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Category Archives: driving

We Drive On

As I ended my last post, Steven and I had reached Remsen on our way to seek adventure outside the Mohawk Valley.

I’m not clear on precisely where the Mohawk Valley ends. I see that many businesses employ “Adirondack” in their name well before we reach the actual Adirondacks (which, incidentally, we did not this journey). I don’t think I saw anybody claiming the Mohawk Valley who did not have a clear right to. What does this tell us? I would not venture to speculate, and I will refrain from going to any “what’s in a name?” philosophy (except for, you know, that one sentence).

While in the Town of Remsen we passed a car whose license plate was dangling and a barn with a completely rusted roof. I saw a sign that said Alder Creek but did not see the creek. We did not take a turn to Old Forge, although I understand Old Forge is worth a visit. Perhaps a future blog post.

Then I saw a sign that said Nirvana Natural Spring Water Next Right. Herkimer tap water is perfectly potable, but I do occasionally purchase bottled water. I had forgotten Nirvana was so local. I may include that on the beverage list at my next party.

I saw CNY Glass and Metal Designs. They weren’t claiming to be anywhere they weren’t. Next thing I knew we were in Boonville. I noticed Mellace’s Produce Market and was surprised. I knew they were in Rome, but I didn’t know they were anywhere else. I went to school with Frank Mellace. He’s a great guy. We also passed Mercer Dairy store but did not stop for ice cream, much to my disappointment.

Soon we passed signs for Lewis County and Town of Leyden. We were pleased about that, because we knew we were approaching the Lock 96 convenience store, just out of Port Leyden. All along this route you can see old locks, dry and no longer in use (well, I guess if they are dry they are obviously no longer in use). The convenience store is located right next to one. You can walk over and check it out, but we did not do that this trip. The convenience store itself is a good one. The bathroom is clean and the coffee is hot, our most pressing concerns. The parking lot is large, for dog walking convenience (at least, that may not be why they made the parking lot big, it’s what we use it for). And they sell local baked goods. I bought some chocolate chip cookies from Jeanne’s Kitchen in Constableville (we went to a car show there!). The sticker said “Made in Lewis County.” They were good cookies.

As we approached Lowville, the surroundings grew very agricultural, as did the smell. “Smell that good fresh country air!” I exclaimed, as the odor of cow poop became distinct. That was a favorite line of my friend Mickey West, many years ago when we drove between Rome and Potsdam. I started to say, “At least we know they’re using organic fertilizer,” but I got a little mixed up and said “furniture” instead. We got a pretty good giggle about cow dung furniture.

As we got closer to our destination, my notes grew more sparse. We were anxious to start our next adventure. But thanks for riding along.

The Journey Is the Destination

I enjoyed writing and I believe some people enjoyed reading my posts about road trips. Therefore, when we planned to travel to a friend’s birthday party in the Alex Bay area, I planned to write about the trip. When Steven graciously offered to drive, I opened my notebook so I could take notes. I seem to remember talking about businesses whose names I neglected to note and thought to eliminate the error.

We left Herkimer via Don Reille Boulevard. See, I’ll have real Mohawk Valley color for at least the first part of the post. We passed the Harvest Hills Baptist Church, Heidelberg Bakery (yum!), and Mudville. I’m not clear on what Mudville is, but I believe it has something to do with baseball.

I saw somebody parked in the parking area and a couple of bicycle riders sensibly wearing helmets. I noted Lady Carousel Woodworks and thought that was a business I’d like to check out sometime.

In the Town of Newport, we passed the Crystal Chandelier Restaurant and the Herkimer Diamond Mines. I’ve blogged about the Crystal Chandelier and mean to return one day. There are some cabins across the street from the Diamond Mines I’d like to stay in. I know I live quite nearby, but I think it would be fun to stay in a cabin, fake roughing it for a weekend, and check out the Diamond Mines. Wouldn’t that make a nice post?

In Middleville, I saw a sign for a Snow Bash Sept. 17 and 18. I wondered where they will get the snow for that. I’ll have to watch the papers for more information. We passed the Town of Fairfield Offices, the E.W. Corey Hose Co., and a purple Victorian house. Cool. Then we saw a sign that said Newport 3. Does that mean Newport is in the Town of Fairfield, not the Town of Newport, as one would think? Why should that surprise me? After all, the City of Oneida is in Madison County, not Oneida County.

We saw a sign to watch for Amish buggies but no buggies, a salt box that was so faded it looked like stone from a distance, a W on a rock in front of another house, and West Canada Valley Central School. So that’s where the school is. I know a couple of people who work there.

We went by a river, which we discovered to be West Canada Creek and on into Newport. I saw a Federal style brick building. I don’t know much about architecture, but this trip I noticed the Victorian, the salt box and the Federal, so I felt kind of good about that.

We passed a turn to Norway and drove by the Blue Rose Restaurant. In the Village of Poland I saw a banner for a Fall Festival but did not see a date. Rats! Quite abruptly I noticed we were in Oneida County. We almost missed the turn to stay on Route 28, then we were back in Herkimer County.

I noticed three very realistic looking geese in a front lawn, only their stillness and rakish stance alerting me they weren’t real; at least one “No Asphalt” sign, and two horses that had black and white spots like cows. We saw Cincinnati Creek and drove by Trenton Falls Road. That reminded me to watch for when Trenton Falls is open for a weekend in October. That is definitely worth a blog post.

I think we were in Trenton when we saw a sign for a Barn Fest Sept. 24 and 25. That’s something else to look for more info on. Multiple signs told us about a Chicken BBQ at Remsen Reformed Church Wednesday, Sept. 14. I noticed the Swing Inn Motel, because I liked the name. We passed the New York State Police station and soon were in the Village of Remsen.

Do you suppose I went a little crazy taking notes? I see I am over 600 words and I only got to Remsen. This could be a problem. I don’t like to tax my readers’ patience, so I’ll stop now and pick up here tomorrow.