July 19, 2011
19.07.2011 - 19.07.2011 32 °C
I left Johnstown at 8 a.m. I dropped into the neighbouring gas station to fuel up and for the first time on this trip, ran into the zip-code issue at the pump. It's a problem if you're a Canadian because we don't have zip codes to link with our credit cards. I'm told if you substitute the 3 numbers in your Canadian postal code and 3 zeros it will work. I didn't have my wits about me that early in the morning to try that. The cashier held my driver's license while I filled-up and I paid her with my credit card. I'll have to try the postal code numbers next time.
I drove south towards Cooperstown through some of the prettiest country scenery you could imagine. These were winding country roads very similar to Salmon Valley Road back home. I stopped to take a couple of photos and a trucker with the Village of Canajoharie stopped to ask if I was having a problem with the bike. I said no and we then commenced on a 5 minute chat about the best motorcycle roads in the area. I wish I had more time to explore. On a trip this big, you can't explore as much as you might like otherwise you'll never get home.
Cooperstown was a total surprise. The Americans have a penchant for capitalizing on their tourist attractions. The Baseball Hall of Fame is probably one of the biggest attractions in the U.S. but the village looks like it probably did at the turn of the (20th) century. There are no major hotels or fast food joints in the Village. They are on Route 28, a couple of miles away from the downtown area. It was quite refreshing.
My first stop was at the Abner Doubleday baseball field which is right in the downtown area. The village is full of huge leafy deciduous trees. I rode the bike a couple of blocks east to the actual Hall of Fame. I actually got a parking space right in front of the Hall. There wasn't even a parking meter!!
The Hall of Fame was overwhelming. I'm a "moderate" baseball fan. I could see a rabid fan spending a couple of days at this shrine to the sport. There isn't a facet of the game that isn't covered. Besides the obvious Hall of Members, they have presentations on Women of the sport, the Negro Leagues, Hispanic Players, Coaches, Managers, Owners, Umpires, baseball movies, etc. Very well done indeed.
As I was getting ready to leave, a local guy struck up a conversation with me about the Goldwing. He was a local but originally came from Brooklyn, New York. I showed his how the GPS works. He wants to get a Goldwing Trike. He told me about a local eatery called "Jackies" which was on my way out of town. He warned me about a couple of the local radar traps and was on his way. The hot turkey sandwich special at Jackies was tremendous.
It was my intention today to get off the road kind of early. The weather was about 32C and the humidity wasn't too bad. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 35 or 36C with way more humidity, so I figured I'd put on a few extra clicks while conditions are better. The plan kind of back-fired on me when I picked Troy, Pennsylvania as an overnight stop.
Troy and Hwy #6 is the centre of a new industry in Northern Pennsylvania where they are extracting natural gas from shale rock. Consequently, most hotels along #6 are full of out-of-state workers. There is also a large number of trucks on the road. It's too bad because the highway is identified as a "scenic route". I couldn't find a motel in Troy or in the next town of Mansfield where both the Comfort Inn and Microtel were full. . I was really getting tired but had to push on. I ended up in Wellsboro where I found a great local place with a very comfortable room and super clean.
After a shower and a shave (first one in 3 weeks - god it was getting itchy) I walked over to the local supermarket and picked up a sandwich and salad from the deli. Getting tired of that restaurant food. After the sun set, and it was cooler, I took a walk around the downtown area. This town was established in 1830. Lots of brick buildings and a square in town with a fountain and monuments to those in the community lost in the Civil War. One thing that they have here that we don't have is history. This town could be a movie set.
Tomorrow I'm planning on getting on the road early, perhaps around 6 a.m. and getting some distance done before it gets too hot. It's supposed to be really hot and humid for the next 3 days.
Distance today - 393 kms
Distance to-date - 11,826 kms.