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 over.
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
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".
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.
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,
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.