Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Miles: 532

We rolled out of home at about noon. After a brief stop at the Wal-Mart on Route 40, we were on the road.

We went west on Interstate 70, where there is a road sign that lists distances to several points, including "Denver, 1700 miles."

West on I-70 to lovely Breezewood, PA, where the expressway ends and everyone must turn right at the light. No, I'm not kidding: instead of merging with I-76 like a proper Interstate Highway, I-70 ends at a traffic light and to continue onto I-76, all traffic must turn right. Ever fast-food joint, tacky motel, and fireworks store has an outlet in Breezewood. We sailed blissfully past them all.

West on I-76, the Pennsvylavnia Turnpike. Through the Alleghany Mountain tunnel, then a pause on the other side to take pictures of the giant windmills. Then, westward ho.

About 20 miles before the Ohio border, we stopped to get gas and eat. You see, we didn't want to spend any money or pay any taxes in Ohio. Ohio has some of the most obnoxiously anti-gay laws in the nation (only Virginia is worse): if we were in an accident and one of us went into the hospital, the other would not be allowed to visit because that's a privilege that belongs to marriage, and unmarried couples can't have any such privileges in Ohio. (Courts there have recently ruled that unmarried couples -- either gay or straight -- can't get state protection from domestic violence, because that's another privilege that's reserved for marrieds. In Ohio it's okay to beat your girlfriend half to death, but not your wife.)

Needless to say, we did not take the "Welcome to Ohio" sign very seriously. We know we are unwelcome.

Anyhow, we stopped in lovely Koppel, PA, an area that is not so much economically disadvantaged, as economically devastated. Lots of abandoned, boarded-up or burned down buildings, very few places to shop or eat. We bought gas at Al's Corner, then drove down the road to Beaver Falls, where we happened upon Guiseppe's Tuscany Grill: a wonderful oasis of delicious Italian food and great service, literally in the middle of nowhere. Thomas says that his tiramisu was the best he's ever had; me, I didn't have room for dessert. Definitely recommended!

We continued into Ohio, where we were unable to avoid paying the highway toll, but otherwise paid nothing. As a matter of fact, the only thing we did there was pee. That, I didn't mind doing on Ohio.

Around 9:30 pm we crossed over into Michigan, and by 10:30 we were in Ann Arbor. Matthew (aka Sid) Jacobs, a student at University of Michigan, talked us in from the highway, met us outside the Pita Pit (where he works), and gave us the run of his apartment. Matthew/Sid is the son of one of Don's coworkers (hi, Sylvia!), and a really nice guy. We bought him something to repay his hospitality...if his mother is reading this, it was beer; if his father is reading this, it was textbooks.

So here we are, using Sid/Matthew's computer to update our blog. Tomorrow we'll hang around Ann Arbor for a while, then be off westward.

-Don

1 comment:

Betts said...

Glad to hear all is well and that you are on your way!

I will be having fun reading this as you travel. Great narration on the trip. Wait? is it narration if you are writing?

As for the 'fun' of Ohio. Well, my brother lives there. His sad choice. He moved there many years ago to get away from wifes in laws. And low and behold they followed him there a year later. Ha ha.

Windmills would be a great pic to see. Thanks for the update and keep on truckin'!!