Posts Tagged With: towanda


It takes me by surprise when we park in a town, knowing nothing about Towanda, PA, to learn that some famous person once lived and went to school here. In this case it was popular American songwriter,  Stephen Foster.  We spotted a mural about one of his songs, Camptown Races.

They have a festival celebrating Camptown Races, here. A number of his songs are still popular today. I couldn’t believe how many I was familiar with. You can check out his story here:
Also, David Wilmot, who was a politician and an advocate of anti-slavery in the newly acquired territories from Mexico. His name is on the official proviso.He practiced law at one time in Towanda. You can learn more about him here:

Highway 6 through Pennsylvania crosses the Allegheny Mountains and acquaints us with small, historic towns along the way. This building has 1880, as was the custom then, on the building’s front piece, like a signature.

Quite small towns have beautiful old churches indicitive of the values of long ago, the mainstay of social life.

Between the corn and clover fields, are plenty of old barns. Hard to photograph as you are whizzing by, but interesting. Makes you want to record them with the camera since they are beginning to deteriorate. Many of them are still in use, full of hay or equipment. Barns, a part of Americana we hate to lose to the steel clad factory farms along with the personable image we retain of the stalwart farmer, the backbone of his community and American rural life.

It was fun to see old Five and Dime stores, a couple of Ben Franklins and a few old Diners like this one:

It kind of makes you yearn for simpler times to see this part of America. Its nice to have the ability to do this in retirement. And, of course, I’m making mental notes of places I would revisit and spend more time.
I also like to photograph signs, if I can. I wasn’t able to catch them with my camera, but here they are:
At Denton we crossed through a ski area. The Alleghenies are scenic and we enjoyed our 150 mile drive to Smethport.

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Memories of Pennsylvania come back to me as we set our wheels westward pressing for home. My last visit to Pennsylvania was to a little coal town called Commodore, where we visited my husband’s daughter Kathryn McCracken. It was green and hilly and pretty. I remember also that you could not buy a bottle of milk, in 1970, on a Sunday, near Commodore. We had to drive to a nearby city for milk, I think it was Punxsutawney, a considerable distance in any case. The neighbor children in Commodore came to gawk at my husband, a man who drank beer. They hadn’t seen one before, but knew of a black sheep uncle who drank beer. Commodore is part of the  “Bible Belt”.

From Newburgh, N.Y. to Towanda PA is approximately 150 miles. We headed out early with good weather. As usual, Jim checked the tires before we hit the road. One tire had lost half its air. It delayed us an hour to get a new valve extender on the inside wheel of the motorhome. The plan is to drive 150 miles a day until we reach Murphys.
Above, we crossed the Susquehana River leading into Towanda, PA. Nice, green, hilly.  Yesterday was tough because Jim is allergic to bee stings and his leg, for the second time on this trip, swelled up and became heated and painful from a bee sting. We stopped at a drug store for benydryl. He spent the evening with ice on his elevated leg. Not fun.

Towanda has pictures of their hometown heroes on each lamppost. It is a well meant gesture but it seemed grim to me to look everyday at a banner cemetery. Heroes they are, but constant reminders, I don’t know how I would feel about that if it was my son’s picture on that lamp post?
Our intended billet for the night was too steep and we had to change plans somewhat. All in all it was one of those kind of difficult days that every traveler experiences. But, hey,  99% of the time, things go quite well. Its still happy traveling.

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I’ve Had Better Days…

Jim says:

Yesterday was not one of my better days. I had a miserable night’s sleep because of the several bee stings on my left ankle area. The calf on my left leg was so painful, hot, hard and itchy. In addition it was very swollen like an overstuffed sausage that it felt like it might burst. It was most uncomfortable! If you follow my Blog postings on a regular basis you’ll remember that I went through the very same process of several bee stings on my lower right leg just a few weeks back. It’s been years since I’ve had an insect sting of any kind…now I’ve had two this summer.

My left leg calf is noticeably larger than my right,

Nonetheless the show must go on. In our case that means heading down the highway. During my pre-departure inspection I noticed one of the motorhome tire pressure indicators was showing yellow meaning I had a tire that was low on air. Great…just what I needed. I fired up my computer on got on Google Earth to find a tire repair place. I lucked out finding one only a few miles away in the direction we wanted to go. Rapid Tire Repair found that the extender had loosened up and cause the loss air. I had them replace the extenders on both of the inside dual tires and we finally got on our way at 10:30 AM.

Part of the process of installing the new extender .

With my leg still bothering me, we traveled the first 100 miles on Interstate 84 to Scranton, Pennsylvania where we got on U.S. Highway 6. We will be on Route 6 all the way through Pennsylvania…which means for the next two days. It’s a nice older highway in good condition with light traffic.

Once we found our parking spot near the American Legion at Towanda, Pennsylvania, I took to bed because of my leg. Mary assisted me in elevating the leg and applying an ice pack. That in combination with taking Benadryl and Ibuprofen. I spent the rest of the day in that manner, some times sleeping or reading.

Another restless night of sleeping. This morning the leg is somewhat better but still not in its normal condition. Just like yesterday, the show must go on and we’ll hit the road again later this morning. Like the song says…some days are diamonds, some days are dust. Fortunately I have very few dust days.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
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