No track time in Baltimore this morning, so we started an hour later and therefore had an extra hour of sleep. Yay! And since our Rise and Shine was just a line up and drive the Pittsburgh, for the first time we were able to line-up with the Beehive hitched up and ready to go. That provided some great, new photo opportunities and many people had lots of questions about the Beehive and it’s amenities.
The drive out of Baltimore began with some very bumpy highways and eventually we started winding our way to Pittsburgh along U.S. Highway 30. The “Surprise and Delight” was a couple of hours from the start, at a quirky place called Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum. It was mostly a candy store, with tons of different candies, about 16 flavors of licorice (we bought root beer and double chocolate) and fresh fudge. MINI Value Service gave everyone a container to fill with candy, on the house! We also bought some fudge (so creamy!). It was a madhouse inside the store, with everyone picking out their candies, so we made a quick exit to get back on the road and ahead of the pack.
The Gettysburg battlefield and the United Flight 93 Memorial were both along our route and we talked about visiting one or both of them, but with a 7 PM evening event and another four hours of driving ahead of us, we decided to keep moving and with regrets. We’ve been to the 9/11 Memorial in New York, and going to the Pennsylvania site is something we wold like to do to bring things full-circle. Gettysburg is a beautiful town, and what we did see from the road of the Gettysburg Memorial was somber and striking.
This event really challenges your ability to hang in and stay with the communal motoring experience while you try to balance it with individual exploration. The schedule is really tight, so if you divert for just an hour you can find yourself flying solo for the rest of the route. The key is to find a balance and we’re still working on it.
After Gettysburg the roads began to roll and twist a bit more, and we crossed one mountain range with some really fun twisties that I enjoyed, even with the Beehive in tow. With an eye on the clock we decided to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike for the rest of the way to save time. We arrived at the Mountaintop Camp Ground northwest of Pittsburgh. Wow, what a view! I’m sitting at the campsite now under the stars, with fireflies flitting about, blinking their bulbous behinds.
We set up camp and made a mad dash to the night’s event, somehow making it on-time after re-routing the GPS round horrific traffic. The event was at a spectacular location, at Highmark Stadium right on the river and just across from the Pittsburgh skyline and the stadium where the Steelers play. Beautiful weather made for a slow-paced and relaxing night, with time to with visit friends, old and new.
We’re back at the campsite now, with a group of about a dozen MTTS campers. The camping thing is really working out well on this trip. It takes some extra effort, but the payoff makes up for that and more.
An early day awaits with another track and a dash to Detroit as the journey continues.
P.S. – Many people responded to my previous post about the true meaning of MTTS and an initiative to #defynegativity. Thanks to all for you kind comments and support, especially to those who found me at the Rise and Shine to talk to me in person. You’re the best!