Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Arrival in Cobleskill, NY

Last night, I woke up to thunder, lightning, and pouring rain at 3am. This morning, as I took the ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan, I hoped the weather would clear up. No such luck. Akin to Alice's experience in 1909, it stormed for our departure from 1930 Broadway in New York. We waved good bye to our send off group and left promptly at 9am. Isabelle and Peter Ramsey, and their son, Andrew, joined us for the day. Peter is the grandson of Alice Ramsey and was very close to her. He imparted some of Alice's driving advice: look at the tires. The tires tell you where the car is going. Not the windshield, not the person, but the tires. Ah, and those are the tires on the car of the vehicle approaching you -- not your own. Haha.

We pulled into Tarrytown and the original site of the Maxwell-Briscoe factory around 10:45am. Unfortunately, the building was demolished in 1997 and all that remains are cement foundations. During the drive, a clasp snapped on the underside of the Maxwell and Rich (leader of the drive and owner of the Maxwell) used this stop to hunt down a welding shop. The rest of us went gathering for lunch. We met up with some friendly enthusiasts from the local car club and many of the cars joined us!
Next stop was Vassar College, where Alice went to college, although she did not graduate. We had an extremely warm welcome, including a reception with lemonade and brownies. I love brownies.
A clanking in the engine led us to stop in Durham around 8pm this evening. The Maxwell needs some repairs and the mechanics are hard at work as I type. I hear a part will be ready by morning and we should be able to continue as planned -- though a bit later.

The Car Club of Cobleskill made us a fine picnic dinner. I was so hungry from sitting all day that I ate a hot dog for the first time in YEARS!


  1. The first day and already the car is in the shop for repairs. Sounds like the next few weeks will be quite exciting!

  2. Stopping for repairs gives you time to meet with the locals and explore gas stations,welding shops,maintanence facilities and sometimes just the shoulder of the road. I am sure that Alice spent quite a bit of time doing the same thing. Do you have her diary along to compare frequency and duration of your breakdowns with those Alice experienced 100 years ago?