mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF wondering & wandering

Roadtrip

Cartoon: Roadtrip Upstate NY by SBPriceJim and I made a date for Saturday to take a roadtrip to parts east of Rochester: Oswego, Pulaski, Fulton. In this season of madhouse airports, we're taking our adventures in small bites. It was raining so we didn't do much exploring by foot. Some observations:

Eliot Spitzer, who's running for governor, got into trouble for comparing upstate NY to Appalachia. Well, he was right. We realized that towns with their lovely Main Streets intact have all simply been too poor to tear down their old buildings.

There is way more dilapidation in New York State than we saw in West Virginia or Tennessee. Behind all the pots of purple petunias are boarded up windows, sagging porches, and peeling paint. There are dairy farms, truck farms, vineyards, and orchards but the old industries that actually supported towns are gone for good.

It's a quandry: picturesque little towns with no reason to exist. We're already saturated with gift shoppes.

We stopped in Pulaski for lunch. It was the diner I'd hoped for all through Tennessee. Tasty tuna melt, fresh crispy fries, and leisurely friendly service.

We came back through Wayne County, determined to take the little county roads. A discovery: there is a state road up north by Lake Ontario and a state road down south by the Erie Canal. There are no other east-west thoroughfares. We were traveling from east to west, but had to go five miles north or south to go one mile west. What up with that? The early settlers must have related only to the canal or to the streams that flow north into the lake. No need for the difficult overland trips across the glacier-laid north-south hills. Beautiful country — but when we realized that it would take us the rest of the day to get home, we sped up to Rt 104. Home.

And we solved a few world problems along the way.

(Ok, my cartoon characters are pretty hokey, but at least I'm practicing. Map by Google.)

8.21.06

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