THE END: PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK, MASSACHUSETTS
March 16-20, 2016
Sunday, March 27
Don't know when I crossed from Ohio into Pennsylvania but I did. Pennsylvania Welcomes You at 12:50. Venango County Line at 1:14, temp 69 (it never made it to 70). Over the Allegheny River into Clarion County and off onto Pa. Route 208, Welcome to the Pennsylvania Wilds, passing the road to Turkey City and the road to Ninevah, into the rolling Pennsylvania mountains. Hallelujah! A little beaver pond as we enter Beaver Township. A horse and buggy at Knox, a lot of brick business buildings, one with KOOMANS inset into the brick at its top. Onto US 322 at Shippensville briefly before taking Pa 66 north past the Dew Drop Inn, which is partially demolished.
1971: I got the idea for a new story, tentatively titled "Annapolis Town."
The Ohio state line to Coudersport, Pa.
Into Leeper to stop at the Sawmill Restaurant for a grilled ham & cheese and a Diet Pepsi. The town of Vowinckel, Blood Road in the town of Gilfoyle, The Village of Roses, Route 66 Dinor [sic]. Stopped at the Allegheny National Forest ("Land of Many Uses") Center to pick up some literature.
US 6 at 3:28 at the town of Kane, rolling country, nothing spectacular, houses scattered along the road, occasional businesses of various sorts, lots of trees--about a 30/70 mix in favor of deciduous trees, a white flat sky ahead of me, blue elsewhere. Another Pennsylvania town (Mt. Jewett), one block of brick business buildings, well-kept houses, two stories with a third under the eaves.
Definitely into eastern mountain country now, going downhill into a valley, hills rising up in front of me, more up ahead, coming into the village of Hazelhurst. It was fun coming down that hillside or mountainside, whatever you want to call it. $20 worth of $2.199 gas in Smethport. Welcome to Roulette and The Goat Farm and there they are, 30-40 of them on a hillside.
The Westgate Inn at Coudersport at 4:45, temp 60, odometer 128708. The town was closed up tighter than a drum on Easter evening. Every restaurant was closed and I had to get a cheeseburger at McDonald's, the first time I've eaten in a McDonald's in nearly 60 years. The iced coffee was good.
Monday, March 28
In 2007, my brother Wayne died.
Coudersport, Pa. to the NY state line
Somehow I got up at 6:45 this morning. A banana, cereal, toast, coffee, orange juice, yogurt at the motel. Back on US 6 east at 8:31, temp 47, odometer 128718, a gray overcast day. It had rained overnight.
Cloud tendrils coming down the side of a mountain as I leave Coudersport. Running between hills, a lot of pines on this stretch, pretty civilized houses and busineses along here at Sweden Township and Sweden Valley, rolling road, curving. Another old gray barn beginning to fall apart. Dry Run, back into the usual mix of pines and deciduous trees. Getting kind of foggy at 8:45, guess we're up into the clouds, Susquehannock State Forest, going down now (hadn't realized how high we were), clouds obscuring the tops of some of these Eastern mountains. Kind of colorful along here with ground cover that is yellow, reddish, orange--a lot of it is fallen leaves that still have some color to them, not just brown.
Welcome to Galeton at 9:00, half an hour after leaving Coudersport with no other towns in between, a nice little town, large square buildings in the center of town but not like those of the West, a big old rambling house, a country store, houses right up against the road. Some wonderful mountains there with tendrils of cloud coming down their slopes.
Another small town, no name, a short squat church, a Tack Shop. 9:20, somewhere in Pennsylvania, just passed about 5 trailer homes, curving US 6 which doesn't pass through many towns, a big deep yellow field to my left with large rounded hills behind it, Wolf Run. Havent had to go through much in the way of towns, it's great, I like this road.
Wellsboro at 9:25, houses scattered along the road, a few businesses, Mountain Valley Realty, a gas station, Georges Restaurant, Steve's Bedroom Center, Auto Center, used car lot, chain saw repair, Beauty Salon and Glow Shop, the Frog Hut across from the Pizza Hut, gas stations and motels, a church with a squared-off steeple with no spire, Wellsboro Diner, a second story porch over the sidewalk, the Canyon Motel, Tioga Publshing Company, leaving town with big old houses, two stories with third story under gables and pitched roof, all well kept-up.
The town of Mansfield and Mansfield University. Same homes and squat mill-type buildings, a mill that is still working, big old houses as I leave town, 5 or more big old birch trees. A bunch of horses out in the field, maybe as many as ten, one out by itself, piebald brown and white. Brown stubbled fields, woods full of naked deciduous trees, just like home. The clouds up ahead are layered, some bands brighter than others, at first I thought it was a river or lake, a bright spot in the clouds ahead where the sun probably is.
