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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Altoona, not just a funny name.

Always just a weird, cartoonish name for a place I’d never been. But now I’m kicked back in a motel room in Altoona, Pennsylvania, while the boys place outside in dirty, week-old snow.

The drive here, from about 30 miles outside of DC all the way to the present point, was breathtakingly beautiful. The Allegheny Mountains and the quaint countryside in western Maryland and central Pennsylvania….just no words. There was a flawless clear blue sky today, which made for some beautiful scenery. The drive was very easy and I feel rejuvenated instead of tired.

A couple of things I noticed…the houses are nicer in the rural areas here. I didn’t see any trailers or ramshackle shacks. (although I am sure there are some, just not as many? or they are hidden). And, there are mostly hardwood trees covering the countryside here, few evergreens. Instead of the splotchy dark green and brown that covers the NC mountains in winter, here the mountainsides are almost completely brown…stark brown against a beautiful blue sky, which splotches of white snow in the shady parts.

I do want to note that I am sitting about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh right now, and the Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl this evening. I have already seen a large percentage of people wearing their Steelers gear.

Hopefully we will get up early enough in the morning to catch some of the Groundhog’s Day festivites in Punxsutawney, seeing as how I took a detour to get closer to Phil, which cost me at least another hour of driving.

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