En route from Pennsylvania back to Maine
17.05.2017 - 20.05.2017
Our final night of camping took place on Wednesday, May 17. On our way, Ryan was adamant about stopping in Kentucky for a bourbon drink. I searched the web for the best Old Fashioned and found it on Whiskey Row in Louisville at a sophisticated pub named Sidebar. Our nice waitress told us that they age the Old Fashioned mixture in a barrel for 3 months before serving. Ryan was impressed and we were both thoroughly satisfied with our dining experience.
We found a lovely spot to set up our tent in Cincinnati, Ohio called Winton Woods Campground. This was a detour from our original route east through West Virginia since it saved us 50 minutes of driving time. Only 20 minutes north of the city, the campground is set in a pine grove alongside Winton Woods Lake. It was the warmest camping weather yet with an overnight temperature in the 70s. We had our usual fire and ruminated about how we never wanted this vacation of a lifetime to end. Altogether, we spent 7 nights camping in our tent, had 5 hotel stopovers, and the rest of our stays for the month were with family and friends.
Thursday, May 18 was spent driving east through the state of Pennsylvania. We ate lunch at a BBQ joint called Mojo’s on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border. Ryan and I arrived at our destination in Canendensis around 7:00 pm. Our friends Alan and Carol live near the Pocono Mountains in their beautiful retirement home amongst Lake in the Clouds. Reverend Shumway was the remarkable officiant for Ryan and my wedding in September while Carol was a behind the scenes helper, aiding the men to affix their boutonnieres. Ryan has known Alan and Carol since he was knee-high to a grasshopper because their son Tim is a long-time pal of his. They played little league baseball together and still keep in touch, even with Tim living thousands of miles away in Alaska. Carol is an exquisite cook who served us a scrumptious chicken casserole for dinner and a tasty brunch the following morning. We all engaged in pleasant conversation and the clock soon struck midnight, signaling it was time for bed.
We enjoyed more delightful weather on Friday, May 19 and started the day with a walk accompanied by the Shumways and their two dogs. They led us to a gorgeous lookout where we could see the Delaware water gap. Ryan and I soon said our goodbyes and departed in the early afternoon to drive our next leg of the trip to Connecticut.
Ryan considers the drive to Wethersfield, Connecticut the worst of the voyage. Traffic was congested the entire way, we had to take a winding detour on back roads to divert an accident on 84 East, and what was supposed to be a 3-hour drive ended up taking closer to 4 hours. He is an excellent driver but was not blessed with the virtue of patience. Several tips I would advise in order to avoid pissing him off include getting the heck out of the left lane if you are not passing another vehicle, driving a consistent speed above the posted limit, not giving him directions unless he asks for them, and suppressing the urge to slam on your brakes if you see a police car ahead.
Jason and Tasha live in a charming house with their vivacious dog and evil cat. Jason is a Fort Kent native whom Ryan met via their college fraternity Sigma Chi. Jason is an insurance guru and his wife Tasha is a OB/GYN resident physician at the University of Connecticut. We had a great time catching up over dinner at Lucky Lou’s in Old Wethersfield. Afterwards we returned to their place to play a rousing game of couple’s cribbage (Ryan and I won…we tend to be just a little competitive Tasha and I went to bed around 11 but the boys kept the party going for a while longer.
Saturday, May 20 serves as the last official day of Ryan and my month-long road trip adventure. It got off to a good start when we were able to see the house in which Ryan’s grandfather John grew up. After that we had a filling brunch with Jason and Tasha at Kens in Glastonbury. From there, Ryan and I made an impromptu visit with friends Nick and Bethany in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Nick grew up one town away from Ryan and they have been comrades since their days together playing t-ball. Bethany is a smart, stylish, and sassy consultant for the Hershey Company who I loved at first meeting. Since Nick serves as a brewmaster for the Great Rhythm Brewing Company, the four of us went to the brewery to sample his beer concoctions which were all amazing. The time continued to fly and before we knew it we were on the road back to Maine.