Home Base Bound: Day 2

2

May 22, 2021, Terre Haute- Any day that begins with a simple, but fortified, breakfast at Route 220 (formerly Bedford) Diner, in Bedford, PA and ends with tossed crispy chicken salad from Fricker’s, Richmond, IN, is a good one. I go as much by the ambiance of an eatery as with the quality of the food and the congeniality of the staff is always a huge factor. Both the above-mentioned establishments are high on my list, along with nearly two dozen others, in this country and abroad.

The thing that stood out for me today was the tenor of the traffic. It was slow only in one spot, east to west: The area in and around Wheeling. That is largely do to the seemingly endless construction projects along I-70, which have been part of the scene for at least four years now. West to east, I was awestruck by the length of a tie-up from about 5 miles west of Richmond, IN-to the Ohio state line. As we sailed along, in the other direction, there was scant movement across the highway.

The other common thread was capricious speed and lane-changing. I-70, at times, resembled the Indianapolis Speedway, or should I say Phoenix International Raceway. Several of us were excoriated for staying a safe distance behind the vehicles in font of us, with the horn-blasters and fist-pumpers upset that they could not squeeze behind us, on whim. The prize went to one, from an undetermined state, doing 100 in the outside lane-and few saw him coming, until his squealing horn made us abandon our own plans to pass others, in a safe manner. Last time I saw, he was still doing 100, in the slow lane-which is the passing lane of choice for too many these days.

I spent the last leg of this day’s drive on U.S. 40, from Plainview to Terre Haute, finally locating a motel which was actually open for business: The Woodridge. It’s a relaxed, homey place, which again is what appeals to me about overnight accommodations.

The life of this sometime wanderer is a series of blessings.

Home Base Bound: Day 1

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May 22, 2021, Bedford, PA- It is most often a good idea to end a visit to one’s hometown with a call on an old friend, or two. So, I spent my last hour in Saugus with a couple who live diagonally across the street from our old house, and down a couple of houses. It’s always good to catch up with local news and discuss what would be best for the town.

With the future of Saugus set, for now, I headed to nearby Wakefield’s Gingerbread House and got a coffee and breakfast, for the road. This was enjoyed at a Massachusetts Turnpike Service Area, giving me an extra boost, in the event that the Connecticut and New York portions of the trip became traffic-jammed and tedious. There were a few short backlogs in Connecticut, passing through Hartford, Waterbury and the junction of I-84 and Rte. 7, west of Danbury. This is de rigeur for the Constitution State (Connecticut’s ratification was what put the Great Document over the top, and put our country on the map, for real.). New York’s segment of I-84, sometimes a scene of long back-ups, was smooth as silk today.

The drive through Pennsylvania is frequently the longest stretch, east of the Mississippi. I zipped down I-81, and headed over to the Oley Valley, visiting with Beth and David Glick, their faithful collie, Manny, and their interesting house guests, Beth’s relatives from Illinois. The couple have four vibrant and talented children, the eldest of whom can pilot a small airplane. We discussed the relatively small number of women pilots, which, considering that Amelia Earhart was one of the pioneers of American aviation, seems a bit disconcerting. I think the young lady will do a lot to counter that, given her self-confidence, and her parents’ support.

As I have a late night Zoom call, I left the Glicks’ house, after a sumptuous dinner, and made my way to this community, in west central Pennsylvania. One of Bedford’s draws, for me, has been Bedford Diner. I found the omelets and freshly-ground sausage patties there to be worth making this my overnight stop, when heading towards New England. The old diner appears to have closed, but the crew is now at Route 220 Diner, so that will be my breakfast stop, tomorrow. It’s gratifying that people for whom I have developed warm feelings are able to bounce back from hard turns, and continue with what they do so well.

Goodnight, all, from Janey Lynn Motel, in Bedford.