Sullivan, Clinton and Broadhead Trail 1779
Day 8: September 10th, 2000 Pittsburgh — Kutztown/Allentown
I have to return my rental car before I can set off for my trail. I also need a minimum set of tools which I plan to get at Wal Mart. This means I have to get up early. I leave my Bob Evans Restaurant just past eight to go to Wal Mart. I look around for suitable tools and find a nice set for $14.84. Then I search on to find something to cover my suitcase in the trunk. First I think of a blanket which I use in Germany. But then I find a bed sheet in black. That’s it! Together with my tinted windows nobody can see that there is something laying in the trunk. I also buy a can of antifreeze to fill up my coolant. I also take a bottle of oil with me, just in case. After this big shopping tour I drive back to my Motel. I prepare everything in my new car for the big journey. I pack my suitacse and test the new sheet to cover everything — which fits and looks perfectly! There is absolutely nothing to see from the outside!
Then I call my American Mom Helen. She offered to pick me up at the airport. I check out at my Motel and drive the rental car back to the airport. The return of the car is without issues this time. After ten minutes Helen shows up and we drive back to my Motel. She also wishes me all the best for my traveling. Now the journey can start!
Stop, I remember that I have no spare fuses. Ok, another trip to Wal Mart und now I am ready to roll. It’s half past twelve and I have to hurry up. I have to cross Pennsylvania today to the eastern end. Originally I planned to follow the Allegheny River. But I am already a day late. That’s why I skip the backroads today and drive directly to the start of my John Sullivan Trail in Easton. Whereas I plan to make stopover a couple of miles west in Allentown/Kutztown. To make the trip in one day I have to skip the backroads and stay on the Interstate — but only for today!
First I follow I–79 north to I–80. But I pick the wrong exit and I find myself again on my last years “Let’s go West” philosophy going in the wrong direction. The next exit I turn around and I am back on my way east on I–80 for the next several hours. I really like my cruise control here — which the Bronco also did not had! I am really glad that I made another attempt to find a car from a private seller.
After a couple of hours I reach I–81 to the south. It’s only another couple of miles before I reach the exit for Highway 309. Now I am eventually back on the smaller roads. But my gas gauge is starting to worry me: The needle is very close to empty and it looks like there is no warning sign for the last 50 miles or so like in the newer cars. So empty really means empty! After a couple of miles I reach the little village McAdoo. There is a gas station where I am able to to put 17.4 gallons in my 20 gallons gas tank. Not too bad for the beginning. With my distance of 350 miles so far I have an average of 20.1 m/gal — with a 4.3l TBI on regular gas, automatic and cruise control. I am really amazed!
I continue my journey along Highway 309 until the vicinity of New Tripoli. Now I am on real small roads. But only for half an hour. Then I have reached my destination for today, the Super 8 in Kutztown. I meet an older guy with his Harley Davidson at the parking lot. He tells me that he is currently on his way to Connecticut to visit his son. He is living in Folrida and has been riding 400 miles today! Not too bad considering he is already 75! I would have guessed that he is only around 60. His friend is already 80 and is driving a Harley as well. Also his friend looks much younger. They want to start tomorrow very early. I wish them all the best and go to the Motel reception.
Now it’s time to be shocked for the first time: The price is almost $15 higher than in the Motel guide. If this continues, this vacation is really getting expensive. I put my luggage in the room and start searching around for a nice dinner place. Unfortunately the Motel is pretty much out in the country. Nothing is near by. So I follow a small road to the east in direction of the next bigger city Allentown. Worst case I have to drive all the way to the city.
But I am lucky. After a couple of miles I reach a shopping area with drive–in and everything. I am sure to find a nice restaurant there also. I discover a place called Cracker Barrel. First I am not sure if this is just a store where I can buy stuff. But looking at the number of cars in the parking lot I assume I can also have something for dinner there. I give it a try and enter the room. First it really looks like a general store. But at the end in the corner on the left is a hostess and the entry to the restaurant. Unfortunately the waiting is already 15 minutes, but I am happy to wait. I can kill time by looking at all the stuff they sell here. Not a bad idea: While the people are waiting for a table they can shop in the store. But for me there is nothing interesting around. I just walk through the aisles until my table is ready. The dinner is really good — and a lot! I am not even able to eat the second roll. I leave the Cracker Barrel around 8pm. When driving back I remember that I haven’t checked if they also have breakfast. But I will give it a try anyway tomorrow.
- Breakfast: Bob Evans, Cranberry Township
- Dinner: Cracker Barrel, Fogelsville
- Motel: Super 8, Kutztown
- Distance: 410 miles