Photo: Hardy Griffin.

The single lane of Highway 17 winds through the upper Catskills—not the well-known hills surrounding New York City but rather the hardscrabble towns of Liberty, Deposit, Roscoe. It’s 2017, and we’re in a mad dash to make it to Ithaca before 4 p.m.

We had a late start and now my wife is desperately trying to make up for it at 85 miles an hour. Because they were very clear when we set up the appointment: “If you’re not there, you won’t see us again for at least six weeks.”

​’We’re going to be right on time,’ pops into my head, and then disaster strikes. One child very hungry, the other green from the twists and turns, the empty gas tank light comes on. Resigned, my wife takes her foot off the accelerator and we coast into a tiny town.
The back-seat grumbling about the convenience-store sandwiches begins as we meander out of Fishs Eddy and only peters out as we pass Hale Eddy. How many Eddies does the upper Delaware have?
We pull into our new driveway 14 minutes late, right behind the cable company van. A woman in a jumpsuit steps out.

“Sorry I’m late,” she says.
My knees are weak—I think I may genuflect.
“Well at least you made it,” my wife responds. “How long will it take to hook us up?”

— Hardy Griffin