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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekend Adventure: Niagara Falls Pt 2

We stopped at a grocery store on the way back and idiotically got a bunch of Asian food to drag back with us to the campsite. Lo mein, fried rice, and sushi are inadvisable when you're camping. I ate mine cold, but Chris bought some aluminum foil to place over the crappy fire grill to heat the food up. We got some utensils from a Subway near the grocery store. We were on a tight budget, you know.

We got back to the campground around 8 and bought some fire wood. We had a fire for maybe an hour or two until it started to rain. At this point, I should have questioned the whole "camping" thing. In fact, I'm pretty sure we both did. Right about here, the whole trip started to go downhill.... fast. I knew it supposed to be kind of crap weather on Sunday, but from what we heard on our ride out on Friday, the weather for Saturday would be the "perfect late summer day." (They were completely wrong about that, might I add. The whole time at Niagara was ridiculously humid and overcast.) There was a "chance of showers" for Sunday. I figured it wouldn't rain until later in the day, and that we'd be fine to break camp around 8 or 9am.

We went to bed around 10pm after taking a quick walk around the campground, when the rain started to come down hard. This is where I'd like to mention that if you have a fear of spiders, don't go to Lakeside Beach State Park. I saw so many spiders out there, I got freaked out. I'm usually pretty okay about spiders, but the sheer number of spiders at this place is frightening. It seems like they do nothing to deter these numbers, either.

We walked to the recreation center and, under the lights on the building, we saw webs upon webs of literally dozens and dozens of the same kind of (large!) spiders. Chris and I just walked around the buildings nearby, staring at all the spiders taking advantage of the light drawing in gnats and flies. Later, when we got back to the campsite, one of the same kinds of (large!) spiders came down from the sky (or more likely a tree, ha ha) on a strand of web and starting crawling around the back of my neck. I flipped out and flailed for a few minutes. That was it. I was going to the tent where there were (hopefully) no spiders.

After we went to bed, the rain poured. And poured. And poured. All night, it poured. If you've ever slept in a tent during a downpour, you know it's loud and hard to sleep through. We got very little sleep that night. We woke up to more pouring rain.

I've been a camper for a long time, but I have never had to break camp in such rain. We tore down the tent as fast we could and threw it in the trunk. I'd put it back up once we got home to dry it off and air it out. (It hasn't stopped raining long enough for me to do this yet, by the way)

We got into Chris's sedan and head out of the spider-ridden campground, hungry and cold. Eventually, we hit I-90 and started the trip home in the pouring rain.

Just past Syracuse, I get pulled over for speeding. I haven't had a speeding ticket in well over 7 years. Chris is laughing while the cop is in his cruiser, saying he won't give me a ticket, just a warning. Turns out he gives me a ticket without a price on it. What's up, New York State? Super dick move.

I ask the cop "if I plead not guilty, do I have to come back out here for court?" He couldn't even give me a straight answer on that one. He made some comments about the situation the State of New York is in, and what he expects the DA to do, but nothing concrete. This is the most ass-backwards system I've ever heard of. All I really care about is the ticket going on my record, but I pleaded not guilty anyways, and mailed the damned thing in.

In the trooper's defense, he was super nice about it all. When he came to my window (in the pouring rain), I was ready to be stubborn and stern like I am with Massachusetts troopers. By the end of the exchange, the trooper and I were joking around. I maintain my innocence, he chuckles and insists I'm guilty, we laugh, he talks about the rain. I liked him. I want to write a letter to the State of New York and tell them what a nice guy Trooper Paul Murray is, and how they should all be as kind as he was, even though he thinks he caught me speeding in the pouring rain with 3 lanes of traffic filled the brim with vacationers going home.

On the way back, we hit traffic for an airshow in the town I work. Chris was so eager to get home at this point, he bailed off I-90 and took the back roads home to avoid sitting on the highway in more traffic and more rain.

The next weekend vacation we plan, we're aiming for Washington D.C., but I have a feeling we'll need at least 3 days to see everything we want to see. I've been to see the monuments and all, but Chris never has. We also have a hankering to see as much as the Smithsonian museums as we possibly can. Maybe by September, we can cram the nation's capitol in. I'm hoping it can't get much worse than what we experienced this weekend.

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