Home Again, Home Again

Day 52: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Start: Duncannon, PA
End: Amherst, NH
Miles Driven Today: 450
Total Miles: 9,378

It’s over. I’m sitting here in my easy chair, getting used to home again. There’s a huge pile of mail to sort through. Bags to unpack. Laundry to be done. But that’s for tomorrow.

We had another lovely visit with Bob and Sharon yesterday. Sitting around the kitchen table, we caught up on the trip and the happenings in the almost two months since we last saw them. It was a nice respite before the final sprint home, and visiting with good friends was a fit way to start and end this grand adventure.

Of course, Jasmine felt right at home and climbed up onto the kitchen table. Perhaps she wanted to get in on the conversation. Or perhaps, she was just a little thirsty!

Singha! Jasmine's favorite brand!

Singha! Jasmine’s favorite brand!

Juliet spent the evening searching for food. She sniffed (and snarfed) every inch of the house, looking for tidbits of food that the resident dog, Lily, had dropped on the floor, under furniture, etc. She was driving us nuts! I think we’ve created a monster… 🙂

Buddies

Buddies

We have marveled at how much both dogs have changed throughout this journey. Jasmine is much quicker to acclimate to a new situation. She co-existed with Lily after a few minutes. Perhaps it’s because she had met Lily on the way out. But climbing on the table, accepting treats from everyone, and running around the house without her tail between her legs…such progress. Juliet is so much more curious, confident and STUBBORN. True Dachshund traits are coming out. But what’s really great is to see the two dogs finally bonding.

Our final leg of open road

Our final leg of open road

We’ve had a great run. NOTHING bad happened to us. No flat tires. No pickpockets. No items stolen from our room. No car trouble. Rarely any crowds. No tornadoes. No forest fires. We’ve had an incredible experience and the trip of a lifetime. I’ll summarize it all this weekend, after a bit of sleep and settling in!

Today’s travels were long, but relatively easy. There had been an accident on the bridge through Harrisburg a few weeks ago, so we decided to skip going through Harrisburg and went some backroads to reach the Interstate. So, once again, we had some picturesque travels across open roads.

But we were soon motoring our way back to New Hampshire. We flowed through New York, retracing some of our route on the Turnpike to the East of the Catskills and then through Mass and up home to New Hampshire. We hit very little heavy traffic except for areas with road work. Even then, we made it home in around 8 hours.

Back to New York

Back to New York

Massachusetts - We skipped it on the way out

Massachusetts – We skipped it on the way out

Close to home

Close to home

Waiting for us when we got home was a huge pile of mail, some packages we sent home, and Tom’s prized piece of Acoma pottery that we purchased in Albuquerque. It was a great welcome home, along with an in-tact house (thanks Sam!).

Acoma Pottery by Michael & Robin Romero

Acoma Pottery by Michael & Robin Romero

All is well. We’re a bit sad that the trip is over. But there’s really no place like home. As we were driving the last few minutes until we reached our house, I looked at the lush landscape that we call home. We’ve seen a lot of beautiful places and driven some wonderful open road. But seeing our town…the road home rivals any of the picturesque and quaint backroads we took.

It’s good to be back.

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Corning Museum and Central PA

Day Two
Start: Corning, NY
End: Duncannon, PA
Miles Driven: 157

Bob

Bob – He doesn’t bite (very often)

What a lovely smile!

Doesn’t Sharon have a lovely smile!

We’re sitting here in Duncannon, PA, sipping cold, frosty beverages and greatly enjoying the hospitality and company of our friends, Bob and Sharon. We met Bob and Sharon a number of years ago during our (then) annual trek to Maui, and got to know them from years of great evening conversations around the stone table, soft breezes fanning the friendship. And here we are in their home, picking up on those conversations again.

We had another great day. We started out at the Corning Museum of Glass. If you thought that Corning was just about Corningware, you are sadly mistaken. From Thomas Edison’s light bulb to the most wonderful art glass, Corning’s history is fascinating, and their collection of glass is beyond imagination. From millefiori canes depicting Egyptian kings to contemporary sculpture, the HUGE collection is magnificent and somewhat overwhelming! We watched the Hot Glass demo (the first vase broke!), the lampwork demo and the Breaking Glass show (HINT: Volunteer to break the glass and get a free figurine–I got a penguin) and went through the galleries. After a few hours, we were glassy-eyed (yeah, a bad pun) and started on our trek down to Duncannon.

