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Ridgetop Forest Twisties
Howards Lick Road
Ridgetop Farmland
Helmic Rock
This station is the Sheetz
We continued north out of West Virginia, following the last dregs of the good twisties, including a fairly tight one that was in the midst of being cleaned of leaves (I didn't know they did street sweeping on twisty back roads). We crossed out of West Virginia and into Maryland at the very narrowest neck of its panhandle. We couldn't have been in Maryland for more than a mile and half and maybe.... five minutes max. Then on into Pennsylvania.
North River Valley
Rather Unkempt
View over the Potomac
I recalled that the crossing of Pennsyvania on the way south had been rather boring, so... I attempted to stay off the major highways and tried to find routes that were both efficient and direct, but also possibly harbouring at least a little bit of fun. And I found a few - PA 655, for example, which leads north through a mix of farmland, woodland, and some rural residential areas, and mostly signed at 55mph. And a few curves here and there. Pleasant enough.
Pennsyvania is less twisty
Eventually we had to concede that an increase in speed was the only way we were going to get back home to Canada at a reasonable hour, and we got onto the Pennsyvania Turnpike (I-76), which we took east for a bit, then turned north on interstate-81. We then simply clicked the hours by, cruise control on, settling in with the steady stream of cars and transport trucks and generally just enduring the endless droning of the miles (you can tell how much I like expressway driving over backways and twisties, eh?).
courtesy LWard
Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel
Interstate 81
We crossed back into New York state at 7pm, made a quick pit stop at the very nice northbound welcome center, then continued north to the Syracuse area, where Luke decided that Panera Bread needed another try. We got to the Canadian border at around 10:30pm (meaning it took us a solid 4+ hours to cross New York state, south-to-north). Now dark, late at night, and just looking forward to getting to our beds, we gassed up for one final time and drove along the final stretches of expressway to Ottawa, arriving right around midnight.
Clearing up
New York
I Love NY road stop
courtesy LWard
I heart NY
Southern Tier Welcome Center
Canadian (Tire) gas
416 to Ottawa
That had been quite a marathon final day! It was longer than it would have been if we had just made a beeline from Harrisonburg, Virginia (where we had stayed the night before), but it had been worth it, and frankly, it had been more fun. A direct route would have been a straightforward 600 mile / 9 hour route, but instead, we had chosen to snake and wind it out to nearly 800 miles and 18 hours.
Final Clean-off
And that wraps it up for this edition of the Awesome Appalachian Roadtrip series (at least I hope it becomes a series...) The two main takeaways for me are (a) just how much high quality roadage exists in my so-called "magic oval", and (b) just how much the miles seem to melt by without fatigue when the going is fun. As always, I am eternally grateful to Luke for his nearly infinite acceptance and patience for wherever I point him and whatever I get him to do. As I am well aware, there are not many people in this world who would find what we did fun, and at the same time be in a position to actually do it. So, thanks.

Take a gander at the trackmap that follows: it shows pretty much every mile of our road trip loop, coded with a different color for each day. Beyond the trackmap are the time, distance, speed, and elevation data for each day of the trip. And below that, please check out the 1-minute teaser video (there was a fair bit of video taken, and I'm working on getting a full edit of that up - but for now, check out the teaser!)
Interactive trackmap with photo points - desc - click map to view
(Track color: )
Start Time: 4:55PM
End Time: 9:10PM
Duration: 4h14m
Distance: 277.52 km (172.44 mi)
Average Speed: 65.6 km/hr (40.7 mph)
Start Elevation: 697ft (212m) *
Max Elevation: 697ft (212m) *
Min Elevation: 220ft (67m) *
End Elevation: 432ft (132m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
(Track color: )
Start Time: 5:49AM
End Time: 8:17PM
Duration: 14h28m
Distance: 812.01 km (504.56 mi)
Average Speed: 56.1 km/hr (34.9 mph)
Start Elevation: 459ft (140m) *
Max Elevation: 3553ft (1083m) *
Min Elevation: 257ft (78m) *
End Elevation: 2029ft (618m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
(Track color: )
Start Time: 7:05AM
End Time: 8:34PM
Duration: 13h29m
Distance: 501.52 km (311.63 mi)
Average Speed: 37.2 km/hr (23.1 mph)
Start Elevation: 1962ft (598m) *
Max Elevation: 4775ft (1455m) *
Min Elevation: 1336ft (407m) *
End Elevation: 2418ft (737m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
(Track color: )
Start Time: 6:13AM
End Time: 9:07PM
Duration: 14h53m
Distance: 644.7 km (400.6 mi)
Average Speed: 43.3 km/hr (26.9 mph)
Start Elevation: 2364ft (720m) *
Max Elevation: 6008ft (1831m) *
Min Elevation: 1075ft (328m) *
End Elevation: 1626ft (496m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
(Track color: )
Start Time: 6:51AM
End Time: 10:40PM
Duration: 15h48m
Distance: 687.78 km (427.37 mi)
Average Speed: 43.5 km/hr (27.0 mph)
Start Elevation: 1587ft (484m) *
Max Elevation: 3907ft (1191m) *
Min Elevation: 995ft (303m) *
End Elevation: 1283ft (391m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
(Track color: )
Start Time: 6:13AM
End Time: 12:37AM
Duration: 18h23m
Distance: 1275.64 km (792.65 mi)
Average Speed: 69.4 km/hr (43.1 mph)
Start Elevation: 1318ft (402m) *
Max Elevation: 3413ft (1040m) *
Min Elevation: 230ft (70m) *
End Elevation: 300ft (91m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Check out this 1-minute teaser video, and come back later this fall for a more complete video accounting of our adventure:
Awesome Summer Appalacian Auto Adventure - Teaser
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