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Thoughts From The Road


I forgot to set my alarm this morning. Actually, I set it, but for next Saturday. Duh. I had it set to wake me at 0700 and I woke up on my own at… 0700. The human mind is a wondrous and mysterious thing. I do that sometimes, wake up at a pre determined time without using an alarm. It’s just not reliable enough to do on a regular basis.

I got dressed and went down for breakfast before heading to the Kentucky Exposition Center and Fairgrounds when the thought struck me that I had seen everything I wanted to see and could write my posts later on. I’d also had a wonderful time meeting up with friends and renewing acquaintanceships. That included being invited to a cook out at DaddyBear’s Den and a dinner last night at a very nice Italian restaurant.

More on that in another post.

To my friends reading this, sorry for the “Irish goodbye”, but I just decided it was time to hit the road and head for home. I checked out, had breakfast, and hit the road.

It was around 0900, so traffic was very light as I got on the highway.

I was cruising along at about the speed limit when I came up on a dark gray Ford Taurus in the left lane. I couldn’t remember if Kentucky allowed passing on the right, so I opted just to sit behind him for a while. Remember that wondrous human mind? It must have been working at the “Monsters from the ID” level because as we came up on a car stopped in the breakdown lane, the Taurus slowed way down and the red and blue blinky lights came on as the driver cut behind me and stopped behind the disabled car.

I wasn’t even thinking police car, but duh!, dark gray Ford Taurus?

I continued on my way idly driving along, listening to the scanner and WAKY radio. Which is an oldies station with songs from the 60s and 70s. Not bad for terrestrial radio, but I forgot how many commercials are on commercial radio.

I continued along, making good time. An hour or so later 10 miles or so south of Florence, KY I saw a rolled over pick up truck on the side of the road on the south bound side. Unlike boulders and water, this truck had rolled UP hill and landed on it’s right side. The fire trucks and ambulance or ambulances had already left. There were just a couple of tow trucks and police cars on the side of the road trying to get the truck on it’s wheels and off to wherever it was going.

I wonder if there will be a cross and wreath on the side of the road in a week or a month? I’ve seen a lot of crashes, but that one was fairly impressive. On a week day, it would have tied up traffic for a couple of miles in each direction, but on a Sunday it barely touched traffic.

I crossed over into Cincinatti and briefly considered stopping to see of the Reds were playing and taking in a game. I decided against it as I was planning to RON in State College, PA.

The terrain between Cincinatti and Columbus is flat, mostly farm land. It looks like flat farmland just about anywhere else. Fields, a barn or two, and a farmhouse. Farmhouses everywhere seem to be built in a stand of trees. I guess, and maybe someone can confirm, that this serves two purposes. First, it provides shade during the winter, and second the trees act as a wind break.

From Columbus I turned east, heading for Wheeling, WV. The terrain quickly turned from flat to hilly. Then from hilly to very hilly. The weather also started to turn from sunny and in the mid 70s to cloudy, rainy, and temperatures in the low 60s.

The traffic flowed along without a hitch until about five miles from the WV state line. Other than the construction zones, I never discovered the reason for the slow down, but it was well, slow.

Then just at the line, traffic slowed again. This time it seemed to have something to do with the tunnel on I-70 in Wheeling. Or maybe near Wheeling. After that, it was into Pennsylvania and into the Appalachian Plateau. Yes, I had to look that up. It is indeed, as Wikipedia says, an interminable series of hills and low mountains. With steep grades. All made more entertaining by rain that was at various times light, heavy, or somewhere in between.

Interestingly, at least to me, I crossed the Ohio River three times on today’s trip. From Indiana into Kentucky, Kentucky into Ohio, and Ohio into West Virgina.

Unlike on the ride out, the wind turbines on various hills were turning and presumably producing electricity.

One thing I noticed along the roads in Ohio and Pennsylvania were lots of deer. Dead deer. A few in Kentucky, but a lot in the other two states. I didn’t see any live deer, but I wouldn’t expect to in the middle of the afternoon.

I covered 500 miles in just about 8 hours and am now in my room at a hotel in State College. It looks like a college town, so I won’t bother to describe it other than that.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue on the way. I expect more traffic than I hit today being the start of the work week. If anything happens, I write another post.

I’ll also do some posting about what I saw at the NRA Annual Meetings when I get back home.


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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. “Farmhouses everywhere seem to be built in a stand of trees. I guess, and maybe someone can confirm, that this serves two purposes. First, it provides shade during the winter, and second the trees act as a wind break.”


    — JB

  2. Great to see you, and yes shade and a wind break. That goes all the way to the West coast!!! It was an ‘interesting’ weekend, to say the least.

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