The Eastern Seaboard Episodes: Wheeling it to Washington!

Before anybody develops vertigo that is two pictures spliced together, I’m still 120 credit hours short of my PicMonkey merit badge!

With a little permission from the FCC (I was in Washington D.C. last week and had a sit down with them), Mr. Skipah has happily returned to his little internet palace known around the world as the Skipahsphere!  I have no words to describe vacation other than “phenomenal”, good eats, better company, and the next time Sloane gets free from her Kentucky prison she is going to being screaming from the mountain tops about her landlubber dad getting nominated for the beachcomber Hall of Fame ceremonial inaugural class in Ocean City, Maryland later this summer.  That past statement may or may not be true, but the seashell haul I amassed was one for the record books.  Since I’ve got nothing but time we will get to all facets of my East Coast trek, but first I had to get there!

Dr. Seuss books on tape are locked and loaded and it’s off to the Buckeye State!

It’s roughly nine hours of non stop windshield time to get to Washington D.C. from my little southern Indiana paradise and not really wanting to spend a whole day driving what better way to do it than drive halfway there and land in the eerily vacant city of Wheeling, WV for a night.  Thankfully I chose John Kasich placards on my vehicle and safely made it through the Buckeye state only to enter this mysterious land known as West Virginia!  This post isn’t being sponsored by the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce nor the West Virginia Tourism Board, and thankfully so because I don’t know if I can put together two sentences to describe my short stay in the Mountain State as something remotely close to entertaining.  You can basically take every stereotype that has ever been hurled at these people and I’m pretty sure 75% of it is true!

How cute a mini Eiffel Tower outside of Cincinnati!  Pipe down Ohioan I know it’s Kings Island Amusement Park.

I arrived late on a Tuesday night and like any red blooded male thought sitting at the hotel bar and watching some hoops sounded like a good idea, of course the hotel bar was closed even though the hours stated it was open until 2:00 a.m., so it was back to the room for spectacular views of the mighty Ohio River and desolate streets of Wheeling.  I tried to Google it to no avail, but literally they must roll the streets up by nine p.m.!  Not that I was looking to hit the club (not in that state for sure), but downtown was just surreal it was so empty.  It was so empty I am pretty sure I heard a pack of cockroaches playing craps and bartering Ritz crackers they pilfered out of the hotel dumpster.  How a city with a population of 145,000 was literally quieter than a mime convention is beyond me!

Wheeling will never be confused with Vegas, or hell New Albany, Indiana for that matter!

The Irish are on line one, no “pub” named after an Irishman closes that early!

Never fear I had bigger fish to fry the following day and it was off to Washington D.C. to rescue Miss Madison from three days of marathon walking with whiny tweenagers!  First though Mr. Skipah the adventurer had to get there and that was no easy task as I’ve been known to wonder off course when I’m in new areas of the country.  First stop a Dollar General store that my GPS told me sold special Pennsylvania style toothbrushes that are a must for any traveler:  Or I may have forgotten my toothbrush in that ten-minute packing excursion last week!  Since I was already off course and the freaking D.C. Metro shuts down the one time I am due to visit the area I was in no hurry to take my life in my own hands by navigating the Beltway.

This Dollar General was the size of a Walmart, even had the clientele to prove it!

First stop was Fort Necessity in rural Western Pennsylvania.  Quick history lesson this was an early battle in the French and Indian War and the first time future president George Washington (representing the Brits then) ever lost on the battlefield.  Things obviously worked out for him later on as they named the capital after him.  I didn’t have time to visit the whole place but a quick trip around the visitor center and a five-minute conversation with the super cool park ranger that was working the front desk and I was back on the road with a bitching new print for Miss Madison and wondering why in the hell anybody would fight over this mountain top anyway!

John Murtha, now that’s rich, he funneled more pork out of Congress than an area pig farmer!  Cool place though if he really was responsible for it.

Not a home run, but picked up subtle boyfriend points on this one.  I missed my calling in my 20s by not dating a history teacher!

A public service announcement from Mr. Skipah:  If you plan on travelling any were in the country that is loaded with National Parks (I can only speak for the American National Park system) pony up for the season pass.  Since Miss Madison recreated the Lewis & Clark expedition last year, hers was still valid and it saved us major dollars later on in the week!  For what they are skinning tourists for at these GOVERNMENT run parks I have no idea how in the hell we are in so much debt as a country!  Depending on where you go, two maybe three visits max and it has paid for itself.  Not a great investment in Indiana since the closest National Park is four hours away, but if you are going on vacation in a part of the country that is loaded with them take my word for it!

Get a pass and you can tell your un-intelligent friends that you have a pet polar bear!

Deciding I didn’t want to miss too much time in Washington D.C. I quickly got back on course and bounced around Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and I even lost my Maryland virginity on the way there.  Quick impression of western Maryland…how cute they let you know the name of every single freaking mountain top you climb!  Hagerstown, Maryland what in the hell is up with a 35 mph speed limit on a freaking interstate!  Plus I think a majority of the drivers there are descendants of Kentucky, and believe me that isn’t a compliment when it comes to operating a motor vehicle!  Needless to say my driving experience in Maryland was the opposite of pleasant.  I didn’t run over any terrapins though so University of Maryland alumni calm down!  There is nothing I can do about that the Indiana University beatdown they administered to you earlier this year in basketball!

