To Pittsburgh via Paw Paw

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If you recall, I love a good, old-fashioned carousel, especially one that is in a trolley park!

Some friends invited us to join them at Kennywood near Pittsburgh. As it was only supposed to be about a 3-hour drive, we decided we’d make a day trip of it even though we knew it would be a little rough spending that much time in the car.

We headed out early that morning with the address programmed into my smartphone. Everything was going smoothly. I had some good coffee in my travel cup, GPS was working, and The Fellow was napping in the front seat. Then about an hour into our trip, the GPS whipped us off of the main road and onto an unmarked, dirt road.

Now, that doesn’t really merit mentioning as it happens fairly often on my road trips. What did cause a problem was me almost missing the turn, and the cell phone going flying, hitting its screen, and clearing out the map.

So there we are, no map, on a dirt road, and no cell phone service to be able to use our data plan to load a new map – at which point The Fellow wakes up from his nap.

Now, I have a few life rules. The two main rules being, never lend more than you can afford to lose, and the other is that as long as you have gas, you’re never truly lost (at least on the East coast side of the US). Eventually, you will find someone or someplace to stop and ask directions.

The Fellow, however, gets seriously stressed in these types of situations.

I figured we may as well keep driving, because we know we’ve got to keep going forward, and eventually we’ll get back into cell phone service or find a place or we can head home. No worries. Until we hit a fork in the road.

Now, once many years ago I was lost on a mountain road and called my father for help, and he told me, “Now, mountain ranges run north to south, which means the valleys run east to west, and moss grows on the north side of a tree so you should never be lost.” To which I replied, “By the time I’m out of my car looking for a tree, I’ve got bigger problems.”

Not concerned enough to go moss hunting, I suggested that we try the left fork.

As it turns out, going left took us in a circle, so we tried the right fork, and things started to seem a bit familiar as I’d been lost there before.

Finally, we hit Paw Paw, a tiny little town in WV, and pulled over to try to get cell phone service.

As The Fellow was fiddling with the cell phone, a car pulled into the next driveway over from where we were stopped, and a man hopped out with his morning coffee.

I rolled down the window and hollered across the road, “Excuse me!” (as The Fellow looked at me like I was crazy). He walked over to us, and I said, “We seem to have gotten ourselves a bit lost; we’re heading to Pittsburg.” He just chuckled and gave us directions.

Two hours later, and over an hour late, we pulled into the parking lot at Kennywood.

It was a really fun day with friends riding the rides, eating park food, and hanging out.

And that, my friends, is the story of how we made it to Pittsburgh via Paw Paw.

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