2018 Summer Road Trip – To Cleveland

We left Philadelphia at close to 6am which marked the first time I’d met my target departure time in some number of road trips. The drive to Cuyahoga Valley Nation Park was uneventful to the point that the Lebanese restaurant we hit for lunch proved to be a chain. The visitor center sold National Park passes and I purchased one. $80 for one year of unlimited access to the National Park system is usually a good deal. Buying one involved a locked box that contained a safe that contained another locked box. This seemed a bit much. Cuyahoga Falls was in the high 80s with humidity in the 90s. The short 4 mile hike we took was enough to leave us both a special kind of parched. My travel partner commented after a few minutes in the car that I was dry already when in reality I had merely soaked through my shirt to a uniform sweat stain. We got caught in a downpour which may have reduced how wet I was.  After the storm passed, we continued on to Cleveland.

We continued on to Cleveland and met our hosts at a grilled cheese place with an expansive definition of “topping”. The menu had a few oddities to it in that one could add an egg for relatively little and also have waffles added cheaply. The server was almost comically chipper. Like beyond “help, they’re holding me captive” smiley and closer to “I love Big Brother” chipper. We moved on to the Cleveland Waterfront after visiting the “FREE” stamp. The Waterfront consisted of a dock on Lake Erie. I am dimly aware that Cleveland has things. I’m not entirely sure what, but the Waterfront wasn’t too encouraging. Despite being archetypal of “Rust Belt” Cleveland contains both a few large firms as well as Case Western Reserve. The downside is that these industries rarely have coat tails that pull up other businesses and I’m unsure of how the hand has been played by the city. After seeing a boat titled the Aluminauti and supermanning through the Cleveland sign we turned in. At this point, we were seven hours from home. Not quite a road trip. Getting there.

Part of the trip was catching up with my Cleveland host. He’s someone I’ve know for more than 20 years at this point and he’s on the cusp of marriage. He has a passion for film where passion may not be the right word. He consumes film without pretense, and while I’m confident he can tell me why Orson Welles is so great he’s never really pushed it on me. He has strongly recommended I consume more films. His house is a bit of a cathedral to media which would have confused me up until I started buying vinyl. There’s something fetishistic about discs contain culture that I’m starting to understand.

This post was made on 2018-07-26 and is backdated.