Friday, 3 July 2015

LIFE: Travels and Ponderings on a Roadtrip

The Ohio -  West Virginia border

Last week we decided to take the long way around to our nephews joint birthday in Pittsburgh PA and spent a couple of days in Ohio. Part of Joe's birthday present was to take a trip to a theme park so the plan was for an early Wednesday morning drive down to Mason OH, ride coasters all day, spend the next day at the Zoo, drive over to Pittsburgh on the Friday and spend some time there over the weekend.

Our little trip turned into five nights, visiting five states - including two new ones for my visited list (Kentucky & West Virginia) and travelling over 800 miles in one huge circle. 

Cincinnati Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio

Spending a lot of time on the road with hours and hundreds of miles between all the cities you find things to past the time. Like punch buggy game (I lost), watching every single cars licence place to see where they've travelled from and wondering where they are heading to, and pondering odd things like;
  • How bloody huge America is
  • How the hell do you comfortably drive from California to Pennsylvania in a Fiat 500?!
  • If only the camera would stop focusing on the windscreen damn it
  • How road signs warning about a "bump" in the road is just an everyday occurrence in Michigan 
  • Thus leading to thinking ... wow everyone has better roads than Michigan
  • And public transport while we're at it
  • Wait I don't know if I picked up my camera ... 
  • Oh look there's a truck with a Confederate flag 
  • Does eating in a McDonald's count as visiting a state?! 
  • Constantly wondering how the hell houses in Pittsburgh don't slip down the hills
But at least since I ditched TMobile and switched to Boost I know have phone signal in the middle no nowhere, especially on the turnpikes to not only GPS track every single mile but to wiki search anything that makes my fancy. Always leaning, always learning ...

Learning things like how farming is Ohio's number one industry so it's no surprise when you're driving around the state how many fields and farms you come across. While born a country lass, my life is now spent hidden away in the burbs of Detroit so it's always nice to see fields, trees and animals as far as the eye can see. As for the countryside smell, yeah not missed that so much. It was particularly eerie with the mist rising come Friday morning as we left Cincinnati and headed east.

Mile Marker HighwayOhio Interstate 70 by Zanesville

Driving on American roads is always filled with history, even if it is a little more on the modern scale of things. Interstate 70 is one of America's major highways stretching from Maryland all the way west to Utah. In many places it mirrors the former path of Route 40 of which the mile marker (above) was one used for. I always have a great love for state historical societies and their plaques.

West Virginia
Ohio - West Virginia border

So we followed I-70 as far as Washington, PA which meant getting to tick another "new" state to my visited list - that of West Virginia. Granted it was only a 14 mile stretch but we did stop at a McDonald's so I'm counting it all the same. But even with that short drive through the state, I can certainly see why it's a state known for it's mountains and rolling hills.

DrivingThe Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Sunday rolled around and it was time to head home and back to normality. We took our normal route back along the Turnpike. Normally we visit the in-laws in November/December when it's all gloomy, snowing, wet and leafless so seeing all the green fields was a particular delight. Well it was after all the rain stopped.

I actually got really excited back in May when one of my favourite blogs the Dainty Squid shared her walk around the Cuyahoga Valley National Park which lies between Akron and Cleveland in Ohio. That huge bridge in all her stunning photographs - well that's the bottom of this one I managed to catch a gloomy photograph of. We've driven over this part of the national park so many times coming back and home Pittsburgh and it's always looked so beautiful down in the valley.

Detroit, Michigan

And while I'm still suffering from post holiday blues, it is always a welcome sight seeing Detroit's skyline as we travel north up I-75. Home isn't too far away with you see those towers of the Ren Cen (told you you could spot it miles away!).

I have a lot of blog posts about this road trip in a lot more detailed planned out for the forthcoming weeks (and probably months because I'm slow at times and I love sharing details and history) so bare with me!

But let me know how you cope and past the time on road trips and when travelling?!

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