dog walking at the Suffern rest area
Thursday, January 12 2012
location: near Sligo Creek Park, Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland
Today was the day that we'd be driving back to New York. So we spent the morning either cleaning (me) or buying stuff at Ethiopian stores (Gretchen).
Eventually we set off, though we stopped first at Trader Joe's to buy over $400 worth of groceries (as there is no Trader Joe's or equivalent near where we live, and many things we like can only be bought there).
As for the drive to New York, it was about as noneventful as our drive down had been. Marie (aka "the Baby") never did anything more substantial than urinate, though at some point Sally felt the need to vomit (mostly into the Baby's litter box).
We got gas at the Delaware rest area and did all our eating while driving (my "Middle East Feast" from Trader Joe — or was it Trader Ahab? — was a little disappointing).
Gretchen handled driving duties from Delaware to the Suffern Rest Area in New York, and for much of that time she was having a teleconference with someone organizing the Woodstock Writers' Festival. From the sound of the conversation, it sounded like the kind of meeting that should have taken ten minutes, but it went on for over an hour. I hate it when Gretchen (or anyone) uses a cellphone when driving; reaction times (including steering corrections for road curvature) take noticeably longer, and I feel a bit on edge. It's also my view that anyone who is willing participant in a phone call with someone who is driving shares in the responsibility should there be an accident; such people should know enough to at least keep the conversation brief.
At Suffern, we pulled into the truck parking area at the back of the rest area so we could give the dogs the opportunity to relieve themselves. Since the rest area is cut into the side of a mountain, the back edge is mostly defined by a rocky manmade cliff. There is, however, a place (41.151569N, 74.187491W) where a small brook cascades down the mountain, and here the slope is gentle enough to climb (even for a dog Sally's age). Though we let Eleanor run free, we kept Sally on a leash, as lately she's developed a bad habit of running off in unpredictable directions. This was not the first time we'd walked the dogs at this spot.
The highway was foggy and occasionally rainy as we neared home, and as we drove up Dug Hill Road, we could see evidence of there having been enough snow to require plowing. There was maybe a half-inch blanket of it on our lawn.
The fire was dead in the woodstove, so I took the opportunity to clean out all the ashes before starting it up again. This was to be my first use of a lighter Gretchen had got me for Christmas; I'd never needed to relight the fire since the Winter solstice.
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