June-23-1980 Salisbury, MD-Point of Departure to Alexandria, VA
June 24, 1980 Alexandria, VA/Stopover at Sister and Brother-in-laws
Two night stopover.
June25, 1980 Day 1-Off to Unexplored Territory-Northwest to Harper's Ferry and Then On to Warfordsburg, PA
94165.2 After picking up a sketchbook I had left at a tai chi seminar in Bethesda I headed for Harper's Ferry where I did my first painting and went swimming. 2200 I stopped at PA tourist info on 70 just over the state line. I used this as the first official day of my trip.
gas $1.138/gal. $551 in bankroll 94024 mileage on
speedometer at start.
I won't be living high on the hog. I have a
cooler but I realized before I left it will be too much trouble and
expense to use ice so it will just be for storage. My basic menu is
cereal with powdered milk in the morning, penut butter with jelly
and butter sandwich for lunch and again for dinner. Most of my
journal entries are expenses or locations. My warm meal when I
had it was generally a cup of coffee. I had a sterno but I think I
only used it once to test it and figured it was too much trouble.
Also I carried apple jucie which took a few days before it would
go bad and generic beer warm in the yellow boxes with the black
label. This beer was great and better than most nationally
advertised beers, especially diet beer (lite?) which I won't drink
any more than I would drink diet soda. And one of the stupidest
thinks foisted on the American public is the idea that it is less
filling-Einstein would have to change his theory of matter if it
was. My water source for everthing was a five gallon plastic
June 26, 1980 Day 2 Across Pennsylvania to Warren, PA
Saw the horseshoe railroad curve near Altoona, have old rr spike somewhere from there. Stopped near Warren for the night. The coal trucks were always on my butt in northern PA. I had a 240 six cylinder and the roads went right up and down steep inclines and my engine would dog out while these big coal trucks were going like crazy. Sometime later after my engine died I had a used 300 straight six put in and it was great-I could almost go straight up without slowing down.
June 27, 1980 Day 3 Kinsua Dam then to Jamestown, New York
Went to Kinsua Dam and did some sketches then a small oil painting. At the reservoir I ran for 35 minutes and did tai chi then went for a dip. I had left my running shoes on the front bumper but didn't realize until I got gas and saw there was only one. returned 34 miles to find it. Saw a real strange animal near dusk-looked half black panther and half black bear. It was big like a but real short hair like a panther and head like a panther or big mastiff dog. Stopped for the night at traffic stop along 17 approaching Jamestown. I was woken in the middle of the night by police who said my van fit the description in a homicide case, however I convinced him it wasn't me and he went on his way and I went back to sleep. Rest areas in the east are the worst places to stay.
Butterflys mudpuddling near the reservoir
Riverbank by Kinsua Dam 8x16
June 28, 1980 Day 4 Lake Erie-My First Great Lake, End at Westfield
Headed west to Mayville-thunderstorms and tornado warning, stopped by beach parking lot. Suspicious character and lurking in the background friend asking for matches so he could checkkout my van, I saw matches on his dashboard. After the storm I headed west to Lake Erie, Barcelona. Identified on google search as Westfield. Walked the beach and painted a painting of the shore by the fishing pier. Parking all night for fisherman only. I bought a cheap rod and reel to have on hand to look legitimate at these places. I don't fish, I wouldn't want a hook in my mouth and I don't think the fish enjoy it, especially at catch and release places where they may be caught many times (fly fishing in yellowstone for example). Spent the night here. 51.6 miles for day.
Cliff along Beach-Barcelona 14x18
June 29, 1980 Day 5 North along Lake Erie to Silver Creek
Did painting of Barcelona cliffs from pier area. Headed north to Dunkirk, took a couple of walks but could't find a place to go swimming-water dirty, area not so nice so go on the Silver Creek and park near police station for night, after talking to officer warning boaters of violent thunderstorms and possible tornado. Did my tai chi in abandoned tourist cabin on edge of lake-a cat came in and watched me. 29.1 miles for day 509.55 total
River by Harper's Ferry 12x16
Click on maps to see larger maps showing route of trip and night stopovers.
