Day 2: May 29, 2004
A Bit o' Six



The town of Wellsboro was part of more than one of those suggestions I received to drive US 6. Mention of a diner and a whimsical statue was also common. The Sterling built diner has been here since 1939 and it is everything a diner should be. There was a constant line at the door but it moved quickly and I was soon seated at the counter. Holly ran the grill and sometimes tended to nearby customers. Three waitresses tended to customers along the counter, at booths in the diner's original space, and in an equal amount of space in an add-on at the rear. They also worked the register and directed customers to open seats. Two dishwashers completed the staff. What a fantastic ballet those six performed in the narrow space behind the counter. A what a friendly place - staff & customers. The whimsical statue is in the center of a fountain in the center of a very nice park in the center of town. That's Wynken, Blynken, and Nodd in that not so wee concrete boat.

Not far from Wellsboro, this even bigger attraction is known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Not really a rival to the one in Arizona, it is still quite impressive and a drive through the forest that surrounds it is extremely pleasurable. At the diner, I received directions and advice from a couple who were off to a day fishing, biking, and hiking at the bottom of the canyon. From this overlook, I spotted a canoe on Pine Creek and put a quarter in the pedestal mounted binoculars to watch the lone paddler work through some of the river's riffles.

Garmin's Map Source lists two Ansonias in the United States. The one in Connecticut and another, where I went to school "a few" years ago, in Ohio. A third can be found on US-6 at one of the roads leading to the canyon. Ansonia, PA, is even smaller than Ansonia, OH, and seems to consist solely of a Baptist church, the Twin Pine Tavern, and Ansonia Gulf. Sadly, it was too early for the tavern to be open but I did purchase a drink at the gas station.

US-6 is populated by numerous independent motels & and restaurants and, at least today, a multitude of yard sales. I skipped the yard sales but did stop at the flea market where shoppers were parked along both sides of the road. In Galeton, this sign caught my eye. I was somewhat surprised that it was the only one of its type that I saw through the entire drive.

I stopped at this rock because I wondered whether it had been placed there by human hands or had somehow been spared by bulldozers when the road was built. That question was soon answered but now I have a bigger one. What is the "word" that is carved on both sides of this monolith?

In Coudersport, the Potter County Court House seemed to deserve a picture if for no other reason than the fact that it's lawn was being used to host a flea market. But it was the turreted and somewhat decrepit mansion that had first caught my attention when I entered the town. I know absolutely nothing about it but it was obviously quit a place in the past.

ADDENDUM: Thanks to email from a Coudersport resident, I've learned that the brick mansion is known locally as the Lewis house.

In Smethport, I spotted the Route 6 Diner. That, and seeing a group at the American Legion next door, prompted a most rewarding stop. The Legion crowd headed across the street to the McKean County Court House and, after picking up an iced tea at the diner, so did I. The new WWII memorial in Washington, DC, is being dedicated today and a McKean County was holding their own coordinated ceremony. According to official plans, the national anthem was to be performed in DC at exactly 2:00. At exactly 2:00 in McKean County, loudspeakers played the anthem from the court house steps. A three gun salute was followed by the playing of Taps and a certificate of appreciation was presented to every WWII veteran in attendance. A rather moving event to happen onto and one that simultaneous made me feel like an observer and a participant.

Mt Jewett calls itself the Gateway to Kinzua Bridge Park and the drive to the park passes right by this herd of dinosaur skeletons. They seemed to be the creative landscaping of a private residence. The bridge itself is definitely impressive. The original iron version went up in 1882 and was the tallest in the world at the time. It was rebuilt in steel in 1900 and remained in use until 1959. The collapse of the bridge is echoed by some of the park furniture.

In Kane, you can choose between kicks on 6 or 66. If you prefer 666, wait until Sheffield.

A few miles west of Warren, PA, I traded US 6 for US 62. In many ways, this road was even more enjoyable than route 6 and I'm sorry I do not have more pictures. I could blame it on the fact that so much of the road is pressed hard against the Alleghany River that there are few picture opportunities and that would be true. It would, however, not be entirely true. Another big reason for the lack of pictures is the fact that I was having so much fun driving that I just didn't think of pictures. One of the shots here was taken from a small park area and shows the high and swift waters of the river. The second is from a spot where the trees that had been partially screening the river suddenly disappeared to reveal the road being held between a vertical green wall and the wide river.

I ended the day in Mercer and, after finding that the Mercer Motel was filled, settled in at the Colonial. Had a good roadie dinner (hand formed burger & fresh cut fries) at the Sidebar and Grill.

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