The planning is half the fun — looking over the map, picking out the route, deciding where to stop. I suppose that comes from being the son of a geographer.
I spend a good deal of time planning these Saturday drives beforehand. It’s a welcome distraction from sitting in an empty office at night, or from the nightly procession of we’re-all-in-this-together TV commercials that are driving me stark, raving mad.
This is a new route for the biweekly look at our coronavirus world. The plan is to wander east to west across Washington County, starting in Granville. In plotting this course, I did not fail to notice the $1.95 gas price on gasbuddy.com just over the line in Vermont, so Saturday’s journey begins at the Sunoco station in the Green Mountain State.
It seems quiet in Granville on this fine spring day. A couple on East Main street are out painting their house. A masked woman waters plants at Van Riper’s Gardens on Church Street. I can see them making pizza in the window at Morse’s Diner and Pizzeria, but I ate up at home, unsure if I’d find a pizza place in Granville. So, the trip doesn’t start with the traditional slice.
Lawn signs are lined up in front of Granville High School to honor graduating seniors, mirroring the tributes you see in communities throughout the region. This year’s senior classes will scatter to the winds, separate, yet joined together forever by a common event.
I head west on 149 on a drive I’ve always loved over the beautiful, gentle, rolling hills of Washington County. The sky is blue and it feels like such a perfect day, spoiled by the omnipresent thought of what the coronavirus has done to us. I’m not the kind of person who can put those thoughts aside and live in the moment. I’m annoyed that this virus has stolen away graduations, ballgames and concerts.
Along the side of the road I catch a glimpse of some kids playing catch, and all at once, I want to be 10 years old again. I want to be out back of my old house in Cortland, throwing the ball up against the wall, living the simple, happy life of a kid, wondering what’s for dinner, wondering if the Yankees will ever get close to a World Series in my lifetime, trying to get the neighborhood kids together for a game, having no cares about the coronavirus or any other kind of virus.
I bury the thought and drive on. Trying to go home again is not a good thing.
I pull into Hartford and stop at Gibson Hardware, one of the stores that’s been keeping us supplied during the shutdown. Bob Henke, our outdoors columnist, told me “if you need it, Dale’s got it,” and he certainly seems to have a lot crammed into this small store. All I need is a bottle of Gatorade.
Then it’s over to 196 and I’m on my way to Hudson Falls. Along the way there’s a man with a weed-whacker trimming his lawn. I half wonder if he could give me a haircut with that thing.
In Hudson Falls, there are more lawn signs honoring high school seniors. A few people are hanging around Juckett Park, but it seems pretty quiet. For some reason I thought I’d see more people outside today.
It is unusually warm — 85 degrees at the height of the afternoon — so maybe that’s keeping people off the streets. Maybe they’re lying 6 feet apart on the beach in Lake George. Or maybe they’re inside getting their daily fill of we’re-in-this-together TV commercials.
I wonder if everyone is thinking the same thing that runs through my mind — will this gradually go away, or will we see the second wave that some medical experts fear? Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?
That’s the debate we’re all having now. Most of you have picked your sides. The only thing I know for sure is if it goes away, political leaders right and left will take credit, and if it comes back, they will all blame someone else.
In the meantime, life goes on as we wait to see what happens.
Sports Editor Greg Brownell is taking a periodic look at how we're all dealing with the coronavirus in the Glens Falls region.
Contact Sports Editor Greg Brownell via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @glensfallsse.
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