Day 5: Granite City, Illinois: 5:30am, I rolled out of my tent and said good morning to my wet tent fly; it was quite the thunder and lightning storm last night! As I was counting how far away the storm was I felt comfortable. But when it was overhead I reviewed in my mind: is my tent in a good position on the ground, did I still feel the overhead tree branches were okay in this wind, should I have trenched around my tent to handle the downpour? Fortunately, my tent was okay and I slept comfortably and dry the entire night and with a shake of the tent fly and some drying time it was good to go for the next night in a tent.
Today was a long day, driving to Connellsville, Pennsylvania … located in the southwestern part of the state. I actually drove through five states this day: started in Illinois, then Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and finally Pennsylvania. I wanted to stay at this PA campground since it was by a river and bicycle path. I finally arrived at 7:00pm in pouring rain which had been the case the last couple of hours while driving backroads. No birding or bicycling was to happen, bummer!
After much thought, I made the decision to book a local motel room. The rain here was falling better than any shower I had personally taken and there was no need for me to be sopping wet to then sleep on my bed platform in my car. I arrived at the motel and tried to get tickets to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house, built 1936-1939 supposedly over a waterfall. Unfortunately everyone else was looking for a rainy day activity so no available tour for me the next day. Another time I wish to check out his house construction!
Day 6: Off to visit my sister and her husband who live in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. For the first couple of hours I was again on the smaller roads before finally driving on any interstate. If I stopped at every place of interest I would never get to visit my mom and friend. But I did see signs for where if I veered 15 miles away was the Flight 93 National Memorial, Wall of Names, built to honor the crew and passengers, 40 victims, of that flight. Those heroic people stopped the terrorists from achieving their goal and stands as a reminder of how horrific the entire day, September 11, 2001, was and will never be forgotten by me. Historical signs were about the Great Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889 were more than 2,000 people died because of a dam failure. (It was also the time of Clara Barton’s first domestic relief effort and the start of American Red Cross.) I was always aware of that flood but I just discovered two other floods having an impact on Johnstown. March 17, 1936 the town had a devastating flood caused by heavy runoff from melting snow and 3 days of rain. A couple dozen people died with many building buildings destroyed. The third Johnstown flood was July 19, 1977. Again, heavy rainfall causing flash flooding.
Along the highway I saw some message on the back windows of two cars. These people were letting everyone know they are on a road trip and if others wished to donate to their adventure, then you could send them money via Venmo or PayPal. Wow, that really is taking a fundraiser on the road. I will wonder if anyone actually sends them money!
I have arrived at their alpaca farm. No rain! Life is good! (My preoccupation with rain is in the fact that where I do live we have not had any substantial rain in 2 years. Thank goodness I packed a raincoat!)