I just updated Day 16 with the pictures I couldn’t upload last night, so if you are interested, please read that Day as well as this one. As I said at the end of that post, I was pretty discouraged in the night. Did I mention that it was raining at 5 AM?
But I fell back asleep for an hour, got up and got ready and the rain had stopped and the sun was out and the air was crisp, and all was well again. These two guys, Russ and Roger, are twins:
They had also been staying at the Redwood Inn and were heading home after a fruitless weekend of deer hunting. They are both retired. Russ used to be a welder with the railroads and Roger was an electrician. They love getting out into the woods, even if they don’t catch anything.
Here are a couple of scenes as I got going:
It might have been interesting to stop here — I have no idea:
I saw a few lovely willow trees:
Gobs of diatoms:
Going through the little town of Catherine (last syllable rhymes with dine) I met George, who was out for his daily walk:
He has deep roots in the area. Until he retired he worked with the egg engineering group at Cornell in Ithaca. I would love to have spent an hour talking to him about this! He pointed out a little side street that I could go up and get a great view of the valley into which I was about to descend:
There is a little white strip in the top left of this picture — that’s the Watkins Glen Formula 1 track grandstand. To the right you can see the southern end of Seneca Lake, which would be roughly my halfway point for the day.
Here are a few scenes as I descended into the valley — in the third one you can see the lake again.
From google maps it looked like I was going to be on highway 14 all day, but as George pointed out, lots of people failed to distinguish between County 14 (where I started) and State 14 (where I ended). Here
is a shot looking backward that shows the distinction:
As I walked through Montour Falls, I saw this little shop that was selling — well, you can see what it was selling:
Random stream picture:
It’s actually a state law!
When I got into Watkins Glen I was feeling pretty weary so rather than press on like I did yesterday, I stopped at a Pizza Hut and had some lunch. January and Jennifer let me put my kit inside and kept me topped up on hot tea as I sampled the pizza and salad bar. I even fell asleep for a few minutes at one point.
Jennifer told me a story, which included the detail that they had had some snow somewhere around here in the last few days! Yikes!
Along the main drag in Watkins Glen were these inset stones that appeared to be the names of famous car racers, together with trophies they had won:
The afternoon was beautiful, strolling down the street:
and eventually I hit the southern end of the lake:
Immediately State 14, going north up the west side of the lake, started to rise:
Here is a shot looking backward:
Because of the height it was possible to get spectacular views of the lake all along this section. I took some photos, but as usual it’s hard to capture large-scale scenery.
Drying corn under a blue sky:
Yet another lake shot:
The sky was darkening but it did not rain:
The region is famous for wineries. This appeared to be one that was just opening (at least for tours):
and they had grapes:
I just can’t resist the dark skies:
I finally arrived at my destination, the Golden Knight Inn and Suites:
Carol was there to welcome me and already had my room ready:
Here’s the view out my window:
Well done! Now my boys are interested and following along as well. We wonder, though, how your stroller/cart will do if it snows?
Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.
Julie G and boys
Great — I would love to hear from them as well. I wonder the same about the cart and even more about my shoes. I have two pairs of shoes but no boots. Statistically speaking, I shouldn’t see any accumulation of snow, but who believes statistics these days?
Oh my – I’m going to get off the computer before Dan sees your Watkins Glen pics! As I said before, one of my two childhood vacations was at Seneca Lake – some little motel – I think I have a picture of it somewhere – or it’s gone the way of all things… Interestingly enough – my Dad had a jazz band in the 40’s and that was one of the places they played, so he took us to show us how beautiful it was in that area – just a little more nostalgia for today – looks like a wonderful walk today – you were on my mind all day – so I prayed for YOU! Sleep tight Dear Friend.
Thank you Sue. It would have been fun to go by the racetrack, but it’s pretty far off my path. Thanks for your prayers.
Thank you for those awesome pictures of the country, I think those pictures are so incredibly healing and soothing to so many of your readers as they can put themselves in your place beside you enjoying the beauty. Don’t ever worry about apologizing ,that your couldn’t upload your pictures ,I agree with the other readers that you explain your journey so well we can imagine it in our minds. Chin up ,you have come over half way in your journey, you will succeed , you have put so much research into this , and met so many wonderful people, also having so many people lifting you up in prayer for safety,you’ll get there . I wonder if you can convert your wheels to somewhat of a ski like contraption or a tobaggan if there is snow. You’ll be fine though. Christopher is camping with his friends youth group tonight and he wanted to let you know ,its going to be in the low 30’s tonight. He has been reading your blog and enjoying your pictures alot . We’re very glad your inside in nice warm hotel tonight.
Thanks for the encouragement, Nancy and Chris. I hope young Chris has a warm sleeping bag! Get him to write to me about his experience.
Following from father son retreat at iron this weekend. Pictures are small on the phone. But I have found many of your prior ones on Google maps and street view
Probably seems like a long time since you were here last weekend.
I think you meant to include a picture with that comment, Joe, but I guess pictures don’t get past the WordPress filters. It DOES seem like a long time! I can hardly remember what day of the week it is these days — they all merge together.
