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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 50: The Last Roads Home

country fried steak!

We know it’s time to go home when we start craving good ol’ home cookin’ or corporate simulations of it,

The last day. The final hours. The way home.

Pittsburgh to Indianapolis is a six-hour drive. Two detours for Presidential burial sites in Ohio made six feel like twenty.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. Normally we’ll choose one major locale as our primary objective, drive that-a-way, and concentrate on exploring the vicinity for a few days before retreating.

We crafted this year’s itinerary with a different approach. Instead of choosing one city as a hub, we focused on one of the motifs that’s recurred through several of our trips: grave sites of Presidents of the United States of America. Our 2018 road trip would effectively have the format and feel of a video game side quest — collecting nine American Presidents across ten presidencies, four states, seven days, and 2000 miles…

Pittsburgh arch!

First we had to exit Pittsburgh. This was our view outside the Heinz History Center.

Pittsburgh church!

Ye olde church under renovation., one of several sights along their downtown’s awkwardly crisscrossing streets.

Pittsburgh overgrowth!

I feel like we’ve seen this same overgrown wall every time we’re in town.

WV bridge!

Beyond Pennsylvania, I-70 briefly cuts through West Virginia’s uppermost region and into the heart of Wheeling. We stopped there last year, more than once.

Lunch was at our old friend Tudor’s Biscuit World — somewhere in the vicinity of Wheeling, Weirton, and/or Steubenville, OH. We had no major meal goals this day except to avoid nationwide chains we have back home. Tudor’s is nowhere near us and therefore totally qualifies. And we’re big fans of hearty biscuits.

Rocket Biscuit!

Behold what they call the Rocket — steak, egg, cheese, and hash brown on a biscuit, plus a hash brown on the side. Worked for me.

Ohio welcomes you!

We’ve driven I-70 through Ohio so many times now that we take their welcome signs for granted. In this case, it meant we were slightly closer to those Presidents and home, in that order.

Ohio bicentennial!

Ohio thinks they’re so special because they got to have their bicentennial party 13 years before Indiana’s own party.

some Ohio river?

Anne glances at a random river to pass the time. By now we were hundreds of miles from the Erie Canal.

By the time we bade farewell to Warren Harding’s Greek temple, we were exhausted and no longer interested in spending hours searching for the perfect Ohio interstate dinner restaurant. We randomly stopped in Huber Heights and found ourselves at a Frisch’s Big Boy. Their nearest Hoosier location is forty minutes from our house, so they, like Tudor’s, just barely qualified to be our final restaurant experience of the trip.

Frisch's big boy!

That was their country-fried steak and onion rings in our lead photo. Anne settled for a turkey dinner. We were okay with our choices.

downtown home!

Three uneventful hours later we were back in Indianapolis, with a wee bit of sunlight left to lead the way.

…and then we got home, which was still standing, unlike us after a few more minutes. We had another round of experiences to add to our repertoire, and I found myself with more souvenirs than usual.

souvenirs 2018!

Clockwise from top left: souvenirs from the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute; the Susan B. Anthony House; the Museum of the American Revolution (which recently appeared in an issue of DC’s Shazam!); and Valley Forge National Historic Park.

This concludes the narrative of our 2018 road trip. Coming soon: outtakes!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my TV live-tweeting and other signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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