2016 Niagra Falls motorcycle trip

Day 4

August 28

Our route today is only 205 miles so there was no need to get up early. We were up and packed by 9am. I removed the trailer from its napping spot and hooked it back to the bike. The weather is great today. Sunny, but not too warm. This has been a nice motel and the proprietor has been very accomodating.

Today we start out on...yes...US62. The orange cones are everywhere it seems. The route is not as urban as I thought it would be.

We were on I-290 and I-90 for a bit to get us to our next road...

...US20. We'll be on this road for the next ~100 miles or so.

Alden, NY. 10:33, mileage 90,603 - We got away from the hustle and bustle of Buffalo before we stopped for gas. We actually fueled up at the Mobil station but they didn't have bathrooms or food items so we moved to the Sunoco for our break.

Here is our view for the next couple of hours. Beautiful, rural New York. The rolling hills add an interesting touch to the scenery.

At Geneva we turn south for our first attraction of the day. The Bellhurst Castle. It has a winery the girls can peruse.

While the girls were doing some tasting I used the restroom, then did some exploring. They had a restaurant, and it was a little past lunch time, so I checked it out. The castle seems a little ritzy so I was expecting high prices. Surprisingly, they had normal food at normal prices. We decided to have lunch here. After we ordered Donna walked around and took some pictures.

The food was good, and the Bellhurst Castle was a nice place for a break. From here we rode south along the Fingers Lake. The views of the lake were gorgeous. Every so often we crossed a railroad track but we saw no trains. There were tons of vineyards and wineries along this route. At the end of the lake is the town of Watkins Glen. I associate it with the NASCAR road races. It's a pretty little town.

Burdette, NY. 14:57, mileage 90,726 - Leaving Watkins Glen the road climbs steeply then peels off to the east. Not too far down the road we stopped for gas. There are some dark clouds floating around. Nice for shade but not so nice if it rains.

Good roads and scenery. It makes for nice motorcycle riding.

Getting close to Cortland.

Still enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Arriving at the Econolodge in Cortland.

We got adjoining rooms near the entrance. The rooms were nice. We spent some time unpacking.

Now it was time to start our Cortland mission. Cortland is Donna's hometown. Her family moved to Indiana when she was four. Her grandparents are buried here and she has never been to their grave. She also wants to visit the apartment building where she lived.

Her old apartment building was on Glendale Avenue across from the Plaza 6 Cinemas. It was closer so we headed that way. Also, there were some dark clouds nearby and the radar showed rain in the area of the graveyard we were going to visit. It's dry to the south.

We took Main Street to Starr Road to Glendale Avenue. When we found the Plaza 6 Cinema we looked across the road to see...a car lot. Her old apartment building was gone. It was kind of sad, but now she knows. At least she has her memories.

The next thing on our 'to do' list is to find her grandparents' gravesite. The cemetery is located in the town of Homer just north of Cortland at the intersection of highways 90 and 281.

In preparation for this visit Donna wants to get some flowers to put on their grave. It's Sunday so our store choices are limited. We thought we had seen a store on the way into town earlier. We headed down NY-13 but had found nothing by the time we were back at the Econolodge. A GPS searched showed a Save-a-lot on the west side of town. It would be worth a try.

As we made our way to the Save-a-lot it started sprinkling. By the time we parked at Save-a-lot it was raining. Donna went to the store to find it had closed 20 minutes earlier. There was an adjacent thrift store but it too had just closed. We waited under the canopy for the rain to die down.

While we were waiting the lady in charge of the thrift store came outside and locked the doors. She talked to us for awhile about our travels. When she heard of our flower search she said there was a Tops store across the street in the shopping plaza. We had never heard of a Tops store but they are a type of supermarket.

The rain subsided to a light sprinkle so we went across the road to Tops. It was a nice store. They had plenty of flowers. Donna also got a Cortland shirt as well as picking up some supplies.

We left under cloudy but dry skies. Soon we were at the cemetery. Donna is already searching. The third hand directions we had was the gravesite was about 400 feet from the NY-90 entrance. We were looking for Corneilius Murphy. We searched and searched and searched. It was humid in the storm's wake.

At one point I walked back to the bike because I remembered I had left it unlocked with Donna's purse in the trunk. After locking the trunk I saw Donna climbing the hill and she was walking with a dejected look. It was quite a ways up the hill, and I didn't want to walk it, so I rode up the hill to help her look. We scoured the whole top level to no avail. The shadows were growing longer and Donna had pretty much decided we would have to come back in the morning when someone might be here who knew the grounds.

She checked her phone and noticed a call from Stephanie. They had found a Connie Murphy and did that mean anything? Connie is what everyone called Corneilius! We met up with Monty & Stephanie. Donna verified the dates for her grandfather and grandmother.

After 34 years Donna has been able to visit her grandparents' grave. She sent pictures to her dad, as he has never seen the grave either.

For any future reference this is the area of the gravesite. It was nowhere near the directions we were given.

After all our exploring and searching it was definitely time for supper. Steak sounded good and the GPS found the Crown City Steakhouse. It was peaceful and the food was wonderful. Since Monty & Stephanie found the gravesite I bought their supper. They earned it.

We were stuffed on the ride back to the motel. We covered the bikes and a little later another storm rolled through. We were snug as bugs in a rug.

Tomorrow we will do a few more miles to our destination at the Holiday Inn in Hazlet, NJ.

210 miles.

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