Said goodbye to Cam at the airport and watched as long as I could. He was boarding his plane before I’d even gotten out of Buffalo. I started on I-90 east (toll road). I decided about thirty minutes of driving to exit off and find another way to Utica because interstates are meant to move cars fast, not for road trips, so before Rochester I took the off ramp.
I told Olivia, my GPS voice, to avoid highways and my time to Utica increased substantially, but the only plan I had was to sleep in Utica, so I didn’t care how long it took to arrive. She directed me to use the 20-East route. It started with curvy roads through farm land, houses, and tiny ‘villages’. That’s what they call them rather than towns.
I’ve discovered I have a barn addiction. Most are red, some are green or off white, and others simply wood. They stand proudly in the field close to their houses. Many are used, but some are simply falling down from lack of care. Some are used for farm equipment and hay. Others, I discovered, are used for dairies and cows. In one particular area I passed, they were used by apple orchard farmers. They are plentiful in rural New York.
I made several stops today. One area I passed through is called The Finger Lakes Region. These small villages are beautiful and quaint. There were lots of towns with lakes right next to them. They had lovely walkways and benches to enjoy their beauty and marinas too. In Scaneateles, they were having a ‘jumble’ sale. All the business had pop ups on the sidewalks in front of the stores, and there was a band playing in their grandstand in front of the lake. I strolled and listened to the band. They played lots of show tunes and had a large audience sitting in lawn chairs, others were sitting in their boats, or walking the dock. It was a pleasant stop and made my heart sigh.
The land went from rolling hills to mountains. Driving through them, I went from ‘wow breathtaking’ to ‘Jesus, take the wheel’ because they were sometimes scary to drive down, especially when they would descend and curve. I learned to put the car in third to go down the mountains. Usually, there was a picture sign that showed a truck on an incline with the mileage of the descent. Mostly, it was a half mile, but close to the end it was five miles of downhill and “Oh, my goodness! I’m not used to this.”
It begin to cloud up and lightning streaked crossed the sky. I hate driving in the rain on flat surfaces and there was no way I wanted to go down a mountain on a slick road. I stopped at McDonald’s with about an hour left to drive. I thought I’d sit there until the storm moved through. I waited about thirty minutes, but it never rained, just lots of wind.
Night had set in and it was about 9:30. I asked God to keep me safe. I thought about finding a hotel in that town, but I’d paid in advance for the one in Utica. Off I went with a feeling of peace as I drove, and it didn’t rain on me once! The storm was in front of me and occasionally I’d hit a wet road, but nothing major.
Here I sit in Utica, blessed with safe travel and feeling confident that my Lord rode with me tonight. Tomorrow, I’m Vermont bound!