I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Rati, Dwija and I were up till well after 1am. I wish I could have stayed longer.
But this morning, I woke up in a familiar place for the first time in nearly three months (well, if you don’t count the day before… hm). And that was pretty nice.
I packed up my stuff, ate a small breakfast and said goodbye to two amazing people, promising to be back a couple of times before leaving for Seattle.
The plan was to stick to the back roads. First, National Road. I did it for a bit. There was no fanfare crossing into Pennsylvania. I sneaked in the back, I guess. Not even a sign. Nothing, really. I was going to take a picture of my triumphant return, but nope.
No big deal.
Route 40/National Road is usually pretty nice. But today it was busy and as soon as I got into PA, people started to yell at me.
Seriously. I don’t know what it is about this crummy state, but I haven’t really had anyone just yell at me this entire trip. But in PA, several shirtless men in trucks yelled at me. Maybe it was Shirtless Yelling Man Day or something.
I had to take the interstate a couple of times. Not had to, really, but did. But I didn’t linger too awfully long. I even did a little exploration of the town of Brownsville. A few months ago, I passed through it on a Sunday evening. It was dead. So I figured that I should go back and get some better, daytime pictures of it.
Today, I rode through it and it was actually busy. Not the businesses, of course. Those are boarded up. But Main Street was stacked with cars. Oh, and stacked with shirtless guys in trucks yelling at me. This happened twice.
It was also here that I saw one of the paint by numbers that I’ve been looking for. It’s unofficially titled “Touchdown Jesus.” It was in the window of a storefront that may have been turned into a church or something. The sign read: Travels with Jesus. I’m not really sure what it was, but seeing Touchdown Jesus made my day. I wish it were for sale. But nobody seemed to be around.
I rode on.
Around Uniontown, I headed north to US 30. I had around 160 miles under by belt and was beat. The day’s rest at Rati and Dwija’s helped a bunch, but I’m still really spent. I considered taking the interstate, but stuck with the Lincoln Highway.
At an overlook, I met two motorcyclists, one who had ridden up from Fort Worth, Texas. They were brothers, Ray and Warren (I think). Ray was the traveler, visiting Warren and the rest of his family. We chatted for a bit, exchanging road stories.
Oddly enough, that invigorated me and allowed me to push on towards New Berlin.
It didn’t, however, keep me off of I-99. I was going to take US 522 north, but decided to shorten the trip a bit and take the newish I-99. It’s funny how afraid I was of interstates before this trip. And though I didn’t take many during it, the few that I took make the ones we have around here seem easy and carefree.
I took the superslab to near State College and then US 322 to PA 45, roads I’ve taken many time before. It was easy to just zone out.
I could go on about how everything seemed so much smaller, but honestly, it all just seems the same. And it seems like I’ve only been gone a few moments. Nothing much, if anything at all, has changed.
That’s not really a bad thing. It’s almost like time stopped for me to make this trip. Sure, it was April when I left and it’s nearly August now, but still, a few months in a small town makes very little difference.
There wasn’t anyone to greet me when I arrived home. Just like there wasn’t anyone to see me off. I’m very ok with that. It seems fitting. I don’t like big to-do’s. I left and came back to very little attention.
So here I am. Back in Pennsylvania after twelve weeks of scootering around the country.
Thanks a bunch to everyone who helped out along the way, to the folks who gave me directions, to the folks who gave me a place to crash.
And thanks to everyone who read this. I’m not really sure why you’d bother, but I’m glad you did.
I’m planing on making one more post in the next couple of days… so stay tuned.
Miles today: 360
Miles total: 11,052
So the grand total is 11, 052. If you add in the miles via that horrible PT Cruiser (1,976 miles), it’s: 13,028. I’ve traveled over 13 thousand miles since I left. That’s pretty fun.