Destination U.S.A. – Day One

I remember that morning so clearly.  Friday, June 14, 2013 was a chilly rainy morning.  But regardless of the weather, there was quite a bit of excitement surrounding this day.  It was day one of our road trip west bound from Pennsylvania (PA) to Idaho.  Everyone was up and ready to go. 7 a.m. was the goal for hitting the road.  However, before we do, let’s meet the family.

Keep in mind that only 4 of my 7 children were taking this ride with me.  Abigail (21) was the one getting married.  She was already in Idaho.  Sarah (19) would be flying out due to the limited time she had off of work.  Wesley (22) was unable to make the trip at all.  Rachel (also 19 and Sarah’s twin), Jessica (14),  Jimmy (13), and Andrew (11) would all be riding along.  

From left to right – Andrew, Rachel, Angie (Mom), Jessica, and Jimmy

We Forgot What?!!!

After some last minute packing and a flip of the coin to see who would be riding shotgun first, we loaded up.  But, before we roll, we must get that first “family road trip portrait”, safely under the cover of the van because everyone was afraid they would “melt”. Ok, it’s almost 7:30.  Time to roll!  Oh wait…..!  What did we forget now?

Will the mystery guest enter and sign in please?

What was the last thing I said in my previous post?  “At this point we had everything we needed to make the long trip…or did we?”  Someone forgot her driver’s permit, and the plan was to have her help with the driving.  Y’all are saying “so go back in the house and get it”.  Not that simple.  See…Rachel had been living with her dad in Delaware at the time due to the close proximity to her job.  Her permit was in Delaware which meant a 45 minute drive in the opposite direction to get it.  That put us about 2 hours behind schedule because it was also rush hour. Ugh!  With permit in hand, we were FINALLY on our way.  Idaho here we come! Woohoo!  

Driving Through Pennsylvania

Our goal today was to push through PA and be somewhere in Ohio before we called it a night.  Now I have to admit we didn’t stop to see anything or take too many pictures in our home state.  I think our minds were fixed on what was beyond PA.  However, we did grab a few quick shots along the way.  One thing in particular was “lady liberty”.

View of the replica of the Statue of Liberty from Route 322

Did you know that there is a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Dauphin Borough, PA?  She stands on an abandoned railroad piling at one of the most dangerous points of the Susquehanna River along Route 322.  She mysteriously showed up overnight on July 2, 1986 and for the longest time no one had a clue as to how she got there.  It’s an interesting story and I’ve attached a link for you to check out. 

Pennsylvania is really a very beautiful state and so rich in history.  The further north and west you go, the more beautiful the terrain becomes.  Did you know that the Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Trail cut right through our state? Other ranges include the Allegheny and Pocono Mountains but these are not the only ones.  Take some time to visit this beautiful state.  Our mountains may not be as tall as the Rockies but what we do have is breathtaking, not to mention all our rolling hills and valleys.  

A random house we captured in PA. Reminded us of a small castle.

We Made It To Ohio!

What kind of a smile is that?
“Little Larry”

With a stop here and there, we finally made it to Ohio just before 5 p.m. Of course you have to stop for the obligatory road sign.. “Welcome to Ohio”.  Well at least mom got her picture taken…with “Little Larry” of course.  Oh…did I forget to mention him?  Little Larry was our mascot.  He is a little bear that was given to me by a good friend, and I lovingly named him Little Larry.  You’ll see him pop up from time to time in pictures.  

I know I’m gonna catch a lot of flack for this from folks but the consensus was that Ohio is a little boring…well at least the highway we were on.  After all the beautiful rolling hills and mountains of PA, driving those flat roads with nothing around were kind of a kill joy.  I will say however, being that everything was flat, we were able to enjoy a great view of the sunset as day one wound to an end.   

We stopped for a quick dinner at a Denny’s and then pushed on to our hotel for the night.  Our destination was a Microtel Inn & Suites in Delphos, OH which is on the western side of the state.  It was a long first day of pretty much just riding.  We were ready to stretch our legs and get a good night sleep.