- The Roads: They live up to their reputation. PA roads are either wonderful or (more usually) abysmal. There have been times when I’ve been afraid that the wheels will fall off the vehicle. I-81 up to about Harrisburg is great, and newly paved. The rest of it…not so much. Ironically, the closer you get to New Jersey the worse the roads become. I’m not sure what that means.
- The Construction: There is literally construction on every mile of every road in PA. It seems that PENNDOT is the largest item in the PA state budget, and is probably the number one employer. I’ll bet their largest expense is those orange marker barrels, because I’ve seen literally thousands of them.
- Mountain Ridges: Camp Hebron is right on the side of Peter’s Mountain, a fairly substantial ridge. We hiked about 10 miles along the top of the ridge a couple weeks ago. Coming back into camp, I learned something. PA mountains lull you into a false sense of security by having nice, gently inclined foothills. They then suck the life out of you by suddenly going vertical. I think the trail leading out of camp to the top of the ridge achieves a 75 degree angle sometimes.Te
- The Appalachian Trail: AT thru hikers call PA “Rocksylvannia.” Now I see why. Not only is the AT in PA more rocky than the AT in VA, but it is IMPRESSIVELY more rocky. We barely touched the ground through most of the 10 miles we walked. There was one place where there was a 6 foot vertical down climb (no joke) in the middle of the trail.
- The Drivers: Holy crap, the drivers here are terrifying. Not the people we are working with, you understand. But many of the other drivers will pull out in front of you through very small spaces. It makes me jumpy…
- Giant Food Stores: We really don’t have any of these back home…well, I guess we have Martin’s, and they are owned by the same company, but we still don’t have Giants. Up here they are everywhere. It seems that once you cross the Mason-Dixon line, Giant replaces Food Lion and WaWa replaces Sheetz.
- Turkey Hill Iced Tea: Good grief, these people will kill for it…
- Poison Ivy: Poison Ivy grows by the ton here. If there was a legitimate agricultural use for poison ivy, I think PA would be in a great economic place. I wonder if we could extract the oil from this evil plant and use it to power cars?
More as we discover more…