June 30, 1980 Day 6 Windy Day along Lake Erie-Spend the NIght in Eden
94862.9 starting mileage for the day. Didn't get too
much accomplished today, went to nearby laundromat
then went to a number of lake shore areas but always to
windy to paint. There are a couple of railroad arches that
a lady had said were like the towns main landmarks, but
still too much wind. So I went to Hamburg to check it
out. Big splurge-hot fudge sunday $1.18. Parked near
Eden for the night but it doesn't regster on the map so I
gave Hamburg as the stop point
A Couple additional notes I will add: so far my average daily expense
was $11.75 for everything. Breakfast that morning at the Family
Restaurant $.95 for breakfast special 2 eggs toast and coffee. The
laundromat for wash and dry was .60.
July 1, 1980 Day 7 Buffalo, Niagara Falls and MY 2nd Great Lake Ending at Wilson
Early start, headed into Buffalo. Parked in city park and went to Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Afterwards saw female pheasant and 11 young in park. Met a former circus acrobat who was having trouble with a gang of boys on a long bike ramp over the road. He said they wait up at the top and then block the path and rob people, in between shouting up at them to leave. Crossed the Peace Bridge into Canada, back when you didn't need a passport, and drove up Niagara River Parkway and ended up parking about a mile from the falls. The closer you get the more expensive to park. Mine was free and I ran the mile to see the falls. Aftre returning I went to nearby beach and went swimming. Next stop was Whirl Pool State Park back in New York, got a photo and later did a painting from it. On to Lewiston and Old Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario-my second Great Lake. Stopped for the night by Wilson fishing pier, did a couple of sketches. full day. 89.6 miles
Whirlpool State Park North of Niagara
July 2, 1980 Day 8 Wilson to Medina
Got up and did a painting of the fishing pier then headed east to Olcott beach. Next inland to Lockport where I hung out for a while and treated myself to two coffees and two donuts at Mister Donut-$1.40. Then on to Medina where I bought my fishing gear and did a couple of sketches. I parked by the canal for the night.
July 3, 1980 Day 9 Fingerlakes Region
Went across canal to do a painting of waterfalls. Medina is known for either having a canal that crosses over a river or the river crosses the canal. Go to Brockport and then Rochester. Parked near art museum on Prince Street. A guy juggling outside with two friends let me use the shower in his apartment. Stopped at Hill Commorrah, a Mormon historical spot, but I think it was closed. Then on to Canandaigua. Went to the Sonnenburg Gardens, box office was closed but I still walked through the gardens. As I remember there were beautiful weeping beeches. Parked on lake fishing pier for night, but it turned out to be a young rowdies hangout with noisy cars so I went south along lake through Naples and a place near a boat launch. 136.1 miles for the day.
Wilson Pier 12x16
Waterfall at Medina 14x18
Medina across the Canal
July 4, 1980 Day 10 Fireworks and Carnival at Cazenovia
Went into Naples and stopped at info center, decided to go to
Cummings Nature Center, walked trails and did a couple sketches.
Later stopped at rest area north edge of Seneca Lake. Learned
about jazz fest next weekend at Saratoga from bike rider there and
decided to go. A lot of stuff going on at Cazenovia and stayed for
evening-went to carnival on lake. Reminded me of the movie
"Picnic" but I didn't have a picninc basket or a leading lady. Also
they had a sign in the park that if you weren't from there you
weren't allowed in the park so I tried to blend in. After fireworks
went on down 20 to rest stop near Morrisville for night.
July 5, 1980 Day 11 Saratoga Springs Jazz Fest
Headed east on 20 and stopped off at the Secret Caverns then on east Duanesburg, north on 50 past Scotia. arrive at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center for Jazz Festival. When I lived in Germany there were many place to hear jazz, and none too pricy. When I got back to this country things were very different, and there was pretty much no jazz in the area I lived. So I was really looking forward to this. I spent an average days expenses to get in and get a program. Unfortuneatly in this country it's more about having a party than listening to music. I had to hang at the back of the performance building with a general admission and I was surrounded by tents, frisbee players, people talking in shouts, and kids playing-crying, etc. I did get to see Sarah Vaughan but it was disapointing with the distractions around me being as loud as the singer and music. Stayed in parking lot for night. 122.4 miles for day
July 6, 1980 Day 12 East into Massachusetts-Mt Greylock
Headed out 67 toward Vermont. Next onto Bennington Battlefield Park where it was too windy to paint so I did a couple sketches. Then about another 40 miles to Mt. Greylock Peak in northwest Massachusetts, the highest point in Massachusetts. I did a painting near the summit. Moved to another area of the parking lot and stayed for the night. I got the idea to go to all the highest points in New England, all the others I would have to hike to.
