Day 94: Williamsport, PA

Friday, 8/9/2019
Miles: 28.1
Average speed: 10.8 mph
Vertical gain: 1,015 ft.
Current Elevation: 518 ft.

Note: This is being written on Sunday morning, in Williamsport, but written from the perspective of Friday evening.

Today, I rode from Lock Haven to Williamsport. It was great, a continuation of my ride down Memory Lane. It was also beautiful weather, and another easy day.

My day started with a veggie omelet at The Texas, in Lock Haven (pictured above), a wonderful “greasy spoon”, where I had many late-night meals during my college days, while visiting with Joe, who attended Lock Haven State College (now Lock Haven University). I chatted with several locals, including those fellows standing outside the restaurant with me in the photo.

Then it was off to Williamsport.

During my time at Penn State, and after, many of the roads between Williamsport and State College were rebuilt and rerouted. Since then, every time I drove from Williamsport to State College or back, I searched for those old roads, but could never find them. Brother Marvin gave me the hint I needed when he mentioned that Route 150 is actually the old US 220, which is what I drove from State College to Williamsport.

Riding this route, I finally saw all the old landmarks that I haven’t seen for 40 years. It brought back so many memories. Of course, it was very different, with lots of new development, etc. But the old iron bridges were still there, as well as many of the landmarks, such as the original Piper factory (now a museum, which I wanted to visit, but did not, due to my desire to get to Williamsport) and the now-closed Harvest Moon Drive-in movie theater.

At one point, near Williamsport, I really had to pee, but there was no discreet place to go. Just then I passed a war memorial, with a porta potty. Ask, and you shall receive.

Just as I was riding away, a crazy driver in a pickup truck cut me off. I was pleasantly shocked to see that it was my brother Marvin and his wife Debbie, who had come out to meet me. Hugs and photos ensued.

We then met at Newberry Sub Shop, along with nephew Jason, for lunch.

It is no exaggeration to say, of all the places I have had lunch on this trip, Newberry Sub Shop was, and remains, my favorite. Cheesesteak in the garden – it doesn’t get any better than that. (Exercising restraint, I had only a half a sub rather than a whole.)

Then it was off to meet a reporter from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, at their downtown office. On the way, riding down 4th Street, I passed the original Little League baseball field. The World Series is no longer held there, having moved to a large complex across the river in South Williamsport, but this is where it all began.

Further down 4th Street, I passed several locations significant in Hurwitz Family lore. Among them was an apartment building that my family owned when I was growing up, and where I spent a lot of time shoveling walks and mowing the lawn as a kid.

It was originally a private mansion on Millionaire’s Row during Williamsport’s heyday as the Lumber Capital of the World. A prior owner had chopped it into 10 apartments, and it still retained many of the luxury touches from the late 1800s, including the high ceilings and doors & ornately paneled walls.

I also passed a building where my mother and father opened a restaurant when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It didn’t last long, and I remember my father telling me, in later years, the best thing that ever happened to him was that restaurant failing, because he said it was a really hard way to earn a living. But I have fond memories of that restaurant.

After the newspaper interview, which should be published this week, I rode over to Franco’s, a local bar and restaurant, to say hi to Freddie, the owner.

Then I called Marvin, and he and Debbie drove by to pick me up and drive me up to their house.

I really did not want to ride my bike up the hill to their house. It would have been the toughest climb on my ride!

I had originally planned on staying in Williamsport for two nights, leaving on Sunday morning. However, for a variety of reasons, I decided to stay an extra day. So the plan now is to leave Monday morning, with my next stop being Danville, PA, a distance of about 40 miles.

About Dan Hurwitz

A software guy taking the time for a big ride - coast to coast.
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3 Responses to Day 94: Williamsport, PA

  1. The Padre says:

    Celebrating Your Youth, Fantastic!!

    Excellent Entry And Gr8 Photos.

    Travel On Brother D

    Cheers

  2. Gerry says:

    Dan! You never stop smiling!!

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