Festivities are underway at the Holiday Valley resort, host of the IBO World Championships. Competition begins on Friday. The drive to Olean, 17 miles away from Ellicottville, NY was my destination where Hilton Honors Points redemption set me up at the local Hampton Inn.
MapQuest projected the drive to take less than seven hours. Ubiquitous road construction, traversing a small town and a wreck added forty-five minutes to the drive. Near the Village of Trout Run, Pennsylvania I stopped for gas. Spinning around in an attempt to re-secure Route 15 I ended up in the parking lot of Bittners Sporting Goods.
There I met Janet who proudly explained they were getting reading for hunting season and for me to not miss the big bow outside. I’d already missed it, but headed back for a second look.
The big bow is a landmark, sort of like the big chicken in Kennesaw, GA or the biggest ball of twine in Cawker City, KS. Janet explained the big bow was once owned by another archery supply store. That store went out of business. “We picked up the big bow for cheap”, she explained. Hopefully, this treasure of Trout Run will bring Bittners better fortune than the previous establishment.
Eventually, I rolled into Olean’s Hampton Inn. For the record, their wall unit air conditioning and heating system sucks. Experience taught me to never travel without earplugs – I will need them; my room is across from the hospital’s helicopter pad. Olean, also, seems to practice significant conservation of functioning mufflers, a fact that announces itself every few seconds. Or perhaps the absence of a muffler is the local equivalent of a mating call.
Finding a local restaurant in Olean meant Wendy’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut or Talley’s Irish Pub. I chose the latter, which served up decent wings and Guinness. Eating at the bar I found a newspaper, The Villager, where the IBO made front-page news.
It was a long drive to reach Olean. Tomorrow, I’ll make by way to Holiday Valley in Ellicottville.