Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
Trip End Jun 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New notes:

Yesterday was a total bust. I left my cousins' house (Dave's and Tina's around 10 am) in Ft. Washington, PA to head up to the Hudson River Valley and to check out some of the wineries. I checked on line prior to heading up there for directions and to make sure they were open. After hitting every back road in Orange and Ulster County, I came up dry. Three wineries I couldn't find and the four that I found were closed, though the web said they'd be open. Needless to say, I was frustrated and pissed off. 4 hours of driving and a total bust. Though I was extremely irritated with the very poor signage and misinformation, I can tell, even though it's still winter here that this area must be beautiful come spring, summer and fall. However, right now I am freezing my tookus off; it's about 36 degrees and it's 11 in the morning. I'm getting a bit nervous and think I spoke too soon about being lucky with good weather. I would not recommend the wine trail though at any time of year. The wineries are very spread out over windy 2 lane roads throughout a couple counties. If you do mange to find them, there is not guarantee they'll be open. Better idea - grab a bottle or wine or two and go down to a park area on the Hudson and have a picnic. It's beautiful.

Yesterday, Easter morning, there were snow flurries in Philadelphia and there has been intermittent flurries since. Glad I have my heavy ski coat! And thanks Tina for making sure I wore it going into Philadelphia.

Before I got to Philadelphia, I went through the eastern shore of VA and MD. It is still very remote (at least the VA part) and quite pretty. Salisbury, MD, however, is a city but not much to look at - keep driving or hit the shore (Atlantic or Chesapeake). Driving non-interstates has been for the most part interesting, but it actually got frightening once I entered PA on Rt. 13. What a garbage dump, and unfortunately, I could say that for most of the PA that I saw. I have never seen so much garbage/trash on the streets, highways, and in people's yards. What do they do with their DUIers? It might take a few years of massive "community service" work but they should start somewhere. Rt. 13 took me through Chester, which is what you think of when you think of the derelict, dilapidated, boarded up, run down and trashed urban areas of the Northeast. I'm not sure gentrification could help this area. Maybe a bulldozer. I was plain scared and was desperate to find an interstate but all the signs led me nowhere. I sure wasn't going to stop and ask either - just kept heading north. Needless, to say I was lost for a while but I finally got to Eddie's and Tina's. They weren't home but lucky me, there was a pub called the Beef and Ale right across the street. I camped out there for 3 hours; they had Smithwicks on tap! I met the locals and one in particular - Chuck O'Mahoney - who wouldn't leave Philadelphia for anything let alone the state or country. A creature of habit. Each to their own I say.

I'm in a great coffee shop in Hudson, NY right now. It's an old home with the first floor converted into a great coffee lounge; lots of couches, chairs, tables etc. to kick back in as well as plug in. I really like Hudson, it has a lot of potential and is well on its way. A hostel here would be worth investigating. Oh yeah, there are lots of cops in this area, another reason not to do the wine trail thing.
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