Day 20

My entire journey today was on 5&20, and this will continue for several days. I knew when I started that I would be staying with Brian and Amanda at the end of the day. Brian is the nephew of a man in my home church and the son of a man that I sang with once in a barbershop octet. He saw my plea for places to stay on Facebook and very kindly agreed to offer his house for the night, even though he had to drive quite a distance to pick me up. So when I started, I just knew I could go as far as possible until I got picked up.

Before I left I had the Clark Motel receptionist take my picture in my new Tractor Supply Company toque and class 2 vest:


What I had been dreading about the next few days is that 5&20 looks so straight on the map and I knew that I was entering much flatter countryside, so I was anticipating long, flat stretches. Indeed, when I started, I could see a long way ahead:


But my fears turned out to be (largely) unfounded, as there are always interesting things to see when you travel at a slow pace. Early on I noticed an interesting cloud formation to the north and low on the horizon:


I wondered if this bank of clouds was hovering over Lake Ontario, which is only 25 miles north of me. Certainly the lake has a huge effect on the climate in this area, “lake effect snow” being the most well-known example.

Here’s a place that sells all sorts of masonry supplies:


The road did turn out to have curves — they just don’t show at the scale of a map of all of New York:


Some people get embarrassed when they find that their gutter neglect results in plants growing in the gutters; these people seem to be cultivating a garden in their gutters:


Bales of hay and more color:


Gulls enjoying this new planting:


This is the Ontario Country Solid Waste Management Administrative Offices; hard to believe this is not a repurposed building; I can’t imagine taxpayers putting up with building something like this just for waste management paper work:


Not much left of this tree after trimming to accommodate the many wires:


After about five miles I ran across Sweet Sue’s Diner — cool!


I ordered a big breakfast, including a “full” portion of home fries. It was such a huge pile of home fries, when it came, that I felt I couldn’t even take a picture of it — too embarrassing! Sweet Sue herself cooked up the food; here she is:


She’s been doing this for over 35 years, still loves it, and isn’t even remotely ready to retire. Several of her family members were there, including her grandson Andrew, who served me. Another great, local diner where everyone knows everyone!

This is … well … a pumpkin house. Hmmmm.


More color:


Several houses had this structure on the top — I think I knew what it’s called at one point but I forget now — does anyone know? Isn’t it for looking at the weather?


Here’s another house that I passed. It appeared abandoned (the upper windows are glassless and maybe with some evidence of a fire). It was quite evocative; I could imagine what it was like when it was active and full of people:


On my way into Canandaigua was this lovely willow and a stream:



I was really hoping to get some good views of Canandaigua Lake, but I was disappointed; this is the best I could get as I came into town:


Tim Horton’s! Canada, here I come. Tim is still playing second fiddle to Wendy, but once I cross that border …


Here’s another lovely stream emptying into the lake, on the way out of town. I was struck by how beautiful this was, compared to the scenery around it, and how even at a walking pace it was only visible for a few seconds. All the heavy traffic on the highway was completely missing it:


I did get another peak at the north end of the lake on the way out of town as I climbed a long slope:


From that point on I was a walking machine, mostly walking directly into the sun, trying to get in as much distance as possible before being picked up by Brian. I just paused just once to take this picture — nice because of the late afternoon sun:


It was a relief to be picked up by Brian and it has been a great pleasure to stay with him and Amanda:


I would like to conclude with the lyrics of a 3000 year old song that my wife and I have enjoyed, in reference to the safety and security I have experienced throughout this trip:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121

48 thoughts on “Day 20

  1. Dan & Sue Matlack

    Fi told me that this is the Psalm she is claiming for your journey – so we share here in the midwest – praying it over you also, Dear Friend. So glad to see that once again you have new friends and shelter for the night. Your day was so much lovelier than our, both at work, both indoors. I did make 2 bank trips (great excuse to get out) today, just to enjoy the day, the sun, the colors, the clouds – thought about YOU a lot today. Keep on Christian, not too far now. The “celestial” city beckons – and your GRANS!

    1. Allan Post author

      I keep thinking “not too far” but there are still a lot of miles to go. It’s interesting that psychologically the distance seems shorter once you are focused on the endpoint, which really happened when I reached Geneva.

