And it rained ...
Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Stopped off for a coffee, and met Lori Jackson and Joann Snyder who worked in the Timbers Restaurant. Long discussions about our journey (of course) and also the American economy, which in this part of the world isnt as healthy as it appeared further West. The local steellworks had closed down and the car industry furtther north as well, putting a lot of people in ancillary industries out of work. Quite a depressing situation, compared to the Central situation, where the economy appears to be going along as normal
Made our way to Easton, on the border of PA and New Jersey. NJ is where we hand Styanley over to be shipped home so the journey is coming to an end. The hotel here is in a depressed part of the town, lots of people of questionable activities around it. (When we went out to dinner, there were a group of individuals who tried to ask for money. Hotel is set between an dilapidated bridge and a building site. Well, a demolition sitee really!) We walked into Easton which is an interesting place, but a large number of businesses/shops are closed down, so there is an impression of things not going well. But on the other hand, there are some shops where the prices are eye watering, and you wonder whether they sell anything at all.
Went into the Crayola Factory (Crayola also have a factory in Befdford) but the factory is actually a childrens play area, not a factory. They used to do factory tours in the actual factory, but these no longer run. All part of the decline?
This area too used to be based on steel, and of course its not an industry any more. The next door town, Philipsburg, appears to be in better nick, but you can see that many of the buildings are run down from their former glory.
All in all quite a depressing place, not one I'd choose to come back to
Mileage 146 - you can see that we are slowing down, almost there!
Martin's missing Moravian moment:
Somehow we missed passing through the stronghold of the Amish community,the centre of which is a town which is named after an act which has brought most of us into the world.Whether it was Roger's aversion to this reference or a simple oversight (I'll avoid the other term) I'll leave you gentle reader to decide.
So we moved on through Bethlehem which was apparently founded by the Moravian community - we didn't find these either- and arrived in Easton/Phillipsburg as a jumping off point to New Jersey (pronounced Joizy I think) tomorrow.We are struggling to monitor the fuel left in the tanks in order to deliver it with the minimum quantity for shipment and as above you will know that we are comfortably holed up in a pretty run down but not a run down pretty motel while poor old Stanley sits out alone in the car park in the cold rain .
Pittsburg and I think Bethlehem in particular was the object of Michael Moore's rage in his film about the decline of the steel industry in North America and its demise has cut swathes through the industrial heartland of Detroit,the whole Michigan state and of course this part of Pennsylvania.People have been left with nothing,least of all hope.Remember there is not the welfare system that we in the UK are used to and the little progress that Barak Obama has made in remedying the healthcare system will probably bring about his downfall.This is after all a Republic and the GOP (Grand Old Party) is the default government here
We pass through these places with a letter of introduction called Stanley and the affable and almost theatrical attitude of a couple of misplaced English maths teachers and find ourselves talking to anybody and them to us.Passing over a street crossing I said to a lady either posting or collecting mail that I thought we had bumped in to her earlier.Yes we had and "where are you from". Carrying on walking,yes she had been there- to Lancashire and will it rain today and so it rolls on.
The barman in the restaurant Roger mentioned was intrigued by English beers being an amateur brewer himself, and stood us two beers on the house.I hope he gets to tread this blog and to know that we are grateful for his generosity.Speaking of which - thank you to all who responded to my little prog yesterday.You know who you are.
Tomorrow we take Manhattan....