Riding US6, east to west, but just in PA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by c1skout, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    3198+miles.

    That's how long US route 6 is across the country.

    According to Wikipedia 403 of those miles are in PA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_6_in_Pennsylvania
    I was looking at an atlas and decided that the PA section would make a weekend trip, perfect for the covid plague since I won't even hafta leave the state. From my home near South Fork I'd spend a day heading over to the eastern side of the state, then another day heading back west toward the Ohio line. For the third day I'll just have a short hop back home.

    That's enough planning. I took Friday off work, strapped a tent on the bike and after a second cup of coffee left home at 8am. About 8:15 I put my rain duds on. Here's what old 22 looked like in Cresson.
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    There wasn't much rain, just enough to make the roads wet. I think I was traveling on the leading edge of it, because I kept running into dry patches. I stayed on 22 and near Williamsburg I rounded a bend in the road and saw this tree....
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    Hmmmm, there were cars in front of me, this had to have JUST come down! While I took my pic and surveyed the area, I could see opposing traffic already starting to line up. I had room between the branches and that road sign, so I made a quick squirt through and was gone. I stayed on 22 east, just minding the speed limit and listening to the noise in my head. Here's a pick of some bendy cut rock. I just think it looks neat.
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    I turned from 22 onto PA34 to go a bit north. This road started out more to my liking.
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    after cresting a short ridge I was down into rolling farmland.
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    34 pops me out to rte11, which I had to run south to a poorly designed jughandle, so I could head north. I messed up (confused) and continued south to the NEXT jughandle, then I figured out the way to properly negotiate the intersection and got myself headed north. To the ferry.

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  2. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I had ridden the Millersburg Ferry years ago, on a different bike, in the other direction. So it was time for a repeat. Here's where I parked and waited.

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    The Ferry call door.
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    I got this pic as they came toward me. The ferry is a wood decked barge tied onto the side of a shallow draft paddlewheeler. Cool antique machinery.
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    There were a Captain (Pilot? Not sure of the proper name) and 3 deckhands working the vessel. The Captain liked my bike, and we started talking about bikes in general and Sportsters in particular. He has 2 old ones he's fixing up. They had me load up then put an SUV behind me. You can see the paddlewheel in this pic.
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    Here's the power. A small diesel runs a hydraulic pump,
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    that spins the hydraulic motor on this jackshaft. That big greasy chain spins the paddle.
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    It's a mile across the Susquehanna here! They told me that the ferry can make the crossing in 20 minutes, if all goes well. I spent just over an hour, from when I parked on one side, till I left on the other.
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    The whole trip across I kept glancing at the water depth. I believe I could have walked it without getting wet past my knees. What a beautiful way to cross! I even saw some airboats running and ducks flying around.
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  3. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Here I stopped for a pic of the ferry loading up for the return trip. That was a nice looking red-smoke 81ish R100RT loading up.
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    A blue sign for the ferry.
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    I left Millersburg on US209 eastbound. Nice view of the ridge along the valley floor.
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    I stopped for fuel in Pottstville, and since I was stopped, decided to have a Sheetz cheesesteak for my late lunch.
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    Another blue sign along the way.
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    These snazzy old diesel locomotives greet you as you head into Jim Thorpe.
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    Attached Files:

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  4. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Here are a couple more pics of Jim Thorpe. Well, not him, the town that has his name. If you want to read an interesting bit of history, about an Oklahoma born native American olympic athlete and how a coal mining town in eastern PA ended up with his name, here's a link.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Thorpe,_Pennsylvania

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    this town looks like a popular spot for all sorts of outdoorsy activities.
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    Some rafters on the Lehigh river.
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    I went up through the Delaware Water Gap natural area next. No stops, I just motored through. Nice looking area with piles of hiking trails. There's a creek to the right in this shot, and New Jersey is on the other side of that creek.
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    I finally made it to Milford, where I hit US6 to start back west. Since I was hoping to find a campground soon, I stopped at this grocery store and raided the deli counter to get some supper.
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    Route 6 west, while the sun starts dropping.
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  5. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

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    Nice trip. I believe your "wavy" rock formation is between Lewiston and Mifflintown on the east side of the "narrows" if I recognize those rocks. I think the technical term for that formation is cleavage, if I remember from high school. The Reading and Northern locomotives are the former Norfolk and Southern locomotives sold to the Northern and Reading about a year ago.
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  6. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I found a campground with an open spot near Hawley, then got my tent thrown together. that red light in the woods is from by bikes rear reflector. Not parked right at the site, but plenty close enough.
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    My deli supper of fried chicken and pierogies, with an apple for dessert.
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    I even had a short adult beverage. My daughter decorated the flask for me!
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    A sunset on lake Wallenpaupack.
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    I used the "facilities", listened to the radio for a bit, and went to sleep about the time it got dark. Good day all around, I did lose the rain about lunchtime, then the heat and humidity really were bad. in the low 90's most times I saw a thermometer. I just kept drinking water from my tankbag when I could.

