Everyone has a significant mile marker, roadside attraction, or point of interest that mentally registers that the journey has begun. Heading west, I cross under this bridge on I-70. The Appalachian Trail crosses over right here. I always get excited going under this bridge. For a full year, the anticipation of hosting the Birthday Bash has weighted heavily on me. The day had finally arrived and it was time to put plans into action. I was westbound. I was Bash II-bound.
Sideling Hill is also one of these significant landmarks. Sideling Hill is where the Piedmont ends and where Western Maryland begins. Now, this technically may not be totally correct, but once you go through the Hill, you have entered a totally different part of Maryland.
This cut through the Alleghenies is very impressive, slicing through 340 feet of solid rock. I generally stop here to take care of business. The view from up here is spectacular on a clear day. When heading East, I always know that in two hours I will be home. I was heading west, and I knew that in two and a half hours I would be at Ace's house. Westbound it was, Ace-bound it was also. It was a beautiful sunset as I got back on the road.
The next day, Ace and I headed out very first thing in the morning for Coopers Lake Campground, the site of this year's Birthday Bash. We headed North from Bethel Park and across the Ohio River. Why is the "Ohio" River in Pennsylvania? Nice bridge, smooth tow. Anna seems to be towing very smoothly these days. It must be the new jalousie windows.
We pulled into the campground and began getting things set up. This was the view from my front door. It would soon be obscured by a bunch of silver trailers.
Our Parking Czar, Obie, showed up soon after we did, followed by the third Bash host, Steve. Things were quickly falling into place.
Just a little foreshadowing; The view from my front door on Day Two.