DNA-X 2014 – #2 North by Northeast…
We leave the scenic Outer Banks and head into the traffic nightmare of the northeast U.S. Over the years we have tried to come up with a route that avoids as much traffic as possible. Mostly, we have been unsuccessful. Timing is always critical; days of the week, cities and rush hours can make an easy drive a marathon. We head up the eastern shore of Maryland on back roads and sneak into Delaware. This time our route and timing pay off. We had to venture onto I95 briefly to find a little inn on the outskirts of Wilmington. We check into the Inn at Montchanin Village, a restored hamlet dating from 1799. The historic charm of the 11 buildings nestled among lovely gardens makes it seem you are far away from the bustling city. However, 15 minutes after we exited I95, a semi-tractor trailer crashed right where we had been. This was not that unusual except that the truck was carrying 460 beehives from Florida to Maine. Some 16-20 million angry and confused honeybees swarmed the interstate shutting it down for 13 hours. Rescue crews, firefighters and bee experts tried to contain, collect and clean up the mess. Several hundred of the hives that survived intact were rescued, for others the stranded queens (that do not fly) were collected and transferred to new hives in the hope that the frantic worker bees would find them and resume their lives. Most of the millions however were lost. Bee colonies are vital for pollinating crops and have suffered from Colony Collapse Disorder and pesticide poisoning. Hives are moved all over the country to make up for the lack of local hives. We wondered what else is being moved around on our roads- more on that later!
We now search for another circuitous route north into the mountains of Vermont and land in Manchester, home of one of the Land Rover Driving Schools. The head dowager in town is the Equinox Resort where we checked in amidst a frenzied crowd. With 200 years of history, 17 different structures and a mishmash of architecture, this vintage, wood hotel has welcomed famous dignitaries and weary vacationers. Although we seek out the “historic” we do cast a cautious eye on antique structures. Knowing this we arrange for a room near the fire escape. Heavy downpours dampened our off road plans so we moved on.
Our next stop was surrounded with water. The Lake Placid Lodge in the Adirondack Mountains of New York sits along the banks of the namesake lake and is a peaceful escape from the hubbub. Do try their restaurant that serves great food with a beautiful view of Whiteface Mountain.
The next challenge for the DNA-X team was to cross the Canadian border and drive to the most exciting Land Rover Driving School (our opinion!) in Montebello, Quebec. The usual traffic jam and road detours through Montreal left us ready for some R&R. We contacted our friends at the LR Experience and luckily they invited us to join them and their large group on an off road adventure into the wilds of Kenauk Nature, a 65,000-acre preserve. Perfect! Blue was thrilled to get off the pavement at last and off we went…into the wilderness.