Day 7: April 26, 2012
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When I drove out on the Cape, I stayed with US-6 except for the side trips to lighthouses and such. That left MA-6A available for the return and that's exactly what I followed. The two share an alignment in the middle but are separate at both the top and bottom. These little cabins are on MA-6A in North Truro. The area has many strings of small identical cabins. Some look absolutely tiny and some are in much better condition than others.

The routes join, split again at Truro, the rejoin and run together to Orleans. MA-6A then stays a little north of US-6 all the way to Sagamore. It passes through several attractive villages where I'm sure I'd have taken many pictures if walking but none so attractive as to make me stop with my mind on the route ahead.

The route ahead was US-44. It starts in Plymouth just a few blocks from that numbered rock. At the west edge of town, the current version heads north with the Pilgrim's Highway (MA-3) for about a mile before again heading west on its own. The pictured sign is at the departure from MA-3. The next picture shows the divided 4-lane US-44 after the departure and the last picture is some ten miles west as it morphs into divided 2-lane in preparation for reaching the older alignment.

After driving the current alignment, I returned to Plymouth to retrace at least part of the older one. The "END" sign marks the terminus of east bound US-44 at the intersection of Court and Samoset Streets. The green sign at the mailbox faces east a little beyond the terminus. The third picture was taken a dozen or so miles to the west after I was again on the current alignment.

On the east edge of Rhode Island, I got pictures of two important buildings in Providence.

Near the west edge of the state, I stopped at this scene of murder most foul in Chepachet. On May 25, 1826, an innocent elephant named Betty was gunned down as she crossed the wooden bridge that was then here. This was the second elephant belonging to Hachaliah Bailey (a relative of the fellow who would later hook up with P. T. Barnum) to meet such a fate but in this case, the perpetrators did not go entirely unpunished. Two of the seven men connected with the deed were actually kicked out of the Masons. Read Roadside America's version here, a local version here, and the plaque here.

In Putnam, Connecticut, the water rushing dow the rocks caught my eye. Only after stopping did I realize that the water was going under a 1925 bridge.

I had already made my first bad decision of the day but there would be more. Back near Chepachet I noticed a very promising mom 'n' pop motel but told myself it was too early to stop. It was almost 4:00 o'clock. That was the first bad decision. I was soon second guessing myself but decided it was too far to go back. Then, just outside of Pomfret, Connecticut, it started to rain. I came within a couple of miles of a Motel 6 near Manchester but that couple of miles was in the wrong direction so I blew it off. There was another Motel 6 and a Super 8 in Hartford but I my route didn't take me close to either. Somewhere west of Hartford, I spotted a motel and pulled into the lot. It didn't look so good so I pulled right back out. Several miles up the road, I slowed as another motel appeared. It looked worse. Slowing was all I did. I was now in an American motel desert.

The rain was never heavy but never completely stopped. I could tell. even in the wet, that this was pretty country. I wanted to stop so I could drive it on a possibly dry tomorrow but that just didn't happen. The misty photo provides a hint of what I was seeing. The rock wall was photographed while I was stopped for some construction. It's raining but not much. There are walls like this in many states including Ohio. Presumedly they were built of rocks gathered when the land was cleared and then plowed. I've never done any calculations but it usually looks to me like there are enough rocks in the walls to cover every inch of the surrounding land. Maybe it's an optical illusion.

This is New York. I didn't plan on being here today. The light was going fast and it would soon be dark which was made worse by the fact that great looking country was slipping by unphotographed. But it was not unseen. As it says in one of Homer & Jethro's unrealized song titles, "The Shades of Night Were Falling Fast, But I Got a Pretty Good Look Any Way."

But I didn't plan on being here. I expected to find a motel in Connecticut and really regretted not stopping at that place in Rhode Island. (I've found it on the web -- White Rock Motel -- and it looks pretty good. My regret deepens.) I ended up driving all the way to Poughkeepsie to sleep at a Super 8 about five miles off my route.

I didn't plan on being here today. This is one state too far. I drove in four different states today. I've been overstated.

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