Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mountain Valley Shuttle

Last week a free shuttle began operating from the town of Ausable Forks to Lake Placid.  I was pretty excited to learn about this shuttle because less than half a mile from my house I could pick it up at the Village Green in Jay.  I'm a huge fan of a public bus.  In fact, while living in England I preferred the bus over the Tube or train because it usually leads to great people watching.

I had scoped out the schedule and it seemed like the time table catered more towards the Whiteface crowd rather than the nine to fivers going to and from Lake Placid.  However, I figured it would be a good option for me when the roads are bad and it would save me and my little car from sliding around in Wilmington Notch.

Driving back from my parents in Potsdam on Christmas night, my brake lines went and we had semi brake failure for the next 60 miles.  Merry Christmas to us!  While I was getting upset and thinking about spending more money on my car, I remembered that I would be able to use the shuttle service in the morning to get me to work.  How convenient!  

I walked up to the Village Green to wait for the Mountain Valley Shuttle.  It was about -2 that morning and I was all alone.  I wasn't really sure where the shuttle was going to stop so I waited at the corner, but then decided it was a little hooker-like to be standing there.  I'm sure I didn't look like a prostitute with my puffy down jacket and knit hat on at 7 am, but I ended up moving away from the corner.  There are a couple benches in the park, but they were snow covered and I thought I'd get even colder sitting on a stone bench.  
Just like any kid waiting for the school bus, I started kicking the snow and ice on the sidewalk to pass the time.  

As scheduled, the shuttle came at 7:20 am and I got ready to board. 

Pretending to be an urbanite I came armed with a book and ipod.  In trying to look the part, I put my ipod on only to discover the battery was too low for me to listen to my music.  I sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the ride.
 After stopping at Whiteface, I became a little annoyed that I had to go to work and everyone else was off with their friends and families preparing for a fun day skiing or snowboarding.  This is one of the reasons why I have a love hate relationship with the holidays.  

At any rate, we arrived in Lake Placid and the driver made his way from hotel to hotel picking up more passengers along the way to take them to Whiteface for all the fun.  I made the mistake of staying on the bus for all the hotel stops when I could have gotten off at the Crowne Plaza and walked down the hill, but I only had to wait 10 more minutes for the Olympic Center stop.  Considering my luck lately, it seemed like a good idea for me to stay on the shuttle because I probably would have fallen on the icy sidewalk and broken my arm on my way down Olympic hill.

My car is fixed now and I drove to work this morning in half the time it takes me to ride the shuttle.  Even though it takes considerably longer and the times aren't the best for my work schedule, I will take the shuttle again because 1) I'm cheap and it's free, 2) I'm a greenie, and 3) I'm a big wimpy winter driver!

I hope to see some of you on my next ride and I might even save you a seat!


Courtney said...

When we first moved to VA (from MD, for A's job), Andrew still had to go back to the MD office a couple of days a week. He took the metro. About three times. Because adding up a 20 minute drive there + 60 minutes on metro + waiting for bus to shuttle + bus/shuttle ride to office park...lather, rinse, repeat = VERY long day.

Anyhow, it's fun to try those things out, and certainly awesome to have available, but not an every day thing.

Sorry about your car. I just got into a fender-bender (not my fault) in A's car in the Target parking lot. AWESOME. Um, no.

eyeheartorange said...

I too love public transportation, but like Courtney's husband, it takes wayyy too long to really equal out to a time/money savings. But good to know it is there in a pinch!

I lived in NH one summer and there was a free bus from my town to the town where my internship was. Loved it! But I loved my little '90 VW Golf more. Wish I still had that car!

Hope you had happy holidays!