In today's episode, we learn two very important lessons:
1) Driving through Ohio is about as boring as driving through Montana. It may actually surpass Montana in this category, given that at least in Montana there's the excitement of wondering when or if you'll see another human being/town/billboard/place to eat. In Ohio, there are plentiful occurrences of all those things, they'll just be much of a muchness.
2) Ohio is, no matter what the actual state motto will say, the State of People Yelling. Seriously, it seemed as though every time I looked out the window, there was someone yelling at someone else. It was really very disturbing: lots of boring dusty trees, houses, et cetera, broken up only by people. Yelling.
Anyway, we left early but not as early as we'd hoped because apparently Katherine doesn't do so well on not much sleep and even less caffeine.
We took I-70 east from Indianapolis to downtown Columbus, Ohio. We took I-670 east to catch I-71 north. We stopped briefly at a rest area just outside of Columbus.
The first exciting thing that happened was...well...lunch. It was the kind of a day where I was glad that I had an Agatha Christie book on CD, even if it was Murder on the Orient Express (one of my least favorites) because looking out the window made me want to slide into a coma.
Inspired by a recent Sabbath evening wherein we were treated to a litany of everything that Chris's family had eaten at the Feast in 1974-1983, Chris started recording everything we ate at various restaurants. We stopped at the Perkins Family Restaurant (40.8580,-82.2511) in Ashland, Ohio (World Capital of Nice People, according to a homely little billboard by the exit), where Chris enjoyed an open-faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, Katherine had a cheeseburger and side salad, Steven had rainbow pancakes, and Andrew ordered cheese pizza with corn.
Getting back on I-71, we proceeded north to the junction with I-76, and headed east through Akron to Youngstown. As a further point of interest, lunch cost us ten cents less than filling up the tank with gasoline cost at the BP (41.1221,-80.7687) in Youngstown, OH.
We had planned to stop for a mild hike at Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, but when we arrived no fewer than three police cars were involved in helping a woman put gas in her car (judging from the funnel she produced from the trunk, this was not her first experience running out of gas). This indicated either a creepily caring community, extreme police boredom, or a high crime rate. Not knowing which, we passed on the chance to leave our heavily-laden car unattended in a strange city and drove on.
We got onto I-80 eastbound, and other than a brief stop at the Pennsylvania welcome center, we didn't stop again until we exited the highway on Pennsylvania 68 at Clarion, PA, where we met Chris's parents at the Comfort Inn (41.1952,-79.3937). We checked in to room 103.
We walked down the hill to the RRR Roadhouse (41.1935,-79.3943) next door for dinner. Chris had the 9 ounce top sirloin, Katherine had the 12 ounce prime rib, Steven had a burger and Andrew had steak tips.
After dinner, Mom and Katherine browsed Fashion Bug while the guys poked around in K-Mart (41.1935,-79.3943), where Andy bought a toy limousine. Mom and Katherine watched a little bit of "Dancing with the Stars," a show which probably is improved if one cares about pretty dancing or knows any of the stars involved, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. It being late by then, we turned in early, ready for what must surely be a little more excitement as we ventured further into the jungles of Pennsylvania!