Thankfully I didn’t need to go couch shopping, sports fans better get this one!

Hmm, better pull over and check my GPS coordinates again or I’m reading a map in Swahili!

Now if I could find a reason to be in Delaware or South Carolina I’ll have the whole eastern seaboard under my belt!  Maybe I’ll write to Vice President Joe Biden for an invitation to his home residence.

Twenty-nine Diet Dr. Peppers later I arrived in D.C. and had by far one of the coolest experiences of my life traversing the city.  About it for tonight though, D.C. will have to wait another day (I learned that is called foreshadowing in high school English), and I’ve got to decide what I’m going to do about my fantasy baseball draft this evening!  Should I draft pitching, hitting, any relatives of Hank Aaron, I’m really at a loss right now.  Never fear denizens, Miss Madison and I kicked ass and took names later taking the East coast by storm last week and I can’t wait to tell everyone about it!  Amazingly she still thinks I’m cool after five days filled with corny puns and wait until you hear about Monticello!















Send Skipah Sailing!


  1. Pingback: The Eastern Seaboard Episodes: Welcome Back Mr. Skipah!

  2. Working on it, Easter weekend got in the way for a bit.

  3. It’s really a great attitude, eager to see something interesting. Hope you will continue your journey story.

  4. I was near the Blue Ridge Parkway at one point, DC turned out O.K. even with the Metro down. I’ll share more about DC in the future it was a fun place!

  5. There is a song that goes something like this “Almost heaven West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains Shenandoah River…” Is that where you were at? My mom was born there!

    Yeah, I was worried about you being trapped in D.C. with the trains/sub ways being closed down! Would be my luck to arrive in a city where that had happened.

  6. 29 might be a bit of an exaggeration LOL, I’m turning the whole trip into multiple blog posts. This bright shiny 50 watt bulb went off in my head on the way home when I was thumbing through pictures :).

  7. What? I was trying to find out what happened when you got here? Foreshadowing huh? Okay. I can’t wait to read it. How in the world did you drive after 29 Dr. Peppers? I would have died.

  8. After travelling through West Virginia and Western Virginia I’ve learned there isn’t much of a difference :). We should write our representatives about your dry county/billboard idea. This is information we need to know like pronto!

  9. Did you mean to type in buy or but Miss English Nazi? I didn’t have any eggs handy, but I did get to see a couple of stoners get the “what fer” from the secret service. Stay tuned :).

  10. Wow, they let you loose to roam the east coast? I once rolled into a town in western Virginia (not to be confused with West Virginia) and realized too late that it was a dry town. There should be gigantic billboards warning a person about that.

  11. Foreshadowing is actually a little more subtle than, “I will tell you more about DC later,” buy I guess it’s close. Lol. Interested to hear if you egged the white house or Capitol Hill. Lol

  12. Something like that :).

  13. YES, that is what I’m thinking of. Little dome-like thing with columns, yes?

  14. According to the internet it is, he had a big fort there if my memory serves me correct. My hometown of Clarksville is named after him, however the memorial for him there is smaller than a candy display at gas station!

  15. I think the George Rogers Clark thing is what I’m thinkin of. Is it classified as a park though? I dunno. I think it is. I’m gettin old. lol

  16. Since I’m in the Louisville market and U of L and WVU were former Big East rivals I’m all too familiar with the couch burning jokes! The park pass is an unbelievable deal if you are into that sort of thing.

  17. If my phone wasn’t on life support at the time I would have had pictures. This DG was freaking HUGE! The rest of the trip was one for the record books, BTW can I get you to edit all these damn pictures I’ve got!

  18. The dunes is a National Park, I thought it was just a state park. Thanks for the info, I should have said there are none in SOUTHERN Indiana. I think Vincennes has a George Rogers Clark memorial and I did forget about Lincoln’s home. I had my mind on the Smoky Mountains LOL. Finding Diet Dr. Pepper after Ohio was a chore the whole week, and W. Virginia is beautiful the people I encountered……meh.

  19. Road Trip! I love a good road trip. And you’re right, the season pass to the parks is a must have if you’re on vacation, especially out west. I think when you turn 62 you can buy a lifetime pass for $10. Talk about a deal! Sadly it took me longer than I’d like to admit before I got the couch burning joke. Glad you had a nice time.

  20. If I were to see a Dollar General the size of Wally World….well, I’d be able to check off one thing on my bucket list. I didn’t have it on there before reading this post, but it’s on there now!

    Looking forward to the continued story of your journey!

  21. NICE!
    I love West Virginia. I think it’s beautiful.
    We actually have three National Parks here — Lincoln’s home and the dunes and there is one more, but I can’t think what… Obviously it was super exciting. :/
    Anyway — thanks for sharing the highs and lows. I can’t believe you didn’t share some Dr. Pepper tho! 😉

Tell Skipah all about it!