Friday, September 01, 2006

Logbook: US30 Lincoln Highway

Us30lincolnhwy2The day before yesterday, I left St. Louis and drove east on I-70 then north on I-69 to Ft. Wayne Indiana where I stopped for the night in anticipation of heading east again on the famous US 30 - The Lincoln Highway. My thinking was that driving the “byway” would offer a view of America that one doesn’t get to see from the Interstate. I was so right! Here’s a brief recap: Yesterday, heading east from Ft. Wayne, US30 is mostly a divided highway with two lanes in each direction. Miles and miles of just about what you’d expect... corn fields! After a pleasant few hours of driving -- catching up on podcasts on my beloved iPod Nano -- I arrived in Mansfield, OH. My good friend Mark is from that little city that time has forgotten and he gave me a heads up on some interesting things to check out. I took a 2 hour tour of the Ohio State Reformatory which was the site used for filming “The Shawshank Redemption.” It is pretty run down now but is in the process of “redemption” by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. There are a few Photos and I may have enough media to file a Report when I get a chance to catch up with myself. For now, suffice it to say that you really didn’t want to get sent to reform school. I had a little “Tell Macgellan What To Do” assignment from Mark and by the time I finished it I was ready to check into a local motel and crash.

This morning I headed east again on US30 which continued to be a nice highway. Just short of Canton, the nice road ended and the “byway” became a fairly troublesome route. A two lane road through many, many small towns, the route is surprisingly easy to lose. Blink once and you’ve missed the single sign with an arrow pointing in an unexpected direction. I will confess to having to make three small backtracks along the way. This tricky little road continues for just a few miles through the very northern tip of West Virginia and enters Pennsylvania just west of Pittsburgh where it became, frankly, downright ugly. I don’t know what kind of hours the folks in Pittsburgh work, but I was in what had to be rush hour at 2pm and didn’t clear the city until well after 4pm. Then, even worse, US30 continues for many miles as that road that every city has -- the one that has nothing but car dealerships, fast food restaurants, shopping malls and whatnot with traffic lights at least every quarter mile.

It wasn’t until Greensburg that the road became interesting again, making some nice dashes through quaint little towns and over terrain that is surprisingly mountainous. Along the way I made a brief stops at the “Flight 93 Memorial” (See Photos) and a few other points of interest before arriving here in Bedford, PA. After almost 500 miles on the historic US30, I have to admit that I’ve had my fill of Americana. In the morning I am going to jump on the PA Turnpike and zoom to Dillsburg, PA where I’m looking forward to a little “down time” with my folks. It’s hard to believe I’ve only been on The Voyage for a shade over three weeks. Then again, I’ve gone so far so fast that I’m actually a little tired. So, I expect to take a few days to catch up with my media, put together some overdue Musings and Reports, do my laundry and hang out for a little while. Fear not, however, for things will pick up again soon on The Voyage of Macgellan!

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