Mt. Greylock 12x16
July 7, 1980 Day 13 North to Williamstown then East to Gardner
I went into Williamstown to the Clark Art Institute but it was closed on
monday. (years later on another trip I went there and it is one of the
nicest art museums in the country-a lot of impressionist stuff and relaxed
atmosphere). Stopped at North Adams-Dunkin Donuts coffee and donut
.....$.63. Mister Donut and Dunkin Donut were generally the only national
chain I stopped at on my travels-I was doing social research. Also this was
my hot meal for the day. Back then they were interesting gathering spots
of the locals, but the coffee became watered down and after they took out
the counter service it was no longer the same, from being a hangout or
meeting place it became just a stop and go. (another quirky fact about
donut shops and the yellow pages-in the yellow pages the only category
for donut shops was spelled "doughnuts" but nowhere ever in my travels
did I ever see a donut shop use that spelling-it was always "donut")
Heading east on 2 I stopped at Black Brook Road where two creeks meet.
I had seen that my muffler had broken away from the chassis a couple of
days before so I took advantage of this stop to fix it. Then I did a painting
of Black Brook Creek. I was planning on taking a dip when I was finished
to get cleaned up but while I was painting a couple guys and a gal went in
the water and a little later one of the guys was yelling he had leeches on
him and they had to be removed by his friends. Changed my mind about
going in. Heading east I got some supplies at Greenfield Food Mart and
then to a rest stop on 2 near the Gardner exit for the night. 96.4 miles for
the day about $182.03 total expenses so far 1621 miles since trip started.
Blackrock Creek 14x18
July 8, 1980 Day 14 Lowell, Massachusetts-Jack Kerouac Tour Day One
This was the day I would be going to Jack Kerouac's hometown. I had
read just about everything he published, in fact I owned about
everthing plus several biographies, so I was looking forward to seeing
the places firsthand that he had written about. I don't know if "On the
Road" was the first travel book I had read and I don't know whether it
was the best but it was exciting-completely different from my travels.
So after a stop in Fitchburg for gas I headed on to Lowell where I
parked downtown on Bridge Street near the bridge at 10:18 in the
morning and got out to walk the streets that Jack had walked.
I stopped by the school and saw where he had use to meet his
girlfriend under the clock(same place new clock). After moving the van
to a public lot by Kearny Square I went to the library where he use to
hang out and looked at the Kerouc folder. I got caught in the rain and
went to Dunkin Donuts coffee $.37. Later I went looking for the Edson
Cemetary where Jack was buried but it was closed when I got there.
So I went to Nicky's, his wifes cousins bar, where he used to hang out
late in life. I was in for a surprise. I went in and sat at the bar among a
bunch of middle age to older men watching a baseball game on tv over
the bar and had a couple beers. The first thing I knew was a young lady
came out with a 45 record in her hand, put it on the record player and
started taking her clothes off as she danced around a miniscule stage.
She finsihed and there was polite clapping, then a few minutes later
another young lady would come out and do the same thing. It was
strange to think this was the low key working class bar Jack spent time
the last years of his life as I watched a skinny girl with her arms spread
apart dancing in a circle around the edge of the small stage to "I Want
You to Want Me" and grabbing her little pile of clothes and 45 and
thanking the quiet crowd of older men watching the game more than
the young lady. I found a place to park on Riverside Boulevard and
parked for the night.
July 9, 1980 Day 15 Jack Kerouac Tour Day Two then to New Hampshire
Starting the second day early I went and parked at the National Parks
parking lot and took the Over the River and through the Woods Tour by
bus, which went by the Martin house from The Town and the City. After
lunch I went back to Edson Cemetary and saw Jack's grave adorned
with empty wind bottles and some used drug paraphenalia. Next went
to Whistler's birthplace (the painter) but after starting the tour I found
out that he only lived there until he was about three. I parked on the
opposite side of the Merrimack River by Pawtucket Bridge, hoping to
walk along the island but the gate was locked, so I did a sketch from
the bridge. Time to head north where I stopped just past Merrimack, NH
along 3. Did my tai chi and went to bed.
