I am relaxing at camp in the Laurel Highlands region of Western Pennsylvania this evening, after a day of sightseeing. I had a rest day yesterday, as I was tired. I stayed around camp and wrote and relaxed. Today I toured one of the iconic landmarks of this region – Fallingwater – a home designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is probably his best known home. It is stunning!
So far I have set foot in the following states: Washington, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota (new), Iowa (new), Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania. When I say “new for me,” I mean this is the first time as an adult that I have been there. I am not counting childhood road trips that I barely remember.
I have visited four National Parks, three of which were new to me: Glacier NP (new), Badlands NP, Mammoth Cave NP (new), Cuyahoga Valley NP (new). I have also visited a lot of national monuments, national historic sites, national memorials, and other parks sites and several state parks – all have been really cool!
I have been reflecting a bit on the places I have seen and the experiences I have had and decided to do a comparison list. So far…
Camping: Least expensive – Wall, South Dakota (only 8 miles from Badlands National Park!). Most expensive: Outside of Columbus, Ohio (I was not expecting that!)
Temperatures: Hottest – 98 degrees – Eastern Washington and Western Montana. Coolest – 56 degrees – Rockwood, Pennsylvania.
“Welcome to” sign: Best – Montana (the design was beautiful). Worst – Ohio (I never even saw a sign).
Tolls: Best – Everywhere except Pennsylvania (I didn’t hit any tolls until PA). Worst – Pennsylvania! (driving on the turnpike for about an hour cost $16.65!!! I set my GPS to avoid tolls now.).
Mosquitoes: Best – South Dakota. Worst – Kentucky
Best weather: Most places have been pretty good, just hot and muggy. Worst – Lexington, KY. (A huge rainstorm got everything muddy. I had to wash my shoes. And my legs. And the tubs that hold my dishes (even though they were sitting on the picnic table!)).
Gas: Least Expensive – Ohio. Most expensive – Pennsylvania.
Booze: Best – the sparkling Brianna wine from Four Daughters winery in Minnesota. Worst – Buffalo Trace bourbon in Kentucky (I am so not a bourbon drinker!).
Anything else you think I should add to my best/worst list? It is purely subjective, you know. Enjoy!