Allegheny this morning at about 10:00. This stretch of Route 6 East is
a breeze. Up and down and all around, through fields, green horizons,
real farm land. The barns are great. I find myself wanting to stop to
take pictures of all of them.
I had lunch at Mickey's diner in Coudersport, PA. Mickey's is a real time
machine. (the mini van almost ruins the one in front of Mickey's)
It's a few tables and a counter serving up home cooked food...by Mickey
herself I would imagine. Mickey has a hand in the going's on anyway. There
was a note on the refrigerator behind the counter that said, "Girls,
please check the ice in the back each day. Thanks, Mickey"
I seemed to be the only stranger in the place. As people came and went
they would say hello or good-bye to Brenda, the waitress. You tell Brenda
what you want. She carries the paper back to the back and gives it to
Mickey, who then prepares your food. I'm gonna say Brenda is in her mid
forties probably. Not that it matters, but just to give you an age range
of that person you should be imagining right now. I saw a picture of Mickey
on the wall. She's probably been serving home cooked meals to several
generations in Coudersport.
I had a cup of beef noodle soup and a hot turkey sandwich. I crumbled
some crackers into the soup and got to eating, and looking around, and
listening to the sounds around me. I ate the sandwich with a knife and
fork. It was like a turkey sandwich doused in hot gravy...it filled me
right up. It reminded me of a few things at first sight. One, was a plate
of food I once saw Farmer John eat. I guess I have to explain who farmer
John is.....let's just say he's a friend of my family who happens to live
on a farm who I was fortunate to have visited on enough occasions as a
child to give me an appreciation for people and ways of life different
than my own....and an appreciation for cows, and farm equipment, and corn.
Farmer John didn't have any teeth, that's why it wasn't strange when I
was in his kitchen one day and I saw him eat a plate of something doused
in gravy so he could "chew" it. I don't know why that event
has stuck in my mind for so long, but it has.
The other thing it reminded me of was the fraternity house back at school.
I think we went through three cooks in my 4 and a half years there. One
of them served gravy with every meal. It was turkey and gravy, or salisbury
steak with gravy, or chicken with hot gravy, or pork chops with potatoes
and gravy...anything and gravy.
I kept going on Route 6 until I came upon Galeton, PA...in Potter County.
I stopped here first because I wanted to take some pictures. There were
some buildings with character lining the narrow street, cut out of the
hill, character is always good. This little stretch of buildings and road
reminded me of the the little towns in Northern Italy. The kinds of towns
you see in photos of the Mille Miglia from the 1950's. The kinds of towns
you can still see today on the bus ride from Milano Malpensa airport to
Genoa...the towns are still there, you should go see them.
So I stopped into the Potter County Visitor's Center, right on the side
of Route 6 in Galeton. I began to look at a few brochures and before long
two ladies appeared from the back. Betty Baxter of the Potter County Visitor's
Association, and Helena Nawrocki of the Potter County Educational Council.
We picked out some brochures for me. Betty asked if this was my first
time in Potter County...."Yes, it is." I replied. Everything
after that is kind of a blurr.
We talked about the internet, I asked if they had Internet access and
a few minutes later Terri Dennison of the PA Route 6 Tourist Association
appeared from the back and offered me power and a phone line....wow! She
told me about their web sites and her efforts to develop tourism along
Route 6 in Pennsylvania which is part of a larger effort to develop tourism
along all of Route 6, from coast to coast..... www.paroute6.com
You know what might be a good way to do that is.....get the word out to
car clubs on the Internet The roads are great, pretty smooth, with little
I went to work doing some emailing and then packed up my things.
As I left we took a picture.
You can be sure that as long as these ladies are greeting visitors to
Potter County they will be well taken care of.
I left Galeton wondering what it looked like 50 years ago.
I just had a few more miles through this countryside before I got to camp
for the night, there were some cool things to see along the way...like
cows. Why do they always look at you like they know something that you
I arrived at the Leonard Harrison State Park, on the East rim of "The
Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania". The overlook to the river below is
impressive even on a rainy day.
I better go to bed now, it's about 11:30 and I get up with the sun.
Country side near Coudersport,