April 14, 2004

New York!

Today, as we awoke in Warren, Pennsylvania, we rolled over, rubbed our eyes, looked out the window, and saw ... rain and fog, as far as the eye could see. The same as yesterday. Except that we also saw some cars going by with snow on their roofs. But we had places to go and things to see, so we loaded up the Giulietta and headed yet further eastward, like lemmings to the sea. Our route took us up into the Allegheny Mountains, and (naturally) we ran into the snow ourselves, although it wasn't all too treacherous:

Since we were driving a classic Alfa Romeo, and we were headed in the direction of New York's Finger Lakes region, we decided that a visit to Watkins Glen was in order. (For you non-car types, this is the site of some truly monumental road races on a 6-mile course that runs around the countryside and through the center of town. It was used in the 1930s through the early 1950s, and is replaced by a self-contained track outside of town now. But the history lives on.) Our first stop was at the Watkins Glen Motor Racing Research Library, which was half library and half museum. As we pulled up, the director came out and greeted us at the door, saying that he had spotted our Alfa, and welcomed us inside.

On display was a true gem — the #1 Cunningham CR1, driven many times by Briggs himself. It was on loan from a private museum in Florida, and has not been seen in the Northeast for many years. The director opened the hood for us.

We had intended to have lunch at the infamous Seneca Lodge, where many racing superheroes cavorted some 50 years ago but, alas, it was closed. However, a photo op was in order.

Here's a shot of Dave stopped at the monument marking the start/finish line of the original Watkins Glen race course. (Of course, he was headed in the wrong direction.)

Okay, sports car fans, click here for a video clip of your intrepid Alfa pilots navigating a small portion of the original Watkins Glen race circuit at a, uh, sporting pace. Sorry it isn't longer — our little digital camera wouldn't do any more. Sorry about the Giulietta mirror in the middle of everything. And sorry there ain't a Quicktime version. (This is a 2MB Windows WMV video file.)

Ahhhhhhh, now back to more pastoral subjects — here are a couple of shots of the farms we passed while driving from Watkins Glen to our day's destination, Oneonta, NY.

As you can tell from our photos (and video), the day was a gloomy one weatherwise, but a most enjoyable one otherwise.

Culture of the Day

As we were motoring through Smethport, PA, John grabbed the steering wheel and flung the car up to the curb. He just had to stop at America's first Christmas Store. Unfortunately, it was closed, or else Elizabeth would end up with a delightful souvenir from our trip.

Beer of the Day

There's no way we could up with a more fitting beer than this one — Two Brothers Bitter End. Barring any unforeseen difficulties, tomorrow we'll both be back in our respective warm, dry homes, in the loving arms of our respective significant others. We are, alas, approaching the end of the journey, and the only thing bitter is the delightfully aggressive hoppiness of this finely crafted brew.


Oil consumption, by the way, is under control. Beer consumption, however, is not.


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