11 July << 2001 >> 14 July
This morning I woke up in the city that doesn't sleep, to find I had to walk around the block to move my car from in front of the public school before 7AM. Yesterday I woke up at a Provincial Park in Canada somewhere south of Sudbury. Actually, near Parry Sound. Around 11AM I pushed South toward Niagra Falls, eating breakfast at a gas station where the attendant insisted that she pour my coffee and serve me my muffin. Was it her own law to be so hospitable, or that of Sunoco, Ontario, or Canada?
Canada actually is a different country. That's a condescending thing for someone from the US to say, but, well, one of the marks of our nation is its arrogance. The metric system is really easy to enjoy driving to. I'll get up to 100+ km/h and then all the road signs are easy to figure hours for. If it is 300 some k to Toronto then I've got 3 hours and some before I get there. As things should be.
I went around Toronto, though, and zoomed down an "express tollway" where you don't stop to pay toll. They have what appear to be cameras watching you get on and off. Are they going to look up my plates and send a bill to California? Do Ontarian motorists shoulder the burden themselves? Who knows, but then who really worries about such things.
At Niagra I drove around until I found the falls and parked for $5 to wander over and snap some pictures. I wasn't so horribly impressed, perhaps it was the bug in my ass that wanted to see if I could make NYC without keeping Dave up too late that I'd just be better off camping outside the city a wee bit upstate. Anyways, back to the car, I drove around and finally found the Bridge to the USA and after a brief, if surly interrogation by the border patrol, after Canada's interragateur had been a beautiful, friendly woman, I was back in the land of the imperial system!
90 East to 87 South. I'd thought to take a more direct route, but the New York tollway was so breezy that I stayed on it the whole way through the state, turning southward at Albany. I made somewhat better time than AAA suggested I would make, dividing the mile markers by 70. As I approached NYC I got a call from Dave. Take Hudson to West Side Freeway to the Brooklyn Bridge and call back. Well, after a $12.10 toll, half a dozen bridges, and wondering should I pull over and consult a map and call Dave, I found myself in Manhattan, and then in the on-ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge. The on-ramp was sufficiently slow that I hooked up the phone's headset and got directions from Dave for that last mile of navigation through Brooklyn. I boiled his instructions down to left-right-left at these streets. I was back on a grid system and darned if I didn't make it work for me!
So, a welcome by Dave, some talking, some sleeping on his couch, and now some journal writing. I think I'll follow Dave on this one and catch a few more hours of rest before I confront the city.