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Way Out East; North East to be exact.

Ashtabula October 12, 2014 rib dinner

A rib dinner at Baguettes Smoke House at Ashtabula’s Harbor.

West 5th Street in Ashtabula, Ohio.

You know how you decide to head out to one place and you wind up in another? I did this today at noon when I hopped in my car. I was going to drive out to Grand River Wine Country to work on my new piece but, wander lust prevailed. Right now along Interstate 90, the leaves are turning and it felt good to drive, despite the stretches of road construction. I wound up, of all places, in North East Pennsylvania. That section of I-90 past Erie PA has some breathtaking views of Lake Erie, and it always a sight to see. The town itself, one of the many old places you see along Route 20, looks a lot what you’d see in NE Ohio, with Mercyhurst College reminding me a lot like Lake Erie College in Painesville. However, there, the grape vines are everywhere and the air is filled with their scent. You can walk from a residential street and in seconds come upon a vineyard.  It was such a nice ride that I was surprised when, suddenly, I saw a Welcome to New York sign as I drove on Route 5.   So, it turned out I drove through three states on one Sunday afternoon.

On the way back, I stopped in the old Ohio port of Ashtabula where I stopped at their harbor front. Like other towns along the Lake Erie coast, Ashtabula has seen better times when it unloaded iron ore and other commodities for the booming industrial towns of the interior. However, West 5th St. has seen some significant investment with pubs, ice cream shops, eateries, and the occasional shop opening up in the old buildings. It was tough finding a parking spot and people were walking about this Sunday afternoon.

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