(or A Series of Unfortunate Events Mixed with Fantastic Moments)
Based on the success of the tour that my son Jack and I made of New York libraries during the summer of 2015 (write up from 2015), I was elated when, the now 12 year-old, Jack agreed to a second year of the NYLA Library Tour. Dates were selected and plans were made. A call of invitations was issued.
On Wednesday, July 20 we set out in our 1978 VW Camper packed to the gills. We made our way Southward visiting libraries in the MidHudson Library System. By the end of the day, the occasional challenge with shifting into first gear had become consistent. Realizing a good friend lived nearby, we headed there and attempted repairs. By 10AM on Thursday we headed out again, satisfied with the repair we had put in place, but alas it didn’t hold. After squeaking in visits to six more libraries, we hopped on the Taconic State Parkway and headed for home. Not wanting to give up, we made the rounds of some close-to-home libraries in my everyday vehicle; still good to visit some libraries, but certainly not a fun as the VW. Our VW mechanic was good to us, he got us in pretty quickly and despite early indications of a failing clutch, got us back on the road with just some adjustments.
Friday, August 5 we hit the road again and made a hard rush toward Long Island. Cutting through Connecticut, we hopped the ferry and landed in Port Jefferson. Our initial plan was to reach the tip of the North Folk, take the ferry on and back off of Shelter Island, and then return on the South Fork; but our plans were thwarted by westbound Long Island weekend traffic. We made it out the South Fork as far as Sag Harbor. (Congratulations to the staff and the community on their recently completed renovations!) Our options for libraries were limited on our eastbound trip from the South Fork as we were traveling on Sunday and most libraries were closed.
On Monday, August 8 we got word from home that my wife had fallen ill following a tick bite (not Lyme disease thankfully, but another tick borne virus). With the directive of getting home, we packed in a record-setting nine stops into our final day. Our last stop at the South Huntington Public Library was a perfect capstone to the 2016 Tour, not only it is a stunning library, it put out two-year total of libraries visited to 101!
Thank you to all of the libraries that welcomed out visit, and to all those who invited us (even if we weren’t able to make it). No matter how many libraries I visit, I still learn something new at each one; it is special blessing to be able to visit some many. Our adventures are far from over, there are so many more libraries to see and places to visit. We’ll be on the road again, whether part of an official summer NYLA Library Tour, or just traveling around the state; if I’m in town, I just might stop by!
Day 2 – Thursday, July 21
Day 3 – Friday, July 22 - (Completed in the Honda CRV)
Day 4 – Wednesday, August 3 - (Completed in the Honda CRV)
Day 5 – Friday, August 5 – back in the VW
Day 6 – Saturday, August 6
Day 7 – Sunday, August 7
Day 8 – Monday, August 8
Grand Total: 36 Libraries