50 States, Day 136 Watkins Glen to Albany, NY 231 Miles
"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us. We are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
Sometimes it seems like just another day. I know, it sounds stupid. But once in awhile I must slap myself and say, 'I'm on an adventure, and I'm in New York!' QG has offered to help with the slapping part. Okay, maybe not.
Loading up, we could feel it-summer is over. While the sky shone mostly blue, the chill in the air indicated that heat would no longer be a challenge, maybe ever on the trip again.
We launched and rode past lakes, rivers, fields and houses. The landscape undulated, no big hills-none steep, but a nice third dimension to the view. The day took its time warming up, but soon the mercury crawled past sixty and the sky shone blue with bright green carpets of grass and trees, rinsed clean from the rain. Spectacular.
Occasionally a barn/wreck appeared. While it was literally collapsing, I can't help but wonder if the entire building could have been saved with regular coats of paint and an occasional new shingle or two. A life lesson there, for sure.
The more east we venture, the deeper the history. Towns appeared with signs, 'Settled in 1796.' 'Settled in 1784,' and others. Buildings reflected centuries of use. I'm sure my European followers are laughing. "200 years? Our country has thousands of years of history." Well, I'm from Las Vegas, so anything that's over two years old and hasn't been imploded is deep history.
In Cobleskill we stopped at a diner, 'Rubbin Butts Bar- B- Que.' Awesome pulled pork and Carolina Pulled Pork with a mustard and vinegar sauce. Super delicious. And their "Best in the World" cole slaw? I'm a cole slaw critic, and it was right up there. Yum yum. Two giant thumbs up!
We rolled into Albany and searched for the Capitol building. (Garmin? What's a Garmin?) Row houses lined the street, a strange sight for these West Coast people.
We found signs for 'State Buildings' and rode around, but no Capitol. I asked a driver for directions, she replied to just keep going east. We arrived at where the Capitol must be, finding State and Washington Streets. A gaggle of buildings looked like candidates. We settled on a quadrangle and discussed which could be the Capitol. The east building won. One thing for sure; New York has plenty of government.
This building was like no other; more of a castle looking thing, with no rotunda. Lots of rock, inside and out. The outside looked magnificent, but the inside feels Gothic, dark and gray.
The building took 32 years to build, and ran a bit over their four million dollar budget, to a whopping twenty-five million dollars, the most expensive building in its time, including the Capitol building. The real one. In Washington.
We caught up with a guide and got the tour; this governor opens up the building to the public. What a concept! Now the Hall of Governors can be seen by the little people. And they have had over fifty Governors. Can you guess three that became presidents? Van Buren, Roosevelt and Clinton. Kidding! Hilary Clinton became president but she was a Senator. Okay, maybe not. The other Roosevelt. Ready for the bonus governor? Grover Cleveland. I hear he was named after a Muppet. Oh boy. Kidding again.
9-11 means much more to New Yorkers and a memorial to remember that day stands in a foyer, a flag from the World Trade Center rubble, and a timeline of the events of that day. They won't forget. Another fascinating display lined another foyer, a collection of American flags. Dozens of them, most of them rolled up and wrapped in non-acid paper to protect them. However, Civil War flags, Revolutionary War flags and others were displayed and as funds arrive, they will continue to restore and present them. Along another wall stood Civil War uniforms. Great stuff.
Back at the bike, I left the key in it again. Yes, again. We fired and rode out of town a bit and landed in a motel. Had to take care of more business, and get a haircut.
Tomorrow, Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. They have a tour. Hope they have samples. Could take all week.
You'll want to check out Saturday's blog for the Stupid Driver of the Week Award, as today he won the stupidest of the trip, and hopefully keeps first place.
Thanks for following.
9-11. Never forget.