YES, by way of CANADA (road trip part 1)

15 08 2008

because ima_spoony_bard had a summer internship in new orleans, and because SK-L had fond memories of new orleans, and because i’d always wanted to see new orleans, and because SK-L and i like ima_spoony_bard, and because along with the intership ima_spoony_bard had a house-sitting gig and thus we had a free place to stay in new orleans, and because we’d got to talking about road trips and the rising price of gasoline and how this might be the last summer in our lifetimes when two academics on our wee little salaries could actually afford to take a road trip (i did the calculations: gas alone & staying with friends, it would have cost the same amount to drive as to fly solo. paying for gas and hotel rooms so as to control our schedule—and make it as fast as possible with no extra visiting thrown in—cost more than two plane tickets would have, but, darnit, we saw more world!), SK-L and i drove—yes, drove—to new orleans. and back. via canada and through many states and over many many miles. because he has an actual job during the summer, even with the pushing around of his hours, we had a week to work with total; because ima_spoony_bard had the “job” that had him there in the first place, he could only play with us on a weekend, and thus, voila, the mad plan was formed. wednesday, thursday, friday, sightsee a little and traverse the country; saturday and sunday, explore new orleans; monday and tuesday, traverse the country again but this time without looking at anything that couldn’t be seen from the car (or on the food network).

so first we went to niagara falls, because i’d never been there either and because it’s on the way. really. look:
without niagara falls:

with niagara falls:,+NY&daddr=Niagara+Falls,+Niagara+Falls,+NY+to:38.203655,-85.78125+to:I-240+S+%4035.124070,+-90.025330+to:New+Orleans,+LA&hl=en&geocode=14969676295478776156,35.124070,-90.025330&mra=dpe&mrcr=1&mrsp=2&sz=5&via=2,3&sll=36.527295,-83.100586&sspn=15.375494,21.621094&ie=UTF8&s=AARTsJrMUgnfJ0eInQg4-d6Ng7E9VRijZQ&ll=37.71859,-81.914062&spn=20.809822,26.367188&z=4&output=embed
View Larger Map

(can you see maps? they display in my editor, and the links work, but on my screen now that it’s up, i get no maps. if you see no maps, follow the links to the maps!)

once there, we peered over the railings at the rainbows in the froth, played with the gorillapod, walked up to and over the high, high bridge to canadia, which only required flashing an ID on the other side to be let through the door, wandered around watching tourists and the water-plume and more tourists for a while, took a picture of the hard rock café on the canadian side, popped in for a souvenir, and headed back across the bridge because there were dark, dark clouds gathering and we didn’t want to be killed by lightning while trapped on the bridge. canada
getting back onto the bridge at all cost us $1.00, and getting back off on the other side took 15 minutes of standing in line to wait our turns to have our documents inspected and a mini-interrogation about how long we’d been there (about half an hour?) and whether or not we were bringing in anything untoward or dangerous (a guitar-pin?). once deemed safe, we were allowed to dodge raindrops as best we could to get back to the visitor’s center to check out postcards and memorabilia of an amazing and in some aspects unspeakable variety before heading back to the car, looping around to get a picture of the hard rock café on the american side, and driving down to buffalo to meet back up with our west-bound highway, and, since it was lunchtime by then anyway, to check out the original home of the buffalo wings. new york
these were pronounced not the best he’d ever had but still pretty darn good by SK-L, & i had to agree that, for wings, which i’m not that fond of, they were quite tasty.

getting out of the center of buffalo turned out to be a lot more sinuous & a little more complicated than getting in, but we are clever, clever folks & managed it, and that pretty much concluded the “highlights” portion of day 1. we kept driving, of course–out of new york, across the skinny part of pennsylvania (where on tiptoes from the welcome center it was possible to see the lake)… pennsylvania
…and down, down, down into ohio. here are the things i learned about ohio while we did our afternoon-and-evening’s zipping: it has gorgeous clouds, but we were too busy driving to take pictures of them. it has corn, where pennsylvania had grapevines. it has attractions like “grandpa’s cheese barn” that i very much wanted to investigate, but although daylight in ohio in july goes on until something like 9 in the evening, everything closes at something much more like 5, including the welcome center where we wanted a free map and were denied, and grandpa’s cheese barn, where we were also denied. ohio
the first hotel we tried to crash in once we gave in to darkness and tiredness (and figured if we kept going they’d get more expensive, as we were on the edge of the sticks heading towards cincinnati) denied us too. so while we did find a place to spread out our maps, munch a dinner of car-snacks, and sleep, we also concluded about ohio that in addition to gorgeous clouds and lots and lots of fields of corn, it was notable for being closed.




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