The Good Samaritan on Route 20

Bob changing my tyre
As we leave the Glimmerglass Festival, disaster strikes within 30 minutes. A flat tyre on Route 20 and my friend and I no clue how to change it, I'm ashamed to say. As we pondered how long it would take the AAA to come out a car pulls up behind us and Bob and Ruth get out. They are locals and THEY know how to change tyres. Not only that, they spring into action and very quickly have done the job for us. We shake hands, express huge gratitude and they follow us to the next town of Sharon Springs, a few miles up the road, to make sure the tyre is OK. Thank you Bob and Ruth. We promise to pay it forward.

Sharon Springs (population 547), is 50 miles west of Albany, the state capital. Our car is now fine but rather than drive straight home to Montreal we decide to explore. The village might be small but it is a treasure and the American Hotel is one of its jewels. You may know it from the TV show the Fabulous Beekman Boys on Planet Green. Co-owner Doug Plummer was behind the desk when we rolled in and we asked to snoop around. We swapped opera stories (all of the guests here in the nine-room hotel are Glimmerglass visitors) and before we knew it he was giving us a personal tour. Doug and Garth Roberts restored the hotel, which was built in 1847, after 30 years of neglect. Foxes, groundhogs and raccoons had to be turfed out so the guests could move in.
Restored by Doug and Garth
Doug showed us the rooms (small but perfectly formed) with tasteful adjoining bathrooms and his favourite upstairs balcony, so impressive when you walk out that it inspired my friend to break into Don't Cry for me Argentina with arms outstretched. We have a flair for the dramatic, post-Glimmerglass.
The American Hotel on Main Street
A stroll down the hill and before you know it we are buying rosemary-infused honey and geranium scented perfume and candles at the Beekman Mercantile.

Well, how could we not? This spa town was first discovered by the Iroquois who used to take its healing waters. It has undergone a revival recently - closely followed by the New York media.
The pavement outside the hotel

We eat a good lunch at the Black Cat Cafe over the road (try the BLAT - BLT with avocado and the mango smoothie) and making a mental note to return here soon for a longer stay, I was left feeling that in Sharon Springs we had stumbled on one of New York State's finest areas for exploration. Without our Good Samaritans, Bob and Ruth, we might never have even stopped.

The Black Cat Cafe in Sharon Springs
Read more on Glimmerglass (this time 2012)
Read more: The Canadian Badlands in 90 seconds.

Yesterday tears in NY
More about Sharon Springs:


Popular Posts