“It was an Elan. A delightful little thing famously made of Kleenex and unicorn farts.” ~ Sam Smith
DAY EIGHTEEN – My day started inauspiciously as I had driven away from the motel in Syracuse and found route 5 and was pleasantly heading along when I wondered what time I had actually gotten away so I went to reach for my phone and realized it was still back in the motel room. DOH! I turned around and went back for it but had to get a new key which resulted in a breakfast “Go Bag” of which I was unaware so maybe it was OK. No photos today,,,Sorry.
I was headed to Buffalo for a meet up with another Caterham dealer and then lunch with the LOONYS (Lotus Owners Of New York). Both were great. I also got to visit Lotus of Western New York and the owner Matt who has a virtual Lotus museum of memorabilia as well as personal memories and stories of 40 years of Lotus in F1. Then the LOONY guys and gal took me to one of the original buffalo wing places where the sign says “ Mild means hot, Medium means very hot and Hot means very, very hot” and I don’t do hot. Just to reinforce the concept they have a sauce called “Death Wish.” We had a great visit and I appreciate Brian for setting it up and all the folks who drove from near Rochester to join us. I even “tasted” one medium wing and was feeling the numbness in my lips in Ohio!
Just as we finished lunch it started raining and I headed out with water pouring into the car from both doors. I had to go through downtown Buffalo and between the rain, the traffic, the construction detours and the stops I was beat when I finally got to the Skyway Bridge. It was beautiful but not nearly as nice as it would have been on a clear day I’m sure.
I made slow but steady progress down route 20 with the rain a constant hassle along with slowing to 25 mph every five miles or so for the little towns. The long lunch break and the slow pace meant I was in the middle of pretty much nowhere when six pm came and I was looking to stop for the day. Unfortunately there were no signs of lodging anywhere. I stopped at a little place called the Creekside Inn which I thought may have some rooms but they only had drinks and food. I had a nice burger and the two women tending bar there, along with a patron pointed me toward a motel in Chardon. The problem was that the motel was back north about 30 miles by Interstate 90. I was feeling mighty low and lost.
The best part of the day though was that I stumbled in to the Bass Lake Taverne and Inn in that little town of Chardon, Ohio. The manager Courtney took pity on my sad day and gave me a reduced rate and a little place of refuge. It would well have been worth the asking price as it was a lovely suite, but the one problem was the internet connection wouldn’t work. I checked at the outdoor bar with Ryan the bartender/concierge/helper who not only got me a connection but a cold beer to help my composition skills. You can see the result.
Impressions from the eighteenth day:
• I got a big lift from my visits with Rick and the LOONY folks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the cars may be the connector but the people are the connection!
• My little car suffered today with the rain and the downtown Buffalo traverse but it held up and got me another 350 mile despite the long break. I am now over 5,200 miles since the start 18 days ago.
• I am really glad the northeastern swing is behind me. I had never seen much of this part of the country and I am glad I did, but Maine and New York are big states to traverse and nearly wore me out.
• Once again the bleak situation for lodging turned out to produce a jewel. The Bass Lake Taverne and Inn would be worth another visit. Thanks Ryan and Courtney.
Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!
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