Click for larger image"There are twenty thousand dead people buried under us."

I start my morning with Quaker Meeting at the Arch Street Meeting House, the oldest Quaker meeting in the United States and the largest Quaker meeting house in the world.  The meeting house stands on a cemetery deeded to the Quakers in 1701.  The graves and markers were covered over and the meeting house constructed in 1804.  Beneath the floorboards rest generations of Quakers. 

The current occupants use a small side room for meetings as the larger historic rooms are now too large for the membership.  I quietly venture into the larger room after meeting is Click for larger imageover.  Once the dominant religion in the United States, Quakers have fallen into relative obscurity.  The giant meeting room is larger than most churches and sits empty until a tour bus arrives.

Having said goodbye to the Arch Street Quakers, I'm off to Pittsburgh.  The path is an easy one today - a nearly straight line across the state using the Pennsylvania Turnpike

An hour outside of Philadelphia and I begin to see signs for Amish-themed restaurants, a Renaissance Fair attraction and Hershey Park.  The Hershey Park mascot is a partially unwrapped chocolate bar extolling travelers to enjoy a "Happy Hershey Moment". 

Click for larger imageI like driving on the turnpike.  Service exits exist every thirty miles or so, allowing you to find food and gasoline without having to leave the turnpike.  These stops feature competing Roy Rogers and Bob Evans restaurants, Hershey Ice Cream stands (selling Sponge Bob popsicles) and even a farmers market.

I arrive in Pittsburgh in the late afternoon.  By all accounts, I've managed to arrive on one of Pittsburgh's fifty three days of sun.  In the sunshine, Pittsburgh is a city filled with beautiful architecture and old money.  Giant houses (in San Francisco we'd refer to them as mansions) with long porches and manicured lawns are everywhere. 

Click for larger imageI meet my friend Erik (a former Pittsburgher turned San Franciscan turned Pittsburgher) and we have dinner with his parents.  I press Erik to show me the kitsch in Pittsburgh and we head off to the Tiki Lounge, a jungle-theme bar in the heart of Pittsburgh.  You enter the bar through the mouth of a giant tiki god and arrive in a bamboo extravaganza.  The ceiling drips simulated rain over the thatched table canopies.  Downstairs, the well appointed men's room features ocean noises and whale sounds.

Three rounds and three prostitutes (hired by others not in our party) later, we are off.  Erik installs me in a house on the edge of Pittsburgh complete with two cats.  He'll return (purportedly) in the morning and we're off to Cass, West Virginia.

Click for larger imageCass is located in a very remote part of West Virginia - deep in the hills.  The only telephone line is in a phone booth and cellular telephone coverage is reportedly sparse - so if there is no update on Monday or Tuesday, fear not!  Updates will be provided upon my return to civilization.

Road Trip 2003 Statistics
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Road Trip 2003 Email Newsletter

The Plan - Road Trip 2003
Itís time for a road trip - a really, really big-ass road trip...[More]
The Route - Road Trip 2003
San Francisco to Maine, twenty two states, two countries and 8,000 miles...[More]
The Vehicle - Road Trip 2003
An itty, bitty car with just enough space for a suitcase, GPS unit and...[More]
Road Trip 2003 Captain and Crew
Who would be crazy enough to drive 8,000 miles in a really small car...[More]
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