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(east/west, day two: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky)

The Golden Triangle glistens in the morning

I see in real life what I learned in third grade

Amazing what thoughts cross my mind without warning

As I detour out of Steelertown just a little delayed

Down 79 in Bridgeville I stop for breakfast and pages

The clouds finally break and the sun shines down in full

Then it’s on through West Virginia, now that’s one for the ages

Just wheeling through, feeling the westward pull

Strange things are happening

As I head deeper west

Strange things are happening

May they meet with success.

Crossing the Ohio, broken bits of forgotten America

Lie strewn, abandoned, at the foot of the interstate

Over the river, up from the valley, I survey a new area

Fuel up in Zanesville, then deeper into the state

Across an endlessly flat plain, I avoid all the cities

Unwanted thoughts of old girlfriends, I try not to dwell

But the weird vibes persist all the way through Cincinnati

Where I get caught up in afternoon rush-hour hell

Strange things are happening

Are they some sort of test

Strange things are happening

May they all be for the best.

Before I go on, I have to ask: What’s with all the damn pigs?

Trucks bludgeon me with their heinous stench throughout the ride

Can this country’s pork industry really be so damn big?

I just hope it doesn’t stink like this all the way to the other side.

What’s slowing us down? Looks like construction closure

At the height of the crush, two lanes converge

I slow down to a stop and wait for it all to be over

But with a flash of his lights, brother trucker lets me merge

And I remember how back home I wouldn’t have been so lucky

And I think, now I’m definitely out of the northeast

Soon I’m over the Ohio again and into Kentucky

Slug past Louisville, on to Shepherdsville, first place I can park my beast

Strange things are happening

An odd odyssey or quest

Strange things are happening

Let’s lay this whole long day to rest.

Strange things are happening

As I head deeper west

Strange things are happening

May they stay safe and blessed.

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, I-470, Wheeling, West Virginia - original photo by The Hesh Inc.
The Bridge Over the River Ohio, June 18, 2003.

The second day on the road on my east/west journey started in Pittsburgh, where I got started a bit later than expected after hanging out with my old friend from Israel and his wife, catching up on old times. But soon I got going, and I took in some views I had only heard or read about previously. Soon I was through the "finger" of West Virginia and over the Ohio, and as I crossed the amazingly flat state by the same name, all sorts of unwanted thoughts started creeping through my mind ... and soon I was introduced to the bane of my trip: the pig trucks! Apparently June is the season when these unkosher beasts get trucked to the slaughterhouses to feed the country's evidently insatiable appetite for pork, and the smell, every time one of those trucks passed me, was beyond vile, especially when I had the cab windows open. This phenomenon plagued me pretty much the entire trip, between Ohio and the California line. Later in the afternoon, after an experience during the Cincinnati rush hour in which I realized that once I leave the northeastern corridor, drivers are actually nice to each other, I crossed the Ohio again into Kentucky ... by now I was exhausted and needed to stop for the night, but it was no simple matter to just park the truck, since I was towing my family van behind it. Finding no place to do that in Louisville, I pressed on till I found a hotel in Shepherdsville with a whole row of trucks parked in a lot across from the front entrance. And then, finally, I could rest from the road.


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