Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weekend Travels

I spent another very relaxing weekend in Western Pennsylvania. Though I was in the car rather than on the scooter, the trip out there was most enjoyable with sunny weather for a change.

I had my first taste of mountain pie! I'm not sure if it's a Western PA thing or a camping thing, but they were much better than one would think they might be for what's basically a grilled sandwich with sealed edges. I don't know if they'll work on a gas grill, but I'll be aiming to try.

While riding around near the Lincoln Highway we came upon a giant praying mantis statue of which I just had to get some pictures. When I got back here and saw them I knew I had to post this one somewhere besides emailing it to my sister and daughter who'd appreciate it.

Photo by Susan

I'd wished that I'd paid some attention to where I was when this photo was snapped. With nothing more to go on than "mantis bicycle built for two rte 30" I hit up Google and in no time found this link and this one, both explaining where the mantis is and why there's a huge sculpture of a man and a woman riding a bicycle built for two right next to it.

I never knew the Lincoln Highway existed until I stumbled onto the blog about the two guys who rode a pair of Piaggio MP3s across it from coast to coast last summer. If I'd realized that their route was going to take them through the area that I visit frequently I might have planned to be there for their passing through which was on July 9th of 2008.

We left the Somerset area on Saturday morning on a leisurely drive down to Morgantown, West Virginia. What irony that shortly after I wrote my blog post about not being crazy about Olive Garden I not only had lunch there, but found a scooter parked right next to their sign. (In my defense, in the article I wrote that I don't go to places like Olive Garden without a gift card in my pocket. I had one for $25!)

The scooter is a Lifan 150cc. One might be led to believe that with a name like "American Lifan" their scooters would be American made. Guess again. From the very first line at their website: "American Lifan sells China Lifan manufactured products."

Our trips to West Virginia always refresh me. The scenery is unique with hills everywhere. At one point a missed turn with the GPS had it reroute us. I'd forgotten that I'd set the option to use unpaved roads as a necessity the last time I'd traveled - until we found ourselves on a road apparently built only to allow access to a cell phone tower atop one of those many hills. This one was even worse than the road along the river and railroad tracks that I wrote about in the spring. I sat in the passenger seat saying some Hail Marys while my pilot maneuvered my poor little Neon over logs and alongside deep ruts that surely would have hung us up if we'd been half an inch closer. See that crater just waiting to swallow my front tire in the lower right corner!

While passing by this old Esso station I felt another picture coming on and on a return drive-by we stopped to snap it.

Photo by Susan

I'm partial to old Esso memorabilia because when I was a kid my dad got Esso gas exclusively at Eddie Check's Esso station on River Street in Wilkes-Barre. Anybody as old as I whose dad bought a lot of Esso Gas might remember their gift of the month club by which one received in the mail each month some token gift. I remember waiting every month for the envelope to arrive because I was allowed to open it and see what "treasure" was inside. Oh, that I'd saved some of those plastic and cardboard baubles for the fortune I'd make selling them on Ebay!

Alas! My trip is over and I'm back at the house on what feels like a Monday morning though it's Tuesday. There's a lot of stuff going on over the course of the rest of this week and next week including my uncle's annual Christmas in July party, a barbecue with my daughter's future in-laws, a scheduling meeting at school, and a wedding to attend. Remind me to take my camera!

= = = ADDENDUM = = =

After Jim's comment about the mantis I just had to add this shot too...

Photo by Susan


cpa3485 said...

Love the praying manyis picture! Thank Susan for all of us!

cpa3485 said...

LOL on the addendum, looks like one of those old Japanese horror movies! Did Mothra get you?

Anonymous said...

I may have to go find this thing !

Joe said...

It's on Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) near Jennerstown, PA., just west of the intersection of Routes 219 and 30.

Let me know if you're going. I'll meet you for coffee!