Swirly bowl

Swirly bowl

Chihuly Sculpture in the CMOG lobby

Chihuly Sculpture in the CMOG lobby

The drive to Duncannon was pleasant. Route 15 is a four-lane semi-highway (and sometimes local two-lane road) through pretty country. When you think of PA, you think of the urban areas…but the rolling hills and the drive along Susquehanna River made for another pleasant journey. Of course, there were sights that made us both laugh and scratch our heads–the Nipple Convalescent home, the propensity for Adult Bookstores…hmmmm. We did have a great lunch at Fry Bros. Turkey Ranch Restaurant (truck stop decor, the best Turkey Vegetable Soup I’ve had anywhere) in Trout Run, PA, and an even more fabulous dinner thanks to Sharon.

We’re now sitting around the dining room, once again sharing good conversation and laughs. Tomorrow, we are going to visit Amish country and go to a restaurant that serves ham balls. When in Rome…

Another great day in Paradise, USA.

– Margaret

P.S. Any grammatical or spelling errors are directly attributable to the Vodka Cranberry beverages coursing through my bloodstream as I type.

Welcome to Margaretville

Welcome to Margaretville

A place after my own heart


Day 1

Start: Amherst, NH
End: Painted Post, NY
Miles Driven: 404.5

We made it to Corning, NY today after a long day of lovely roads and a serendipitous detour. We started the morning at home, and drove West across Route 101 in New Hampshire and continued West into Vermont on Route 9. Even though it was a grey day, the drive was lovely. Barely any cars were on the road, and we chose a lovely two-lane highway rather than the interstate. We even got to pass a lovely store that proclaimed that they sold “Garage Sale Quality Merchandise.” No, we didn’t stop. Maybe on the way back.

We passed through Brattleboro, Wilmington and Bennington, Vermont, and then crossed into New York and onto Route 7. When we got to Albany, however, we had to get on I-87. We were going to go the 87-90-88 (hut hut hike!) route, but became a bit confused at the tolls and missed the entrance to 90. So there we were on the (ick) New York Throughway. The next exit was over six miles away. As I was looking at our alternatives, I saw a big patch of green on the map…the Catskills! So, instead of looping back to get onto I-88, we decided to meander across Route 28 through the Catskills. What a great detour!

Catskills

Wonderful roads and byways through the Catskills

Even though the day was gloomy and the trees were just starting to blossom, we were in awe. What an absolutely beautiful region. I was thinking how lucky we were to have missed our turn-off and to have taken this detour. And of course, driving through Margaretville…it was definitely meant to be!

We detoured off our detour and went down Route 30, which followed the edges of Pepacton Reservoir. This huge reservoir was made by creating a dam at the East Branch of the Delaware River. All along the reservoir’s edges, there were signs marking the towns that USED to be there. According to the NY State website:

The Pepacton watershed’s drainage basin is 371 square miles, and includes parts of 13 towns in three counties: Andes, Bovina, Colchester, Delhi, Hamden, Middletown, Roxbury and Stamford in Delaware County; Denning, Hardenburgh and Shandaken in Ulster; and Halcott and Lexington in Greene.

This windy, picturesque drive was definitely worth the extra hour or two that we spent on the road. After leaving the Catskills, we also got to drive Route 17 (a highway, but so pretty) before reaching Binghamton and the busier stretch of the road.

We’re now relaxing at the hotel and getting excited about the Corning Museum in the morning. It was a great start to our road trip–a plan, an oops and an aaaaaah…

🙂

Margaretville…out.

Our Adventure Begins

On The Road

We’re Movin!


Well, we’re on the road! At 9:30 this morning, we finished packing the car and headed for the open road! Our first stop will be Corning, NY. We’ll get to the motel sometime this evening (depending on how much we want to stop, if we see anything fun along the way) and then spend a couple of hours at the Corning Museum of Glass tomorrow morning. If it’s as fascinating as we hope, we’ll probably stop by on the way back. They have hands-on classes (I always wanted to try lampwork) that would be fun!

We’ll leave Corning after lunch and head to PA to visit our friends Bob and Sharon near Harrisburg. We want to visit Amish country and see the sights…and have some time to visit with good friends.

I can’t believe the trip is finally here! Stay tuned for some fun and adventure!

(Posted via my iPad in the car…isn’t technology wonderful?)

– Margaret