  2. Dan & Sue Matlack

    OH! I just saw that you have a very special new marker at journey’s end – JOY!

  3. Audrey

    I was going to say ‘cupola’ (in reference to the little structure atop that house) — but I looked that up and it said a cupola was dome shaped, octagonal, or hexagonal. So I guess that’s not it.

    Looking snappy in your new gear! Go with God! Praying for you.

  4. Paul

    I always thought the structure on top of the house was called a widows watch, usually on the shore watching for the husband to come home. Happy travels my friend, missing you, Paul

  5. Gus Wolf

    Well, at least the gutter garden is probably organic! It sure looks like it was mowed and carefully edged.
    Was Cupola the word you were looking for, for the structure on top of that house?

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, it does look cultivated, doesn’t it? It seems like a bad idea unless the water is drained some other way.

  6. Amal L.

    Since you embarked on this journey alone and into the unknown (minus today’s technology), have you had any aha moments when reading certain passages of Scripture? I thought of you today while reading Hebrews 13:2 especially since you’ve met up with so many kind strangers on the way.

  7. Christine

    I would call that structure a “crow’s nest”. I think of it as more of a boat term, but have heard it used for that type structure on buildings as well.

  8. Philip Assad

    Yours is the only blog I read regularly Allan! It makes me want to have an adventure.

    1. Allan Post author

      Will, I’m glad you at least that you are having a vicarious adventure. Can’t wait to see you guys again and share some stories.

  9. Susan Sutherland

    Hey Allan, great to be following you along your journey. I sure have had some laughs at some of your posts. I think the structure on top is a cupola. My parents have one at their house. Anyway, hope you have a great day tomorrow and get a lot of ground covered! Take it easy.

    1. Allan Post author

      Hey Sue — glad you are along for the walk with me! I did cover a lot of ground today!

  10. diana hood

    Hi Allan!
    Though I haven’t commented till now us hoods have been following and praying since you started and I’ve so enjoyed reading your posts. I find myself praying for you often through the day, and wishing we were still in Toronto so we could celebrate with you when you arrive. We’d be happy to steal you away to Ottawa for a visit, and we wouldn’t even make you walk 😉 praying on!

  11. John Marshall

    Good morning Allan,
    Wow! If anyone misses, ah, hits you while you’re wearing that vest, they’re either blind or texting. Be safe.
    Interesting pumpkin house. I wonder how they got them in the top section?
    Too bad about that old house, it looks like a place I’d like to explore. It probably has many stories to tell.
    I believe the thing on the top of the other house is a cupola. I bet there’s a nice view from up there.

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, I agree about the old house, John — all those stories have dried up, but there was once lost going on there, I’m sure.

  12. John Marshall

    For the ‘techie’ minded people in the crowd; when you zoom in all the way on the satellite version of the map, what is the colourful artifact, often but not always, in front of moving automobiles?

  13. Russell Sutherland

    Another great day of walking. I enjoyed all the sights (and tried to imagine the sound of those taters being cooked). Going forward… Are you thinking of heading up on 63 to Batavia and then perhaps 77 (hypotenuse) which skirts the Iroquois National Reserve and then on to Lewiston? That looks like an OK route. Or if Lake Ontario would be more interesting, you could head up from Batavia, through the Reserve and meet up with 18. This latter route has a few more steps on it, but perhaps has more Lake Ontario views.

    You should be able to smell the Double-Double orders soon.

    Thanks for the psalm and it’s wonderful and timeless poetry.


    1. Allan Post author

      I can’t go through Lewiston — can’t cross the border there on foot. So I’m going to follow the google maps walking directions to Rainbow Bridge starting tomorrow from Avon, NY. I’m on 5 for a while, then an interesting stretch (for some unspecified length — thanks for nothing google maps for refusing to put scales on your maps) that is a walking path called something like Clarence Pathways. That should be quite nice. Then a series of roads leading up to the bridge.

  14. Dan & Sue Matlack

    I believe the structure on the top of the house is called a widow’s walk. Wives use to watch for their husbands comming back from the sea.

