83: It could have been Paradise

(Somewhere in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  A “drive-by” shot.)

I was just thinking that when we went to West Chester I forgot to mention in my blog post that we passed through Paradise to get there.  It’s an old, bad joke.  At least in Pennsylvania.  The rest of the joke has to do with how you get to Paradise which is, of course, through Intercourse (another town in Pennsylvania).

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…

(Home.  And the rental truck.)

We’re home!  Yay!!  Happy, happy, happy dance!

Looks like we got some serious snow here, doesn’t it?  It’s still coming down, praise Lake Erie.  As cold as it is outside, especially with the wind chill factored in, you’d think that old Great Lake would freeze over and shut down the snow machine.  It hasn’t happened so far.  We’re still experiencing snow squalls.  Some with sunshine.  I was hoping to see a snowbow but no luck today.

(M checking out the hill behind our hotel.)

We woke up to snow squalls in Somerset and gave a great deal of thought to spending another night there.  We went out and walked around a bit, mostly to see how well the hill behind the hotel had been plowed because getting down that hill might have been a major obstacle to leaving.  We didn’t want to end up sliding down it because at the bottom is a major roadway with major traffic.

(A snow squall, taken behind the hotel.)

I gave up and turned around about ten minutes into the walk.  It was FREEZING out there.  The wind was gusting, snow dervishes were dervishing, and my face felt like it would crack into a million pieces if someone were to tap it.  I was pretty well bundled up, too.  M braved his way down the hill and to one of the local convenience stores (Turkey Hill) where he talked to a few folks who had just left the PA Turnpike.  Word was, “the road ain’t so bad” so we decided to go for it.

(Riding down the highway.)

I am not normally a fan of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  This is why:

(A “Welcome to Pennsylvania” Philly Mummer.  Philadelphia, PA.  2007)

But I have to give credit where credit is due.  They do a fine job of clearing the turnpike during the winter months.  I was amazed at how well they did given the snow squalls that were blowing through.

(The PA Turnpike shortly after leaving Somerset — westbound after exit 110.)

See how good that road looks even though the visibility is bad because of the snow?  Pretty amazing, don’t you think?  Well done, Pennsylvania Turnpike.  We’ll discuss your toll hikes later.  Right now I am grateful to all of the good folks who made it possible for us to travel home safely on roads that stayed amazingly clear in spite of the snowfall.  Kudos and thank you very much for keeping us safe!

Once we hit Ohio, it was a different story.  We saw one snow plow on a long stretch where the road needed plowed and that guy was plowing the berm/shoulder.  The snow was coming down like crazy, though, so maybe it wasn’t worth it to send out more.  Going from the highway to local roads was even worse, but not so bad we couldn’t make it (obviously).

(Almost home.)

I’m just so glad to be home safe and sound that I am grateful to anyone who had a hand or thought in getting us here.  Thank you all!

We saw one accident along the way, on the PA Turnpike.  A white van hit the cement barrier in the median and then slid across the road and up a hill, ending up facing the wrong way.  We thought it was a snow plow raising all that snow and then realized it was someone sliding across the snow.

Calling the advertised number (*11) on the turnpike signs works as well as the advertised number in Colorado worked when a drunk driver was terrorizing the drivers on the highway there.  (I thought I blogged about that but it seems I didn’t.  Long story made short, there was a drunk driver weaving across the road who hit the guard rail a time or two and kept weaving back into traffic.  When I tried to call it in to their advertised number, I couldn’t get through.  Even 911 took so long to respond that the person driving had exited the highway by the time I got through.) In other words, it didn’t work.  I have a Virgin Mobile (pre-paid account) cell phone.  Someone needs to do something about the emergency system calling in this country.  Apparently you have to be in the Sprint network for these these things to work as that is the “error message” I’ve gotten both times.  I eventually got through to the 911 emergency network who put me through to the PA Turnpike patrol where a very polite gentleman took the info and thanked me.

All that aside, we’re home.  We’re safe. We’re grateful to be here.  The sun came out again while we were unloading but that didn’t last long.

(The barn today.)

I spent most of my outdoor time unloading stuff from the truck and walking around to take a few photos.  I tried to video the next snow squall but gave up when the lens started accumulating snow.

Now that we’re not having to drive in it, it’s a winter wonderland here in the Bogs.  The land is covered with a quiet white blanket.  M and I briefly thought about going sledding but…  it’s frigid out there!

(Today’s view of the pond.)

We need to test the pond, too.  Careening down the hill and finding the pond won’t hold any weight could result in hypothermia.

I’m off to do that dinner thing (cook, eat, etc.).  Thank you, thank you, and thank you to the gods and goddesses of travel for seeing us home safely.

It’s great to be home.  🙂