May 14: 68 Miles of Some of the Toughest Traveling Yet

May 14: 68 Miles of Some of the Toughest Traveling Yet

This morning I took off from Shawnee Sleepy Hollow campground around 7 AM and kept thinking about the big mountain I needed to cross. There was a lot of morning traffic and when I got to the mountain and started crawling up it didn’t seem as bad going up as it did coming down in  2017 it was a 10% grade. Dave was riding his bike and I waited on him at the bottom of the hill so he could take a video of me climbing up the mountain. When I got to the top I didn’t think that it was all that bad. Little did I know this was not the big mountain, that one was still coming. Once I stopped to chat with Dave. He didn’t tell me the big one was still coming up.
I drove east on old Route 30 in 2017, and I forgot how steep the hills were. Johnabilt did a great job but I was on the edge of my seat with white knuckles and in 4th gear which helps hold Johnabilt back.
There was lots of road construction and stone trucks flying by hauling loads of stones. Had a lot truckers on the CB today, poor Johnabilt was being made fun of how slow he was going. At times they thought I was just a slow camper going up the road as they were coming up from the back they couldn’t see Johnabilt. When they came up beside me a lot of Holy Cow words flew out  across the CB saying, “you got to see this thing going up the highway how cool is this and they are doing it for a great cause.”
We had so many people along side of the road snapping pictures and taking videos as I was chugging along. I heard one trucker say, “Chug a lug, Chug a lug I think I can, I think I can” but not one of them gave me a number 1 sign (flipping the bird), it was all thumbs up, which pleased me and Johnabilt. 
I posted a number of video’s on Facebook, but the pictures don’t show the steepness of the hills. I say today was the hardest day yet. Even harder than the Rockies except for one day crawling up a mountain in California.
I felt ok but I was nervous about trucks not being able to stop. As I was coming down this long hill I was getting cold having the windows open because the side windows were getting fogged up and I needed to watch my side mirror so no one ran into me. It was rainy off and on again today. We’re feeling a little water logged! 
I came into this small town Jennerstown, PA, and I decide to top my gas tank off. A gentleman came across the street and wanted to know all about our mission he is a Vietnam Veteran. He owns a Restaurant across the street and invited the whole OSC board to come over for dinner he thought the whole team was along.
He wanted me to come over for lunch. I just had eaten but I got a cup of coffee and I took pictures of his Christmas tree he keeps up all year with Veterans pictures on who paid the ultimate  price. I was humbled hearing his story and got his name and emailed him to ask if we can have someone call him. We would like to hear more of his stories he is looking forward sharing more.
I was coming down this long hill not too steep, and I had it in 6th gear braking a little, when I see a truck way up ahead a gentleman out waving and clapping. As I am passing him, I see an Army hat on him, so I stopped. There was not much of a shoulder but I pulled over he came running up thanking us he was also a Vietnam Veteran. I was in tears. I took his picture and got his name and he said he would be honored to share more.
Even though it was a tough day climbing up and down the steep mountain passes, it was also an emotional day.
When I came into Greensburg, there was lots of traffic. I came to a red light I was watching my mirrors when I hear this knock on my side. There was a gentleman waving cash and thanking us as I reached out to receive the money, the light turned green and he was saluting me as I moved on.
Greensburg drops down in town and there is a steep hill that you climb up to a red light. I was worried that my front end would come up, but as I got there it turned green and I putted up in 4th gear, but just then I realized that I was in the wrong lane and there was traffic everywhere. I couldn’t turn so I went with the traffic went down over  in a back street knowing I had to turn around. As I pulled over I see this gentleman in a wheel chair and I stopped and asked him for directions. He is a Vietnam Veteran. He started sharing and I asked him if we could contact him he said he would love that. I am just realizing how many are out there and are feeling lonely. He was so excited realizing that someone out there cares.
I finally got up on the right road, Route 66 north and headed to Delmont, PA. I’ll be staying at a Super 8 motel for a good nights rest. I walked up to the desk and the gentleman said, “I think I saw you before.”
It wasn’t long before I had people stopping in the motel to visit. They saw us on Fox and Friends and have been following us. 
More Veterans stopped by that would like to share their story with us. We will be following up with them. What a great day! 
Tomorrow will be a 80 mile day and it’s going to be hilly, but nothing like today! Probably a lot of traffic around Pittsburgh, but we’ll just take it one mile at a time.

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