    355 miles for the day. More to come later.
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  7. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Yep, those are the rocks! Good eye. Thanks for the train info too. They sure were lookers!
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  8. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    :clap
    I've wanted to do the Millersburg ferry....but haven't. Thanks for the reminder!

    You're getting close to the center part of PA tag!
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  9. TownPump

    TownPump Long timer

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    Ridden 6 and 6N east and west between Wellsboro, PA and OH many many times. Favorite way to get east from NE Ohio. A semi-distant 2nd favorite is 86. I-90 is the worst.

    Looking forward to more...
    #9
  10. ryder1

    ryder1 Long timer

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    Looking good.
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  11. NurseBill

    NurseBill Been here awhile

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    This is awesome! I rode 6 from West to East over a weekend a couple years ago with an overnight in Wellboro. All my sportbike friends are like "Why do you want to do Rt 6?" Because it's there and these places along 6 are disappearing by the day. I avoided Scranton...

    I'd do it again tomorrow. There isn't a real good route across the southern part of PA to be honest, that doesn't go into a lot of traffic.
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  12. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Thanks for the comments, people. I'll try to finish this report up.
    I know, I know. I was planning "grab" it, but got distracted and forgot :doh . I'll get into that soon......

    I've stayed in Wellsboro before too, and ridden 6 around there, and through the A.N.F. and by the Kinzua bridge. I knew it wasn't what I call a good bike road. But like you say.... I'd not hesitate to return. I didn't intentionally avoid Scranton, but the traffic there on 6, early on a Saturday, was no trouble at all.


    Back to my travels.
    I woke up with the sun, and heated some water for breakfast. Honestly I woke up about every hour through the night. I don't sleep soundly on those blow-up travel pillows. An orange, some oatmeal and an instant coffee to start the day.
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    The bike packed up and ready to go.
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    I got on the road about 7:30, stopped to fuel up, and headed west. Nice weather in the morning, just under 70 and sunny. traffic was light and the road surface was pretty good. Mostly I just thrummed along at a steady..... whatever the limit was :D. I liked this old Post Office building in Carbondale.
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    Here's a nice curvy stretch.
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    I liked this old hotel. Almost missed the pic, this was snapped over the shoulder.
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    Here's what I wanted to see. Just look at those hills!
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    Here's a quick shot of the Bradford co. courthouse.
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  13. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I've been wanting to see the Tunkhannock Viaduct for a while now.
    I thought I'd catch it on this trip, since 6 goes right through the town, at least on a map. Well, when I went through town I figured it must be just up ahead.
    Nope.
    Well, maybe in the next 10 miles or so. It's not unusual for names of things to NOT be in a town with the same name, right?
    No again.
    By the time I admitted to myself that I'd missed it, the viaduct was surely far enough in my mirrors that I wasn't going back.
    Oh yeah, wait, I wanted to detour to Shunk PA and grab a tag there too!
    Dangit.
    I got so caught up in missing the viaduct that the tag game didn't enter my mind until WAY later in the day.
    Oh well. It's Saturday. There's no place I HAVE to be. Yesterday I had to get east. Tomorrow I gots to get home. The ONLY thing I got to do today, is ride this motorsickle. That's the days I like the most.
    These next 2 pics are between Mansfield and Wellsboro, I think.
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    Most likely in Potter co. here. Man, this is a pretty state.
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    Most of my pictures are taken while moving. I carry a point-n-shoot waterproof Nikon on a neck lanyard, so when I see something real cool, I can quickly grab the camera and take a shot of whatever comes a few seconds later :-). Mostly it's the scenery shots that are affected by this time delay. I spend a lot of time looking at pictures thinking "why'd I take that?".

    I did get a nice shot of this old theatre marquee! My baby girl just graduated this year too! I got to watch her salutatorian speech at the local drive-in movie theatre. Weird year!
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    I stopped at the Sheetz in Coudersport for fuel, for both of us. I grabbed a ham-n-cheese. Honest, it wasn't terrible.
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    I met a nice fellow there who was riding a MotoGuzzi. He was traveling from Michigan to Long Island and enjoying route 6 the other way. He commented on my Enfield tank bag, and said that an Enfield was the first bike he ever rode, back when he was a teenager. I told him that his was the 3rd Guzzi I'd seen that day, and he was as surprised as I was. You just don't often see them in the wild.

