Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Getting Stoned--Cenozoically

While we were inside the quarry, everything was so fascinating that I didn't even stop to notice, but it was around this time that the Ibuprofen had completely worn off and I started to feel the pain. I was nursing this horrible ear infection all day. ["What are you, an infant?" my good friend had asked me, having never heard of an adult getting one. Yes, an ear infection.] My ear canal was all swollen shut, so I could barely hear from that direction, and the pain was awful, like having a migraine headache through the whole left side of my head, jaw to crown. And there were some fluid results I won't discuss in case you're about to eat lunch. I'm fairly sure the constant moisture from the rain and the quarry itself, plus all the dust in the air exacerbated my condition. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make, and it's all better at the time of this post, thankfully.

The Artistic Tile folks had mentioned at the very start of the trip that they had aspirin and that no one should suffer through a headache, but at that point I figured it wasn't going to matter all that much. I tried my best to stay in good spirits despite this annoyance as we headed to the restaurant where we'd be eating dinner.

Along the way, we did pass something I don't think I'd have believed existed if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes: The American Museum of Fly Fishing. Now the art of weaving feathers and tassles together to make something that looks like a bug to a fish is definitely pretty cool. I'm just not certain the sport warrants an entire museum. They do have the oldest known fly in existence, though, evidently.

The place where they took us for dinner came about as close as any place could to making up for a horrible ear infection, The Equinox.
The original hotel was established in 1769.
Their grounds are absolutely stunningly beautiful and consist of seventeen different buildings, many of them discernible as separate construction but combined into larger structures.

I really thought it would be the ideal place to have a wedding, and I'm sure many, many couples have over the years.

I'll have to say that--minus an unfortunate cole slaw--the food was far better than I ever would have expected. Particularly delectable were a homemade macaroni and cheese (which I overheard someone say was "the real deal") and a soup which, if I remember correctly, was butternut squash and apple and spiced just perfectly.

It was at dinner that I met Jeff, spoke to John DeSoto and John's friend and neighbor, Jan, a bit more. Unfortunately, I could barely hear from one side of my head, and it sounded to me like I was yelling when in fact no one could hear what I was saying. I suppose I probably came off as all timid and shy, which are two of about the very last words anyone would ever use to describe me. Oh, well. By this point, the rain had stopped, and the temperature was a comfortable sixty-five degrees or so. It truly was the perfect ending to an incredible day.

For the ride home, Levinson had brought along the DVD for Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. He remarked at how very difficult it is to choose a movie for an entire busload of people who really were of every conceivable age and background. It's a great movie, and I haven't seen it for probably twenty years, but mostly I just wanted to sleep. So I crumpled myself up as best I could on a cramped bus seat (I did have two of them, thankfully), and passed out.

My subway ride was also excruciating because I was dressed for rainy Vermont and a forty-two-degree quarry while New York, especially the subway, was remarkably hot. I thought I might collapse, but I survived it. I slept like a rock that night, as well. All in all, it was a trip I will not very soon forget.

All text and images ©2010, Ryan Witte.

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