US Road Trip Epilog: 28th June 2005

A real zigzagging route today, varying from busy Interstates to twisting country roads. The basic route is northeast, but this means using Interstate 81 past Scranton followed by Highways 6, 52 and 109 up to Kingston.

Riviera and Lake Huntington
Riviera and Lake Huntington.

The Interstate around Scranton is no fun at all - two lanes of fast traffic with frequent slow on and off ramps - but further the further north and east we travel the better things get. Highway 52 is really very pretty, with plenty of twists and turns around older lake-front houses. The 209 isn't so scenic, and there's more traffic, but before too long we're in Kingston.

There's a choice of two motels here - a Holiday Inn at $120 or a Super 8 at $80. Normally this would be an easy choice, but the Super 8 not only lacks internet access but also has two of the most unfriendly village idiots in all of Christendom manning the lobby. After a quick drive around Kingston searching for alternatives we bite the bullet and return to the Holiday Inn.

I've mentioned before about never underestimating little old ladies, and the one working in the lobby of the Holiday Inn is no exception. We're joking with her about an especially noisy woman scolding her kid when she mentions, sotto voce, that since we have a coupon from a travel magazine we can have the rooms for $99 a night. She then produces the coupon from a drawer and checks us in. Random acts of kindness have much to be said for them.

Having 'saved' $20 each, the only option is to walk into town and spend it all on beer. New York state has, however, a spanner to throw in the works. No smoking in bars or restaurants. I wrote a rant during the last road trip on this topic - never put on the internet due to excessive use of foul and profane language - and it does kind of take the fun out of things when one or other of us leaves the bar for a cigarette outside. Most of the locals we chat to seem to agree.

Back at the hotel, and following something to eat in the bar we grab some ice buckets and some beers and head out to the other side of the car park, where there's a table next to a building used by the hotel maintenance staff. Whilst enjoying the late afternoon sun we're occasionally joined by relatives of Punxsutawney Phil. They're very timid, so we're trying not to scare them off with any sudden movements, but every time a car arrives they scuttle back under the hut.

US Road Trip Epilog: 29th June 2005 >