Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Warren County, Pennsylvania

Seems like most everyone is going on some kind of vacation this week. Now it's our turn! Tomorrow, we're driving to Warren County, Pennsylvania, to visit some of the "extended Allen family" whom a) we don't see all that often, and b) haven't met Marla yet (e.g. my grandmother / Marla's great-grandmother). It's been a while since anyone in the "extended Allen family" has gotten married (or, for that matter, died), so we haven't been up this way in, what, six years?

Let's talk about the road trip ramifications! The fastest route to Warren County is to more or less take the old State College route until we get north of Altoona, and then to head northwest through Clearfield and the Allegheny National Forest to Warren. But...been there, done that, no new counties, no new anything, really.

Here's what we're doing tomorrow instead:

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If I drive I-79 from Charleston to the junction with I-80, then that will make I-79 the 12th interstate I'll have clinched from end to end. And, I'll get two new counties, too. Sounds good to me! Of course, this makes the drive much longer than it needs to be, and thus, the "leave at 4 AM" policy will be in effect tomorrow morning. This drive is about the maximum amount we can do in one day with Marla.

Since it is kind of a long drive, the plan is to split it up into two days on the way back, which will let us have some real fun:

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This route will get me 11 new counties, by way of crossing the Ohio River four times along the West Virginia/Ohio border, starting in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia (a.k.a. "West Virginia's middle finger", an expression I just learned this week). Crossing the river four times gets me all counties along the river in both states. And since both West Virginia 2 and Ohio 7 closely parallel the river on either side, I don't have to go too far out of my way on any of the river crossings, either. Yeah! It should be a nice drive, too, and by splitting it into two days, we won't feel as rushed. Should be fun! You know, it's too bad we don't have any family in, say, Arkansas.

So...happy 4th! There likely won't be any fireworks at all where we'll be, and given Marla's age and bedtime, that is quite alright with us.

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