I believe my dad mentioned something about seeing snow on the ground yesterday morning through the webcam at our place in Speculator. That’s still north of where you are and much more east. Hopefully it will hold off for you! Did you bring chains for your tires just in case?! Looks like you’re past the halfway point? Maybe that’s just visually on the map though. Mileage/hours wise, maybe not quite yet?
I decided not to pack chains — just a 200-pound bag of salt and sand mixture. Definitely past the halfway point. According to the DATA tab of the website I have come 250 miles with 185 to go. Yipee!
Great pictures, Allan! If there’s one thing I like to photograph more than old silos, it’s dry/drying cornstalks against a fall sky. Don’t you just love the late-day skies/clouds/quality of light at this time of year?
I really like the thoughts on solitude that were shared as well. Food for thought.
Stay warm however you can…and for what it’s worth, I think you’ve earned a few Eeyore moments. 🙂
Yes, the clouds and sky are fantastic. And as Uncle Russ has pointed out many times, when the sun is lower in the sky the light is best for taking pictures. Hopefully I won’t have too many more Eeyore moments. By far the biggest thing that gets me down is the uncertainty of my lodging arrangements. But I appreciate what that is teaching me as well.
We are appreciating your colorful shots. We don’t get much color here.
Did you have a wine tour?
I thought of it — there are dozens available along the lake here. But I find that walking, blogging and sleeping take up my whole day. I thought I would have lots of time for reading and contemplation but it has turned out not to be so.
Three cheers (and a tiger) for what you have accomplished so far. I ran across this brief article today and thought you might find it encouraging.
77 years old — encouraging indeed — thanks! Remember when we pulled over on 401 in Daddy’s ’66 Pontiac and let out three cheers and a tiger? The odometer had just rolled over — not an uncommon occurrence these days, eh? We also tied some surveyor’s ribbon to the fence there to mark the spot and I remember looking for the ribbon for years after that, every time we passed there, but I don’t recall ever seeing it.
Dedicated to you and your journey, dear uncle.
Taking time to create
aiming high for the benchmark of beauty
falling carefully short, still happy
Father you possess me, I have been obsessed
and now return to seek obsessed possession more
Part of age is a poison that spreads from behind the eyes
rests mild and foul in the mouth
folds the skin
The other part is a firmness given to joy
substance given to hope
a mixing of conviction with understanding on an inevitable road to victory
doubts in tow
And Father throughout the sum total of all stories
you have ever been the hardiest companion on the march
Silent. Redeeming. Almighty. You
In the atomic undergirding
In the fear
In the memories
The God who stumbled
From the screaming hypotheses of youth
we are a long way gone we two.
But even then, the path you beat betrayed your knowing
each flash of colour that surrounds this autumn of my soul.
Exhausted I step through your harvest
And step again
Surrounded by the cloud of those who could not afford to follow
and yet find ourselves with you
headed for home.
I don’t know what to say, Dave. This is a profound gift to me.
Mr. Sutherland? I assume that you wrote this poem. Lots to consider.
Dave wrote it and it’s amazing.
3 cheers and a tiger? Do you guys know where that came from? I will leave that one alone.
Well I see you are up and moving. Praying for you as you start… No flats, nothing but down hill the whole day… Enjoying your pictures so much. It was a long time ago that I went to Watkins Glenn.. God bless you richly this day! JIM
Okay ‘Big Al The Kiddie’s Pal’…I have been praying thus fa
r for you to have a wonderful enriching experience…those prayers have/are being answered daily…from now on till Toronto I am going to pray for you to find suitable food and lodging each and every night. Love you bro and am SO SUPER proud of your gumption on this venture!!!
Your redirected prayers are well appreciated. Wait til you hear about Day 18!
I just finally got the farm sign – Eat Hay Love – very cute.
It’s an ugly, wet snow kind of morning here…thinking of you 🙁
I’m still not getting it; and me suffering from witzelsucht!
It’s a play on “Eat, Pray, Love” – a memoir (book, and also movie) by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Ah so. THanks Julie — I feel dense.
We all have an eeyore day every now and then…I hope you’re encouraged with all the people who are following along, and especially the prayer that is surrounding you.
We dragged Fiona off to the Westfield vs. Scotch Plains soccer game last night…we had our winter coats on and blankets on our laps…glad you’re inside.
I am very, very encouraged. I think about it all the time I’m walking. Thanks Laura for taking good care of Fiona while I’m gone.
Enjoyed the pictures from yesterday. Watkins Glen holds special memories to Sue and I. Camped out at the Grand Prix the year we were married, October as I recall. Cold at night! VW bus camper borrowed from Bob Higert. The side walk in town with all the names of drivers was interesting. My age is showing as I recognize most of them. We look forward to each evening sharing your trip with out the discomfort! Keep up the good work!
Yes, those names were interesting. That picture only showed a fraction of them. I love your memory of the VW camper bus! Unfortunately, going to the track would have been out of the way for a walker.
