Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pennsylvania - Day 15

Erie KOA, Erie PA
Sunday, 15 April 2018

Near where we parked last night is a restaurant called Burgatory, advertising a “helluva burger & heavenly shakes.” There’s also a chain of restaurants called Quaker Steak & Lube that look like the old Quaker State oil change places with the white buildings and green trim.

On the road in to Pittsburgh yesterday, there was a stretch of roadwork, and a sign said, “Merge Here – Take Your Turn.” I don’t remember any highway department ever telling us to mind our manners. Today I saw another highway dept. sign that said, “Buckle Up Next Million Miles.” They’re different here in Pennsylvania.

I went to a grocery store the other day called ALDI. It’s a chain I’ve seen all over the state. It always seemed odd to me because they’d be almost right next to another grocery store and I never could figure out why they’d be located as they are. I guess I found out. What was in the ALDI I went to were a few items of national brands with low prices (loss leaders) and everything else with store brands. I couldn’t even find any Lay’s potato chips – they had only the store’s brand. It was weird. So I left and went right next door to another grocery store.

I really wanted to like Pittsburgh and I can see that it’s got a lot of charm. With all those bridges and hills and green spaces and colleges and old sections and ethnic neighborhoods it’s got a lot going for it. But the street system made it hard for me to navigate, especially with my RV. It was almost like a person who’s really great but hard to get to know. I wouldn’t mind spending more time there – as long as there isn’t a marathon or something happening.

On the drive up to Erie today I passed more family farms most of the way up. I also passed the turnoffs to the state’s biggest natural and manmade lakes (Conneaut and Pymatuning, respectively).

Tomorrow I’ll go see what Erie has to offer. Some snow is predicted Monday and Tuesday – they’re saying 1” to 2” with freezing temps at night, which would likely mean ice on the roads. I was planning to spend Tuesday night at a state park in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest, but now I’m thinking I might be better off lying low here at the KOA that night. I made my plans when I believed winter would end, which it’s not clear will happen. At least Erie is unlikely to get buried like the Midwest cities, so it could have been much worse for my plans. I’ll see what they say later on.

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