  15. Joe Abdy

    Great Vest!! If you were able to get the barbershop octet back together, you could all wear this vest and sing, “Yes, we have no banana’s”. You have been making great progress and are about 90 miles from Niagara Falls, or about 4 more days. Do you plan one taking any more days offs or are you going to try and go straight through? Also, once you cross the boarder, will you be changing to kilometers per day?

    1. Allan Post author

      I tell people who are coming to pick me up that they can’t miss me — I look like a yellow candle! As to your calculations, 90 miles in 4 days would be VERY aggressive for an old guy like me. It’s currently 73 miles after today’s walk and that puts me to the Rainbow Bridge sometime between Saturday at the end of the day (aggressive) and Sunday at the end of the day (average), assuming I don’t take any days off, which is my current plan. There is rain coming on Thursday and I may have to cut back on distance or even not walk — we shall see. I’m not sure about the miles vs. kilometers issue. The website will continue to report in miles, for consistency, but it may make things easier if I aim for 24 km instead of 15 mi each day as all the road signs are in km and google maps will be reporting km as well.

  16. Jon Bentley

    Wow — you are stylin’ in your Official ANSI Class 2 Vest! And not only will it serve you well on your walk, but you’ll be able to use it to make a fashion statement when you return. You’ll probably be the only guy at church so attired. That vest will definitely help a naturally shy guy to stand up and make his statement.
    And in the interim, it should nicely cooperate with your selection of 3000-year-old songs to keep you safe on the road.
    It sounds like my homies at Tractor Supply Company did right by you. I love these stores — I believe that the nearest one to South Plainfield is at either Flanders or Ringoes. I’m hoping to meet up with you at one of those stores after your return.
    Best, Jon

    1. Allan Post author

      LOL jlb. TSC seems like a pretty cool place so maybe I will see you at one. I may feel a need to upgrade to a Class 3 garment.

  17. John Ferguson

    I believe the structure on top of the house is called a “Widow’s walk”. From the wiki- “The name is said to come from the wives of mariners, who would watch for their spouses’ return, often in vain as the ocean took the lives of the mariners, leaving the women widows.”

  18. jim lamsaon

    Hey brother, as I type this almost another 19 miles in the books today… According the weather forecast here, you look to be going to get some bad weather Thursday… Is that going to be a rest day for you? Or since you are on a “roll” you going to press on? Just wondering… Again, way go!!!! Jim and bev..

    1. Allan Post author

      I’m not sure about Thursday. I may just try to press on since the forecast has rain on Friday and Saturday as well. I wait and see how bad it is.

  19. Alison Sutherland

    Hey there Big Al!!! I had your grandies here for the day and we were talking about you and looking at your trek pics…they wanted to send you a little clip of encouragement…perhaps Carl can set us up with Bobby Zimmerman’s ‘Slow Train Coming’!!!

    1. Allan Post author

      I’m definitely walking in the rain on Thursday — can’t take a day off after that!

  20. Julie

    Glad the bridge worked out afterall!

    Again, thanks for sharing so many beautiful photos! My favorites are the extraordinary landscape scenes, which must be all the more amazing in 360.

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks Julie. It is really frustrating to me that I can’t capture the big landscapes. Smaller scenes like farm buildings and streams work out fine but it’s hard to capture the big stuff.

  21. Gary M

    Hard to believe it’s been 10 days sense our paths crossed on Harmony Rd. in PA.
    I have been following your progress and enjoying your walk. The pictures and people it’s great stuff!! Keep on walkin’; be safe; Canada is in sight!

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks for continuing to follow, Gary, and for taking the time to leave a comment. When I look back I’m amazed how far I’ve come but when I look forward it seems like an awfully long way still to go. It’s a weird mental thing.

  22. Nancy McClelland

    Hi Allan: I just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying following your trek, your pictures are beautiful and your blogs sensational! Stay safe and my prayers continue to be with you each day ! You have met so many wonderful people along your trek! Happy travels and soon you will be in Ontario 🙂 God bless!

    1. Allan Post author

      Great to hear from you Nancy! Yes, I hope to reach the Rainbow Bridge in three more days of walking, but they will have to be long days and there is bad weather coming, so it may be Sunday before I enter Canada.

  23. Alison Sutherland

    In your new outfit you look like a walking highlighter!!!!

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