By the side of the road


Roughly mile marker 292.8.

New York State Thruway.

East bound.

Off to the right, the ground begins to rise as a bit of a hill. And just as the grass covered earth reaches its crest, there it isÖ

A boat.

Yes. A boat.

Now, in fairnessÖ Cross LakeÖ Seneca RiverÖ even the Skaneateles CreekÖ are all in the vicinity. Depending on how ambitious we might want to be in finding the source of this abandoned water craft, there are places where a boat could be used without having to travel multiple zip codes. Itís not like we have discovered a boat ditched on along a major road someplace in New Mexico or West Virginia, with thoughts wandering to places that might connect what a dinghy and a cactus have in common.

This lovely, small, watercraft has been there for a while. Not hours or days. Longer. I donít spot it every time I drive by, just because there are times when the radio is more interesting then scanning the side of the road, but I have seen it over several months. Could very well have been there years for all I can confirm.

Hey, if there is a river on the other side of the hill, perhaps this is exactly where the people using it store the darn thing. I just donít know for certain.

Have you ever been driving along and seen something so unexpected that it just didnít even connect at first? Iím talking about items so odd, that you canít even really process what you just saw until after youíve passed it. Like, a moose in the Florida Keys strange. Santa driving the car next to you strange. Something not impossible, but so unlikely that putting the pieces together takes your mind several extra steps. Unlikely in a way that it creates questions.

Was this boat being towed? Maybe it was on a trailer. A tire went flat and some important decisions were made. Trailer was important, boat was not. Unload and repair, stack and reload accordingly leaving some items behind.

Were one or two people trying to move from a creek to a river and gave up? Or, perhaps the boat was being brought from a home to the water and people just got tired.

I donít know.

But each time I see it, I begin to wonder.

And I canít see over the top of the hill. Woods on the other side? Might be. A bend in a river or a boat dock? Could be.

Iíve moved all sorts of things in a car. Brought toilets and sofas and extension ladders across state lines. Had people in a rest area come over to take pictures of our dogs. Driven hundreds upon hundreds of miles to help people move completely down the coast. I know, firsthand, that there are plenty of ways for strange things to arrive at strange places.

A boat in upstate New York is hardly the same as a moose crossing A1A between Islamorada and Marathon. Chances are good youíve spotted your own version of a boat. Or a moose. Hopefully you managed to keep control of the car while your brain sorted it all out.


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