||Amtrak train #30 goes from Chicago to DC by way of Pittsburgh,
which was where we got off. It's a bumpy ride. The train lurches from side
to side and thumps loudly from time to time. Just as you drift off to
sleep--WHAM!--you're jerked awake. I like the train despite the delays, but
this is one route that surely should be avoided until they upgrade the tracks.
Too bad we'll be going back the way we came. [ Amazingly, the run
west was smooth! There's a lesson in that, somewhere. -ed. ]
Sarah's dad Bill picked us up in Pittsburgh at 7 a.m. (the train was 2 hours
late.) We drove from there to Tiltonsville, Ohio, to his mother's house.
His mom, Sarah Louise
namesake), is 90. Wheelchair- and walker-bound and almost blind, she still
gets by on her own. She's tough.
Bill said he'd recently seen a greyscale map of air pollution in the United
States; the darker the spot, the more the pollution. We were driving through
one of three black areas on the map, legacy of industry and power production
that gives the region the name
When he was growing up, sulfur dioxide in the air would simply dissolve metal
door screens and corrode aluminum windows. You had to be careful where you
stepped walking by the river else your shoes would fall apart. It's slightly
better now, with some fish returned to the river. But you still wouldn't
want to eat them. Well, that's progress.