History 2019

Day 09

May 24


Since we visited the Point Lookout POW camp yesterday, today will just be a 'simple' travel day - or so we think at this point. We have no clue just how wrong we will be although I have warned them how busy it can get where we are heading. Sissy finds a Bob Evans on her mobile just up the street a piece so our breakfast plan is easy.

  The hot chocolate is good ...  
  and I love their sausage and omelets so I'm happy as a mule in a cornfield.  
  With our cholesterol levels back to where they should be, we head north toward our destination of Hazelton, PA. I have purposely routed us to try to avoid Baltimore and Philadelphia like the plague.  
  We cross some nice bodies of water along the way and then ...  
  the 'fun' or the 'fleecing' begins. There's just something about paying a fee to use a road built with tax dollars that really annoys me. And this one is real heavy duty train wreck. In order to rapidly collect the revenue, they decided to split the two lanes of traffic into a multitudinous number of toll lanes.  
  But in their thinking, they gave no obvious thought to how all those lanes were going to merge back into two lanes after the revenue was collected. It is an amazing sight and commentary on how drivers cannot seem to deal with this issue. All three us get separated from each other as we are intent on trying to keep from becoming another traffic statistic in this mess.  
  And to add to our amusement, the traffic powers to be have this really special functioning sign for our reading pleasure just in case we didn't notice.  
  Finally the boa constrictor of traffic digests its prey and we get back into the two necessary lanes for crossing the long bridge. As I pass, I see several ocean going vessels anchored in the distance.  
  The bridge is an old iron and girder design which surprises me a bit considering the long distance the bridge covers. But I guess when you are more interesting in collecting revenue than using it, that sort of stuff naturally occurs.  
  With that little deal behind us, we pass a sign that brings back memories of my Highway 50 ride.  
  At least there are some nice farms along the way instead of the sterile concrete jungles of the city landscape.  
  In the distance is an old farm house that makes me wonder if it is still occupied or not.  

Finally we cross over into the state of Delaware. As I have often told people -

"You got to really be wanting to go to Delaware to get there!"

  Soon it's our first fuel/defuel stop of the day after much searching and turns out to be a very nice one. Lots of gas pumps and a nice restroom just to mention the important stuff.  
  As in many small towns we pass through, I am fascinated by the old, ornate buildings that are along the main drag. I guess it goes back to my original intentions of becoming an architect as a career but never did pursue it.  
  Once we again we cross over a suspension bridge with the supports in the middle. I wonder if this bridge and the other one were designed by the same feller.  
  Finally we arrive at the PA Turnpike, or should I say the PA "dollar turning" pike.  
  At least there are some pretty stone houses along the way to remove the sting of once again contributing wasted dollars to a wasted cause.  
  Finally we are off the pike and back to some nice backroads where the roadside flowers are visually refreshing to me.  
  We've been on a pretty much deserted two lane for quite a while and we need gas. I spot a little station right at a four way stop across the railroad tracks, so we pull in and tend to business. There's been no traffic behind us for miles or in front of us, so we are in no hurry. As we get ready to pull out as if on cue from a director, there are hundreds of cars (at least it seems like that to us) coming from all directions. There are semis that can hardly make the turn at the 4-way stop, the junction is backed up in all directions and we just sit here in amazement while waiting for a chance to get back on the road. Finally a kind soul holds back to let us in. But the traffic never stops as we try to make our way to our destination for the evening. The road then goes to a four lane for a little bit then back to a two lane where once again we see the craziness of people trying to merge. Andy and I manage to stick together, but Sissy is lost somewhere back in the shuffle.  
  And what's even crazier, is the main 'highway' splits and turns crazily through this little town with very poor directions as to which way you need to go. Fortunately for me, my GPS makes it a lot more clearer that the signage. But Sissy does not have one up and running and she makes the wrong turn.  
  Andy and I finally make it to the motel and for that we are very thankful.  

Before I unpack, I call Sissy since she has her phone hooked up to her Miata, and ask her -

"Car 54, where are you?"

"I made a wrong turn and finally found out where I need to go from my mobile phone. I'm on the main drag and I should be there shortly" she tells me.


At last all the chickens are back in the same coop so we unload, check in, and get ready to cool our heels for a little bit. I tell them -

"Good thing this worked out to be just a travel day. If we had done Point Lookout this morning as we had originally planned, we wouldn't have got here til O-Dark Thirty for sure!"

But there are a lot worse things than traveling with people you love and we are all thankful that we made it here without vehicle or personal damage.

  We are not really excited about the local eating options, but there is a pub style restaurant on the premises. We decide we've had about all the traffic 'experiences' we want for today, so we'll give it a whirl. As it turns out, it is really very good grub at a reasonable price. I get a chipped ribeye sandwich that is out of this world. The service is good and the food is better so we are happy campers. Tomorrow, assuming we have no more crazy traffic adventures, we will visit the last site on the trail of JKP - the Elmira POW camp.  
  So with that bouncing around in my tired, little noggin, I head for the highway to Slumberland, hoping there are no more merges on the way there.