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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Off to somewhere: a hybrid road trip

    Planning done, plane tickets bought, car reserved, bags packed, SLR sensor cleaned, online checkin completed, ....

    Linda, Kris (Linda's son) and I catch a red-eye tonight. I'd tell you where we're going, but that would make the "Where In..." posts WAY too easy, so I'll be posting where we've been, as things progress.

    First two days we will be staying with friends: I'm unsure as to their internet situation, so I may not be able to post again until Friday.

    This trip will entail some road work this week, then after Labor Day we'll be squatting at a different friend's place and taking day trips from that location.

    Sean (my son) will be joining us at that point (he's taking the same red-eye we are, just one week later).

    Hope to keep you amused over the next 18 days.

    We're leaving Harley in charge:

    Photo: Don Casey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Harley looks capable to me

    Have a nice trip and thanks for getting out there so we can add to the inventory of new images for the puzzle game!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default He surfaces, briefly...

    Here's what things looked like shortly after we landed....



    After collecting our bags and rental car, the first stop, only a few minutes away, was an outlet of Linda's favorite grocery story:



    Where did we fly into last week?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Boston?

    What is this a hybridized version of the Where in North America is this?

    mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default trying to multi-task...

    Posting both here and "where", will fill in the trip details here after someone gets it on the "where" thread or too much time elapses or you tell me I've gotten way too "creative".....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I don't think "too creative" has been invented yet

    This is the web, which defies linear thinking -- so this seems reasonable to me.

    ...Not any more helpful though,,,

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Puzzle one has been solved: the rest of the story

    Off on vacation!

    Roland (our housesitter) came by to take over the home front, and drove the three of us and assorted luggage to Concord BART. A train change at MacArthur went off without a hitch, as did the connection to the AirBART bus to Oakland airport. Nobody in the checkin line, and we were sitting down at a table in the Terminal 1 Chili's having dinner only two hours after leaving home. An auspicious start.

    Didn't get a lot of sleep on the flight, thanks on part to a couple of chatterboxes in the seats ahead of us who didn't seem to understand that some people actually want to SLEEP on late night flights. Ah well, never that good at sleeping on a plane anyway.

    The first shot is from one of the buses that transports you from the gates to baggage claim at Dulles. It's of the terminal tower; but neither my condition nor the environment helped the technical aspects of this shot.

    These buses are like nothing I've ever seen. They're the only way to get from the gates to the terminal building, and aside from driving you there, they squat.

    You board at concourse height at the front of the bus.
    They shut the doors.
    The bus then squats down to runway height, backs away from the gate, and drives off to the terminal (it was during the drive I took that shot).
    At the terminal, it parks, rises up to concourse height again, and you debark.

    The second shot is Wegmans... Linda's favorite market. Also known for their on-premise bakery and ready-to-eat food.

    Linda had filled my head with tales of Wegman's apple fritters... alas, this Wegman's appeared to be too upscale for such pedestrian fare, so I had to settle for a caramel sticky bun for breakfast.

    Next... off to (but that would be telling)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Continuing on

    We headed out from Wegman's, after a few hours we reached the home of Linda's friend Dode and her husband Don. The town they live in is a small but old town, with a small liberal arts college: less than an hour away is a larger town with a major university... but more on that later.

    After some of us (me) took a nap, we all went to dinner. I ordered what they told me was regional fare: an open-face cheeseburger covered with cole slaw, french fries and onion rings. Dode's green salad also came covered with french fries. (Clue 1)


    Photo: Don Casey

    We could hear freight trains passing by as they ran along the riverside tracks (most roads, streams and railroad tracks run parallel to each other here); I thought it ironic to see all the diesel smoke coming from the engines, considering the local product being carried by these trains (Clue 2).

    After two days puttering around with D&D, we headed out again. First stop was that larger town, where we had lunch with a former neighbor of Linda and Kris; Laura. On the way, we stopped on a ridge-top to enjoy the view; the town and university are to the right of the picture (Clue 3):


    Photo: Don Casey

    Here's Linda, Kris and Laura in front of a main gate of the University (Clue 4):


    Photo: Don Casey

    Here's where we ate, right across from the gate and a local hangout (Clue 5):

    Photo: Don Casey

    After somebody identifies this location over on the "Where in..." board, I'll fill in the details.

    EDITORIAL NOTE: I'm traveling without my photo editing software, so these shots won't have tone, sharpness, contrast, etc. correction done until I get home. Come back in late September for improved version.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Filling in the missing bits.

    Dode and Don live in Huntingdon PA, on the Juniata River in the Allegheny mountains; home to Juniata College.

    Here's two shots of downtown Huntingdon:


    Photo: Don Casey


    Photo: Don Casey

    Just up the way (30 miles or so) is State College, home to Penn State University (currently ranked just above Cal in the football polls).

    Side note: we're quite fond of college towns; the combination of the energy of the students with the usual combination of interesting places to eat and cultural options is great.

    Moving on:

    The irony I saw in the diesel smoke from the trains comes from the fact that they were hauling coal; the former source of motive power for the railroads.

    My burger was named "The Pittsburger" (west of town); they tell me it's a PA thing putting fries on top of things, including open-face burgers, salads, you name it. We saw this again in State College.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Next section of the trip

    Our journey took us into farmland:


    Photo: Don Casey

    A slower paced kind of place, and this area is slower than most.

    A common theme in farming areas is a central market town, with a central market:

    Outside:

    Photo: Don Casey

    Inside:

    Photo: Don Casey

    Another nice thing about farming areas is the fresh and interesting food options. We stumbled into a small cafe in one town that focused on chocolate. While this is not typical of the area, the food was great. We had hot (or in my case cold) chocolate, Linda had a mole' based chile that was spectacular, Kris had a peanut butter/banana/chocolate panini sandwich, and I opted to have dessert for breakfast, chocolate crepes with fresh strawberries and mascarpone cheese. Did I mention we're foodies?



    Photo: Don Casey

    The woman who owns the cafe (and holds the title Chief Chocolate Officer) helped Linda find a genuine fabric store; a place where the locals rather than tourists go to buy their fabric. One thing the locals are noted for is a particular form of fabric work, and Linda was thrilled to buy where the locals buy.


    Photo: Don Casey

    We also visited a former religious colony in the area; a sect formed in the 1730s that died out. This building was the women's domitory and worship hall:


    Photo: Don Casey

    I'll tell you where we were, once someone else figures it out.
    Last edited by CalOldBlue; 09-15-2009 at 04:18 PM. Reason: adding last photo / corrected date of sect founding

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