Monday, January 23, 2006

The snow tires work...

We are in Fishkill, NY, at the Wal-Mart (map). We are here because Chappaqua Transportation can't get us into the shop until they complete their DOT inspection tomorrow. They will try to get us in either tomorrow afternoon, or Wednesday morning.

Friday afternoon we left New Milford and spent the night in New City, NY (map) visiting my uncle and aunt. Saturday morning we checked the forecast for upstate, which indicated clear weather until Monday night or Tuesday morning, so we headed onto the Thruway and sailed on up to visit my cousins in Argyle (map). On the way, we stopped in Albany at their wastewater plant, which has a free RV dump. Since virtually every campground with a dump station in this part of the country is closed for the season, we were very relieved to find the gates open ("No Trespassing" and "Authorized Personnel Only" signs notwithstanding) and the RV dump in working order.

We had an excellent visit with my cousin Lawrence, his wife Lori, and my new "nephew" (actually my first cousin once removed) Joseph, who is already a year and a half old, but whom we met for the first time on this visit. Lawrence's brother, Chris, also drove up from Clifton Park to join the festivities. We spent two nights, during which we were wined and dined in grand style. We had an excellent parking spot in the driveway of their huge spread, but I managed to park such that a tree kept us from getting the dish on-line.

This morning we woke to an inch-plus of fresh snow, getting deeper as we sipped our coffee. My cousins Chris and Lawrence were already off to work, so we had breakfast with Lori and Joseph (and the ever-present Lab, Simon), and watched the local news and weather reports while we pondered what to do. After the major morning-commute traffic snafus cleared, we decided to make a run for it. I am happy to report that the deep-tread mud-and-snow rated traction tires we put on the drivers did their job, and we had no problems making it back to the Northway and down the Thruway. Below Albany the precip turned to rain, and things were pretty much done by the time we got here.

I need to relate one funny story about our visit. After we backed into the driveway and popped the door, Simon the yellow Lab bounded over and started to climb inside and up our stairs. Angel, who has lived her whole life in the company of a dog (Opal) was shocked, appalled, and offended that some hooligan dog was just going to invade her territory, and she raced down the stairs, popped out the door, arched her back, and began pouncing on Simon in a fit of rage and fury, fur standing at complete attention. It was amazing to behold -- we now need a sign that reads "this coach protected by vicious attack cat." Simon, of course, being a Lab, just wanted to play with everyone, and pretty much ignored Angel's machinations. Nevertheless, we awarded her the coveted Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster for her bravery -- Simon, at 90+ pounds, outweighs all three of our pets put together by a factor of two.

A word about the map links, again: Apparently, shortly after switching over to Google Maps here in the blog, the "zoom level" feature of the links stopped working. Consequently, clicking on any of our recent map links now takes you to a map at the closest-in zoom level. Until I figure this problem out (or Google fixes it), I have switched back to Mapquest links for the time being.

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