From Maryland Through Scenic Pennsylvania to Cleveland

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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.

Road food does not get better than this.

Road food does not get better than this.

The mountains of Pennsylvania aren't quite the Keys, but I guess it will do! It is a Cuban sandwich, after all.

The mountains of Pennsylvania aren’t quite the Keys, but I guess it will do! It is a Cuban sandwich, after all.

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.

A rainy view of the Allegheny Reservoir. It reminded me of the sound in New Zealand, but  a little less grand. Equally as rainy though.

A rainy view of the Allegheny Reservoir. It reminded me of the sound in New Zealand, but a little less grand. Equally as rainy though.

A bit of Bent Run Waterfall with a nice example of all the green in Allegheny National Forest.

A bit of Bent Run Waterfall with a nice example of all the green in Allegheny National Forest.

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.

The beach at Conneaut. It's chillier than it looks.

The beach at Conneaut. It’s chillier than it looks.

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.

Sunset Park

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.

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