July 10, 1980 Day 16 Down East to Maine-Wells Beach
Went into Manchester and parked by the Currier Art Gallery and walked around and did a couple sketches waiting for it to open. Crossed into Maine for the first time and headed for Wells Beach-I'm always partial to beaches-and parked by the bulkhead. I walked down the beach to the inlet and did a painting of two houses on the point, which I will include a photo of with a dark stripe across it which is probably the shadow from the strap. I tried to take a photo of all my paintings for my own record and a lot of times they were just propped up by the side of the road and sometimes to save money I would take pictures of four at once. By the time I saw the slide I might no longer have the painting. This painting was left at a friends used bookstore in Denver, Colorado when I passed through there to see if he could sell it and then send me the money. That was about 25 years ago so I don't think I will ever see it, but I do have the photo. So while the quality isn't always good I do have a record and some of them I sold before I got home. The water is very cold up in maine, for me at least, but I still needed to get cleaned up. The tide had been out and as it came in the exposed rocks that had warmed up in the sun made the water more tolerable as they rised the temperature of the water a few degrees. Took another walk and then stayed here for the night. 1843.1 miles from start and $13.50 average expense per day.
Sunset from the Top of Mount Greylock
Two Houses on Point-Wells Beach 12x20
Mailed some postcards, used the Wells public bathroom and then headed to Portland. I parked near the Portland Museum of Art and walked around until it opened. Paid a $1.00 donation and found out there wasn't much there. I don't remember if this was one of the places I went were they forced you to make a donation because as a non-profit they could'nt legally charge an entrance fee. It wasn't much but there are some places I've been that actually advertise they are free-donations only and then force you to pay. If you are on a budget or balancing alternatives it does make a difference. the Wordsworth House wanted $2.00 for a guided tour so I passed, I don't know whether it was the cost or because it was guided. Next I moved down to the Portland docks and walked around.
I went to Brunswick and stopped at Bowdoin College to see the Walter Art Gallery. Went on to Bath and parked by the shipyards, walked downtown and after returning ate dinner and took a nap but decided not to stay for the night. Stopped at Wiscasset where they had a real nice bathroom and a freshwater pump so I could refill my water container.
Went on to Rockland and stopped at public launching site. Went to Dunkin Donut and that is where I saw the funniest man in town. There were a number of locals there-men and women- hanging out and it was apparent that they had known each other for many years dating back to elementary school. Then another man came in who everyone knew and he was in a real chipper mood. He had dated one of the ladies while in high school and after much kidding amongst the group he invited her to come up and see him sometime which she declined saying it would be a long time before she ever did that-he was the local undertaker. Ended up at the ferry depot to spend the night. 148.8 miles for the day.
July 11, 1980 Day 17 Portland and Rockland's Funniest Man
Did my laundry and then went to the Falmouth Art Museum and then walked around town. Left at 11:00 am and headed on north. I parked by the entrance to Camden Hills State Park. Walked down to the shoreline and then walked up to the peak of Mt. Megunticook where there was a great view. Did tai chi on summit. Went on to Ellsworth where I found a really good used book store. Continued on route 1 and passed a sign to Acadia National Park but not in my budget but did gat a photo across bay of island included as this day's picture. Left route 1 onto 195 to find a place for the night-Prospect Harbor on the bay. Got washed up in bay-very cold and had to wear sneakers while doing it because of the barnacles. 99.1 miles for day.
Acadia National Park in the Distance
Prospect Harbor 13x20
July 13, 1980 Day 19 Jonesport, Beals and Great Wass Island
Did a painting of the Prospect Harbor piers then headed north again through Jonesport, Beals and out onto Great Wass Island. Had lunch at the Stowaway in Jonesport, a rare treat. cheesburger with canadian bacon $1.30, coffee $.35 and frenchfries $ .45. Went back and parked near cemetary on Great Wass, did some sketcing until rain started, read some, then later started a painting of a boathouse, but it started raining again and I still have the unfinished painting. I found a great spot to stay a couple miles north of Jonestown on the bay overlooking some islands. At low tide you could walk to the island and I did and did my tai chi out on it. And after doing some sketches I went on a 20:04 minute run. Went back out on the island and found a pool of saltwater on the opposite side where I took a bath-naked but for my sneakers, just like the pioneers except they didn't have tennis shoes. With the great view I decided to stay for the night so I could do a painting.