Yes indeed Allan. It’s a memory which is remains with me to this day. I was, in fact, thinking of it as I offered the three cheers (and a tiger) to you. I remember Daddy being so excited when that old car crossed the 100,000 mile mark (nothing compared to what today’s vehicles can do!). I remember the cheers AND I remember Daddy pulled out a tomato which we all shared to mark the occassion. That orange ribbon remained on that fence for many years. A great memory!
HI Allan, I’ve been following you after hearing about your travels from Nikki & Nathan Tranquilla.
Praying for you as well (you were mentioned in our Wednesday night prayer meeting :)).
I really admire what you are doing
Hope your feet are holding up!
God bless you!
Hey Ernie! Great to hear from you and thanks for the prayers. My feet are holding up well. I find that it’s important to get them off the ground when I stop for the day. Today I may have pushed myself a little too much as I have a soreness in my left leg. But I’m sure it will go away soon. That which hurts me only makes me stronger.
Hi Mr. Wilks,
I’ve been having a lot of fun following along with your trip! so many beautiful pictures and fun adventures. =) I’ll be praying you don’t have any problems with snow…
Yes, I’m a little worried about snow, Miriam. But it’s early enough in the season that even if it does snow it will probably just be a flurry. We shall see. Thanks for your prayers.
Every night Ian phones me and reads me the contents of the letter that you sent. But I still worry about you. Be sure you get enough rest. Find the best place you can to sleep. Remember that the climate is getting colder. Along with my fears is the great admiration for what you have done and will continue to do.
What about calling another United Methodist Church on your way if you need to find a place to stay?
I continue to pray for ABUNDANT travel mercies! You have more miles behind you than ahead of you.
Thanks for that idea, Wen-Ling, and for your continued prayers. Travel mercies have been abundant!
Allan, Ken and I are enjoying your adventure with you, reading your posts in the evening. You have captured our imaginations and inspired us anew to look for the Goodness of God in many faces and unknown places!
About your feetsies. …just a tip..there are such things as waterproof/insulated sneakers. Ken and I both wear them in the winter. They are available quickly by mail order, if you have a known and trusted destination. It could happen. 🙂
Thanks for following, Suzanne, and for the tip. So far, temperature and wet have not been a problem for my feet; I’m actually doing quite well in that department.
When you were at our house, you took a panoramic picture with you iPhone. Have you used that feature to capture any of the landscapes?
I did try it once. The pictures I post are taken on my camera; the pano was on my iPhone and I’m not sure how to transfer it to my iPad where I do the blog posts.
Loved the photos (as usual) especially the one with the dark sky and clouds to contrast the various colours on the foliage. Wonferful! And fantastic you met another “Egg” head: George who hails from Catherine.
I am glad your still breaking through the barriers. 20 miles!!!
Actually just about 21 miles. I’m a little sore tonight.
Hi Mr. Wilks,
Just got back around 1:00 pm today, The trip was very fun including manhunt and capture the flag.
I had a sleeping bag that was rated at 20 degrees but even then I had 3 layers of thermals, along With a fresh pair of socks and a hat which kept me warmish in the 30 degree weather. Once you where in the sleeping bag you did not want to move because your body heat kept only one section warm.
If I was to sum the camping trip up with one word FREEZING, but the games and hiking made it worth it! 🙂
Chris, M. Hausheer
Been there, Chris. But I think my sleeping experience was a little warmer. I do have an insulated air matress, which helps a lot.
Really enjoying following your progress. Thanks for the updates and beautiful pictures. Once you are across the mighty Niagara into your home and native land, we will be glad to help with your accommodation when and if we can. Certainly from Grimsby to Oakville, you can stay with us, and we can pick you up and drop you off. We also might be able to arrange some accommodation between Niagara and here depending on your exact route and projected schedule.
Where are you coming across? What are your projected dates and route for Niagara to Hamilton?
Phil and Marilyn
Thanks very much for that offer, Phil. I think I have about one more week before I reach Canada. I will be coming across at the Rainbow Bridge. A while back Russ promised me a night in Niagara-on-the-Lake when I cross; we shall see! I was looking at the route from Niagara to Hamilton a month ago and it seemed that going along the shoreline would work well.
Allen, I contacted my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Don to see where they were in relation to your trek and it looks like they are pretty close. They gave me their contact info to give to you. Email me asap cause i think you’ll be near them soon. They have a beautiful house and property that I think you’d enjoy for a night. Oh and they live in Livonia, NY if you wanna look it up on the map. –John Bosse
Super John — it may well work out. I sent you an email. Thanks!!
Allan, twice this week I did 8 or 9 k walks in Gatineau park.. Lots of up and downs. Yesterday It was part of an orienteering run for Two hours off the trails right thru the bush over streams to punch in at a various orange controls in light rain and snow. When I finished .. What I only did 9 k and I was exhausted and I thought wow now I understand a bit of how far Allan is walking A quarter of the distances you are doing now. Really glad to see your mom posting encouragement! It was the black olives in the lasagna that I liked.
Yes — I LOVED that my mother posted a comment. I called her tonight and had a great conversation. I’ve gotten pretty used to 15 miles by now but it was definitely harder work to start.