Friday, July 25, 2008

Mainers are Mainicas because in Maine, the rain falls constantly on the plain

DAY 1, The Beginning:

Last Thursday, July 17th, Don and I started our adventure up to Maine to work on the Appalachian Trail (AT). Our journey began near Louisville and ultimately would take us to Garland, Maine. Our first day of driving was about 13 hours and took us to Niagara falls. Neither of us had ever seen the falls before and so we thought we'd take a little detour before heading across the long, horribly boring state known as New York. It was about midnight when we got to near the falls, Grand Island precisely - a huge island near Niagara falls. We planned to stay the night in some one's back yard and then see the falls on Friday morning. So, there we were; midnight, driving around Grand Island, looking for a back yard or an abandoned lot to sleep in. But, due to the tenacious boarder patrol, the grand island police and the Buffalo police forces, we couldn't find anything nearly suitable enough.
We were painfully tired. We had been driving for almost 14 hours and were exhausted. We took several turns down side streets into a suburb-like part of town when I spotted a light on at "The Village Inn". I ventured up to the door, quite tentatively, and saw there were 2 men inside, the barkeep/owner and his friend. I asked if they had any rooms because it was called the Village Inn. The owner said it was just a bar/restaurant and there were no rooms, but why don't we come on in and have a beer. Not being one to offend a new friend, I decided to take him up on his offer and have a beer. The bar owner's name was Mike and the man who was sitting at the bar was also named Don, oddly enough. The bar Don said to us, "how in the world did you get to this place?" We told them about how we had been driving around and looking for a place to sleep and asked if we could stay in their back yard. Bar Don was quite inebriated at this point and said, "SURE, you can stay in my yard, but you have to drink some of my home made beer first!!" Keeping with my manners and remembering how I hate to offend, Don Schaeffer and I drank some of this guy's home brew which he kept bringing in from the front seat of his car. Apparently, he had a whole keg of home brew in the front seat of his car and kept bringing it in for us to "sample". It was quite potent and had an alcohol content of maybe 13 or 14% I would estimate. It was quite tasty though, I must say.
Mike, the owner of the Village Inn, showed us hospitality you never hear of today and rarely experience in a lifetime. He heated up some of his home made New England clam chowder as well as a heaping plate of home made "Buffalo" wings - free of charge. He said, "you guys have been traveling and must be tired, so this is on me." So, we chatted with these two guys, drinking their home brew and eating New England clam chowder and Buffalo buffalo wings until around 1:30 am. Bar Don was giving us reasons for why he doesn't pay taxes and I was talking home brew techniques with him.
After a while, Bar Don realized he was too inebriated to drive so Don Schaeffer had to drive his car while I drove Don Schaeffer's car back to this guy's house. The man lived right on the Niagara river and we ended up sleeping on the beach right in front of his house. He apparently lived with his mother and couldn't invite us in, but I bet he would have if she allowed it. He kept saying, "Man, I love you guys, I don't know where you came from or how you got here, but I love you." We helped him inside and laid down on the banks of the mighty Niagara, well fed and ready to sleep. We left the next morning without seeing our friend, but not wanting to see the Mounties either.
We saw the mighty Niagara Falls around 7 a.m. and then decided to scamper on to Maine. The falls were quite impressive really, but the surrounding town was a complete dump. People say there is a better view on the Canadian side but due to the fact that Canada sucks, we stayed in the good ole' USA and decided to leave.

Cheers to the Village Inn on Grand Island near Buffalo, New York.


Christopher J said...

You, my friend, are living the dream!

Cheers to the Village Inn!

Anonymous said...

A better beginning for the journey of Froto and Sam could not have been scripted!