When we woke up this morning it was sunny and the roads were clear. The car had just gotten an oil change and we had coupons for $2.99 sausage McMuffin breakfasts. All of this combined made our decision for the day clear: it was time to hit the road.
We picked upstate New York. Customs officers always look so confused when we roll up to the booth and tell them our plans. “You’re going to Lake Placid for a drive?” the officer asked today. “And have lunch,” Andrew added helpfully.
To tell you the truth, I’m not a fan of Lake Placid. We didn’t actually even stop in the town proper, but we did make little stops along the way. A Stewarts for cream soda and chocolate bars. A disappointing thriftstore. The base of the Whiteface ski hill to watch the skiers, little points, zigzagging down the mountain. A sandwich shop for a Rueben and barbecue chips.
We passed an old barn hidden at the top of a hill, pulled the car over and decided to explore. Sometimes these kinds of rickety, abandoned places are nothing special, but sometimes you get lucky. The light, of course, was beautiful – all that diffused sunlight seeping through cracks and broken windows. And among all the soggy magazines and discarded tires we found the kind of artifacts that make you feel like an archaeologist of sorts.
There’s a precarious balance to these day trips. You have to find the right combination of songs from old scratched CDs, iPhone playlists, weird talk radio, junk food, belly laughs and emo talk. You need a plan, but only a vague one. You have to be good at reading a map or throwing it away. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but today was a bona fide success.
- The least photogenic part of the day was when we stopped in Target, the magical big box store that hasn’t set up shop in Canada (yet). I’ll be honest: the store put me in a the-world-is-awful-why-do-I-want-to-buy-this-stupid-crap mood, so I didn’t buy anything and instead just waited in the car until Andrew finished looking at boring computer things at Best Buy. That kind of moment can really throw off the equilibrium of a day trip, but it didn’t.
- We brought the Healing Powder home with us. I bestow its power upon you.