Day 13: Complete Cemetery Failure

A neat bridge on our route, crossing into West Virginia from Ohio. Photo: Jenny Williams

Finally, back on track. I love free hotel wifi.

I did manage to sleep in a bit today, so I am partially caught up on sleep. Though we weren’t in a huge hurry to get on the road today, we did need to get to our hotel in enough time for me to catch up on a couple of days of emails, Facebook stati, and tweets. Plus get all my extra posts and photos up. Most of that happened, but not any of the extra writing I had hoped to do. Tomorrow, maybe.

Saw this on our route today, in a tiny town. Had to stop and take a photo. Photo: Jenny Williams

While I was packing, the boy insisted that John B. play more games with him. And John, being the nice guy that he is, agreed. My son is really going to miss John. He climbed all over John this morning, and was quite upset to be leaving. He wanted to bring John with us. I have to say, I agree. He’d be a great road trip companion, in addition to being great company in general. And I think he felt the same. He seemed sad to see us go.

The drive from the rural area of Dellroy, Ohio, toward Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was middle-of-nowhere quaint. Plus lots and lots of hills. And curves. You can tell when you’re on a back road that the grades and curves haven’t been designed for efficient, safe travel. Fast, slow, fast, slow, up, down, around a corner. It kept me on my toes. We even saw our first horse and buggy warning sign, plus a couple of Amish on their front lawn selling bake sale items. They waved to me. I happened to be eating a chocolate chip cookie at the time, so it was hard to wave back, but I tried.

Union Dale Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where my Civil War ancestor is buried. Somewhere. Photo: Jenny Williams

We got to the area of the Pittsburgh cemetery that I wanted to see. My many-great grandfather who was mortally wounded at Gettysburg is buried there. My failure at our first cemetery didn’t sway me from trying again. Well, it turned out that much construction re-routing got us lost and unable to find the proper road for quite a while. And there was some crazy sporting event at the stadium, so I had plenty of traffic and crazy tailgaters to content with. But after much backtracking and retracing our steps, I finally found a way to the cemetery. That used up an extra hour or so. And then the cemetery office had closed at noon, and so finding the exact location of my ancestor was pretty unlikely. But Jeremiah Mosher Sample is a pretty distinctive name, so I thought I’d drive around a bit and test my luck. The cemetery is a lot larger than the one we saw in Cleveland, but much more interesting. It’s very hilly, with plenty of trees and a few mausoleums. I did find two separate tombstones with the Sample name on them (and some Semples as well), but no Jeremiah. Alas.

We gave up after an hour or so and headed toward our hotel for the night, in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. We drove through a very small section of West Virginia to get there, which was a pleasant surprise (neither of the kids had been), and then on to Pennsylvania. We got here at about 5pm. We head out early tomorrow morning for our tour of Fallingwater! I can’t wait.

One of the great things about meeting people, growing older, and knowing yourself more is that it is easier to figure out when someone you meet is a good friend match for you. I really like collecting awesome people, and I’ve gotten quite good at it in recent years. Truly fantastic human beings with whom I just click are pretty rare, but I know them when I see them. To my collection of awesome people, thanks. I hope you know who you are.

Drove: About 145 miles.

States: Ohio, West Virginia (a tiny bit), Pennsylvania.

Weather: Really sticky. And there was a bit of rain. All together unpleasant.

Kids: More whining from the boy, but certainly no more than usual at home.

Best Parts of the Day: Sleeping in until almost 9am. Chocolate chip cookies for the road.

Worst Parts of the Day: Leaving a good friend behind. Getting lost in Pittsburgh.

What I’ve Learned on the Trip: Driving across the country with kids isn’t nearly as scary as it seems ahead of time. Even when you get lost.

Total GeekDads Visited: 5.


About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.
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