The borough of Sylvania, going down out of the mountains again steeply (I wasn't even aware we'd gone up on into them), a green house with peeling paint, a light green house in sad shape, a blue house in good shape. The Presbyterian church next to the Pennsylvania Church of Christ.
Columbia Township at 10:00, temp 45. A big old white dairy barn, L-shaped but also shaped like a barn. Looking down into farms in a valley to my left. Welcome to Troy, Pennsylvania, a thin spire on a brick church, brick buildings on main street, flat, the Citizens Northern Bank, a strange reddish brick with towers and turrets, St. Paul's Episcopal with a thin flat (!) steeple, which I've never seen before.
Into Towanda at 10:30, temp 50, passing by the Christ Episcopal Church that looks like it's made out of stone, a bunch of salt box type homes, another large brick church, First United Methodist, quite a few blocks of a business district of two- and three-story brick buildings, one of them with the brick painted pink, the County Courthouse with a big old dome on top of it, stone soldiers standing guard, The Black Box Theatre, Niemiec Smith and Pallenger attorneys at law, the Keystone Theatre, the Red Rose Diner, over the Susquehanna.
Now travelling through a cut in the rock, layers of rock at an angle to the road, the Susquehanna River down below us, the Marie Anthoinette Scenic Overlook, up ahead is a very very tiny patch of blue in the clouds, which are brighter now. Wyalusa, since 1752, a small white wood church with a short steeple, the white parish house next to it. Large house up ahead with bands of maroon alternating with a cream color on the second floor.
Coming into the town of Skinner's Eddy at 11:04, still alongside the Susquehanna. Then I pulled over to rest my eyes for about 5 minutes. A railroad track now between the highway and the Susquehanna. Going up again and then going down, rolling mountains ahead. Bypassing the village of Tunkhannock, Leo's Custom Butchering. Joining US 11 just before Welcome to Dalton.
Route 6 then joined I-81 south down to I-84 east, a wet road (apparently it had been raining there earlier) at 12:0, a bit of mist in the air, the wipers on slow intermittent. The exit for Wallenpaupack, fog at 12:35. $21 worth of $2.179 gas at Milford, Pa. at 1:00. I blew it--according to a billboard, a Citco station up ahead was priced at $1.859.
Monday, March 28
1992: Hiked down from the dirt road to the Canal along the Trail to Pennsylvania. I lost it several times. A brown creeper or two.
NY state line to Massachusetts line
Crossing the Delaware River into New York State at 1:07. Getting really foggy for a spell, low clouds I suspect. Over the Hudson and a $1.50 toll.
Stopped at the I-84 Diner in Fishkill NY at 1:50 for a large bowl of onion soup, a diet Pepsi, and a lemon Danish.
On to the Taconic Parkway north at 2:35, beginning to feel sad as the adventure is coming to its end, although it really ended several days ago and now I've got to figure out how to get settled back in Massachusetts.
3:28, 48 degrees, an area of dead trees, no limbs, sticking out of the ground (a swamp?), sun trying to come out, the town of Claverack, and finally at 3:30 onto NY Route 23, over a rise, a yellow field down there and mountains beyond that, sun shining on the exit for Route 23. The Chief Martindale Diner and a good white New England church. A sign for Catamount. A patch of blue sky up ahead and some to the north of me but still mostly clouds, the sun breaking through off and on.
Monday, March 28
1983: That apartment in Canton plays through my fantasies--I am eager to move into the city, believing that life will be like it was at Dupont Circle.
NY state line to Great Barrington, Mass.
Welcome to the Berkshires and Egremont, Mass. at 3:43, clouded over again and the road wet again. Another Catamount sign--I guess that’s a ski slope. Entering Great Barrington at 3:48, Route 7 and the southern of downtown Great Barrington at 3:52.
The Lantern House Motel at 4:04, temp 47, odometer 129061. I called Al Gaither and left a message and he immediately called without knowing I had already called him.
I met Al at Kripalu, where we ate and talked and walked, back to the motel to look at some of my photos and now I'm going to an early bed and to hell with everything.
Tuesday, March 29
In 1961, I met Tenaya Stewart in New York City.
Great Barrington to Northampton, Easthampton, and Hatfield
Got up around 8:30 and met Al after 9:30. We were going to have breakfast at Martin's but it is closed on Tuesdays so we ate at a place around the corner. I had eggs with tomatoes and onions and other stuff, which I was more than I could finish.
Then I drove to Northampton at 12:17 then down to Easthampton to talk to the rental agents who had handled my last place here (nothing available now) then up to Hatfield to check in to the Scottish Inn at 1:30, temp 42, 129156, which brings my trip total to 26,431 miles.