Crossing America – Part VI

This is the sixth and last in a series of posts chronicling our one-week, 3,500 mile cross-country road trip last July 2016, when we moved from the outskirts of Los Angeles, California to a town around 40 miles outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Catch up on Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4 and Day 5. We’re finally getting to Pennsylvania. Here’s Day 6 & 7:

Day 6: Sunday, July 17: IL~IN~OH~WV~PA

Start of Day 6 // Running Total: 2660 miles (approx.)

At sunrise on Sunday, we woke up at the interstate rest-stop outside of Effingham, IL. We found the one mechanic who opened shop on Sunday morning at got our car fixed. We were told that we were lucky our car didn’t just stop while we were driving on the interstate in the middle of the night. We could’ve been in very serious trouble.

Now, I don’t believe in luck. I do believe in God. He deserves all the credit for that.

It was late morning by the time we left Effingham, we were feeling relieved, blessed, grateful but most of all, very tired. After three nights on the road and in bad motels and parking lots,I was looking forward to a nice warm shower and a decent, comfortable bed. We set our eyes on making it to Pittsburgh by sundown.

But first, a short stop at Casey, IL – home of the world’s largest wind chime.

Apparently, Casey was home to a lot of the world’ largest items. Across the street from the wind chimes was the world’s largest rocking chair:

Awesome. I mean, you probably won’t buy a plane ticket to Illinois just to see this kind of stuff, but if you’re on a road trip passing through? Must. Take. Photo.

Then we were back on the road. You can see in these photos that with each passing day, we pay less and less attention to our general appearance and wardrobe choice. For example, those gray sweatpants I’m wearing are my gym class pants from my senior year in high school – circa 2006. After a couple of thousand miles, we just stopped caring.

Unfortunately, we were too tired to see anything in Indiana, except to take a photo at the welcome sign. Sorry. We kept driving until we reached Columbus, OH. Even from a quick and initial drive-through, I think I’ll like Columbus. We tried to have lunch at this restaurant, Schmidt’s Sausage House in Columbus’ German Village:

If the line of people waiting outside to be seated was any indication, the food must’ve been good. But we couldn’t afford to wait. Instead, we settled for this gigantic cream puff to-go:

The cream puff was good, but not extraordinary. It tasted, well, like a cream-puff. Like a big cream-puff.

After Columbus, we drove straight to Pittsburgh. On the way, we ended up driving through West Virginia for about 30 minutes, passing through the city of Wheeling as we crossed the Ohio River.

To get into Pittsburgh, you had to enter by tunnels cutting through the mountains surrounding it. It made for a spectacular introduction to the city. I have footage of us coming out of the tunnel going into the city and just being awed the moment we saw it. We are not too cool and love meeting new cities like that. I might edit that video and post that later just for fun. I had no expectations about the Steel City and was so stunned by how beautiful it is and how beautifully it sits where the mountains meet the river.

This was our last night on the road and we had the blessing of some very nice loved ones who sponsored our stay in this room:

This was gold for us. You now who you are, if you’re reading this, it meant so much for us to be able to relax and enjoy our last night on the road. Thank you!

We had a view of the river, which was so quiet and calming. It was the perfect way to be welcomed to Pennsylvania.

A quiet dinner and a nice walk next to the river just the two of us. One last escape before we start the next chapter of our lives. Day 6 // Running Total: 3166 miles (approx).

Day 7: Monday, July 18: Pittsburgh to Parkesburg

Start of Day 7 // Running Total: 3166 miles (approx.)

The 250+ mile drive from Pittsburgh to Parkesburg was a stormy one. If you’ve ever been on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, you know that this is not ideal. It’s a long, winding, mountain road that on a sunny day has some very good roadside scenery. On a rainy day, it’s nerve-wracking. The fog reduces the visibility greatly. We couldn’t stop or see anything. It was only when we went back to Pittsburgh later in the year that we realized what we missed. But that’s a story for another day.

The point is we made it to Parkesburg. Safe and intact. The best we can say is that God was with us all the way. We look at these photos and we still can’t help but say “Thank God” because He is that good. Day 7 // Trip Total: 3429 miles (approx).

But I am done friends! With this series at least. Sorry it only took me six long months to finish it. So much had to be left out mostly because either a) the stories are better told in person, b) a few stories will be all our own to keep, like the best stories are 🙂

Now that six months have passed and I can finally say that we’re beginning to unpack the last of the boxes. I’m ready for some new adventures. After all, it’s a whole new coast we have to explore. Who’s ready?!?

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