Two weekends ago I wanted to head to Evangola State Park for the Pirate Fest in
New York. But it was just to bloody hot! Even though I like heat and hate air conditioning that weekend was beyond bearable. We had temps in the upper 90's in the northeast with a heat index around 110! So even for me that's a wee bit to hot especially when you are planning to drive and sleep in a 69 Dodge with no air and the engine between the front seats.

Sunday drive by myself in my little car. (Stay tuned for that story of what I turned my Daewoo into.) I had in mind a trip of no further than about 150 miles. Evangola, NY was still a possibility, so was Tionest Dam in Pa.. I decided about 1 in the afternoon to heads towards
Dunkirk, NY and if time allowed continue on to Evangola.

Here's the route I took from Wickliffe, Ohio: 90 east, exit at
Peach Street in Erie, head north till it just about dead ends into Rt. 20, take a right on 20 and head east. That's it.

The day trip was nothing spectacular but was a nice leisurely Sunday drive passing through a few small towns, with decent scenery and plenty of garage sales and junk shops. In fact, if you drive this on the weekend on the corner of Peach and 20 in Erie is an excellent garage sale/ junk shop that's only open on Saturday and Sundays. It's the kind of store that is a real throwback. Aisles with unorganized shelves and an occasional gem amongst of who is going to buy that piece of trash?

After strolling on the pier I made it to a lake shore park that I think was still in Dunkirk. As I was grilling my supper and older gentleman walked by with his dog. We struck up a conversation.

The mans name was Harold, born and raised and still living in Dunkirk, 85 years old and looking good. I told him I was from Cleveland and he said I just drove through there on the way to Michigan for a wedding. I said that is a state that I think is hit even harder than Cleveland. Harold replied worse than New York? He proceeded to tell me about the economic woes of New York and the shut down steel mills in Buffalo.

From there we both complained about how things are rapidly changing in America and big box stores with made in China junk. Harold told me his Father use to own a stationery store during the 30's in downtown Dunkirk. The stores are no longer there. Developers a few years ago promised a new mall if they could tear down the old buildings but all that was built was one store, the land is still empty.

Harold said one good thing with the big box stores is you can get everything in one place instead of driving all over. I myself would gladly give up that conveniance for quality merchandise and knowledgebale store clerks.


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