Monday morning found us in the center of Pennsylvania, in a town called Centre. I hope we were also in the center of Centre, eh? After politely waking up Dave (shaking him until he falls out of bed) we headed out for a run through the area.
Rural Pennsylvania is different than New York City in a million ways, but the one that hit me hardest was the nature of the terrain. We ran down the street from our hotel, saw a sign that said “bike path”, and turned to follow it figuring it would be scenic. BAM. Immediate hill. We both pushed through it to the top, and made it carrying a steady/slowish jog. Once we reached it I was bent over breathing like a madman. Since moving away from Staten Island three years ago, I haven’t had an opportunity to run on anything but 100% flat ground. That hill left me so winded it was both painful and glorious at the same time. Whew!
We continued on through a park, walked a bit, ran back and then sprinted it in to the hotel. I’d guess we ran about 2 miles. Running with a boyfriend rules.
Then we hit the road and had some pre-packed emergency pb&j’s for breakfast. The goal was to reach the border of Lake Erie, and then follow the lake around and cross to Lake Michigan. The biggest city we saw on the map (based on the size of the dots over the cities..) was Erie, PA. We stopped off at a gas station, fueled up, got some beef jerky a.k.a. snack of champions and real men, and then drove, and drove, and drove. We came upon some beautiful landscapes on the way and jumped out of the car to experience them.
The first one was a small row of trees in a huge field in Brookville, PA. There was one old sturdy tree that reminded me of three movie scenes: 1) Forest and Jenny sitting in a tree as kids like peas and carrots, 2) an opening scene in Dances with Wolves when the woman is crying, 3) a scene in Shawshank Redemption when Tim Robbins is burying his tin box under the stone beside the tree.
After this adventure, we hopped back in the car and kept driving for another three hours. I passed out in the passengers seat, and woke up to Dave spontaneously pulling over to the side of the road so we could capture another beautiful scene.
The night ended in Erie, right on the lake. Day of frolicking complete. Next stops: Cleveland to Indiana to Chicago.