TRAVELING HOME – 24 and 25 APRIL 2023

Hey Ray, don’t you have to go somewhere before you travel home? Yes, true, but sometimes it is hard to start writing about an adventure when there is so much I wish to share – and that is the case with the Canal Society of New York State field trip that I joined on 23 and 24 April. Sadly, looking at the dearth of new adventures I have experienced this year, I am ashamed – there have been very few – but I still have kept busy, have projects “in the works,” and have no idea where the time has gone so far in 2023.

In May 2019, I stumbled upon the PORT BYRON OLD ERIE CANAL HERITAGE PARK, while on my way back from an amazing adventure in Buffalo, New York, and following the Big Ditch – the Erie Canal. Welcomed by Craig at the park, I voted with my dollars and joined the society. Since then I have joined two field trips (interrupted by COVID) – EXPLORING WITH THE CANAL SOCIETY OF NEW YORK STATE – 1-3 NOVEMBER 2019 and the OSWEGO CANAL – 7-10 MAY 2022 – Part I and, Part II.

This field trip ended at 4:30 on Monday the 24th. Yes, I could have headed east from Auburn, New York and home in five hours, but why? There is always exploring to do. In September 2013, I passed the most pristine upscale village, Skaneateles, at the tip of Skaneateles Lake. Before traveling I had checked for a place to stay Monday night, and I found the Sherwood Inn.

Their professional evening image is nicer than mine below taken from where I parked in front on Route 20. Turning around from that point is this view of the lake. Route 20 is between the Inn and the park on the lake.

The Sherwood Inn has several properties nearby. I chose a room in the Arbor House, which ended up being in the adjoined Carriage House. What a treat to not be in a Holiday Inn (where I was the two previous nights). Remember when you see my side by side images they may be clicked to enlarge.

Since 1807 (a year younger than my home), the Sherwood Inn is so much like my favorite The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I forgot to take a first floor image, but here is the top of the stairs on the second floor, and my dining spot.

For $9 added to my room price I received a $50 certificate for dinner. I may drive back just to have dinner – amazing, put it on your list. Here is my Sherwood Salad, Pan-Seared Atlantic Pecan Salmon; and , Crème brûlée.

My plan for Tuesday, 25 April, was to follow the CHERRY VALLEY TURNPIKE – Route 20 from Lafayette east to Duanesburg (the end of the designated turnpike) and then onto Albany, and home crossing through Bennington, Vermont. US Route 20 is the longest highway in the US – 3365 miles coast to coast. This stretch began in 1799 as the first Great Western Turnpike and facilitated settlers moving west. Later it became known as the Cherry Valley Turnpike, and in 1926 it received that designation as part of the highway system. In 2006 it became a New York State Scenic Byway – 108 miles.

I swung into Cardiff hoping to find a marker proclaiming the site where the GIANT was found, but alas, small community, and not even a Town Hall, post office, or a person in sight to ask where the discovery was made. At least I have been now to Cardiff. I stopped in Bouckville (the Brimfield of NY State) but sadly was not able to write a single check at the shops. Continuing east, open farmland, small communities (with little in-between each one), and much of the road is on high land with sweeping panoramas. The original road went through now bypassed Cherry Valley (the village) and of course I took the old route.

Continuing on I was pining to find a classic diner for lunch (well, it was pushing 2 PM). And, then in Princetown/Duanesburg I found the CHUCK WAGON DINER, and swung in.

I took my seat

and received my menu

It was so hard to decide – fantastic lunch choices which included soup and potato salad for $10.99. I asked my server for a recommendation between the Chicken Cordon Blue and Patty Melt. “Go for the Patty Melt,” she said, and I did.

I felt I was back in the 1950s, or at CHEERS — everyone who came in knew each other, and had stopped by to visit. I joined in on some of the conversations, and was welcomed – TOO MUCH FUN. A 26 year old server (she announced she turned 26 the day before) was chatting with Frank in his booth. When he left Chris said, “he did not show up for four days, I was about to call his son in North Carolina, and then he came in today at his usual time.” Yes, a friend and I were concerned about another friend, and I almost broke into her house the other day to check – I did not break a window, but now know where a key is hidden.

Across the Hudson River, through Troy, into Bennington, Vermont, no luck at the one remaining antique shop (just tour with me and I can show you where all the shops used to be), and home. In Ray fashion about eight plus hours for a five hour drive. More coming – I have to get you to Auburn, New York, and then have you join me on the Erie Canal field trip. Catch you soon, as always, luv, RAY

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3 Responses to TRAVELING HOME – 24 and 25 APRIL 2023

  1. Tony Kulakusky says:

    I am still alive and reading your wonderful posts. You don’t need to come to my house looking for the hidden key.

  2. William Moses says:

    We stayed In a motel in Skaneateles on our honeymoon trip in 1963 beautiful park Bil Moses

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  3. Athena Morris says:

    How exciting! I love those big iron bridges. And the diner.

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