It’s offical, i’m as far west as i’ve ever been in my life.
When we woke up besides the train tracks surrounded by factory buildings unharmed, we realized we survived the night. Next it was off to find restrooms in the city. Jillian put on her most amish looking attire, complete with socks (look at the photos on flickr) Then we decided to find a dunkin doughnuts outside of downtown Pittsburgh, so we could hopefully find parking. Searching on her phone jillian found one across town over by PITT university. We google mapped it and i was super confused about the route. It defied common sense. If i’m gonna live in SF i gotta get used to cities not being flat. The map view doesn’t show a huge mountain in the middle of town that you can’t cross, but have to go around. Pittsburgh is silly. It has this tiny downtown and then this mountain to its rear. Protruding out of the skyline like a skyscraper. The only way to drive this city is to drive towards downtown and swoop around it. We had planned to leave Pittsburgh kinda early and head to a campsite on lake Erie, a little outside of Cleveland. I didn’t want to drive to cleveland then have to spend the night, word on the street is that Cleveland is fuckin ghetto. Instead of leaving Pitt, we went to “the Cathedral of learning” on the PITT campus. It was listed as one of, Pitts top ten sites to visit. since we were so close to it we figured we shouldnt pass it up. It was pretty rad. Within this old tall gothic building was 26 “classrooms” constructed to look like 26 different countries at different periods of time. There was a self guided (best kind) walking tour through each room, complete with a cassette tape audio tour. Im serious, they gave us a portable cassette player and we had to pause the tape in between rooms. The rooms were all pretty sick, but we OD on it. we spent about 2 hours there and soon were getting disinterested. It kinda sucks too cuz the coolest rooms were at the end and we had no patience for them. We spent 15 min in the Finnish rook and 30 seconds in the African room. God damn Fins. After that we grabbed a quick slice of pizza, where i thought to myself. “As we cross the country the quality of pizza is gonna get worse and worse.” A very sad thought to contemplate. Away from the city we went towards our first roadside attraction an hour north to the white trash town of Sharon PA. Daffins: the worlds largest candy store. I’m assuming they meant, the worlds largest store by square footage that has candy for sale, cuz there wasn’t much more candy than any other candy store i’ve been to. It was just in a big building that was mostly filled with hallmark cards and nick knacks. This place looked like it was stuck in the 60′s, but what it lacked in style it made up for in thick chocolate aroma. The place smelled incredible. We bought a bunch of chocolate and i think this had something to do with it. The real attraction at this place was the “Chocolate Kingdom.” In a back room of the store was a series of dog sized, solid chocolate sculptures. elephants, turtles, a rhino, and a castle. They claimed the turlte (the largest piece) weighed around 400 pounds. This was pretty impressive but after a few minutes you were over it. We got in the van booked a campsite and drove another 1-2 hours to lake Erie, in PA. when we got to the campsite it seemed as if it was run by a little girl around age 13 going on 40. She barked all these rules at us. We left the office with our heads low as if we got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar. We found our site and parked. The site is pretty neat. Its nestled in the woods, among tall trees, with a 5 minute walk to the lake. The bathrooms on the other hand are terrible. It was around 6 and cloudy, not the best swimming weather but we knew we had to swim in the lake before we left. So, we went right in. Lake Erie is vast. Looking out on it is like looking out on the ocean. There’s even waves. You dont see anything but water. Its easy to see why early settlers thought the great lakes were seas. The beach wasn’t really sandy, more like rocky, but not like the rocks on LI’s sound. Weird flat slate like rocks. In all sizes. Wading in the water is kind of difficult due to these rocks, and cuz you cant see the bottom. but once your in the water its really soft and warm. We had a blast. Time to put today to bed.
Next stop: Cleveland
See you when we find some WiFi