Zebulon Montgomery Pike Trail to the sources of the Mississippi 1805 — 1806

Day 38: September 17th, 2002 Detroit — Pittsburgh

Also today Jean is preparing a big and delicious breakfast for us. Then we leave to see the Lewis & Clark movie at the IMAX. I plan to hit the road directly from IMAX. Therefore I already say good–bye to Jean. Then I follow Matt again to the museum, where also the IMAX is inside.

We already bought the entrance cards yesterday- Therefore we don’t have to wait in line today. There is only a line waiting in front of the IMAX itself. Exactly on time they let us in. Then the big show starts. However they show you for more than half an hour previews of other IMAX movies currently running or coming soon. Then the real movie starts.

The videos are fantastic. I have never been in an IMAX theater before. But the video and sound is absolutely fascinating. Also the movie itself is very well put in place. They only made some small changes to the real trail. But all in all they stay very close to the real adventure. It’s also difficult to sum up a trail down to half an hour, which took more than two and a half years and brought so much new things to awareness.

After the movie we go up to the projection booth. Behind glass you can see the big projection machines. Also the bulb is described and can be seen, which runs inside the machine. If you would direct the light to the moon you would see a small spot over there. It’s incredible how much light intensity this bulb has!

After we have seen everything we go back down to our cars. There we say good–bye and I continue my journey to Pittsburgh. I drive back to Highway 24 and follow this one to I–75. Just before I reach the Interstate I make a brief stop at a gas station. The last big leg of my this years journey starts around a quarter to noon.

It doesn’t take long until I reach Ohio on I–75. But I miss the exit to I–280 in Toledo and continue on I–75. At least my GPS shows me that I am going in a completely wrong direction in order to reach the Highway 2 exit. So I discover my mistake soon. Maybe next time I should also program the exit to I–280 in my GPS…

After a short drive I am back on course and reach I–280. The area where I had a road construction last year is already finished. But now the road construction went south and closed my exit to Highway 2.

I follow the detour signs, which takes me way south. Eventually I see the Highway 2 detour sign at the Walbridge exit. I follow this sign, but I realize that it will take me back to the interstate in northern direction. So it looks like the exit is only closed in one direction.

Because I need to go east and Highway 2 also goes south for some time later, I decide to continue straight on. There is also a sign that states trucks are not allowed on this highway. Looks like a couple of other drivers also had the same idea…

I cross Highway 51 but somehow I don’t have the impression that I am on course now. I stop at the side of the road and try to figure out my position by means of street names and my GPS coordinates. I realize that I am too far to the south. But if I turn north at the next possibility I should hit Highway 579, which brings me back to Highway 2.

So I continue and really reach Highway 579. There I see that a lot of trucks are also on this highway. Looks like they also didn’t wanted to take the long detour to Highway 2. Now I make good progress.

Suddenly I hear a warning on CB about a smokey behind a church. Indeed, around the church, everyone starts to slow down and you see the police car well hidden behind the church walls. As soon as we left the “danger zone”, everyone starts to speed up.

Highway 2, Sandusky Bay, OH Highway 2, Sandusky Bay, OH
Highway 2, Sandusky Bay, OH
Highway 2, Sandusky Bay, OH Highway 2, Sandusky Bay, OH
Highway 2, Sandusky Bay, OH

Finally I am back on Highway 2, which I already drove last year. I also take this endless bridge taking me over Sandusky Bay.

Just before Cleveland Highway 2 joins I–90. I continue on the interstate to I–490 and the exit to I–77. But suddenly again a warning on CB: There is an accident ahead where the right lane is closed. So I move over to the left, way before you can see, that the right lane is closed. Also most of the truckers are already on the left lane. It’s really great to have a CB.

At the scene of accident you see that a van driver lost control over his vehicle and crashed into a bridge pillar and slid from there. Therefore the car looks really dented. But the driver sits at the side of the road and it looks like he has no major injuries.

After I have passed the scene of accident, I make again good miles. I reach the exit to I–77 which I follow all the way to Akron. There I switch to I–76 which brings me to Youngstown. There I change interstates another time, this time to I–80. And all of this only to skip the tollways.

I cross the Pennsylvania state line on I–80. Slowly I must realize that my big journey comes to an end again. Hopefully Helen is home. I was only able to reach her answering machine. But just in case I also have the house key. I continue on I–80 before I change interstates for the last time, now on I–79 South.

I am almost back home again. Time flies and I can almost not believe that I have already reached the Cranberry exit. There I take Highway 19 to the Warrendale exit. Just a couple of yards and I am back at Helen’s place.

When I reach the house I see, that her car is not there. That is a bad sign. So I park and unlock the door. She left a note for me on the kitchen table: She is at David’s because he is on vacation and she takes care of the dogs. But I am most welcome to stay at her house alone. This is awesome!

So I take all my stuff out of my car. This takes a while with all my equipment. While I am unloading, her neighbor Charley shows up and asks me if I have seen her note. We chat for a while about my trip, then he has to leave. He has to do some stuff at his sisters place.

I collect the rest of my stuff. Then I park my car. After that I call Helen at David and tell her that I am back. She suggests that she can just drive over and bring me something for dinner. But I suggest that I can also go out for dinner. Then she does not really have to take care about me.

I assume, she has already enough things to do. I don’t want to be an additional burden. I am already more than happy that I am allowed to stay in her house. In the evening I drive over to my beloved Outback Steakhouse. But the road is opened up and there is a barrier in the middle of the road. I am not sure if I am allowed to pass. So I try to figure out another way to my Outback. But I am not able to find another route.

I circle for more than three quarters of an hour before I give up. I squeeze my car past the barrier and reach my Outback. Lucky me that I don’t drive a full–size Blazer. As usual I order my 12 ounce Outback Special. Dinner is absolutely great. Only my server is a bit slow with my second Coke. But the manager is more attentive and brings me another coke before I ask!

Just before ten I pay and drive home. There I watch the CMT channel for another hour. Then I go to bed. Tomorrow I have to prepare my truck for storage.

  • Sights
  • Lewis & Clark Movie, IMAX, Henry Ford Museum (Fee)
  • General
  • Breakfast: Matt & Jean, Detroit
  • Dinner: Outback Steakhouse, Pittsburgh
  • Motel: Home
  • Distance: 362 miles