Matt Carberry (kingpin248) wrote,
Matt Carberry

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PNR, day 34: the Champs-Elysees, at least to me...

Plum Island Animal Disease Center, east of Orient Point.
I can understand the sentiment, but you shouldn't embarrass yourself by misspelling "municipality."
An enduring symbol of Long Island, at "the end" ... but not quite THE end yet.
The very last picture of the trip, in Village Park, Northport. "Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain..."

The final stage of the Tour de France is a ceremonial trip, starting just outside Paris and ending with several laps around that city's most famous avenue. All the work is done; it's an occasion for those cyclists who have completed the Tour to celebrate their accomplishment. The final day of this trip was intended to go in much the same way, and it started with a bang - literally.

From Groton, I crossed the Thames River to New London, where I'd use Cross Sound Ferry to get across to Orient Point. I got off the interstate and rolled down Eugene O'Neill Boulevard. There was a car in the left lane; I tried to get around it, but didn't have enough room, so I slipped in behind. Fifty or so feet from the intersection, the light turns yellow. I think we're both going through, and at first, I thought the other car's driver did as well. Then I saw its brake lights. I slammed on mine, but couldn't get stopped fast enough, and tapped the car from behind. The driver got out, looked at the damage, and said there didn't seem to be a problem. I didn't see or otherwise notice any damage to the Blue Trooper, so I agreed, and we both drove off. Thankfully, she appeared to be getting onto a Block Island-bound ferry; it would have been awkward if she had gotten onto the same boat I did. The trip across was relaxing and allowed me to regroup from the morning's unexpected turn of events. And it even was on the coolest ship in CSF's fleet - the M/V Cape Henlopen, a converted World War II ship that took part in D-Day. The trip ended at 10:28, and seven minutes later, I drove back onto Long Island.

I stopped for lunch at Greenport, whereupon I got a good look at the front of my car. The piece of plastic that sits between the headlights was pushed in, so I opened the hood to restore it to its proper shape. This action created two new problems. One, the right side of the plastic snapped off, leaving it sort of dangling. Two, the hood would not fully re-latch. It was holding in place, but not completely secure. Thus, as I ate lunch, I had a decision to make. Do I continue on the intended course, or do I shorten up and proceed directly back to Northport? After a brief internal deliberation, I elected to press on, which meant setting course for the North Ferry to Shelter Island. This island sits between Long Island's two forks, and is a fairly private community. In fact, a sign in the window of a bar in Shelter Island Heights proudly proclaimed that the town was "not restroom friendly." Luckily, I didn't need to go. Within less than an hour of arriving on the island, I was leaving it - via the South Ferry, to North Haven. I had a feeling as to what kind of traffic to expect on this part of the trip - and I was right. It was certainly slow going, being a beautiful Sunday in Sag Harbor and the Hamptons. But I fought the traffic, and ultimately reached Montauk Point. My expired Department of Defense stickers were of use here, as I was able to park in the lot for free. I spent about an hour out there, including touring the historic lighthouse. Finally, at 2:25 p.m., I returned to the Blue Trooper and said to myself, "there's only one thing left to's time to go home."

It was again slow going through the Hamptons, but traffic eased significantly once I reached Route 24. I was back on some of the roads most familiar to my memory - the Long Island Expressway, the Sunken Meadow Parkway, Route 25A...and at 4:33, I reached the Village of Northport. Thankfully, all of the Northport High School graduation hoopla had died down, and I was able to enjoy a nice peaceful walk around downtown. I took a few last pictures for posterity, though I really didn't need them - I've got hundreds of shots of this area. One last trip over the hill and into Crab Meadow, and at 5:08 p.m., I rolled the Blue Trooper into the Ancestral Palace. After thirty-three days, eight hours, and fifteen minutes, and eight thousand, six hundred fifty-three miles, my car was right back on the very same patch of asphalt. I had done it. It was not without pitfalls and periods where I had to put in some work, but it was a blast and unquestionably a success, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world.

Pictures: Day 34 (Long Island)
Tags: long island, northport, pnr

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