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Champlain Ferry 1

An Adventure of Sorts

Yesterday was an adventure. And not the type of adventure that I usually go on about here. It was more of a “am I going to make it through this day without having a nervous breakdown” kind of adventure.

Let me start by saying that I love extreme weather. Big snowstorms, driving rain, thunder, lightning, high winds, hail … I love it all. I even kind of get a kick out of the accompanying complications – like power outages, water outages, and downed trees. It’s, well, an adventure. And candlelight helps my complexion.

There are times, though, when extreme weather just isn’t all that convenient. Like when I have several hours of work to get done before I have to drive two hours to Burlington and Dave is out of town on business so he’s not around to entertain Willa Jean (thank goodness he took Esther with him) so she’s boofing at me for attention, and to go outside, and to eat, and to play… But the power keeps going out. And the trash cans are blowing around the yard. And the house is shaking and rattling as it fights the 50 mph wind gusts. No, yesterday was not a convenient day for extreme weather.

But I had my little moments of sick fun. Like when the power went out for the 14th time while I was in the shower. And 2 minutes later the water ran out while I was shampooing my hair. So I spent a portion of the morning with a head full of soap while waiting for the power to return. I bitched and moaned, of course, even though no one was around to hear me. But secretly, it was kind of fun – an adventure. Am I right?

Somehow I got my act together to leave the house on time. I started my journey to Vermont, wind still howling around me, rain coming and going. Believe it or not, this was my first trip to Burlington – I had never taken the ferry across Lake Champlain, which in my small world, is an adventure all on its own. So I made my way over to the charming little town of Essex, NY, dodging all sorts of debris that littered the roads, racing to make the 1:30 ferry. In the town of Westport I ran into a little snag. A downed power line across the road. I was the first one on the scene. FUN! Right? Right?!

I rolled down my window and smiled at the guys assessing the situation, “Looks like you got a little bit of an issue here, huh?” “We sure do, miss. Where you headed?” They were getting a kick out of this, too, I could tell. “The ferry,” I say. “Ah, ok – well, I’d suggest you turn around and take the state roads all the way out there. You could take the back roads, but, well, I can’t guarantee that there aren’t other downed lines and trees. It’s bad out here. Yeah, miss, your best bet is to stick to the state roads – more people live out that way anyway.” I thanked him, wished him luck, and turned the car around.

The adventure continued.

I made it to the ferry on time; with a few minutes to spare, even. I breathed a sigh of relief – surely it would be smooth sailing from here. (Get it? Sailing? I was on a ferry? Sorry, not enough coffee yet this morning.) The dock workers were dressed in old-timey yellow rain suits, like the Gorton’s Fisherman guy. Adventure!

I must say, it’s kind of a weird sensation to ride a boat in a car. The rocking and swaying of the boat just doesn’t feel right when you’re sitting behind the steering wheel. I enjoyed the limited view and tried to capture it with my crappy camera phone, as the white caps broke all around and bounced over the bow of the ferry. ADVENTURE!

The weather wasn’t much better in Vermont, but at least I was safely on the other side. The journey continued and I blindly followed Tom Tom from the dock in Charlotte, VT to my destination in South Burlington. I’ll spare you the details of why I needed to go to Burlington in the first place. Let’s just say I didn’t make it out of my appointment in one piece (scalpels will do that to you). So, in other words… adventure?

By now it was 3:30 and I had been gone for 3 hours. I had a lonely puppy at home, so I raced back to the ferry to try and make the 4:00 boat. Rain, rush hour traffic, wind, darkness. Truckers. Mother$%&#*&% truckers. 3:58 and one mile from the ferry, I got stuck behind a truck trailer. We plodded along, the seconds ticking by. The dock was in sight. I saw the tail lights of the cars lined up, waiting to board. And then the truck stopped in the middle of the road. GO!!! I yelled. WHAT THE F*&$ ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I couldn’t see around him, so I backed up a ways thinking he needed to turn around. Nothing. He just sat there, brake lights ablaze. I inched forward again. The road was narrow so I didn’t dare scoot around him. 4:01. Dammit, WHAT DO YOU WANT? And then his flashers went on and he started laying on the horn. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT? I backed up again. And he slowly started to back up too. OH, I SEE, NOW YOU WANT TO TURN AROUND?! 4:03. The cars in front of me were boarding the ferry. I waited for my trucker friend to clear the way, saw my opening and shot a death glare at him as I drove by. Had it been 3:58 there might have been words. I made it – the last car on the boat. Adventure.

30 miles to go. More rain. Full darkness. Adventure.

Then home sweet home. An epic greeting from the lonely puppy. A glass of Scotch.

Today dawned clear and calm, and the snow flurries are gently swirling in the sun. It’s a beautiful day for an adventure … but I think I’ll stay inside.

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