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Draplin Design Co., North America



Got on the road pretty early and down through Ann Arbor to that border. Into Ohio, and past Toledo, where I missed a couple exits of course, and ended up taking a couple wrong turns that led me out into the countryside. I took country roads for a couple hours, heading east when I could, cruising through small towns and hamlets, straddling the tollroad as I went.

090. “A guy carving a bear with a chainsaw, man.”
091. “A couple of bears sharing secrets.”
092. “Somewhere outside of Luckey, Ohio.”
093. “Traintracks to somewhere.”

Then it started to rain real hard and I decided to throw the towel in on being “in the middle of nowhere” and hopped on the tollroad.

094. “Tollroad believer.”

Made good time, passing up Cleveland, thinking about the determination Cobra Verde, the hairstyles of Bone Thugs n’ Harmony, the Chris Hotz situation and that one time I saw Son Volt at Peabody’s downtown somewhere. Then I passed up Akron and thought about those Black Keys and tires and how I read somewhere that the town is more or less dead, due to sad the demise of the one-thriving tire industry. Sad stuff. Hear that shit too many times. And of course, I whipped past Youngstown, crossing the border shortly afterward into Pennsylvania.

First off, “Pennsylvania” is just an amazing word. Lots of syllable and kind of trick to spell. Our kind of word. Pittsburgh is no more that 40 miles past the border. Now, the west is big and it has mountain and big sky and dusty little towns and all that. That Midwest is flat and simple and has simple routes and simple interchanges. What I love about Pennsylvania is, (now’s the time to whip out a big ass map) how wild the roads are. The closer you get to those Allegheny Mountains, the wilder shit gets.

The first thing you notice about the approach to Pittsburgh is the abundance of green, wooded hills and valley’s that line the interstate. So beautiful. Reminded me of that approach to Cincinnati I fell in love with last fall. You round this one last curve on I-279 and wham, there’s the city. Awesome.

095. “A town called, “Pittsburg.”

Got into the city, took a cruise around, got all mixed up a couple times and threw in the towel, heading out of the city, through a tunnel and to a fleabag hotel on some green mountains. Something like that.

096. “This tunnel offers up a hotel on the other side.”

Tomorrow, we kick this town’s ass. And that’s that. Can’t wait.

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Cam sent this one in, and man, any chance of getting a “good night’s sleep” was shot to shit once I tore into these motherfuckers. Still pissed, and, amazed.

There Are 3 Comments

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Posted by: Michaylira on 09/03/06 at 12:48 PM

I’ve seen that view into Pittsburgh and driven through that tunnel more times that I can count. I’ll let my family know you’re there and hungry.

Listen for the accent there, you won’t believe it…

Posted by: Zim on 09/03/06 at 8:24 PM

Nice call Mark, nice call. Make sure you drink some Iron City beer too. It’ll be appropriate.

Posted by: Zim on 09/04/06 at 6:48 PM
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