While I was in New York to compete in Ironman Lake Placid, I took a little bit of time to tick off a few northeastern points of interest from my list. I only had so much time around the race itself, and staying in Lake Placid made it hard to get to everything still to be seen. If I had had five days just to drive around New York and New England, I could have toured 7 or 8 State Capitols and visited 3 or 4 new State Highpoints. With the time I did have, I only managed to tour the New York and Rhode Island Capitols and go to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island highpoints. I would have liked to hit the Vermont highpoint and Capitol as well, but ran out of time before my flight home. I got as high as a sub-peak of Mount Mansfield, but did not get to a point where I could claim to have completed it. Even still, I'm pleased to have knocked off highpoints numbers 44 and 45.
2009 when I climbed Mt. Marcy. It felt too early to go to bed, so I wandered town and wound up getting some ice cream for dinner/dessert. I stayed up later than I should have, doing nothing important. I did not sleep well, having trouble finding a comfortable temperature and occasional noise in the hall.
The parking situation at the Rhode Island Capitol kind of pissed me off- there didn't seem to be any visitors parking lot, and while I did find a close spot on the street, it was an old fashioned coin-operated meter that didn't give any credit for the nickels and dimes I had on me. I took my chances with the little bit of time the quarters I had gave me. There was again metal detectors to get into the building, which is a traditional domed-with-wings architecture. I took kind of a quick spin through the building, it isn't really all that big. The doors to the House and Senate floors were open, with a barricade to keep people out. The galleries were both open, however. Unfortunately the battery in my real camera was dying, so I had to use my phone to take most pictures. When I had seen enough of the interior, I was frustrated again when I found the front entrance to the grand entry stairs was barred for lack of a security detail. I had to go around to the back of the building, the way I had come in, to make a full circle of the exterior and end up back at my car.
Highpointers have put up a bunch of signs on the trail that leads about 400 meters from the road. There's a little marker every 20 meters, plus ones pointing to the two survey markers. Really the only issue is that the parking area is on the opposite side of a high-speed 2-lane highway with enough traffic to be concerning. Apparently even being able to get to the highpoint is a big improvement over what it was like years ago when the land was privately owned. There was nobody around this time, so I had to balance my camera on a stick to get a picture of myself on the little bit of granite sticking a foot above the surrounding ground. Safely back across the highway, I went on my way back to Lake Placid, with a stop in Clifton Park, NY for dinner. I arrived back at my hotel at 10:30, making for a very long day and 600+ miles round trip.
Even after dropping off my rental car and going through security (which had decidedly small-town non-federal TSA agents, one officer was asking about my race and ended with "see you next year"), I had plenty of time for a beer and late lunch/early dinner. I stuffed my face even more on my layover in Detroit. I finally got home around 11, and took care of a few things before going to bed. Then it was back to work on Tuesday.