The big trip finally began on Wednesday. I decided I didn’t want to take a route I have driven before, so I thought it would be more fun and scenic to go north past Baltimore to Harrisburg, PA then follow the Susquehanna to northern Pennsylvania where I turned west and continued through the mountains. I knew following the Susquehanna was good choice when I look to my left and saw a bald eagle soaring over the water. I took that as a good omen. I knew it was definitely the right decision when I found the Paradise Grill.
Belly full of Cuban sandwich (no real comparison to those in Miami, but delicious nonetheless), I continued north. I wanted to make to Allegheny National Forest to at least drive through and see it if not take a short walk in the woods. Unfortunately, the weather turned, so by the time I got there it was raining pretty hard. After a few hours of driving, I was ready to get out of the car again anyway, so I pulled over to see the view of the reservoir and took very short jaunt into the woods to a small waterfall.
These woods are rich and beautiful and I kind of wished I was camping there, minus the rain. The landscape was very lush and green with moss and ferns in the understory of the old-growth forest. It was nice to see a that a place like this without logging or farms or buildings still exists in the east.
I would have stayed longer in the forest, but I was on a mission to make it to Lake Erie before sunset. I got to an overlook in Conneaut, Ohio as the rain petered out and the sun began to set. The shorts I was wearing as were appropriate while I packed my car in near-80 degree heat that morning, but after the storm, I was definitely underdressed. I wandered the beach for a little while, then continued down the road.
My book of scenic drives completely let me down and a road I thought travelled the coast was just inland enough to not be able to see the lake. The sky was turning orange and I regretted leaving the first beach, when I found a little park with a perfect view of the sunset through the trees. I reminded myself that I can’t have any regrets on this trip or I will miss what is right in front of me. I will never be able to see everything, but the things I do experience will be great and I have to take them for what they are and remember how lucky I am to be seeing them at all, like that little park at sunset.
More on Cleveland in my next post. Suffice it to say that when I called to make a reservation at a bed and breakfast, the innkeeper said, “Cleveland has a lot to offer, just keep an open mind.” Not exactly a glowing review, but I took his advice and had a fun couple of days.