Out of the Midwest...
We entered Ohio, a state I'd never visited before, listening to a Dayton
radio station as we passed more farms and fields. We crossed over the Mad
River. It was mad-- mad, I tell you.
||Day Two on the road, Wednesday, June 23, took
us out of Indianapolis, after stopping for gas, a fridge magnet and a lottery
ticket. (I always get a lottery ticket when I'm passing through states
with a lottery.) It was a beautiful morning. The local radio stations were
all talking about the upcoming Indianapolis 500 race that coming weekend.
Friends had been concerned about us being able to find motel rooms in Indianapolis
because of the race. We crossed over "Nameless Creek."
The Indianapolis skyline as we headed out of town.
Interstate 70 is a major transportation artery between the East
Coast and the Midwest. There was traffic all the time.
A little after 10, we stopped in Springfield for a pit stop. Back on
the road, a semi passed us pulling a covered load on a flatbed trailer.
There was something yellow strapped carefully on the tail end of the flatbed,
and it intrigued me. The truck was fast, and it took me about 20 minutes
to catch up to it. Once I did, it took me a minute to figure out what it
was on the back of the trailer...
It turned into a bright, wonderful day. We went through Columbus about
1 PM, and Zack took some pictures with his camera. East of Columbus, the
landscape turned into rolling hills. The grades were long, but not that
steep. At Zanesville, we passed over the Licking River. The hills started
getting closer together the further east we went.
...It was a yellow Tonka toy dump truck. I thought, somebody's
daddy loves them very much.
At Exit 208, we passed a sign for the Underground Railroad Museum, and
it seemed odd that it should be so far north. I didn't have my camera ready,
or I would have taken a picture of the sign that read FLUSHING BETHESDA.
One thing I noticed about Ohio highways was that there's not as much signage.
Out west, any time you cross over a river or creek, there's a sign to tell
you what it was. Not so in Ohio. In fact, we had to stop and look at a
map to see that we had crossed the Ohio River, and that we were in West
Virginia. We stopped in the town of Wheeling, and after getting more gas,
we decided to get a bite to eat. We gave the guys some money and let them
eat at a Burger King while my wife and I walked across the parking lot
to eat at the Subway. It was a nice little lunch. We passed a Goodyear
dealership appropriately named Wheeling Tires. We headed into Pennsylvania,
where the interstate was named the World War II Veterans Memorial Highway.
The rolling hills of western Pennsylvania.
About an hour later, we made a pit stop outside of New Stanton, where
I picked up a great map of the eastern U.S. There was a lot of construction
to get around. We were on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We passed near the
town of Acme. On the western side of Everett, Pennsylvania, I-70 turns
south, but we continued east on I-76, which we followed into Harrisburg.
We weren't sure how far it was because there were no signs. My wife
figured the state must just assume everybody knows how far things are from
each other. For long stretches of highway, however, they had emergency
call boxes every mile; that was a good idea. The highway went through a
tunnel, and when we emerged on the other side, a sign announced we were
in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. We stopped for gas at the midway terminal
on the turnpike.
We started getting road signs after that. We arrived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
at 7:30 Oklahoma time and stopped at the Red Roof Inn. The hotel was admittedly
on the economy side, with no pool or exercise room or fancy bottles of
shampoo in the bathroom --and the cleaning staff left a vacuum cleaner
in the hallway-- but the price was almost half what everyone else in town
was charging. The hotel also didn't have a restaurant, but there was a
couple of restaurants across the street and an old-fashioned diner down
on the corner. It was low-budget, but it did the job.
All original content copyright (c) 2004 by Tim Frayser
||There were more tunnels ahead on the highway. Right before
the Tuskadora Tunnel, a sign asked "Sunglasses off?" After passing through
the Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel, there was about 50 yards of space before
entering the Blue Mountain Tunnel. There's seven tunnels on the Pennsylvania
Turnpike, with a combined length of nearly seven miles. West to east, the
Laurel Hill Tunnel: Length: 4,541 ft.
Allegheny Mountain Tunnel: Length: 6,070 ft.
Ray's Hill Tunnel: Length: 3,532 ft.
Sideling Hill Tunnel: Length: 6,782 ft.
Tuscorora Mountain Tunnel: Length: 5,326 ft.
Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel: Length: 4,727 ft.
Blue Mountain Tunnel: Length: 4,339 ft.