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US 20 Journey 2010
Day 5 - May 17
(Day 1)
(Day 2)
(Day 3)
(Day 4)
(Day 6)
(Day 7)
2011 Day 1
2011 Day 2
2011 Day 3
2011 Day 4
2011 Day 5
2011 Day 6
2011 Day 7
2011 Day 8
2011 Day 9

Hectic at home, a second-leaving, of sorts. But good to see the family, be with them for a last time in awhile. Went to the pond for a swim in the morning before heading out. Cool, refreshing. Won't be diving in again till July!

Back up to 20 in the morning. Stop at Canandaigua Harbor.

on waterfront bench
less than a minute later
ring-billed gull drops in

Gulls always have to check whether or not this human is going to toss them some scraps of food. Sorry gull, I don't do that.

Canandaigua has kept space for old boat houses that date back to the early 20th Century. They're still in use, but also a bit of a historic/artistic attraction.


only workers here
boat houses wait for summer
barn swallows rule now

West of Canandaigua, more rolling hills, though not as pronounced as they were between Albany and Auburn. Eventually they level out and 20 moves into the Lake Erie Plains region.

East Bloomfield sign proclaims “Home of the Northern Spy Apple.” I know I never noticed this before, never knew that bit of information. Northern Spy has always been one of my favorite apples.

Hayfields green, soon-to-be corn, bean, grain fields now only brown.

In big letters painted on a barn door: DAVE'S NOT HERE

Many old barns and silos along this stretch of 20. Small dairy farms, many still active, mixed in with suburban houses and small businesses. A couple of miles west of Alden, approaching the Buffalo metro area, the farms pretty much disappear.

20 skirts around Buffalo, never entering the city proper.

Appleby's, Target, Wendy's Rite-Aid - Anywhere USA.

After miles of mostly suburban landscape and traffic lights the road opens up a bit and I'm able to start cruising again.

Much of 20 here is wooded, but young woods, nothing very old at all. Not many buildings either, so probably not old farm land.

Cattaraugus Reservation. In the few miles spanning 20 there must have been a half-dozen gas stations selling gas for 30 or more cents cheaper than elsewhere.

Fredonia. Stopped for pics of the pioneer cemetery and a quick visit to the library.

One of the paintings displayed in the Library.

In Brocton I stopped to visit Mac Nelson. Mac wrote “Twenty West: The Great Road Across America.” I met Mac when he attended a reading I gave in Fredonia and he and I read together at the DeWitt Library near Syracuse. Two guys into US 20. He lives right on 20 in an old, 1834, house that was once moved from a little ways down the road. The visit was too short, I had a reading to get to in North East, PA, but thoroughly enjoyable. Mac has a relationship with Yellowstone National Park like my relationship to Acadia. They, he and Joyce, gave me a bit of information about Yellowstone and there's plenty more in the book. “Twenty West” is a great read about the culture and history of America as it relates to the “Great Road.” Info here.

So I moved on a little reluctantly (must come just for a visit some time) toward PA. In Westfield I made a sudden stop when I saw two statues of a young girl and older man. As I walked toward them I realized the man was Abraham Lincoln. I wondered why a statue of him here in the southwestern corner of New York State. Well, the statues commemorate a visit he made here when President-elect. (More details)

The reading at the North East Library was wonderful. About 30 people attended and they were a very receptive, enthusiastic audience. Good talk afterwards and an invite to return again. I think I'll take them up on it.