Tuesday, July 10, 2007

this roadtrip has seven days: day five

Day 5: Lancaster, PA to Pittsburgh, PA

I had spent the night at a Quality Inn that looked like it was an old roadside motel in a previous incarnation (outdoor entrances to both ends of the room, long parking lot, etc). Various stages of renovation were evident, though my bathroom was definitely from another era.

Pink Shower Tile
If my bathroom tile was pink, would there have been matching flamingos by the back courtyard? Anyone want to guess the age?

Country Table Restaurant
Tiring of continental breakfasts, I grabbed my morning meal in Mount Joy, just west of Lancaster. One menu item at the Country Table caught my eye: scrapple. While I had heard of this mush-like dish, I had never seen it on a menu until now.

It was the first and last time I'll order scrapple.

My plate came with three large pieces, of which I got through most of one before deciding the taste and texture weren't to my liking. This wasn't going to be an item that improved with each bite, which was too bad, since the accompanying pancake was fluffy and didn't sit like a lump in my stomach, while the scrambled eggs were the way I like them, slightly creamy.

I Suppose It Was Inevitable Horse Garage
Left: A patriotic gas station near Mount Joy. I didn't checked how blessed the 89 octane was.

Right: A common site around Lancaster, this roadside horse shelter near Elizabethtown was one of the last I saw on the trip. Most carry the "safety" pennant shown here.

Lincoln Highway We Warned You
From Harrisburg, I headed west along the Pennsylvania Turnpike until I tired of alternately being boxed in by speeding trucks and driving through downpours. After an hour, I hopped off and drove onto the route I should have taken all along, the Lincoln Highway (aka US 30). This was the first marked trans-continental highway, running from New York to San Francisco. Most of its eastern sections were absorbed into US 30 - before this trip, the only stretch I had travelled on was on the outskirts of Chicago at the start of my Route 66 trip.

Around Jennersville, warning signs for trucks were plastered along the side of the road, thanks a steep, winding drive. There were special ramps in case any driver lost control of their vehicle.

Lincoln Highway Barn
The historic nature of the route is marked by a number of barn paintings, such as this one.

It was a smooth ride into Pittsburgh. I stayed at a Comfort Inn atop a steep, winding road, which proved a cinematic drive at night. I explored the area, getting the lay of the land of the city's eastern suburbs. I cooled my heels at a Barnes and Noble at Monroeville Mall, discovering later that this was the same mall that George Romero used as the setting for Dawn of the Dead. Had I known, I would have taken my camera into the JCPenney or mindlessly rode the escalator.

It was an appropriate end to the day, since I felt like a zombie.

Full photo set on Flickr

Next: One fine day in Pittsburgh

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