Thursday, May 17, 2018

New York - Day 14 - Amish country


Allegany State Park
Monday, 14 May 2018

today's route
Today I had a good thing, a sad thing, and a very weird thing happen in between the usual day.

The story for the good thing:
There was dense fog all along the lake shore, and the weather report on TV warned me of an accident on the highway into Buffalo.  I needed to go back there because yesterday I left my book and bookweight at the Anchor Bar (home of the original buffalo wings).

The book was Pride and Prejudice and can be replaced anywhere, but the bookweight can’t.  David got them for all of us years ago from Brookstone and I don’t know if they even still make them.  Mine has been to all the weird places I went when I was a fish adviser to the US State Dept. - Seoul, Moscow, Leningrad (at the time), Tokyo, Ottawa, plus Cozumel (not for fish).  You can barely even see it used to say Brookstone on it now.

When I realized it was missing last night, I called back up there and asked them to hold it for me.  Which they did, but it meant going about 40 miles up and 40 miles back today I hadn’t counted on.  But I got it back and that’s a very good thing.

In between
I took the scenic route south and was surprised to find that almost the whole way it was towns.  I expected a lot more open countryside and got very little.

In Eden, south of Buffalo, I saw a building with this sign: The Original Kazoo Company.  Do you suppose it is?

I’ve been noticing for days that there are a lot of Italian names showing up in this part of the country.  In Texas we see a lot of German, Polish and Hispanic names; in New York, it’s Italian.  In a little town just south of Buffalo I even saw a building for the Lake Erie Italian Club.

Along the road I passed a llama farm.  I’ll bet they had at least 15 in the pen near the road.  I expected sheep or cows so was a little surprised to see these long-necked guys.

The story for the sad thing:
I think I killed my first critter today, and I truly hope it’s the last.

As I was going downhill on a narrow 2-lane-with-no-shoulders road with a blind curve at the bottom, I saw in the smack middle of my lane a Mourning Dove, just sitting in the road, kind of crouched as if it were on a nest.  And on the 6” shoulder was another dove looking at it.  I kept expecting it to fly away and tried to slow down to give it a chance, but it didn’t move and it didn’t move and there was nothing I could do.  I couldn’t move to the 6” shoulder because the other dove was still sitting there and anyway that would put me running over the bird in the road – it was in the very middle of my lane.  And I couldn’t move to the other lane because another car or semi could be coming.  And I couldn’t stop or even slow down more than I did because another car was right on my tail.  All I could figure was to try to center it and hope it’d stay put.  Which it didn’t.  I heard a thump amidship and I suppose it suddenly decided to try to escape after I’d already started going over it.  I could see it still in the road in my rearview mirror.

I’m guessing that maybe it had flown into a vehicle going the other way and had been stunned, which would account for it being in the middle of the lane, and my hope is that it got stunned again when it tried to fly up into my RV.  Of course, it’d have to come to in time to keep from getting hit by another car on the road, but I can hope.  It’s a lot better than believing I killed it.  It was all very upsetting.

In between
Somewhere along the road I started to see signs now and then welcoming me to the New York Amish Trail.  I wonder what the Amish think about those signs.  Anyway, I passed many many homes and farms that were obviously owned by Amish – clothes hanging on very long clotheslines, children doing yard work using non-motorized equipment, buggies parked in the driveway.  Several places had small hand-lettered signs stuck by the road saying they had baked goods available on Saturdays.

Can you read the signs?
By the time I got to Randolph, I was barely even surprised by the parking sign, but I did take a photo (on the right).  In town we passed a horse and buggy, carrying a man and woman in traditional dress.  Dexter growled and barked a little – I’m guessing it was the horse that did it. 

I went to Randolph, of course, in memory of our father.  It looks like a nice little town.  Actually, I saw several signs that said it was a hamlet, while others said it was a town; they might want to get their stories straight, or not. 

The Allegany State Park is the northern tip of the Allegheny National Forest that I had to miss in Pennsylvania because of the snow and ice.  I don’t know why New York spells it differently.  It’s pretty here, though.  I misunderstood which camping area we were reserved for so ended up taking the very long route, which was fine but you know, if you’ve seen one tree you’ve seen the forest.

I have to say I was a little disconcerted when we got to our campsite and found these
pieces of furniture at each one, that turned out not to be furniture but bear-discouraging containers, I guess for food or trash that people sometimes leave outside their campers overnight.  Given Dexter’s reaction to the deer at the last campground (he nearly pulled me over trying to get to them), I’m a little nervous about the possibility of encountering a bear.

The story about the weird thing
After we’d stopped at our campsite and I was putting things back where they belonged, I saw this major crack in the mirrored closet door.  I’d actually heard a loud thump during the day but couldn’t for the life of me figure out what had caused it and decided not to worry unless I saw a wheel come off or something.  I guess it was this.  Oddly, I can’t feel the crack when I touch it, but I can sure see it.  Wish I knew what had caused it.


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