Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: friends, IRONMAN, special events, travel, vacation

What a difference a day makes…
We set the alarm for 10:00am… as we needed to pick-up our bikes and gear bags from TriBike Transport by 11:00am. We went to bed expecting to be sore in the mornig, but I was feeling surprisingly well… okay, except for that blister the size of Guatemala!!! Oh yeah, and did I mention that toenail on my right foot that was falling off too?! My feet were hurting… but everything else was surprisingly good.

So good that I actually woke up about and hour and half BEFORE the alarm went off. What?!!!… crazy talk. Chris was still sleeping soundly so I took my shower, packed my clothes, did the dishes and started cleaning up the place. Chris finally got up and we headed own to collect our bikes & gear bags from TriBike Transport. Such a wonderful service… well worth the extra cash!

We came back to the room, finished packing up all of our stuff… and then started to pack the car one more time! It was a LOT tougher getting all of our bags, gear and bikes back down to the car… as we had to take them down a set of stairs that didn’t seem to be such a big deal before the race?! We met a few of our neighbors doing the same thing packing up their cars as well. Some of them had some “horror stories” to share as some didn’t finish the race but instead ended up in the hospital. Sad stories, but it made me appreciate my race so much more!

Chris and I finished packing and we were on the road!!! Homeward bound…
and hopefully NOT through Canada this time!

The drive was nice… seeing the beautiful sights again and NOT needing to bike or run to see them. Like the ski slope towers from the Winter Olympics!

It was kind of fun driving on the same route that we had just raced on the day before – like returning to the scene of the crime. You definitely had a new admiration and appreciation after spending the day out there up-close & personal.

As Chris was driving, and I once again “assumed” the pivotal role as trip photographer…
I just had to document the foot injuries… CAUTION : GRAPHIC PHOTOS AHEAD!!!

So here’s the toe that was losing the toenail…
no band-aids, so a bit of toilet paper and duct tape worked well to keep it protected.

And then here’s my left foot… and the blister the size of Guatemala!!!
Yep, she’s a beaut. About as wide as three toes, and covering a good portion of my foot.
Just imagine running on that baby!!!… for a full MARATHON!!!

Such beautiful scenery… as seen from the front seat of the car. Like this AMAZING downhill that we pedaled down yesterday!!! This huge downhill section was literally about six miles long… smooth roads… good viewpoint… so good that you could “safely” let it rip and go for speed! I was speeding down around 50 miles per hour at times! So much fun… just a bit scary!

Zooming down the hill with one lane closed for us… while the other lane was being used cautiously by cars timed & spaced out by the cops at each end. Flying down the road with such amazing beauty on the right side… with just a small barricade separating us!

We didn’t get all that far… down the big downhill section and into the town of Keene. Not surprisingly, Chris and I were both hungry… and at this point, you totally feel like you DESERVE to eat whatever you want! So we did!!! We pulled over at a cute little roadside cafe’… half expecting to have breakfast. But of course we had missed that and we were onto lunch.

We started with these amazing bread rolls & handmade potato chips. The rolls were made with duck-fat… but it was the blue-cheese butter spread that really took it over the top!!! SO YUMMY… so good that we actually asked if they package up the butter for sale. Sadly no.

Then the real food arrive… pulled pork for me, and a chicken salad for Chris.
Kind of healthy, right?! I’m sure we’ll compensate for that somewhere
along the long road trip home!

Chris continued driving for most of the way… as I was the photographer.
When we first started the trip, we sent a few photos to her training teammates at home.
Little did I know that I would get so into it… and continued this group-text photo journalism project for the ENTIRE trip!!! So much fun for all of us! But there I was capturing every sight along the way… bridge after bridge… field after field… clouds… trees… whatever… PIE!!!… everything!

At one of the rest stops in New York, we stopped for gas and found a little Amish tent at the entrance… and look, they were selling handmade pies! We couldn’t decide which flavor… so we GOT BOTH!!!

More bridges, more sights… like this shot of the historic Erie Canal…

And then the rain clouds came back. We had such amazing weather all weekend long for the IRONMAN race… so glad that the stronger storm clouds stayed away from Lake Placid. I’m okay with rain on the expressway… so much better than on the race course!

Soon enough, the storm dissipated and the clouds cleared up… back to blue skies!

We kept driving on out of New York, through Pennsylvania and into Ohio. It was during that time that I was taking a turn driving… and Chris had to take on the challenge of photographer! Needless to say, she missed the “Welcome” signs for both Pennsylvania AND Ohio!!! She had a simple task.. and she missed the opportunity!

Okay, in full transparency… there was no Welcome sign in Ohio….
but my story is still that she missed both states!!!    HA!!!

It started getting dark, and we were getting tired. We need to get gas…
and it all added up to the same thing. Time to stop for the night, find a hotel and sleep it off. We found this Days Inn in the middle of nowhere… we had hoped to make it to Cleveland, but we didn’t quite make it. Just a little more mileage tomorrow, but a good place to stop for tonight.

We unpacked all of our gear, our bikes and our bags into the hotel room…
and crashed.                           Okay, maybe after a few bites of Amish pie!!!





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