Our plan to leave NJ on Wednesday evening was tweaked to have us leave NJ Thursday morning. As things worked out, we finally hit the road sometime around 1:00PM Thursday afternoon. Feeling good about finally hitting the road, we confidently began our route as plotted by those helpful computers over at Expedia. The first substantial leg of our journey had us cross most of Pennsylvania on Interstate 78.
Soon after we started our trip we began seeing signs on the side of the highway stating that I78 was closed at PA Rt. 100. No reason was offered. When we entered PA, we stopped at the Welcome Center to ask about the closure. The Welcome Center employee at the desk was not entirely welcoming, and wouldn't tell us why the road was closed, or offer an suggested alternative routes. He could barely be bothered to help us find the maps stacked on the counter somewhere amidst scores of marketing brochures. Eventually I found the maps, took one, and we left.
I tried to devise an alternative route using the PA Highway map. Normally I'm pretty good at this. For whatever reason, I was having a lot of trouble finding a satisfactory east-west route across Pennsylvania last week, using the map I had.
We proceeded very slowly across PA, using very slow-moving two-lane roads. Crossing many rural areas of Pennsylvania on these non-Interstate roads, I was exposed to several entertaining signs. The first I saw was painted on the back of an eighteen-wheeler. I am by no means mockingn the message. In fact, I respect and admire it a little bit: "Life is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God." The messages grew weirder from there. The other messages I saw were:
- Are you living slightly left to living right? -- this was Jess' favorite.
- Ye who lives after the flesh shall die. - As opposed to those that don't? This was my favorite, and the most 'mock-worthy' sign we saw.
Finally, a non-religious sign that took the cake for weirdness: Nigerian Dwarf Goats for sale.
After a few hours slogging through the state highways of PA, we returned to I78, where we almost immediately saw a sign stating that the exit to I-81 was closed. I-81 was our next leg, so we exited I-78 and returned to the map, again looking for alternatives. Within about 15 minutes I noticed on the map that weren't close to I-81 yet, and decided we would return to 78 and stay there until we got near 81, and would then worry about how to get to 81 from 78 at the closed exit.
Turns out, the exit wasn't closed when we reached it, and from there the trip proceeded smoothly. More later.