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Thursday, March 21, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 13:

Oct. 22nd, 2012, Monday: Kathy was off to work 8:15ish, so we said good bye with big hugs and much gratitude for our comfortable stay. 

Our cozy bedroom with steps into the room.
Kevin works at home and was happy to show us the best way to drive out of town on the map while I took notes. After hugs 'bye we took off, thinking we were taking every turn he suggested until we suddenly hit a dead end! Oops! Turning around we soon found the road we should have taken, and laughed thinking we might still be going the wrong way if the previous road hadn’t been a dead end! Once on I-68 we cruised past the Coopers Rock exit eventually getting off on hwy. 381, north into Pennsylvania, a fun curving backroad through brown oak forests. 

We stopped at Ohiopyle to see the falls and slick rock creek nearby - I guess it’s quite the hot spot for kayakers. 

We turned east onto hwy. 653 towards Somerset where we then headed onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-70/76, picking up a toll slip at the entrance while I sat with a handful of scrounged up change we didn’t need.  Glancing at the toll slip we were shocked to see how expensive the fees were depending on which exit you took. I looked on the map to find a route that didn’t need the turnpike, and we took the 2nd exit which was “just” $5.20, not the $11 to go as far as we’d originally planned. On hwy. 30 we drove through Breezewood, then through Chambersburg which looked tired with buildings pressed up against the sidewalk. Our next stop was Gettysburg, which seemed fancy and clean. 

We considered doing an auto tour of the battle sites, but instead walked through the town square so Brad could shoot sign photos while I took pics of architecture. Quite the touristy area! Back in the truck we looked at the map together and decided to drive to Hanover, then just a bit further to Codorus State Park. 

Once we found a spot to camp we took a long walk, crunching through dry leaves in search of the lake. It was nice to arrive before dark and have a chance to explore while it was still light out. 

Interesting rocks alongside the lake.

When we returned to our site it was almost dark. Time for sandwiches with hummus, Larrupin sauce, sliced hard boiled eggs and homegrown tomatoes while sitting on the tailgate swinging our legs. This campsite had the cleanest bathrooms we’d ever seen in a public venue! Very impressive Pennsylvania! After dinner we sat in the cab of the truck and I worked on my laptop while Brad looked at the map with his flashlight, so when a truck pulled up in front of us, there was no way to see who it might be. I told Brad to lock our doors then we realized it was just the park ranger, a nice friendly young woman, stopping by to say hi. It made Brad laugh at my overly cautious reaction! Best to be safe is my motto - especially when it’s pitch black outside! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 12:

Oct. 21st, 2012, Sunday: This was a good lazy day to just hang out, work on photos and catch up on email. The day started with delicious homemade apple pancakes. That afternoon we went for a walk with Kevin and Chico to the dog park, all downhill through their neighborhood - then back uphill of course when the sun decided to pop out and cook us! Their home was such a great spot to relax, and not feel like we had drive anywhere for a change of pace. We enjoyed a crock-pot chicken dinner, fun Mexican Train dominos, then more photo work before tucking into bed that night. 

Friday, March 08, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 11:

Oct. 20th, 2012, Saturday:  We woke to sun and clouds; it was cool but nice. Today was Morgantown West Virginia day - a chance to meet up with our friends, Kathy and Kevin Burton. They moved from Oregon to WV several years prior when Kathy was hired as a professor at WVU. She invited us to come visit them when in Oregon a while back, which was the actual impetus for this road trip! We drove into downtown Morgantown and discovered the Blue Moose cafe. Brad parked on a side road and as I stepped out of the truck, I almost collapsed! The sidewalk had an actual step down to it, rather than the usual curb! I just slid flat footed off the step and somehow managed to not sprain an ankle or crash. 

We had a great breakfast at the Blue Moose, tapped into their wifi, then wandered downtown, discovering the Farmers market in full swing. I joked with Brad to look for Kevin or Kathy and right then my phone rang - it was Kathy! We arranged to meet at the market in 10 minutes. It was great to see them and meet Chico, their little dog they’d recently adopted. After a bit of shopping I drove Kathy in our truck to her house, while Brad rode with Kevin to pick up groceries. She too was surprised I managed to avoid a fall when she saw the sidewalk steps! After zigging thru town we arrived at their place. They’ve been renovating and we enjoyed seeing what they had accomplished so far. Lots of nice changes! After lunch they took us up to Cooper’s Rock - a favorite spot to see fall colors. 

It was a gorgeous view overlooking the wooded Cheat River valley below, but surprisingly cold! 

Later we stopped to see Cheat Lake where we ended up drenched from a sudden rain shower, but we still enjoyed the hike and views.

Soggy Chico! 
We warmed up with hot cocoa once we returned to their home, then later that evening we all went out for a terrific dinner at Mountain State Brewing Co, down in the wharf district. Mmm, yummy pizzas with lots of exotic toppings - butternut and feta, mushroom medley, lemon pepper chicken and spinach. The day ended with a cozy evening at their house, and very comfy sleeping quarters - INSIDE!