Do it now…conclusion

After getting a small but desperately needed amount of sleep at the Fleabag motel that charged me the reasonable rate of $202.00 for one night I rejoined my compadres at their motel. I was just in time for breakfast. When I went to the lobby of the restaurant I found my boys talking to a guy I didn’t know. It was Pete, who had driven up that morning to meet the others, apparently he was a regular part of the group. I liked him immediately although I suspected even then that he would be bunking with us that night and add to the cacophony. But I was too hungry to worry about that then.

After a huge breakfast we walked to the event du jour, the Adirondack Car Show. We weren’t the only ones, the sidewalks were mobbed with people heading the same way.

I was tired, full and probably in need of dialysis but I was as giddy as Michael Jackson watching the Little League World Series. As we went through the gate we were greeted by a wall of vendors selling anything car-related. Beyond that area I could see a ocean of glittering cars. I was in my element, although nostalgic over how I wish my Dad was with me. He loved car shows and he would have loved this one.

The fairground was set up with no particular system. I imagine that the first ones there got the best spots. Classics, Rat Rods, both original and modified muscle, trucks ranging from the 30’s to the 70’s all mingled in perfect harmony. I was immediately struck by how the owners stood by their cars or sat in lawn chairs waiting impatiently for someone to talk about their cars. I am friends with a lot of car guys and I know the labor of love these cars can be in the restoration and preservation process. I was their dream, I talked to everyone. I also got to watch Charlie number 2 reveal his knowledge. The man was a guru of automotive knowledge. I learned a lot by just listening.

Charlie 2

After we checked out everything Charlie said let’s go to the top level. I didn’t even know there was a top level. Turns out there were 2. After more walking than I was really capable of we arrived at Carvana. Wow. As it turns out, the top is where the good stuff was. The higher pedigree cars, ones whose lineage could be traced for authenticity and originality and were extremely valuable. Mustangs, GTO’s Malibu’s, Nova’s, Impala’s and a few oddities just called out to me. Eventually Charlie and I reconnected with Charlie 1 and Pete and had a beer in the shade. It was old hat for them, I was blown away. I like cars in case you haven’t noticed. I also like people and there were so many cool ones to talk to. Including this guy…

Image may contain: 2 people, including Bill McIntire, people smiling, car and outdoor

Once we had talked to almost everyone there (or so it seemed) we went to the shore of Lake George which was at the edge of the fairground and had a late lunch. I was tired. Real tired. But the food was great and the view was better. After, we began the long walk back to motel.

I was done at that point and when talk arose about going back to the pier for appetizers and drinks I politely declined and went back to the room. I had 4 hours to myself but sleep eluded me. I was briefly interrupted when Rick came in and packed his stuff. He got a call from the wife and needed to leave. We said our goodbyes and as he roared off it occurred to me that I may have one bed to myself in his absence. I would later find out that Pete would fill that vacancy. When the guys came back, shitfaced, they all inquired if I got any sleep. They were surprised. 8 hours later when they all arose from another fart/snore fest they were again surprised to find that I had been up all night. Again. I myself was not surprised.

We set out after breakfast for the 200 mile ride home. We lost Pete and Charlie 2 halfway down and at the end it was just Charlie 1 and I. Soon it was just me.

I had time to reflect on the way home. I had done something normal. Nobody talked about dialysis even though they all knew. I had made friends. I had experienced life. I had taken risks and reaped rewards. I had created memories.

All because I said YES.

What may have been an annual event for them was a very big deal for me. While no one has any guarantees for a tomorrow, I have less odds than many. I needed to say yes, not “maybe tomorrow”, or “maybe later”. Life is happening all around me. When an opportunity arises…DO IT NOW.

Do it now…Day 2

On day 2, as the farters and snorers began to stir at about 7 AM, I found myself with a decision to make. Do I haul my sleepless ass out of bed and risk major personal injury or illness and go on the ride and get out of the trip what I had hoped or puss out and stay at the motel?

You can catch up here and here.

I chose to go with the guys and make some memories.

After breakfast we put on our gear, warmed up the bikes and headed up Rte 9N, a beautiful scenic road that would take us through our little corner of NY and into the farmlands of VT. The first stretch of road was a long climb followed by a hair-raising downhill full of treacherous curves. My riding buddies were going too fast around the corners for my taste so I took my time. When I came to the bottom I found them at a rest stop taking off their helmets. We socialized with each other, I was still getting to know them and we mingled with other travelers as they pulled in as well. The stop was on Lake George and were all getting pictures when an enormous Military Transport Jet appeared over the lake and gave us a show at not even 1000 feet over the hard deck. It was quite a sight. We buzzed about that for a while and then started traveling again.

The next stop was Fort Ticonderoga, a major landmark which I had never seen before. Then, an hour later we came to Lake Champlain and took a ferry across the lake into VT. I was wiped and found myself sitting on the hard concrete floor of the ferry next to my bike, enjoying the scenery. 30 minutes later we were in VT.

We spent the next 3 hours driving through the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen. Under the canopy of a cloudless sky we weaved through farm country as far as the eye could see. There were barely any cars, quite a few bikes and no people. We stopped for lunch at a cute and very busy roadside burger joint and I slurped down 2 cokes to stay awake. We discussed our route and the boys decided that it would be best for me in my present condition to shave a little off of the trip to give me a break . I was grateful. We soon grabbed the ferry at a different spot and re-crossed Lake Champlain.

The remainder of the ride was challenging. Charlie number 2 and Rick took off when we got to the highway and Charlie and I didn’t want to drive 100 miles per hour so we lost them (or vice versa). We rode 80 miles of highway so remote that the only traffic was trucks hauling grain, feed and oil. We then found Rte 9N again and made our way back. We never did reconnect with Speed Racers 1 and 2 so we took our time. We got back to the hotel just as it turned dark. We went to the bar and sure enough, there they were. We chatted for a while about our 320 total miles and the highlights that we saw but I was fading fast. I decided that I was going to find a motel room in the 5 mile strip of completely booked rooms and get some sleep. At that point I felt as if my life depended on it.

I went to Trivago and found one. It was right down the street and only 92 bucks! I immediately booked the room, told the fellas not to be offended but I needed sleep, and set out. The boardwalk of madness ensured that my 1 mile commute would take 30 minutes but I made it. I went in to find that I had booked for the following week. I asked the cute little Asian attendant if there was anything available. There was, a double at twice the cost. I handed over my credit card and said I’ll take it. Fuck it.

I couldn’t sleep at first. But somehow I scraped out 6 hours and before I knew it I was checking out and meeting the boys for breakfast. Today was to be a bit of a break. We were parking the bikes and walking to the car show.

I welcomed the respite.

To be continued...