Why do they call it upstate New York?

Why do they call it upstate New York?


Posted by rdtusmc Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 07:55
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In my last column I told you about the fun time we had visiting New York City.

Between cleaning out our garage and tackling jobs around the house since I was in-between jobs, that has left no time for off roading or camping. I’m thrilled to say that Cheryl can fit her car in the garage now and that is sweet.

I left you hanging at the point of covering our trip as we rented a car and explored the area in upstate New York where our daughter Shellie lives. On that note, I’ve never figured out why people refer to it in such a way. We don’t hear too many folks around here referring to Northern California as upstate California.

Many of the communities in the area we visited like Kingston, Liberty and Claryville looked like they could have come right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Neat row houses and bungalows with front porches and American flags waving in the breeze, and white church steeples scattered throughout neighborhoods. No graffiti here. The level of friendliness from most people was as good or better than Kern County in our experience.

Shellie lives in a house out in the country that she shares with a couple of other gals. Heat and hot water come from a gadget called a Water Boiler that you feed with firewood once or twice a day.

A sight unfamiliar to me was at new car dealerships we passed. Many of the new pickups had big, yellow snowplow blades already installed sitting there on the lot. Not many lifted 4 wheel drives with giant tires, but obviously they get serious about snow here.

One night we had planned on driving to a very nice restaurant called something like Pine Hill Arms; about an hour drive north along a windy road that follows a big creek.

This was to be a birthday dinner for Cheryl. Before we got in the car and headed for dinner, Shellie and her coworkers were explaining how this big creek is quite prone to overflowing it’s banks in rainstorms and washing out the road. There was rain forecast for that night.

This ended up being the snowstorm in early December that crippled the Midwest and resulted in over 400 airline flights being cancelled. It didn’t snow where we were, but boy did it rain. We hopped in the rental car and started the trip to the “Arms”. The rain came and so did the lightning.

As I’m negotiating this country road alongside the creek, with no lines whatsoever painted on the asphalt, I can barely see through the windshield because of the volume of rain. I mean, it’s as if someone is standing on the hood of our car with a fire hose pointed right at the glass and the nozzle full open. The lightning was so bright and close, it turned darkness into noon-like light.

As I maneuvered around curves on this road, I didn’t feel comfortable with my skill level and this route: An unfamiliar road; raining to the point where I can barely see the road, trees, and creek; and having a movie in my mind of how it would stink if we somehow missed a turn and wound up in the creek on this seldom-traveled road at night.

That vision of seeing some State Trooper potentially talking to some TV reporter after our theoretical demise and him saying, “What were they thinking”? was a sobering thought. I announced a change of dinner plans to the girls and headed for closer Liberty along a more frequented road. We had a great steak dinner at a place called Manny’s.

I’ll have to tell about the rest of our trip to the jungles near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico next time around. Happy Trails!