I had no internet. Western Pennsylvania.

I have a bruise on my knee and I don’t know how I got it. Maybe from all the hiking I did in Pennsylvania or maybe from bonking my knee so many times on my aunts car door that my knee just gave up and decided to call it quits to form the sorest bruise I’ve ever had. I guess I use my knees more often than not. I also have bruises on my thighs… Not from the constant love making I do with my super hot, babelicious, imaginary boyfriend I’ve got, but from the short stint at trying to ride a tricycle down the hall of an antique mall.

So, with out further ado, my trip to the western hemisphere of Pennsylvania was wonderful. It will almost likely/ purely positively/ definitely be my last trip there, and not because I hated it (I love that place) but because after 23 years of going there every summer with my family I really have to start looking for new places.


Two robots I found at the Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville, WVA. 

So for the most part my trip was purely hiking. One day we went to to the Amish, another we went to Pittsburgh, and another we went to West Virginia to visit a haunted state penitentiary and indian mound. Now, if I don’t have bad juju then I’ll find myself to be a lucky gal.

The first day we went on a very rainy hike out at Mcconnells Mill State Park. It was the second time for me going out there but I’ll remember this day more than that other time. We got stuck under the protection of a covered bridge that seemed to be the main source of a secret highway for pizza delivery people.

Cars just flew by with out the notion of helping out some weary hikers stuck in the rain. After some time though a small group of “hog” enthusiast came seeking shelter as well. “Anyone got any beer?” was the first thing one of them asked. One leg being shorter than the other with his platform shoe on his right foot. He never once got off his motorcycle to even show his footing. The other two being a couple looked like they were stuck in the 80’s, playing “she’s my cherry pie” on their radio. After about 15 minutes of waiting a pizza delivery girl came by looking to get through the bridge but had no luck. We didn’t either when one of the hoggers asked if he could just buy all the pizza. If he was successful this story would’ve been way more interesting. They all left eventually, including the built up traffic behind them. One car driven by this man with the coolest mustache and his little Asian wife, both looking like they just got off from a Jurassic Park expedition.

The next day was easy. Just Amish people galore. We went to this restaurant called Miss Yoder’s Kitchen. I honestly have to say it’s one of my favorite restaurants when I really think about it. It’s owned and operated by Mennonites, you’re waited on by Mennonites, and Mennonites/Amish folks are sitting right next to you chowing down on their own blueberry cobbler. There is a very homely feel to the place and the service is honestly the best I’ve ever had.

I’m not exaggerating. They were packed up yet still found time to fill my drink. I had the country fried steak and it would’ve been great if I was way hungrier but it all came out to be a bit too heavy, leaving me in comatose state on the way back home.


I gotcha!

Now, we did go to Pittsburgh but honestly I just want to get to the West Virginia State Penitentiary. It’s haunted folks. At least, that’s what I’m told. It was pretty much the most gruesome prison I’ve heard of.

All the stories and the amount of documented and undocumented killings there makes me wonder why in the world does one do bad things to end up in a place this terrible. There was one story where a “trustee” of the prison was hacked to pieces after other prisoners thought him to be a snitch. The guy was probably minding his own business when BAM! Death is upon him and his body is nothing but the discarded Lego pieces you never play with anymore. I highly recommend going to the prison. The tickets were cheap and the tour was totally worth it at being at least an hour long chalk full of info and stories of the prisons “gory” days.


At a pretty darn cool art museum called The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, PA. 


Some of the art work from The Mattress Factory… I’m just kidding this one was in one of the cells at the West Virginia State Penitentiary.

So to wrap this up I have one last place to talk about. Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. First of all no, it’s not in Ohio. It’s a rafting town nestled in the historic hills of the Laurel Highlands. Chalk full of cafes, food vendors, and there’s even a river running through it, just for all the rafters and kayakers to jump on.

The town is mainly for the outdoorsy person who likes to bike, hike, trail run, or do the aforementioned river activities. During the week it’s less busy than the weekends (duh), and I’d say don’t get too close to the river unless you like ogling less than perfect bodies hogging up the beaches. There were tons of people and I mean I let out the words “we need a new plague” to really insinuate what I’m talking about. The cafe we ate at was called The Fire Fly Grill.

To me it might’ve been the busiest place on the Pyle but it sure had great food, especially if you’re a weary traveler like myself. The prices were reasonable but the line was a little long. I feel like they could’ve used another cashier but this one Jamaican seemed like he had it under control but whatever, if you’re willing to be patient go there then thank me later. The rest to this story is hiking.

So there you go. My trip to Pennsylvania was all together fun. A bit tiring but fun. I didn’t stay in any hotel either but stayed in my late Grandfathers almost dilapidated farm house. Where the mice run free and the birds like to live in the attic. After 23 years of staying there every summer, cleaning up the house to even live in it for a week just becomes old hat for me. I’ll miss this place and the small towns where time just seems to have stopped, but in the end I’m just gonna keep going.


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