2018 Around the Shoreline of the Great Lakes travel blog

Today's Route

Sideling Hill Road Cut (V in the ridge) on I68 seen from...

Sideling Hill Road Cut with a fog layer

R2D2 on the roof of a Kia

Big firecracker along I81

Fire company displaying a giant flag to commemorate 9/11

Ford Model A moving up I81

Mister Ed's Elephant Museum

Gettysburg, PA

A hog at the Gettysburg Harley-Davidson

Lincoln Highway

Crossing the Susquehanna River

Winnie and the Fit are home

We really missed cheese steaks


We headed off on the last leg of this year's big trip this morning. Our route took us on I68, I81, and US 30 (Lincoln Highway) through Maryland and Pennsylvania. No rain today, just a light drizzle and some fog along the route. I68 passes through the Sideling Hill Road Cut near Hancock, MD. It's a 340 foot deep cut through Sideling Hill Ridge that runs from West Virginia into Pennsylvania. You can see the cut as a v-notch in the ridge from miles away. There are rest stops right at the notch on both side of the interstate. In 2014 on our "Cross Country 2" trip, we stopped at the westbound rest stop for lunch. When we went to restart Winnie, she wouldn't restart. We wound up spending the night at Sideling Hill Rest Stop waiting for a tow truck to take us to a repair shop in Cumberland, MD. We didn't stop this time, no sense in tempting fate.

The Lincoln Highway has a lot of Roadside Attractions many of which date back to the Golden Age of auto travel on the road in the 50's and 60's. One of those is Mister Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium. Mister Ed started the museum in 1984 and has more than 12,000 elephant figurines, circus souvenirs, political paraphernalia, and toys on display inside and outside the store. In addition to elephants, they also sell candy, fudge, and jumbo peanuts. We've stopped here several times, but not this time we're on the way home.

We rolled into Deacons Walk about 4:00PM. Getting home was not without its problems. When I tried to unhitch the Fit, the tow bar was jammed making it difficult to pull the pins to release the car. After a little banging with a hammer and punch, I was able to release the pins and unhitch the Fit. One last problem came up as I was backing Winnie into the driveway, the hitch scraped on the driveway and actually prevented me from backing up. It appears that the work we had done on the front end lowered the rear enough to make it impossible to back into the driveway so I had to remove the hitch and bike rack. Once done, it was easy to back Winnie into her parking place. The only good thing was that it didn't rain while I had to fool with the hitch.

It was nice to get back into the house, but there was one more surprise. When we got into the bedroom, the were 10's of flies flying around. We're not sure where they came from (spontaneous generation?), but it took the rest of the night to kill most of them.

This year's trip was shorter than last year's both in time and distance. We were gone 105 days from late May to early September. We traveled 4,135 miles visiting 11 states and all 3 of the upper Great Lakes. We used 556.4 gallons of gas at an average cost of $2.82 per gallon. The highest price of $3.13 per gallon was in the UP of Michigan. If you've been following along, you know we've had a bit of trouble with Winnie. We had to have the front brakes replaced in Wisconsin, and battled a fugitive short in the wiring to the Engine Control Module in Michigan and Ohio. We were never able to find out why the ECM fuses were blowing, but both times the mechanics were able to "fix" the problem so we could continue on our trip. Winnie is headed to the shop for an oil change and some detective work to determine the cause for the fuses to blow. Hopefully we find the problem.

On this trip we got to see a part of the country that is beautiful, surprisingly so. The Great Lakes provide a variety of sights from the sand dunes of Lake Michigan to the rocky shores of Lake Superior. Much of the shorelines are sparsely populated even during the summer vacation season, but as we found out from the residents these areas are 4 seasons areas. There are probably as many people visiting during winter snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and even downhill skiing in some areas. We enjoyed our time in the north country, especially the cool weather. We hope that you enjoyed the trip also. Stay tuned for more travels with Winnie.

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