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US 20 Journey 2010
Day 4 - May 16
After retracing part of my path to retake pics AND retrieving my hat that I left at the Duanesburg Diner I headed out on one of my favorite stretches of all of US 20. The road between Albany and Auburn is a pure delight to drive. Rolling hills, small villages spaced a decent distance apart, farmland, woods and very little traffic.
First stop was for breakfast, before getting my hat actually, just east of Duanesburg at the Chuck Wagon, which was celebrating its Grand Opening.
Had a great talk with Tom, the owner. He had been wanting to have a diner like this for years and purchased this one about three years ago. It had previously been in Champaigne, IL. Made in 1956, Tom restored the interior and it looks almost like it probably did when brand new in 1956. Good breakfast, good talk, good vibes.
Tom next to the 1950's Seeburg.
Remnant Cabins from decades ago, just west of Carlisle.
Sharon Springs. One of the restored hotels from the Spa heyday in the 19th Century. Sharon Springs has restored and rejuvenated itself in the last decade or so by honoring and preserving its past.
The place on the original 1996 "Twenty Days on Route 20" journey where I first bartered for a motel room. Didn't stop this time, but it will always be a memorable place for me. That spontaneous thought of bartering for a room changed the complexion of that original journey and other journeys since.
As I sat eating my meal I began considering where I would sleep for the night. KC's Corner Restaurant & Motel - hmmm! This was a low budget journey and I couldn't be spending much money on places to sleep. The second night out was too early to succumb to the temptation of a soft, comfortable bed in a motel. Then one of those sudden inspirations came to me - why not barter for a room!
I hesitatingly walked up to the owner of KC's and explained my journey to him. I mentioned that I would be writing a book and that if he let me use a room for the night I would acknowledge KC's on the acknowledgement page and then give him enough books to cover the cost of the room. To my surprise he immediately accepted the offer! This spontaneous idea changed the whole character of the rest of the trip.
I had never done this before, barter writings for lodgings. Felt a little bit like Vachel Lindsay, the early 20th Century poet from Springfield, Illinois. I remember reading his work as a junior in high school and being excited to learn that he went on walking trips, exchanging rhymes for room and board. Poetry had real world value! So now, 30 years later, here I was in a comfortable room because of someone's willingness to accept written words for payment. Mr. Kerr, if only you could know how as a teacher you changed my life!
More remnant cabins from the old days near East Springfield. Next to these were newer cabins now abandoned and across the road was a newer and current motel.
Landmark Tavern in Bouckville, a small historic-centered village. Originally built as the Coolidge Stores Building in 1850. Each of four wedge-shaped sections housed a different store.
In a storefront in Madisonville. I was perplexed about the Broken Bones sign. The place wasn't open so couldn't ask about it. Can anyone shed some light?
Lafayette, NY. The crossroads of two US Highways that traverse the country: 20 and 11.
11 starts up at the St. Lawrence River in northern NY and ends in New Orleans.
Peaceful Skaneateles Lake. I took 15 minutes out to relax on a bench and just take in the scene and pleasantly cool spring air.
Most likely one of the few drive-ins still in operation along 20. This one is in the town of Aurelius, west of Auburn.
Seneca Falls, birthplace of Women's Rights.
I gave a reading at the library in the afternoon then motored down 20 to Geneva, turned south and headed 40 miles home for one last night with family before the long stretch west to the Pacific.