Monday, January 21, 2008

New Yoooooooork

Somehow, New York state turned into one of the longest states I've travelled through in some time. And I live in Texas. It just went on and on and on and on...I toodled across the interstate and it just expanded as I drove. Finally I found a pretty reststop early in the morning, pulled over and practically fainted. I managed to get the seat down enough to be reasonably comfy and covered up a bit. It was August but pretty cold in the morning, plus I tend to freeze when I get tired, anyway. Maybe all my blood stops and settles or something.

I rested awhile, then got out to stomp around and try to wake up. To my surprise I was parked near another river. A fairly well-known one, in fact. Fortunately it was not swimming with mosquitoes. I still remember Jamestown for that...though there have been a few other scarier places (never camp in the White River [AR] reststop during mosquito season, for example). This was actually a nice spot. And vaguely familiar. Maybe I'd been here before, just not headed this direction.

I did my best to shake the sleep off, but I wasn't succeeding too well. I tried to find nice things to aim at, but only saw a couple things worth the effort, like the river area and this state flag. Of course, I always ogle at trees.

Rested a little more, then made myself get going. I wanted to make the border before dark!

On I drove, and somewhere along the way there was a town where I stopped for awhile since it had a mall, and I went in and walked around for a bit. Looked at stuff, got some exercise. Awake enough to function, but I was just going to be on the dazed side all day, what with the New York hazy weather and little change of scenery (if nice) in the region. The state just went on forever. I looked through some travel booklets and figured maybe I could get a room in Buffalo and get a decent rest, giving me something to aim for...

The drive got much shorter as I found I needed to Go and the car needed gas and I was finding neither opportunity availing itself...some places seemed like they'd be ok but were closed or too much work to get to or too expensive or whatever. I got into the Buffalo area and drove through quite a lot of city before getting my bearings straight. Stopped at a little gas station in desperation and still had to wait a while...lousy timing! But I finally got both relief and gas and a cappucino to top it off. Then I started looking for the motels I had deals for. This took awhile, and I guess I missed the first batch or something, taking the scenic view through Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Wound up in the right area and was so worn out I just went in and got a room. But the room, despite yet another brand name (Knight's Inn, I think), was pretty hideous. It didn't help when I later went out and saw the $17/room anytime sign on the better-looking motel next door, when I'd paid far far more than that for a room worth probably less than that.

However, with the room you got a pass to run out to the falls free (bus). If I used it, I could use it in the morning or now. Though it was dusk, upon another good look at the room, I decided just about anything was worth doing to avoid looking at the room, which had a sad set of drawers, a scary bed, a tiny portable TV chained to a table, a rickety table with a phone and a phonebook on it, and a little mirror and a naked single bulb light for the entire room. This was a superior room loaded with amenities. There was a tiny bar of soap and a questionable wash towel in the bathroom, and breakfast in the morning (toast).

Makes sleeping in the car look good.

Anyway, so I asked how to use the card, got the scoop, and walked a little up the road and poked my head into some local restaurant (Dave's?). Got a chicken parmesan sandwich and soda to eat before the bus came, then stood in the wind and hopped on the Falls metro bus. Met several people doing the same thing. We went up to the falls could get on and off the bus, but I figured a couple hours at Niagara Falls would be a nice enough adventure. Most of the group got off at a casino. I don't recall a casino there before...but it was certainly a big thing now. Had never noticed all the east Indians in the area before, either, goodness gracious me... Fascinating.

So I got off the courier to visit Niagara Falls, solo, at night.

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