By the time we got to Watertown, it was late evening. We were still about forty mikes south of the border and did not want to be hitchhiking across late at night. It was beginning to get a tad frigid. We found a spot where we could huddle together wrapped up in our bedrolls. We camped under a trailer in a sales lot next to an all night truck stop. Before retiring we took advantage of the warmth inside and enjoyed a bowl of soup. Taking as much of the warmth with us we went out wrapped up and tried ot get some sleep.
The descending cold prevented us from getting rest. Before we could fall asleep, we needed to go back into the diner and warm up again. While inside we drank hot chocolate or coffee. By the time we warmed up, we went back outdoors to try and find some rest. Both the cold and caffeine combined to prevent us from getting sleep. We tossed, turned, quivered and stayed awake. When cold became overwhelming we got up again, returned indoors and repeated the procedure. By morning’s first light, we had gotten no sleep and wearily headed out to the highway to resume our trek towards the border. Our hope was to flag down a ride that would offer us the warmth of a car‘s heater. Right away a van blew by and its driver waved and pulled over a short bit down the highway. Cathy an I gathered our belongings and ran to get inside. Getting there, we quickly threw our gear into the back and settled on the bench seat in front with the driver. As, he took off we noticed that this van had no windshield. We proceeded to race north facing a wind that’s intensity matched our speed. The driver told us he was headed right to the bridge that began crossing the Thousand Islands boundary between the United States and Canada, It only took about forty shivering minutes to get there.
When he stopped to let us out, the wind ceased and a bright morning sun was rising over the many islands dotting the Saint Laurence River. Although it was likely only a few degrees above freezing, it felt almost tropical in the stillness of new light. We headed out walking the few miles over bridges and causeways towards the customs booth where we could gain entry to Canada. The walking and rising sun warmed and invigorated us. We both hoped that as close as we were to Montreal and friends that our next night would not have to be spent sleeping outdoors in frigid temperatures.