Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ron, my friendly old dude

This is Ron.

He's 72, a great-grandfather, a fan of Linux, a Harley man, and quite a chatterbox. I spent Sunday chatting with him and hanging out at the motel. Then Monday morning we sat in the lawn chairs and talked some more, until it was time to load up and go. We stopped for coffee and Ron drove me through the town he was born in, showing me stores he had been banned from. According to him, he was quite the wild thing in his youth.

See, what was supposed to happen was Ron was going to give me a ride to Little Falls or, if we didn't find any motels/hotels there, over to Herkimer. What actually happened is that we drove for about an hour all the way to Schuyler. A good 35 miles down the road. Woo!

And he took me sight seeing on the way! We stopped by Lock 17, which, according to Ron, is the third tallest Lock in the world. I didn't get a picture, but it was pretty impressive in person!

After that we drove around Little Falls and he pointed out some sights, then we started hunting for a place for me to stay. Couldn't find one, so we headed down the road. Eventually we pulled over to ask an "old fart" (Ron's words, not mine) for directions. As we drove away Ron laughed and said he wondered what the guy was thinking, with an old man in a car with a pretty young girl looking for directions to the nearest motel. Ha. We both laughed and figured it gave the guy a story to tell his buddies, so all was well.

We followed the stranger's directions and did in fact find some motels, but none of them would take a dog. And they were all pretty damn creepy. So, we continued on down the road until Ron pulls in to a place that looks like a motel, but has a sign that says efficiency apartments. We see a guy come out of the office and Ron has me jump out of the car to go ask.

Cash changed hands, and I have a place to stay for the night! Apparently the building used to be a motel, but the owners were in the process of remodeling into apartments.

So, after I unloaded my pack into my room, I asked Ron if I could take his picture. He got out his phone and said only if it was mutual. So I snapped one of him looking at his phone, and he snapped one of me and Anna, and off he went back down the road.

So not a lot of walking has been done lately, but it's been quite an adventure just the same!

Today, walked four miles down the road to Utica before it started snowing. I decided it wasn't the best idea to camp out tonight. The overnight forecast said snow flurries, and my tent is made up of mostly screen. Wouldn't do to freeze to death so early in my adventure!

Tomorrow, off to Rome and to stay in a strangers house!
(Sort of stranger. My sister's friend's mother. It should be interesting.)

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