23 September 2008

Storming the Fort

*added to Doodle Week: Greed - I'm sure you're all ENVIOUS with GREED that I've met the illustrious Claire and Aerten*

Also, read Aerten's account here.

Yes, there is a real photo that this stick figure drawing is based on, but you'll never see it. See, I promised Claire aka CRPitt from A Little Piece of Me that I wouldn't post the photo, but I never said anything about doodling it!

I've been a follower of her blog since June something or other, and when she announced she was coming to America, more specifically the Northeast, I thought there could be a chance that I might meet this lovely English beauty.

She had already planned a couple days with fellow blogger Aerten in upstate New York, as well as some time in Boston, which put her within 3 hours driving time from my residence in Vermont. That was certainly doable. When she mentioned that they would be making the scenic drive up to Fort Ticonderoga in the Adirondacks on Lake Champlain, along the New York-Vermont border, I almost wet myself, putting them 1.5 hours away. Very doable.

I then decided to take a mental day off of work, made the obligatory sick call into my co-worker who would tell my supervisor for me (ah... pressure is off), then it was off to run some errands before we got the text saying meet us there in 2 hours.

Sierra and The Girl accompanied me and the wee one behaved herself very well. We took the fort tour, then wandered around the exhibit, discussing everything from "what would the British side of the history of the fort be?", "but wikipedia is the BIBLE!", my woes of my computer temporarily dying Sunday night (only to spring back to life Tuesday morning), and inevitably Claire's near Liverpudlian accent, which did sound quite akin to that of Sir Paul McCartney's.

After seeing pretty much everything there was to see of this smallish fort, the five of us headed to lunch in the small town of Ticonderoga at a small country diner called The Hot Biscuit for some country home cook'n. Actually pretty good for this sort of rednecky frontier small town of 5167 souls.

Our quick 3 hours had come to an end and we reluctantly parted ways, but our day with Claire and Aerten will not be soon forgotten. Also, I will now be a regular follower of Aerten after meeting her and her very interesting wit and weirdness (I mean that in the best possible way!). All in all it was a fantastic day - the weather was beautiful, Sierra was well behaved and slept all the way back home, and the only downside was losing my computer for the day.

*Ticonderoga was the hometown of one of my first girlfriends when I was 12. I once rode a bicycle that summer the 50 miles all day over mountains along Lake George to Ti in an effort to visit with her. Alas, she was spending the night at her grandparents after getting wisdom teeth pulled, and her parents drove me the hour plus back home to Glens Falls after midnight. It was the same day as SummerSlam 88.


Chica said...

Yippee! Glad ya'll had a great time, that place looks mighty interesting!

Erika said...

hha good doodle. and I can't believe you rode your bike 50 miles! how cute.

Kelly said...

See? See??!! Didn't Claire say how funny it would be if the computer started working again all sudden like? She is a prophetess!

Pssst. The tour guide is an Elf. Tell everyone. LOL

Ishat's Fire said...

That is great story. Young love, ah, makes you do a lot of things.

It is good to take a mental day every now and then.

The news cast here a few days ago was blurbing about a state trouper taking a sick day to go fishing "on your tax dollar" in that tone like it is a big braking news.

Slow day I thought for news. I thought "so what, everyone takes a mental health day from time to time, he has the sick days, he's allowed to use 'em."

I hope this doesn't start a trend in thinking that mental health days are not o.k.

Redbeard76 said...

@Chica - For as long as I've lived in this area, it was the first time to the fort, although The Girl had been there before on a school trip when she was small. Gorgeous views all around of the lake.

@erika - Probably one of the first really crazy things I did as a (pre)-teenager.

@kelly - He was quite spritely indeed! I had to restrain myself from asking him where the pot o' gold was!

@ishat - absolutely nothing wrong with a mental health day. My first time doing that, though. But given the short notice, I had to do it.

Sparkle Plenty said...

HOW WONDERFUL! Looks like a fabulous time was had by all.

You rode 50 MILES? On a BIKE? Good gravy, RBeard! That is extremely impressive.

Redbeard76 said...

@Sparkle - Had to hoof it going over Tongue Mountain. Took me almost all day - 11am to 8pm with no food, no money, just adrenaline and a huge letdown in the end!

A few years after Ti, I did a 70 mile circuit, along much gentler terrain: Glens Falls > Schuylerville > Mechanicville > Malta > Saratoga Springs > Glens Falls.

Sparkle Plenty said...

When I was little, I had a pink banana seat huffy bike with plastic flowers on the basket.

It was defective. And possessed.

The seat kept throwing off its bolts, flipping backwards, and bucking me off. I was a reluctant BMXer.

Got knocked out cold once.

That's allllllll I got to compare with your amazing boy-bikeiads.

Instant Replay
Redbeard: 50! 70 miles! No food!
Sparkle: Knocked out cold by malevolent banana seat bike...

Redbeard76 said...

My first bike? Also a Huffy.

The bike I rode to Ti? Panasonic, borrowed from a friend, who painted it white with a paintbrush. Yes, that Panasonic, apparently.

However I was better prepared for my 70 mile ride (and I was much older = 22) and drank lots of fluids and stopped for lunch in beautiful Stillwater. My goal? I wanted to see the damage done by a tornado that swept through Mechanicville earlier that summer.

Bird said...

Aha, so you met Claire! I know she's feeling a bit un-bloggy right now but I reckon people like me could still stalk her progress around America thanks to people like you :D

Looks like it was a fun trip! And that guide may be an elf but he also looks like he's coughing up a hairball...

soubriquet said...

Ticonderoga... I vaguely remembered it from school history lessons, and then there was that plastic model kit of the Uss Ticonderoga i made when I was about fourteen, and then I was listening to Tom Waits and he sang....
"Well with buck shot eyes and a purple heart
I rolled down the national stroll
and with a big fat paycheck
strapped to my hip sack
and a shore leave wristwatch underneath
my sleeve
in a Hong Kong drizzle on Cuban heels
I rowed down the gutter to the Blood Bank
and I'd left all my papers on the Ticonderoga
and was in a bad need of a shave "

So then... POP! I read this post.... Now I know a bit more...
Ohhh let's not mention 1758, that didn't exactly go well...
Looks like beautiful country around there.

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