did not realize I had marshmallow goop on my chin, oops. I also solved the mystery of iced versus hot coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. On the menu it said that iced medium coffee is 20 oz while a hot medium coffee is 14 oz, a huge size difference.
Google Maps had said it would be 3.5 hours to Kingston, the GPS said 5 hours and took us a different route, along the Adirondack Scenic Highway. It was indeed scenic, with wild turkeys, a loon sitting in a pond and mountains. At one point Brent pulled over so he could go pee in the woods, but he scared off a pheasant or quail, some fancy delicious looking bird, but I didn’t care, I got to push the red triangle button in the car!!! Eventually the scenic byway ended and we were in native territory, this was evident because all we passed were casinos and cigarette shops and ads for said places. Again there were no signs warning of the border crossing and the first border into Canada wasn’t even operational, it seemed as if we got in freely. As we drove over a horribly bumpy bridge though we got a real border and at some point here the iPod cable broke. We were so far east in Canada that we were in Cornwall, which is apparently east (I had no idea where Cornwall was until then). We were actually picking up Ottawa radio stations. But we were close enough to the US that we were also picking up NPR.
We got to our hotel just as it started to rain, but it was just a strip of rain cloud over us, you could see the edges of it near the horizon where it was sunny. The GPS promised a Pizza Pizza nearby but the internet confirmed that it was a lie. So our Canada Day dinner was had at Wendy’s, a cheeseburger sort of half filled my pizza craving. The upside was that we grabbed plastic spoons for our royal dessert: Ben & Jerry’s and Swedish Fish (the cashier asked if we were going to put them in the ice cream). This time we had a Canadian flavour: Barenaked Ladies If I had A 1,000 Flavours (chocolate & vanilla swirl, chocolate covered almonds and pieces of white chocolate and peanut butter cups), it was amazing. And what else goes better with ice cream than really bad TV: My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding marathon! It was nice because we had a fireplace in the room as well. In total we were only wished a Happy Canada Day once, by a sign outside of the hotel.