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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Route 115 two weeks before peak color

The rain seems to have not gotten the memo stating that it was supposed to fall all weekend. Today was much nicer than yesterday, so we decided to take our trip to Marshalls Creek today. (According to the exit sign on Route 80 it's Marshalls Creek, not Marshall's Creek. So I stand corrected. Maybe.) "We" consisted of me, my cousin, her mother, and a friend of ours. My cousin is always complaining that I never mention her or put pictures of her on my blog, so here she is, mugging for the camera. (Interested parties may submit a resume, C.V., three letters of recommendation, three photographs - head, profile, and full-body - and a thousand-word essay explaining why you should be allowed to go out with my cousin. Be prepared to provide blood, urine, and hair samples, as well as sets of finger and retina prints and a scraping of cells from the inside of the cheek.)

There are several ways to get from anywhere to anywhere else in Pennsylvania, but one of the nicest (and fastest) ways to get from Nanticoke to Marshalls Creek is to take Interstate 81 North to Route 115 South to Interstate 80 East to the Marshalls Creek exit. Route 115 is an old, winding, two- to three-lane road that cuts through some of the prettiest parts of the Northeastern Pennsylvania forest. Unfortunately, we still have about two weeks to go until our leaves are at peak color, so only isolated trees are showing much.

Route 115 is too narrow, winding, and hilly to attract the heavy tractor-trailer traffic that fills Interstates like 81 and 80. But we had barely gotten on the road when we were joined by an unusual vehicle - a HumVee stretch limousine. It pulled on from a gas station where it had probably been filled with several hundred dollars' worth of fuel, and it probably gets less than 10 miles per gallon. Fuel efficiency is generally optimized for a speed of 50-55 miles per hour, so when this beast flew past us at 70 mph in a 45 zone, we could be pretty sure is was burning fuel at a preposterous rate.

After it blew past us we figured we'd seen the last of it, but it wasn't too much farther down the road that we found it again, stuck behind one of the few large trucks on the road.
In this case it was a tanker truck carrying water and moving at about 30 mph. The poor little HumVee was behind it in a no-passing zone, puttering away at go-kart speeds.


I tried to snap photos here and there as we went along, but there weren't that many colorful trees, and it's hard to get an undistorted picture from a moving vehicle.
I will be going back this way next weekend for a birthday party in New Jersey. It will be interesting to see how much more the leaves have changed by then.

Here's one last picture, of interest to a few of my friends. The Blakeslee Diner is still there, still renting out the upstairs rooms.
It's been a few years since I ate there. I had a friend who worked there one summer, and that was when I decided the owner/manager was a jerk - he would specifically not sit me in my friend's section, even though I requested it, even though she was the only reason I was stopping there. Eh, she thought he was an OK guy, so maybe I'm judging him too harshly.

Stay tuned for more developments as the leaves in Northeastern Pennsylvania continue to change color!

1 comment:

betz said...

awesome pics harold, and a very nice story. did your cousin get any hits?