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Pennsylvania

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

The state is long gone but I feel somewhat obligated to write at least one post for each state we pass through (sorry Jersey, forgot about you).

We somehow managed to spend only two days cycling through the state which is amazing considering how long it took us to cross New York.  For the most part, we felt pretty let down by PA.  It wasn’t exactly a bad state to pass through but I think after NY, we were just expecting a little more.  Plus, Marissa wasn’t feeling so hot for a few days and every hill was a huge chore.  We were so excited about the prospect of flat land that each new rise felt like a slap in the face.  We also missed our amazing bike map with it’s elevation chart, handy resource guide, and it’s now friendly dog-eared charm.  Oh, and berms.  New York had ‘em, Pennsylvania didn’t.  So lots of hilly roads, bad pains, no shoulder to ride in, and no detailed map left us filling pretty slighted.

I suppose the state wasn’t all bad though.  Mostly we just wanted to get across it and make it to Ohio in time for Marissa’s birthday and to see my parent’s for the weekend; PA was just in the way.  We did manage to find some more Perry’s so that was a plus.  The first day was really tough though so when we came across our Perry’s sign and it just happened to be sitting across the street from a closed drive-in movie theater, we felt like it was a good time to call it quits.  So, happily satiated, we rolled our bikes into the grassy lot and started made camp behind the projection building.  I’d been wanting to do this for a while now since we started passing so many drive-ins across New York.  It was definitely high on the list of favorite campsites from the get go.  We had plenty of time left in the day to lounge around, take some pictures, and still get to bed early.

The next day promised to be a chore since we had to make it the rest of the way across the state or we would never get to my parent’s house in Ohio.  Our route had us coming down from Jamestown, NY, joining the Pennsylvania State Bike Route Y and then ending in Jamestown, PA just below Pymatuning State Park.  For the most part, this leg was about as boring and tedious as possible.  More hills, some sketchy highway riding, non-descript towns, and just a generally long day.  We were both glad to hear that the campgrounds had showers and plenty of camp spots of available.   PA did even try to redeem itself in the end when a friendly stranger outside the gas station in Jamestown kindly passed along a ten dollar bill to cover our camping fees at the gas station.  That’s the second time now we’ve been offered money on our trip.  We must look pretty miserable and helpless.

So that was PA.  We were gone by 12 the next day and on to Ohio and a few well earned rest days.  Oh, and Marissa’s birthday.