    Moving on, here's what the US6 milepost signs look like in PA. I didn't see a lot of them, and eventually I realized that they put them on both sides of the road, alternating side to side. My guess, they save signposts that way, opposed to having one on each side at each mile. I've never noticed that done anyplace before.
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    Here's another twisty bit of road.
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    #13
  14. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I wish I'd have gotten better pics of this glass artwork in Port Allegheny.
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    I took this shot of a blue sign too. There were too many of these along 6 for me to stop at all of them, I'd have used up another whole day! That kinda bugs me, because I like to stop and read them when I'm on the bike. Most of the time they don't leave room for a car to safely stop and see what they say.
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    Scenery.
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    Fly-by of the McKean county courthouse.
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    I found a small barn in Mail Pouch livery.
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    I didn't stop at the Kinzua bridge this trip, but I did see this cool wooden trestle running right along 6 east, near Kane.
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    there also was this old train station.
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    #14
  15. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    West of Warren the topography has a dramatic change. It gets flat.
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    I live in some decent hills, so flat will always look strange to me. I think the glaciers that made the big lakes also made all this flat area on the left side of PA. Someone can correct me if that's wrong.
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    Keep heading west and soon enough here we are. The Ohio line. I didn't cross over so nobody can blame me for spreading the plague outside of PA.
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    I spun around and stopped here to let my Garmin search for a campground. It found quite a few in the area, so I headed to the closest one first. I wanted to get a site, get my tent up and go find supper. And I'm thirsty. Right now I'm carrying 5 empty 20oz bottles, and my remaining 16oz reserve is about gone too.
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    The first campground is mostly a trailer park, but there are some tent sites. Unfortunately the office is closed, and the walky-talky that a helpful sign says to "use when the office is closed".... elicits no response. The second found campground is ONLY a trailer park. No tents. The third campground is a PA DCNR campground on Pymatuning lake. I hustle over and the helpful lady at the office tells me they have 2 spots left. Perfect! I'll take one.
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    I won't complain here about the $6 "reservation fee" that's tacked onto my campsite price. No getting around it! Doesn't matter if you don't make a reservation. Even if you get there on a Saturday evening and pay cash money for the next to last spot, they ding you $6 for a reservation that you never made. I got to figure out WHO EXACTLY I need to complain to about this. It's an assinine charge and I'm an IDIOT for paying it. Oh well. If I don't think about it, it won't bother me.

    So the nice lady at the campground office told me of a good place for supper. And it actually was a good spot, so SHE must not have minded my tirade about the reservation fee :lol3. The Crooked Paddle on Spillway road.
    I ordered a steak salad, hold the onion, blue cheese dressing on the side. Plus 2 large glasses of water, and 3 cups of coffee!
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    After supper I went back to my campsite, used the facilities, then called my Mrs. and talked a bit while I watched the sunset over the lake.
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    That's it for Saturday.
    I went 387 miles.
    mostly all on 2 lanes
    in 90sum degrees
    with crazy humidity
    that's enough for a day!
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  16. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I made another early start. Oatmeal, coffee, and half a blueberry bagel,
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    then I packed up and headed out to the famous Pymatuning spillway.
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    This is why I had half of a bagel. The other half was split between the carps
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    and the ducks. I'm going to state here that ducks, like Bigfoot, always get blurry in pictures.
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    The geese didn't get here early enough, they missed out on the bagel. Notice they're not blurry.
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    Here's the sign at the spillway that explains about the fish.
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    That's all for today, I'll finish it next time.
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  17. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Was at the Pymatuning Spillway quite a few years ago. That day the carp were so plentiful that all you could see were mouthes opening and begging for food. They literally were so close together and plentiful that the ducks were walking on them trying to get the bread before the fish did. Strange sight indeed. Did you see the large mounted buck on display near there? Supposedly the largest one ever taken in Pa.
    #17
  18. eaglescan

    eaglescan Borrego rocks Supporter

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    Nice report, and Bradford is where my dad was born.
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  19. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    My Mother would say that I've seen the ducks do that, but I guess I was too young to remember it! I'm sure that the longer you feed them the more they come. I was probably the first person there that day, so they weren't wound up yet. I didn't know about the mount, or I might have looked for it on Saturday evening. All I ever see when I'm hunting are scrubs or bald-headed!

    Thanks. I went to Bradford last year to buy a Case knife. The time before that I bought a Zippo, the same one that I was using to light my stove on this trip, incidentally.

    Now I'm homeward bound. I left the spillway headed toward us322, I figured that since I hadn't traveled that road in a long time, it'd do nicely. I made a quick stop to get this picture.

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    Then another stop for a blue sign.
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    a better shot of the "swamp"
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    I fired the camera at this roadsign art, it lines the fence around a state highway dept. facility as you're heading back into Meadville.

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    It makes me wonder how they cut all those aluminum signs, surely not with tin snips!
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    My next stop is downtown, Meadville. I wheeled into the employee parking and grabbed this quick pic. In my opinion nobody makes pliers any better than the ones with grabber blue handles!
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    When I left I did a lap of the property, but I didn't see a factory store there. Bummer.
    Somewhere east of Meadville I found another blue sign.
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    #19
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  20. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I got a fog lifting pic on 322
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    The sun was just right to mess up my picture of the Venango co courthouse in Franklin.
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    Here's a view of the Clarion river.
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    I stopped for a Post office picture in Clarion and noticed these mini murals on the building next door.
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    I grabbed a biscuit and coffee at the McDonalds there too.
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    I turned onto PA36 south in Brookville. The Sunday morning traffic on this stretch of road was MOVING! I can only imagine how fast they run through the week. It is a nice stretch of road though....
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    Punxsutawney has a bunch of painted-up fiberglass groundhogs all through town. I liked the fireman.
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