Day 1: May 28, 2004
A Respectable Start



Although I wasn't sure of the exact time, I knew I would be leaving State College sometime today and grabbed a couple of shots of the downtown area as I traveled from motel to customer. The first is of the Corner Room restaurant where I ate on Wednesday night. The same building also houses Zeno's with an impressive choice of beers, the Allen Street Grille, and a small number of hotel rooms. Across the street is the east gate entrance to the Pennsylvania State University campus. I seems rather sad that this ivy covered portal to higher learning has been given the job of displaying a banner for the upcoming "Trash to Treasure" sale.

Just like the start of this trip, a hoped for noon-ish departure became a five-ish departure. Don, one of those who had suggested traveling Route 6, had also suggested getting to it via US routes 220 and 15. I even had worked out a plan for getting to US-220 and it almost worked. I made one turn a bit too soon and found myself on PA-550 headed north through rolling Pennsylvania farmland.

That turn on to 550 proved to be a real stroke of luck. Not only was the winding two lane a welcome change from the interstates and city streets but it brought me to this gem of a town about ten miles from State College. This is Bellefonte, the county seat of Centre County. Among the many historical buildings to be seen here are the railroad station, the Bush House Hotel, the Brockerhoff House, and the court house. Five Pennsylvania governors have called Bellefonte home plus a California governor and a governor of the Territory of Kansas.

I actually managed to get on to US-220 with little difficulty and headed on toward Williamsport. I had vague plans to stop in Williamsport for the night but switched from US-220 to US-15 without actually entering the city and drove into Mansfield before roosting. I had noted a billboard advertising the Mansfield Inn and a drive-by of the real thing convinced me that it would be a good choice. A proper park-at-the-door sort of place with (Are you ready for this?) a quilt covered four-poster bed and a comfortable arm chair. Plus lawn chairs outside for chatting and watching the world go by. I spoke with two unconnected motorcyclists (Gold Wing & BMW) and both assured me that I was going to enjoy Route 6.

Dinner was just across the street at Mark's Brother's. The house was originally built in 1900 for $4000. The original owner was the widow of a wealthy banker and, between being a home and a restaurant, it has served as a frat house and an American Legion home. The last picture shows a few of the hitching posts that would be parking meters in many towns.

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