My original plan was to ride to Rochester, NY, and back today. But the weather forecast convinced me otherwise, showing big storms along the route and flash flood warnings on my return. Instead, after a quiet morning drinking miso soup and listening to podcasts, I popped out the door and onto Zaphod (my new-to-me Aprilia Scarabeo 150) with no destination in mind. A pashal, I think it’s called.
I headed out Blue Course Drive and just kept going, eventually meeting up with Route 26 and then with Route 45, which is the path I decided upon. I’d been on it once before to go to Shingletown Gap, but I wasn’t sure where it went after that. I saw a sign for Lewisburg, home of Bucknell University, and decided to make that my destination.
Right at the beginning of the trip, Zaphod hit a mileage milestone:
Little did I know, because I really don’t know the area well at all, that 45 runs right through Millheim, the place people always mention as an exception whenever I talk about how right-wing Central PA is.
All but the latter were closed at 11 a.m. on a Thursday, so I stopped to take the photo above and then moved on down 45, not stopping again till I reached Lewisburg.
Lewisburg is a pretty town. It looks more like my image of a college town than State College does, but it also seemed very boring. In its defense, the semester is over, so maybe the place is crawling with students during Bucknell’s school year. But Penn State’s year is over, too, and State College is still lively. Quieter than normal, certainly, but not a ghost town like Lewisburg. Still, there were quite a few nice buildings to look at. And they have public poetry, including a poem by Natasha Tretheway, who just ended her term as poet laureate of the United States.
I took the obligatory scooter photo and pointed Zaphod west to go home.
On the way home, I stopped in Millheim again to visit singer/songwriter/community organizer/event guru Erin Condo. If you haven’t yet, you should hear Erin’s album Love And Lightning, which you can buy here. Erin was at the Bremer Town Ballroom, as were her two little boys and her sister-in-law, who is also a friend of mine. We had a lovely visit. In fact, I wrote a poem about it. Then I drove home just in time to beat the rain.
My scooter riding wasn’t done, though, because Erin played later in the evening at The State Theatre as the opener for Iris Dement. I rode into town wearing a bow tie under my bike jacket. And a shirt and pants and stuff, too. Erin played a set of her songs. She’s a great storyteller.
Iris Dement was, as usual, completely wonderful. In fact, the whole day was just perfect.