April 28 - PA Route 6 - My Birthday, and Asylum for Marie Antoinette

I woke up this morning thinking about my Mom, today has always been a bigger deal for her than for me...I just didn't understand that until I was older.
As long as I have been old enough to comprehend our measurement of time, days and weeks and years and centuries I have thought about how old I'd be during the year 2000. In one sense, a day I have been waiting a long time for. Now I guess I'll look forward to 2050...I'll be 76, and maybe I'll be on a big boat in Florida or something.

I left "The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania" late, at about noon. I felt like I was in a hurry to get to the next place, with the weekend I thought maybe things would fill up. Not the case. It's still very early in the season, which is really nice. Cool, but nice.

It was a beautiful day, the kind you're glad to be a part of. I can't say enough about Route 6 through Northern Pennsylvania. The farms are like postcards, the little towns are like windows into history. All sorts of history.

Wellsboro is only about 10 miles from where I spent the night so I was able to get provisions early...ice and soup, it's not bad cold, really. Wellsboro is a picture perfect little town. Gas lights, the real deal, still lit at mid day too, all the way down Main street. According to this book I've got the Wellsboro Diner is a "restored Sterling diner car originally manufactured in 1939 by the J.B. Judkins Co. of Merrimac, Massachusetts."

I didn't stop much for pictures, I missed some good opportunities as a result. I will probably never pass that barn again in my life. The road was great, so were the clouds.

I did pass an interesting place know as "Azilum" that might interest some French people I know. It was a short lived attempt by some French royalists to create a safe place for Marie Antoinette and her son to live after the French Revolution ....I guess they never made it. No picture could do this place justice. A big bend in the Susquehanna River creates a crescent plain, all farmland. I viewed it from the side of Route 6 up above. This part of Route 6 follows what used to be a Seneca Indian trail. The place reminded me of "The Last of the Mohicans" and Magua (played by American Indian actor Wes Studi) making his deals with Le France. I took a photo of the official explanation and as much of the vista I could fit into one frame.

I arrived at Frances Slocum S.P., just West of Scranton, at about 4:30 and thought of another Francis I know, in Mobile, Alabama. I went to the office, said hello to the lady behind the counter and go the low down, her name is Cathy. Electric sites and non-electric sites. The only shower house open right now is the one in the electric area. Shower house? Yes, hot showers. Nice. (I have been looking forward to one of those). I drove into the campground to pick a spot. It looked like number 42 would do nicely, so I went back to register with Cathy. $18.00...electric site for a non-resident. She entered me into PA DNR's "The System" and printed up my registration and gave me a VIP number. I just give that number to anyone at any Pennsylvania State Park and they can bring me right up in "The System" for easy registration.
Ahhhhh "Systems". They're things that people never had to deal with before. You never saw Merlin Olson asking Michael Landon on Little House On the Prairie if "The System" was down. Today you always hear stuff like...

"'The System' won't let me enter that." or
"Is your System down?"
"My System's down."
"The System's down."
"Is 'The System' down?"
"I think The System's down."
"Hey everybody The System's down."
"Yeah, thanks."

Cathy isn't allowed to check email on the DNR computer because the higher ups don't want "The System" to get any viruses, no joke. The park ranger pulled up outside while I was there. They have like a drive up window where you can pull up to register. I'd just as soon park and go in. I wouldn't have talked to Cathy for a half an hour if I didn't. I made eye contact with him through the window and gave him the nod, you've got to give the nod. Out here you give everybody the nod...park rangers, old guys on riding mowers, other people at the campground. "The Wave" is reserved for other Volkswagen bus drivers....of which I have saluted several. I saw a really nice mid sixties pop top Westfalia being driven by a guy in his mid fifties in Bowling Green. So back to the ranger...he mentioned that they are going to be stocking the lake tomorrow morning. Apparently they pull big tanker trucks full of water and fish up to the lake and dump them. No wonder it's one of the biggest fishing days of the year. Ranger Dave told me it would be quite a sight. So after getting some Windex and paper towels to clean the windsheild of his truck he was on his way. Cathy said that he was new, he just started. Turns out he used to be a teacher. He may have retired from teaching to become a park ranger, I'm not sure.

I set up camp (popped the top...it's soooo easy!) and went to the shower. The shower was hot and empty....a state park shower room could potentially be a scary place. "You got a pretty mouth on you, boy." kind of scary, but we won't talk about that. The shower felt good, I love short hair...thanks Jen! ...and hello to everyone at the "Southport Cutting Room".

For birthday dinner I cooked lemon pepper linguine con olio with Parmesan and some lentil soup. It's not "Más" but it was fine. I was too full to eat the apple pie, it wasn't My Mom's anyway.


The Wellsboro Diner


PA Route 6

Historical Marker.

The land where the French settlement was.

My birthday dinner...Lemon pepper linguini etc...
 
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