Western NY

Decompression mission completed, we left Lou & Larry’s courtesy parking this morning.  After a lengthy round of goodbyes with everyone, we rolled off to I-90 from Cleveland to western PA and eventually to western NY near Jamestown.

Our new mission was to find the fabled “Forbidden” Amish Donuts that I mentioned in a previous blog. It wasn’t hard.  Garminita found the house far out in the countryside of Conewango Valley, a rural town along New York’s “Amish Trail“.  A hand-lettered sign saying “Baked Goods” was the only advertisement, but we knew instantly that this was the place.

The driveway was a major challenge.  I wasn’t about to pass this one by just because our 53 feet of towing rig couldn’t possibly fit.  There was no shoulder on the road either, but when you’ve driven many miles out of your way and have been anticipating creamy maple donuts the size of a softball, it’s amazing what can be done with an Airstream trailer.  We pulled in, turned around (badly scaring an Amish sheep in the process) in my patented 5-point turnaround maneuver, and aimed the Airstream toward the road, partially blocking the driveway and completing obscuring the three little parking spaces the Miller family had provided for their customers.

No matter.  Mr Miller came out and helped with the final back-in, and there were no other customers.  We stepped into the little shack that serves as their shop, and gazed adoringly at simple wood shelves laden with all types of pies, cookies, loaves of bread, cinnamon buns, and other treats.  Although a sign says “No photos,” the amiable Mr Miller allowed me to shoot a couple of the shelves (“as long as you don’t have me in it,”) for our records.

The real problem here is choosing what not to buy, since everything looks good—and the prices are a bargain.  We chose a half-dozen molasses cookies at $1.50, a jar of hot pepper relish, and a dozen donuts.  Our total was $14.50.  The maple donuts were not stocked, but on request he whistled to a family member and they labored in the kitchen unseen for a few minutes to custom-glaze and fill the dozen donuts for us, while we chatted about our travels and the spectacular spring weather to our Amish host.

Now, each of these donuts are absolutely enormous, kind of like a Cinnabon size but much better for being entirely homemade and local.  One of them is a meal.  We hauled the Airstream out of the driveway, waving to two members of the Miller family as we went, and sought out a roadside stop so that we could properly devour one each.

We found a NY State Fishing Access point on tiny Lake Flavia where nobody was fishing, pulled the Airstream in, and got into the donuts.  I really thought I would eat two of them, but one was definitely as much as I could eat—and I love maple cream donuts.  They’re that huge.

Getting out of that part of western NY state required a fair amount of 90-degree turns from one country lane to another, and much bouncing of the Airstream.  There was some re-packing needed at the next rest stop but it was all worth it.  We still have nine huge donuts left.

Tonight we are overnighting at Darien Lakes State Park, just east of Buffalo.  Being Thursday, there was no problem getting a site without a reservation.  While in the campground office we picked a spot that we’ve used before, but when we got down to the site it was flanked by two families who were nursing smoking “campfires” [Minor Rant: I wish campers would learn how to make fires rather than just smoke signals] and screaming children, and so decided to choose a site further away.  We’ll only be here one night and the weather is so fine that we want the windows open this evening.

This is a beautiful open site next to a grassy lawn that is just begging for a game of frisbee or whiffleball.  Too bad we don’t have a team.   We’ll just have to admire the view and walk around a little to get over four hours of towing.

Tomorrow our plan is to take I-90 east to the Adirondacks.  The only stop planned is Tim Horton’s to get some coffee, which means we have plenty of time for side trips if we think of anything we want to do.  Or we can just pause by the roadside and eat three more mammoth donuts …


  1. Tom M says

    Thanks for the baked goods heads up. We’ll be heading through that region in 3 weeks…