July 14, 1980 Day 20 Middle of the Night Emergency and Back to the Island
July 12, 1980 Day 18 Rockland Morning then on to Prospect Harbor
About 1:30 someone started knocking on the side of my van and shouting for help, quite taken by surprise with no idea what was up but I opened the window and a somehat excited young guy started telling me that his boat had run out of gas and with the tide chage would be smashed on the rocks if I didn't help him get some. He had relatives on Beal and he could get some there. So I took him over and it looked like everybody's name was Beal on their mail boxes, here I was in a dark green cargo van, out of state tags and pulling into someones back yard by their boat house in the middle of the night while this stranger ran into the boathouse and came out with a can of gas. I was a little nervous waiting for a bunch of locals coming out after me with shotguns. But all was quiet and I took him back and helped him push his boat out and then went back to bed in the sme spot.
Got up that morning about 6:22 rearranged things in the van. I spotted a red-tail hawk looking for fish and while I was watching him a deer came up the beach from the Jonesport direction. I walked out to the island and did my tai chi. Met a lady from Pennsylvania who had just inherited a blueberry farm across the street and she was checking it out. I told her I was interested in Great Wass Island but there had been privaate signs that had kept me from exploring it. She said to disregard the signs and I should follow the road out to the end where there was an old Coast Guard station. So that's where I went after getting come groceries in Jonesport.
I parked in front of a chain across the road and walked about 1/4 mile to the old coast guard station. Beautiful place and I went back to get my camera. Later I met three people who were living on the island in a primative shack belonging to the Nature Conservancy who owned a good bit of the island. They invited me for dinner which I went to that evening. They served sphagetti with a sauce that had peiwinkles(real chewy shellfish that where on the rocks and orca? a wild spinich like plant. The first time I ever had that combination and probably the last-very interesting but filling and at least a cooked meal. Stayed on the island for the night-one of my more eventful days.
Old Coast Guard Station
Wild Irises Growing in the Rocky Ledge
July 15, 1980 Day 21 Quoddy Head-First Corner of the US
When I got up there were a couple deer about 50 feet from the van. I did four watercolors by coast guard station, then did my tai chi. Time to head out-said goodbye to my previous evening hosts and went back to Jonesport and had lunch at the Stowaway- grilled cheese, french fries and coffee-$1.72. Went back to spot of a couple nights ago. It was high tide so, just right for doing a painting, which I did after taking a bath in the bay. I painted the periodic island as I call it because of it sometimes not being an island. This painting I gave to my brother years ago, but he doesn't remember it or have any idea where it is, but I did another a few years ago from the photo. Later headed north to Quoddy Head State Park which I consider the north east corner of the US, although I don't know if this is official. And I did it one better because I walked out one the offshore rocks as far as I could. (I have almost been to three of the corners but missed one by about a 1/4 mile ) After a stop at the Lubec boat ramp I went north of Whiting on route 1 and parked by the water for the night. 87.6 miles for day.
Periodic Island 14x18
July 16, 1980 Day 22 First Time to Canada
I got up early (6:48) and spent some time working on my van-
added a quart of oil, cleaned the distributor cap contacts, points,
rotor and spark plugs. Did my tai chi by bay and a watercolor
sketch. Headed north and stoppped at the info center at St.
Stephens. Parked near the international bridge and walked
through town and then headed into Canada for Fredericton
stopping at the public beach on Oromocto Lake near Tweedside
for lunch and to go swimming. I did a watercolor and a sketch
then on to the Fredericton Mall and an ice cream(.85) then to the
city park where I parked along the river. Finally I stopped by a
creek on route 8 past Nashwaak Bridge. 161 miles for the day
average expenses per day after 22 days $14.18.
July 17, 1980 Day 23 Gulf of St. Lawrence
When I got up it was raining so I juast headed toward the coast, the main body of water being the Gulf of St. Lawrence, following route 11. Stopped at the Burnt Church pier and did a painting of the pier and fishing boats. Then continued up the coast looking for a good spot, found one below cathedral on pier in Grande-Anse. When I went looking for a coffee shop I found a better place west of town kind of isolated and on a cliff overlooking Nepisquit Bay and I moved there for the night-never found a coffee shop. 102.1 miles for day.
Pier at Burnt Church 12x16
1 First Northeast Trip in the Green Van