Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It was an early morning yesterday, I was up before the dawn

To most getting up early and getting on the road is very difficult. For me it is second hat. There is something about those wee hours of the night that make knocking down the miles so much easier.
The view from the mirror always allows glimpses that one usually does not get during the day. So what has me on the road so early? A recovery, what else. This recovery however is not a trailer in some distant state. This recovery is of some paintings done by Beth's Uncle. Beth had an Uncle named Howard Hardy that was a painter and illustrator from the 1930's until the his death in the 1980's. Howard's wife Bea has been promoting his paintings since his death and recently she passed on too. We were asked by the family to go up to Long Island and retrieve the remaining paintings from her Estate. We dropped the kids off with their Grandparents and headed out the next morning.
There were many bridge crossing. Unfortunately, on the East Coast, to cross a bridge one must pay a heavy toll. I am amazed that I can drive all the way to California without paying a toll, but to just go through the state of New Jersey it costs me close to $10. I think this was the $9 bridge. There were so many, as you will see, that I lost count.
After we loaded all the paintings into the truck we decided to turn the work aspect of this trip into fun. What better way to enjoy one's day than to go for a boat ride. So we headed to the very end of Long Island and took the Cross Sound Ferry to New London Connecticut.
Being the truck in the group has it advantages on the ferry. I might not be the first on, but I will be the first off. I so wish my trailer had been in tow. This is the exact type of journey I would love to have my trailer with me for.
I do not know what it is, but every time I ride a ferry I feel like a little kid. The smell if the sea, the rumble of the motors, the thick diesel smell. All those things combine for a sensory explosion.
Fortunately it was a smooth day on the Sound. The wind was very cold and biting but the views were spectacular. At the very right of this photo are some little dots. Those dots are small fishing boats all huddled together over some bar or underwater structure. They are most likely hoping for a nice stripped bass. Half way between us and them were thousands of sea birds diving into the water at bait fish. Under those birds and bait fish, yep, big stripped bass. The water was boiling with fish and birds in a feeding frenzy.
Once the cold wind got to me I decided to go in and join Beth reading in the cabin. She was easily convinced to take her book into the bar. Yes, there is a bar on the ferry. A double Beam and Coke for me and Blue Moon for Beth. Very smart of the ferry line to have a bar on the boat.
The ferry goes to New London. Across the river from New London is where they build submarines for the Navy. Beth's cousin took command of a submarine just like that last week. Now that is job for some one besides me. I could not take being cooped up in that little tube.
Now they are sure to object to this photo, but the Collimore's were kind enough to put us up for the night. We met Don and Amanda at our third rally and we have been good friends ever since. We really didn't need to go to Connecticut, but that is where they live, so we made a detour there. We sat around the campfire in their yard and just enjoyed their company. It was nice to just talk and laugh a lot with them. They were very gracious hosts and sent us on our way the next morning with a belly full of excellent breakfast. My only regret about visiting them is that they live five hours away. I am very fortunate to have such excellent friends. I am truly blessed.
More bridges and more tolls. Last time I crossed this one it took over three hours. This time around it was smooth sailing.

And smooth sailing over this one too. I just wish Anna had been in this picture also.


crowldawg said...

Next time you are near the Orient ferry let me know .I'm about a mile from there .We can finally shake hands and if you need a place to park Anna or any other vehicle there is always a space.

TomW said...

One day, I would like to make a ferry crossing. It just sounds like something cool to do.

The bar is certainly a nice touch.


Tom and Juliet said...

We've taken that ferry too, also with our tow vehicle but no trailer. There is a NY chapter rally held out at that end of Long Island at a vineyard in the fall; sadly the ferry costs with the trailer become pretty prohibitive.

crowldawg said...

Your trip on the boat took you right past where that mythical 58 lb. bass I posted about a yr ago lived and was allegedly catch. That's why all those boats were there.

crowldawg said...

Tom and Juliet, If you had to drive around,the gas,tolls and aggravation make it so much cheaper to take the ferry .I burned almost a 1/2 tank of diesel waiting to get over that GD,GW
with my trailer.
Sorry Frank for using your space.

Skip said...

I wish I knew you were in CT!! I would have loved to have seen you and you wonderful family!! Although, my sweet wife was very ill so I might not have had time anyway. Glad you had a great trip Don's pulled pork is worth another trip up!!

Anonymous said...

Your post about Beth's uncle Howard Hardy, the artist, interests me and adds some information; a piece of his is for sale on ebay, apparently a coastal town, perhaps on Long Island, maybe one of the paintings you and Beth retrieved in your run out to pick them up after Bea Hardy's death. royneilgraves@gmail.com

re:design said...

Wondering if you know the publications that Howard painted for or any info about his work. I have a small stack of watercolors, mostly Christmas themed, that a friend passed on to me.