2012-05-23 / News

Route 28 among nation's top drives

By Jay Braman Jr.
More and more, the outside world is taking notice of things that many in the region have known all along. This area is special.

Last year Budget Travel Magazine named Phoenicia one of the nation’s top 10 coolest small towns.
Before and after that award, media has frequently given notice to the wonders of the Catskills, be it fly fishing, skiing, hiking, leaf peeping, or any other virtue found in and around the mountains.
Now, The New York Times has asked 10 of their national correspondents to identify their favorite roadways in America.

Guess which one ended up on the list?
Route 28 of course.

Sam Shifton, the Time’s national editor, explained the project in last Friday’s edition.
“The bureau chiefs and national correspondents of The New York Times work from offices in 14 cities across the country, and report from all 50 states,” he wrote.

Racking up miles
“The work requires a great deal of driving. The reporters have bureau cars with extra rations packed into the trunks in case they have to stay where they are going for a while. They carry water bottles and spare batteries and extra notebooks and underwear, energy bars and a suit in case there’s a chance to meet a governor. They drive and they observe and they eat and they buy and they report.
Then they drive again. These are some of their favorite stretches of road.”

Correspondent Jesse McKinley wrote not just of the Route 28 that Catskill Mountain News readers are familiar with, but of the entire stretch from Kingston all the way up to the Adirondacks.

Andes Hotel lauded
Not only did he point out that gems like Cooperstown are stops along the highway, but the writer paid particular attention to one local establishment and one precious resource.

“One surprise is the Andes Hotel, which was founded in 1850 and still offers lodging and liquor, with modern-day drinkers happily occupying the hotel’s spacious front porch,” he wrote.
And that resource?

“Route 28 traces much of its final stretches along Esopus Creek, a Hudson tributary that is far more muscular than its name suggests,” McKinley wrote. “Like the route that follows it, it is both beautiful and powerful, an open secret known to locals and those willing to take the long way around.”
Other routes listed were; Route 26 in Oregon, Interstate 45 in Texas, The Enchanted Highway in North Dakota, Route 100 in Vermont, Highway 99 in Washington, Route 1 in California, Highway 285 in Colorado, Highway 441 in Georgia and Route 495 in New York.

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