Just Write: Slow down, look around; not-so-beaten path may be more interesting
When you're driving, it's always difficult to take in the scenery.
I realized that Saturday as I was driving to State College.
Having done the drive several times, I opted for Route 22 — quicker by a few minutes than paying to use the Turnpike, according to Google Maps.
And the free road surely has more to look at than much of the Turnpike, anyway.
We're so accustomed to using major highways and airplanes to get us as quickly to our destinations as possible, that we've collectively turned our backs on small towns, quirky businesses and a number of attractions.
Somewhere along Route 22, I discovered a rundown former gas station — one of many, actually. But this one stood out for how prominent it was along the highway. I looked at the old business as I passed, but wondered for several minutes what life was like in the prime of that little gas station.
I pictured older cars — the ones we see in archived photos or film — with families or businessmen driving in to fill up.
While old structures remain empty, businesses along the somewhat busy stretch of highway reminded me that things change. Take, for instance, the drive-thru Sheetz near Blairsville. The modern day convenience store lets drivers pull into a drive-thru similar to a fast-food restaurant, select items from a screen, pay at a window, receive their orders and get on the road.
Closer to Altoona, I peered onto a nearby mountainside to see railroad tracks leading toward engineering marvel Horseshoe Curve — a National Historic Landmark.
The drive between Pittsburgh and State College isn't the only intriguing stretch of highway.
I once — mistakenly — took Route 30 home from Harrisburg after realizing I clicked the Google Maps button to turn off major highways. I didn't mind as I enjoyed the ride looking at many of the landmarks WQED producer Rick Sebak documented in his film “A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway.”
As I drive these once-necessary stretches of roadway, I think how great it would be to spend more time than a few seconds passing by fascinating locations. I'm just always in a hurry.
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Music, dinner event planned at Quaker Valley Middle School
- Supply of IRS forms at Sewickley library not as plentiful as past
- Quaker Valley leaders weigh lower tuition fees
- Weekend ‘Hangout’ in Sewickley could extend into week
- Quaker Valley officials balk at clearance rules
- Sewickley couple bring Victorian grandeur back to home
- Serafini: Early to rise has its advantages