My Route

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Day 13: Saturday, 14th July. Destination: Driftwood Motel, Pulaski, New York

First stop, the small town of Osceola for the 36th annual turtle race. We arrived just as they were getting ready for the Big Day, painting a large circle track on the town square and setting out a bunch of stalls with turtle-related t-shirts, tablecloths and cookies. Some friendly folks with a metal washtub full of turtles explained the rules: 1) Put your turtle on the track and the first one round wins; 2) Drink lots of beer. E&E sponsored a turtle, but I’m sorry to say we couldn’t stick around to watch it race. A short way out of town a couple we’d met drove past in their pick-up and stopped to tempt us away from the road with the offer of an afternoon of beer drinking. Most sociable, but I declined on behalf of the three of us – after all, E&E don’t drink – and besides I’m getting far too puritanical to let beer-related pleasure detract from the miles we have to cover. Still, we’d taken a liking to the good folks of Osceola, and it seemed a shame to leave the fun behind.

Plenty more to look at on the road to Pulaski. Large tracts of woodland subdivided into plots inhabited by cabins, trailers, caravans with d.i.y. pitched roofs, burner-out bungalows, prim timber-framed houses bedecked with a multitude of doo-dads (flags, toy windmills, welcome signs), houses that looked like the Creepy Coupe from the Wacky Races, all with lawns strewn with animal figurines (deer, bear, flamingos), broken-down cars, car-boot-sale junk, old tractors and engine parts, and creatively decorated mailboxes.

Our motel in Pulaski (pr. sky) had red carpet on the walls, sluggish a/c and the kind of look that only a total lack of care can produce. It would seem that people staying here aren’t too picky. In town we dined on sweet corn, beans and curly fries at a near-empty sports bar. Some guys were playing pool rather badly in the next room, but after our dismal performance at the Newcomb Bar & Grill we weren’t about to take them on. We’re almost at Lake Ontario, and I can’t figure out why this town exists, being so close to ports and rivers, yet removed from both. Maybe there’s some closed-down industry I don’t know about, but this place feels like a ghost-town.