Thursday, May 22, 2008

Our Weekend Scenic Journey

A couple years ago, Deb and I spent a weekend trying to traverse as much
of the PA portion of the Lincoln Highway as possible. When we've
mentioned it to friends many of them have suggested PA Route 6 in
northern PA as a good follow-up. So this years goal is to do route 6 the
length of PA.

This weekend was the first one that we hoped we could make the trip,
depending on the weather. Reports throughout the week varied from day to
day. Saturday morning they were calling for sunny skies but by late
afternoon, thunderstorms. Sunday was also looking like mostly rain, but
we decided to go ahead and take in the eastern part of route 6 anyway.

We got a late start, leaving Hellertown at 10:30 and heading due east to
pick up route 611 (the river road) in Durham PA. We headed north through
Easton, stopping to take our first two pictures*, and then continued on
611 North driving through Delaware Water Gap*. From there we parelled
rout 209 on a road through a state park area and eventually joined up
with 209.

Close to Milford, we took a side road to get a look at the Dingman's
Ferry Bridge, which as I understand, is a privately owned toll bridge
spanning the Delaware. I couldn't get too close without paying $7 to
enter a park but I did get a long shot of it*.

At first we'd considered going up 209 into Port Jervis New York and
picking up route 6 there, but we've been to Port Jervis recently, and it
was starting to cloud up alreadyand it was after 1:00 already. Both of
us are on a low carb diet and we considered stopping for some boneless
ribs at a chinese place in Milford, but decided we'd be alright for a
while. Big mistake!

Next on the map was Shohola Falls, a very poorly signed little park. We
passed it, noticing the small sign at the last moment, but we couldn't
believe it wasn't marked better and continued on thinking we weren't
quite there yet. A couple miles later we realized we were wrong and
turned around. Hiking down the short trail to the roaring sound we were
horrified to find it was a damn. Luckily a couple was just hiking back
and pointed us to the trail to the falls. It is indeed a wonderful
series of small fals that drop into a dark and exotic ravine.*

Leaving the falls we continued West on 6 enjoying the scenery along the
way, lakes, creeks, and ponds all over the place. Eventually we arrived
at Lake Wallenpaupack (you fans of The Office television show will
recall the infamous Lake Wallenpaupack Cruise episode a couple seasons
ago). There was an ice cream stand where we parked, so after getting a
gander and a pic* we ordered a couple hot dogs and two diet sodas. The
soda turned out to be Diet Rite and the hot dogs tasted as if they'd
been on the rotisery grille for days, yuch!

Once again we headed west and 6 soon became a limited access highway,
something I hadn't expected, skirting a very highly populated valley. We
passed town after town and finally picked an exit so we could take a
much needed bathroom break. It was raining pretty good as we got back on
the highway which had merged with Route 81 and followed it to the end of
the days trip, Clarke's Summit. It was about 5:00 when we hit a "chain"
restaurant for dinner.

After dinner we took 81 down into the "coal region" of PA so that we
could get off and drive to one of the small towns to visit a friend.
Sadly, he wasn't home...

Since we both forgot to take the camera, I took some pics with the
Sidekick and I've posted them at:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Salting and Canning of Benevolence D. by Al Michaud

Once again my good friend Steve has started reading the latest Fantasy
and Science Fiction magazine before me, even though I have subscription
and receive it a week before he does. Steve has an incredible knack for
knowing just which stories I'll like the best and this month is no

The Salting and Canning of Benevolence D. by Al Michaud is a fantasy (of
the horror type) set in Clapboard Island, Maine. This is Michaud's third
story of Clem Crowder and his involvement in unusual goings on. Early on
in the story, Clem realizes that a local apparation that hasn't been
seen in years is haunting again. Much to his chagrin, he realizes that
she's not haunting a place as ghosts normally do, but haunting him
personally, as wherever he goes, he's followed by the headless woman.
After his wife kicks him out of the house he goes to stay with friend
Dunky Drinkwater who in turn takes him to see a professor at local
Bainbridge Colllege, who specializes in "Parrot Psychology." (Did I
mention that all of this drama has generous doses of humor splashed

That is the start of this 47 page novelet, which gets crazier, funnier,
and more exciting as it goes.

Its not as easy to find F&SF as it used to be, but most of the Borders
and Barnes and Nobles around here carry it, and at $4.50 for over 160
pages of fiction and reviews of books and movies, I consider it a
bargain. But if you're one of those "I need proof" types, you can read
Clem's first published story, from the pages of the July 2003 F&SF, Clem
Crowder's Catch, on the website located at:

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