Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 4--Canton, Ohio to Gettysburg, PA

Our third night on the road was spent in Canton, Ohio.  Mom, Dad and Jan stayed in a King's Inn motel (using a $10 off coupon found in a rest area!) and Keith and I stayed in the RV parked nearby.  The desk clerk saw our shirts and was excited, because he also grew up right on the Lincoln Highway!

What  a beautiful day to be on the road!

We were out of there early and stopped for gas when we got to our second Lisbon--in Ohio, near where President McKinley spent summers at his Grandparent's farm!  While the RV was drinking gas, I ran down the block to check out the Steel Trolley Diner and get a photo of the Italianate courthouse.  The locals at the gas station told Keith that we had to check out Bye and Bye Hardware store, so we all headed back a couple of blocks. Established in 1896 by brothers, Homer and William Bye, joined later by other brothers, Howard and Ezra, and still operated by Howard's grandson, Bob.   Bob and his family seem so happy to be doing their jobs and proud of their heritage.  On top of one of the original oak hardware cabinets, they had a giant pot of fresh punch with fruit in it and cookies for anyone who walked in.  We also got whiskey sticks here--yummy coated pretzels.

The Steel Trolley Diner, featured on the Food Network, was serving a brisk mid-morning breakfast crowd.  They have a small gift shop next door with 1950's stuff, and apple pie jam that we did not resist.

Finding seconds in the Fiesta Ware Outlet
It's about an hour further to East Lansing, Ohio and across the Ohio River on an old steel trestle bridge to Newell, West Virginia, home of the Homer Laughlin China Factory and Fiesta Ware Outlet.  The area is great for ceramic industries because of the abundant clay and river for export.  Our interest in stopping here was partly because of its mention in all the LH books, but more so, because Grandma Vasey had Fiesta Ware at her home in Cozad.  When I visited cousin Bruce in Santa Barbara, California, he had some of Grandma's Fiesta Ware.  Even Keith and Dad got into this outlet shopping.  It reminded me of going to Luxembourg for Villeroy & Boch when we were living in Germany.  We all left with boxes of different colored china seconds.  If you do the factory outlet thing, be sure they wrap your purchases well before bouncing over the roads in an RV.  We had some that weren't wrapped and had a few broken pieces when we stopped for the night.

Some miscommunication between The Book, the LHA maps, the driver, and me sent us southeast on the red adjustment instead of northeast on the original blue LH route.  One book said something about there being 5 miles of the LH in West Virginia (that little upper west part between Ohio and Pennsylvania), so I thought it met up with the blue route after that.  We probably made it a bit faster, but we were disappointed to have missed blue route scenery that follows along the north side of the river for about  35 miles.  Either way you end up in Pittsburg, going right through the University of Pennsylvania and intense traffic that seems to go on forever.  Dad says, "I'm sure glad I live in Sylvia, Kansas!"  When asked if that's because of the hills or the traffic.  He said, "There is just so much less to worry about."

As we headed for our goal of Gettysburg, we passed signs for the National Memorial to 9/11 Flight 93 near Shanksville, PA.  We took the turn right off the LH and spent about an hour at the site of the crash.  A long winding, black concrete path leads to a white marble wall that parallels the flight path, and has names of all the passengers and crew that saved the terrorists from flying into the White House.  The point of impact is marked with a large boulder, flowers, and flags about 100 yards beyond a wooden fence.  The flight path to the site is mowed between a field of wildflowers.

We settled into a KOA campground at Gettysburg.  The towns are closer together makes for less time to plan and think while we drive.  We will leave the Lincoln Highway tomorrow after visiting the Gettysburg battlefield and head north for family history.

Along the way we've been entranced by the architecture of county courthouses...each little burg wanting to outdo the other...seems that lots of money gets spent on courthouses and they become the greatest examples of their period.  Nothing compares to the Nebraska State capitol though!  We all want to feel pride in our place, and somehow human nature has a need to feel superior to our neighbors.

We also have lots of pictures of houses along the road, and noticed that the old homes are more normal further east...they did not have to be scraped together from sod!

The Fall Foliage and mountain vistas were breathtaking today.
We turned the big RV around to go back and get
photos of this great mural west of Stoystown
I was asked what has surprised me most on this trip.  For one, that so many really great homes were there along the original road when it was just mud or dirt...later rock, then brick.  I can't imagine trying to create a road across this nation...before most people even had indoor plumbing!  And to see the terrain here in Pennsylvania, it's hard to conceive of the LHA having a clue what it would be like to have roads in Nebraska!
Enjoying hospitality at
Bye and Bye Hardware, Lisbon, OH

The wall of oak hardware storage at Bye and Bye
Toll Bridge across the Ohio River

Mom and Dad at the Flight93 wall

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