A good day today. I woke up and immediately started calling the B&B that was close by. Still no answer, I called the other B&B, The Tipperrary. One of the owners answered, the phone kept breaking up and the call was dropped twice. When I finally managed to ask if there was room at the inn she said, “I’m sorry I am sick and have a Doctors appointment today.” I may have started pleading a bit at this point…. “I’ll come and take care of you, just let me use your shower, laundry facilities and hose.” At this point she asked me where I was from; (maybe my Jersey accent becomes more apparent when I whine), turns out they lived for many years in the same NJ County I grew up in and still had family in the area. Their children went to the same high school I did, and I have a good Irish name, Cathleen Mary. Yes!, I have convinced her to let me come. I don’t think she understood that I was already in town and would be wheeling up with a kayak as my only vehicle, the connection was so bad but I was on my way.
I packed and set Sparky up on the wheels, as I looked her over I thought she is so dirty, it is going to be a little embarrassing to be seen in public. I at least had the benefit of camp soap and clean clothes. Sparky was a mess, the wheels had more serious issues. But off we went, I stopped and asked the postman where I would find Duffy Hill Rd., I didn’t like the sound of that Road, the whole hill thing …The postman confirmed that The Tipperary was indeed on top of one long, large hill. So be it, I was on a mission. I hadn’t gone very far beyond the Bridge of Flowers and Light, (love that name), when a young man in a pick-up truck offered to give me a lift.
The Tipperary was beautiful, nestled into the wooded hills with lush lawns and pretty landscaping. No one was home, at the Doctors I suspect. I sat on the comfortable wrap around porch and made a few phone calls with limited success. I did get through to Beth. I spotted a hose and gave Sparky the shower she so richly deserved. A couple of hours later, the owners arrived, Bob and Mary Jo Gearty. They are very nice and I thanked them profusely for letting me stay. I showered and filled up the tub for my compression bags, they have to be hand washed. A little later Mary Jo comments, “Mumford , that name is so familiar, you aren’t related to Quincy Mumford are you?” Quincy is my nephew; I’ve watched him grow up. It turns out that their grandson, Brian, is Quincy’s best friend since they were both very young, they are 18 years old now. I know Brian, he was always over when Quincy was around. What are the chances, here I am two states away from home, in the middle of nowhere and this connection emerges. I immediately call Quincy’s mom, Debbie, to share with her where I am. The Geartys tell me that Quincy has slept in the very room where I am staying.
Bob had a mechanic friend in the town of St. Albany, so my wheels and I took a drive with my hosts while they ran some errands and I re-supplied. We drove in about 1/2 hour, the area it had just taken me two days to traverse. I didn’t want to go back, even though I knew that was silly. Bob’s mechanic straightened out the wheels, put air in the tires, lubed the bearings and properly banged the problem bearing back into place. That was a huge relief the wheels had become really become inefficient, now they were almost good as new!
Went back did laundry and continued to clean and air out gear. Tonight I had an awesome steak dinner, good wine and pleasant conversation, compliments of Bob and Mary Jo. Now I am snuggled into a clean, comfy bed. The Geartys will take me to the put-in tomorrow morning. This has been amazing, what a small world. Thank you! Thank you!
My nephew Quincy is an accomplished singer/ songwriter and performer. He has achieved quite a bit of local notoriety, for good reason. Brian Gearty is the band’s talented bass player. Check out thier music, one of his songs, “ Grateful”, was going through my head a lot during this trip. www.quincymumford.com