Sunday, June 17, 2007

The End of Thyme

Day 15: 887 Miles
Total: 7,453 Miles

I'm home in Brevard, North Carolina. As I alluded in an earlier blog, my plans changed again. And again. With some things going on at home I decided to cut my trip short. Instead of going on to Boston and New Hampshire, I was going to go to Auburn for a few days, then head home for a Sunday night arrival. Then I got the email from Sue that I was dreading.

An announcement in the paper said that The Essence of Thyme, my favorite hangout in Brevard since we moved here six years ago, was closing. The announcement said that Saturday was going to be the last hurrah, and that a final group picture for all of the Thyme faithful was going to happen at 10:00am. The annual group picture is always important to me, and none would be more important than the last one - the end of Thyme. So I spent Thursday night in Auburn, New York, did what I had to do there on Friday, then left on my final 800 mile drive Friday afternoon. I spent a few hours in a rest area in southwestern Virginia Friday night, then made it to Brevard by 8:30 Saturday morning for a final cup of coffee with the owner and my friend, Michael Collins.

Overall, the trip was exhilarating; a trip of a lifetime. It's a shame that it had to end on such a sad note. My emotions are mixed; I'm happy, I'm relaxed, and I'm heartbroken all at once.

Here are some final pictures of my trip. Thanks for reading my blog and sharing your comments and well-wishes with me. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This first picture is downtown Auburn, New York. Ironically, this is Genesee Street - U.S. 20, where I intended to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. Instead I drove about 15 miles in total on this road.

One of the things I looked forward to in my planned visit to the northeast was visiting real roadside diners. While I didn't get much opportunity to do so, I did eat in two of my favorites. Both are in Auburn. The first is the Hunter Dinerant, which has been at its present location since the 1940s. My mother and her sisters used to eat here as teenagers. I eat here every time I visit.

Another favorite is the Auburn Diner. This place sat boarded up for years before being moved to a new location and completely remodeled. It's beautiful inside. Very small and always full. It's old location was right across the street from a gas station my grandfather owned in the 1950s. My dad used to walk over for coffee every day until grandpa splurged for a coffee maker of his own.

This is my favorite of the fabulous Finger Lakes in upstate New York - Owasco Lake. It is also the smallest of the Finger Lakes, measuring about a mile wide by 10-12 miles long. It is absolutely beautiful, and I can sit staring at it for hours.

This is one of my favorite views looking east across the width of the lake from West Lake Road. I just love the patchwork quilt of farmland across the lake.

Back in Brevard, my favorite place - The Essence of Thyme.

Here is a picture from the street as everyone prepares for one last group picture among friends.

Michael Collins and me - a smile to mask the sadness.

For one last time,



elderaunt said...

Glad to know that you are safely home Michael. Sorry about The End of Thyme. Hugs, Aunt Mona

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Great story. Wonderful pictures and a safe return home.
Love you. MOM