Sep 102010

As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, I think Pennsylvania is one of our prettiest states. And yesterday we got to see some exceptionally picturesque parts of the Keystone State.

We were in bed early Wednesday night, but as tired as I was after our 420 mile day, I just couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned all night long, finally dropping off to sleep about 5 a.m., and waking up about 9.

We hit the road and traveled 41 miles east on Interstate 80, and then took the brand new Interstate 99 cutoff (which shows as U.S. Highway 220 on my Streets and Trips mapping program) south a few miles to pick up U.S. Highway 322 at State College.

Most of the 90 miles between State College and Harrisburg was nice divided four lane expressway, except for a 12 mile section between Tusseyviille and Milroy, which was two lane road, but was some of the most scenic of the trip. We passed small towns, pastoral scenes, and homes that must date back two hundred years or more.

Pastoral scene

This wasn’t a fast route, but it sure was a pretty drive. We climbed up several steep grades, and wound our way down the other side. Much of the route paralleled the Juniata River, and at one point, near Arch Rock, we admired the striations in the rock face where it had been cut away to make room for the highway.

Striated rock

I think it’s going to be an early and cold winter in this part of the country. In several places, the leaves are already starting to change.

Turning  leaves

Turning  leaves 2

At one point, after we topped a particularly steep grade, the speed limit for trucks on the downhill side was 20 miles per hour for about four miles. Of course, that didn’t slow down the cowboys in the big rigs, who sped downhill at 50 miles an hour or more. Where’s a cop when you need him?

US 322 downhill

Eventually we crossed to the wide Susquehanna River, which is spanned by several neat old bridges.

Susquehanna River 2

Susquehanna River bridge

Then we came under this strange overpass, or bridge or whatever it is. There was no road across it, and no reason for it to be there that we could figure out.

Harrisburg area bridge

As we got into the Harrisburg area, traffic became pretty hectic, and the drivers were pretty aggressive, pushing their way into any space where they thought they could fit. We snaked our way through it all, and eventually the highway turned into a two lane road as it passed through Hershey. About six miles east of Hershey, we turned down a narrow country lane for a couple of miles and came to the Thousand Trails campground, with 160 miles behind us for the day.

The place was pretty crowded, and all of the good RV sites were gone. Those that were left were all pretty uneven, and in the first three we tried, the only way we could get level was to raise our front tires completely off the ground. That’s not a good thing. Finally, after over two hours of trying, we got into a site where we couldn’t get completely level, but we’re close enough that we’ll live with it.

Winnie Hershey TTN 2

This is our second visit to this Thousand Trails preserve, and I had forgotten how many Canadian geese inhabit the campground. They are everywhere, and they are apparently very well fed, because there is goose poop in abundance. This is not a place to go barefoot!

By the time we we were finally settled in, we were famished.  We drove four miles back to Campbelltown. On our last visit to this area, several years ago, we discovered a great place called A&M Pizza, and it was just as delicious as we remembered. Yummy!

Back at the motorhome, we took a little nap, and then spent the rest of the evening watching TV, catching up on e-mail, and just relaxing. There has been far too little relaxing in our lives the last few weeks!

Bad Nick, on the other hand, has been loafing a lot lately. But he’s back with a new Bad Nick Blog titled A White Al Sharpton? Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – I used to be schizophrenic, but we’re okay now.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Pennsylvania Is Pretty”

  1. It appears as if the Harrisburg area “bridge” is there solely to keep debris from the closely encroaching hill and trees off the road.

    “Canadian geese” are actually “Canada geese.” I sincerely doubt they hold passports!

  2. In Canada they have become so prevalent and leave such a mess we refer to them as “Rats with wings”

  3. Maybe it’s “the bridge to know where?”

  4. That overpass or bridge is to keep snow off of the highway in the winter and spring.

  5. Better to have the front tires off than the back.

  6. Nick, I suspect that you have the same jacks as I have on my Winnebago/Itasca Meridian. They are rigid and do not buckle or bend. Secondly, when you put the park air brake on, all four wheels are locked. For those that have a parking brake on the drive shaft (not on the wheels), there definitely is a problem if one of rear wheels is off of the ground.

    Also, there is a jack style that bends like your elbow when it comes up. They require extra care especially if parked on a slope. Bottom line: Know your equipment!


  7. Nick, I believe that bridge is a railroad bridge going back to the late 1800’s. The name escapes me, however I’ve seen railroad videos with steam engines going over it and in railroad circles, its quite famous.

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