After the mountainous and bumpy roads of Pennsylvania, New York was a breeze. I don’t know about most people, but when I think of New York state, it’s New York City that comes to mind. However, outside of the big city, NY was beautiful. Picturesque farms, green hills and mountains, and simply beautiful. There was a continuing theme through out the trip where I would often wonder, “Why go all the way to Maine, it’s beautiful right here!” However, political and legislative considerations preclude most of these places for me.
Since we had begun to avoid tolls again, our route was very diverse. Some interstate, some state highways, and a lot of slowing down to go through small and not so small towns. Just before the New Hampshire border, I underestimated the distance to my next turn and took one too early. While looking for a suitable place to turn around, we found a local ice cream joint.
The building was well off the main road and had a gravel parking lot. I had the distinct feeling that it used to be a bar. Going inside I found a dozen or more teenagers or young adults playing pool. The same kind of folks were running the place. There was a good vibe inside. People were laughing, having fun and everyone seemed real laid back. I bought a shake, it was awesome and left.
Where I had parked hadn’t left me enough room to simply turn around in one go. Consequently, I headed down a side street into the country to find a place to turn around. After several hundred yards and not much luck, I thought perhaps one of the country, gravel driveways would be the trick. Boy, that was a mistake.
The driveway chosen had small trees and bushes on either side of the entrance and it made backing up impossible without damaging someone’s property. With a horrible feeling of dread, I was forced to continue up the driveway another hundred yards. Nothing but lush lawn on either side and no where to go but up to the house. As I got closer there was a man pushing a lawn mower on the other side of the house. He noticed the behemoth, shut down the mower and walked over.
I apologized profusely and explained to him that I had gotten turned around and had headed up his drive hoping to find a place to turn around. He was a bigger guy, not fat, and he had a distinct aura of being a cop. Oh my god, this was getting worse by the second. After admitting my lack of trailer experience he offered to drive my rig for me and use his open parking area for the house to turn it around. I almost accepted but my ego said,”I’ll never get better at this if you do.” He quickly decided I was correct and very patiently guided me in getting turned back around. Warning me not to go too far into the grass in front because it had rained recently and was “wicked soft”. Might have been the first time someone used the word “wicked” in front of me and wasn’t pretending to have a New England accent.
With the Uhaul facing the right direction, I thanked him for his help and apologized again for the inconvenience and damage to his lawn. He seemed happy enough to see me go and waved good-bye. After making it back to the ice cream parlor, Steph was in the parking lot waiting. I told her what happened and she laughed. Just a few hundred feet past the driveway I had tried to use, there was a huge gravel lot that would have made it all too easy for turning around. Sigh….
Two minutes later, we entered New Hampshire.