I told people I'd want dinner, and at 8 we made arrangements to meet at the Perkins in Cranberry. Convenient for me, but it wasn't my idea. It was weird getting on the Turnpike by driving through what had been until recently a toll booth; The turnpike is now free between Cranberry and the new Beaver Valley Expressway interchange (toll barriers east of Cranberry and at the state line).
Part of why I find myself drawn west again and again is what I can best term an unclosed period earlier in my life. Surprisingly, radio was part of it. I considered moving to Beaver, New Brighton, Rochester or Beaver Falls because there was a useful radio station there (just like I later considered moving to Greensburg) and it was almost a different world from the one I was living in: nearby, but on the periphery of my life, tantilizingly hanging just out of reach. One of those rare moments from that age of my life that wasn't about relationships...
Oddly had the turnpike been free in that area then I would have spent less time around Rochester, as it was on my "toll avoidance" route to Cleveland from when I was a poor high school/college student. Anyhow, the empeg in the car made about the best substitute for decent radio as I'm likely to get, but is still inferior; I want someone to pick out the tunes for me, to make small talk with me, some character, and not just a rotation that could almost as easily be satellite-fed as being sourced from inside my dashboard.
Anyway, during food, mizmoose made a comment about a shop in Rochester, nay, Beaver, which had good cheesecakes. I asked where, and she couldn't quite describe it. When we went to leave, and were figuring out who was going with whom, she suggested I modify the side trip I was considering (to Rochester) to see if the pie shop was still in Beaver. We did, and after 3 laps down the main drag, concluded it was gone.
Unable to resist the lure of somewhere that was never really an old stomping ground, I cut back over to Rochester, chased a train I ended up beside up to New Brighton (and failed to catch it), and then headed overland to route 51 and back to Ohio, this time driving around East Palestine until the train caught up.
After it did, I headed back down the Ohio valley, dropped off mizmoose, and headed back home. When I was that age I made many abortive trips west, because it wasn't my car, and I would've gotten in trouble had I disappeared with it for long enough to go anywhere. Now I don't need permission, but I don't have the time. The world has grown, and shrunk. Life then wasn't necessarily better, the peaks and the valleys just weren't the same ones I have now.