These two pictures were taken from my car (obviously) while driving through some town in Pennsylvania. Previously, I did not know anything about Pennsylvania, except that 1) there are Dutch people there, and 2) it inspired one of my favorite shows, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Now I know a bit more, thanks to one of the people in my OCS class and a dinner in Steubenville. Steubenville is a small coal-mining town in Western Pennsylvania, whose economy clearly has not seen any new developments since dynamite and railroads were introduced to the coal mining industry. I try not to watch horror movies because they scare the living crap out of me, but I am pretty sure Steubenville could be the setting for many a crazed-ax-murder scene. After my mom and I had dinner in Steubenville, we were both so impressed by the weirdness that she sent me an article of some crazy news story that had recently happened in Steubenville. (I don’t remember what it was, but it was bizarre.)
The other thing about Pennsylvania…my drill instructor always likes to insult people by guessing where they are from, and then implying that every negative stereotype of that place is a direct result of their existence. One of the guys in my class is from Western Pennsylvania, and his nickname is now “Western Penn,” said in a tone of voice that suggests this guy could only be the product of multiple generations of cousins marrying cousins.
I didn’t start this post with the intention of just bashing on Pennsylvania. I guess my point was that, when I started the road trip, I thought Ohio was backwards and Pennsylvania was relatively urban. However, now I think Ohio is lovely, and the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania makes those little towns way out in the woods in Humboldt County look like thoroughly modern centers of civilization. Anytime my perceptions are changed, I feel like I have learned something, and that is always good. Sorry Pennsylvania.
And, finally, unrelated but also new and weird – small hamburgers from the middle of the country.