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21 June, 2001

And Here We Go……6/21/01

Happy Solstice!!! Today is the longest day of the year and it is the point where the Earth is tilted furthest toward the Sun. It is also the beginning of summer and the start of my trip across the country. How I got involved in this trip dates back to December when I read in the newspaper about a trip that was being proposed by two social studies teacher at the high school. The trip sounded rather interesting so the next day I found the two teachers in charge of the trip and volunteered to be the female chaperone to accompany them. Enough said in this story because the next several months was, at best, challenging and too long to write about now. Maybe some other time would be appropriate but for now, the trip.

We left Manchester High School today at 7:20 am and began driving west. There are 23 students ages 15 - 18, 2 chaperones-Rob Johnson, a police officer from the school and me, the trip organizer, Pat and the bus driver, Colin. Tomorrow, another chaperone, Bob Cooper, and student will meet us in Cleveland. This student is a senior and will graduate tonight. Coop and she will fly to Cleveland and meet up with us in the afternoon.

Today, the day is planned to be a driving day. It will take us approximately 12 hours to drive from Manchester to Cleveland. Our trip plan is to take Rt. 84 through Connecticut, Rt. 684 in New York, through New York City on Rt. 87 to Rt. 80. Route 80 transects the United States generally traveling the northern tier of the country. This is the route we'll take to Cleveland and Chicago. After that, we will begin traveling on a southwest trek toward our destination of Los Angeles. Sixteen days on the bus-ouch.

Once out of the populated regions of New York and New Jersey, the terrain begins to look a lot like Vermont. On the trek through Pennsylvania, we transit the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachians are very undulating. The mountains are not tall, very similar to Vermont but more frequent. The rock type of these mountains is sedimentary, or as I can identify as we drive by. There is a folding appearance also. This is due to the several collisions that Proto-Africa made with Proto-North America during the Ordovician period approximately 270 million years ago. There are several places where highways are cut through the mountains called passes. We must travel over the passes and the vistas are spectacular. The state of Pennsylvania, at least via Rt. 80, has sprawling farms along the road side and many state forests. The drive is quite beautiful. The students do not seem care about the rock types or even the mountain ranges and beautiful sprawling farms. Their business is watching videos. There are many more miles to travel. I hope we don't see all the videos in the first several days of travel. It certainly will make Kansas more boring than it is already.

Next stop-Cleveland Ohio and the Hard Rock Café for dinner.

Ciao, Cathi

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