Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Backtime Road Trip Day 7: Eastbound and Downright Frustrated

I doubt there is a more depressing stretch of road in the eastern United States than the length of the state of Pennsylvania on I-80. 310 miles of nothingness, broken up only by tedious road construction and landmarked only by a couple of nuclear power facilities.

No wonder they call Penn State "Happy Valley." It's because people are so happy to have found civilization.

So we woke up this morning in Cleveland, Day 6 A.D. (After Decision). For the short time I was there, the city seemed no more or less depressed than it normally is. Cleveland is actually very nice - in July.

You'd think that losing LeBron is like any major city losing their #1 commodity, akin to Detroit losing GM. But basketball still wasn't "king" in this town.

There was a lot of local coverage on the death of Cleveland native George Steinbrenner, the American Shipbuilding magnate who tried to buy the Indians in the early 70s but was thwarted. The rest is history in two cities.

But baseball doesn't reign in this town or the state for that matter. You see, George Steinbrenner's role model and mentor was Woody Hayes. Everything in Ohio is football. LeBron's headline news cycle runs until the day Browns camp opens. Period.

As I was cruising the streets on the Baldwin-Wallace campus near my sister's house in Berea, there were football tributes on your average street corner.

So now came the single hardest leg of the trip (at least thus far), the one day trip from Cleveland to New York City. After four stops, a 45-minute construction crawl, and a ton of junk food, we arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's place 8+ hours later.

Now we get to stay in (generally) one spot for a whole week. And a pretty cool spot it is. Six stories up, overlooking Central Park. And tonight we were greeted by fireworks. Bastille Day! Who knew?

Now the hard part of the trip is over, and the real fun can begin. At least until the 13-hour drive home next week. But that's still a long way off. Bonne nuit!

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