Satisfactory Essays

While growing up in Ithaca, New York, visits to my father’s boyhood home, Hughesville, a town set in a valley among the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania, were common. My aunt continues to live in the 1948 home her grandfather built. Pleasant memories take me back to this borough of about 2000 people, 60 miles south of the New York border. Small settlements in Pennsylvania are politically

classified as boroughs or townships. Although a borough generally looks more urban than a township, it is difficult for someone passing through and unfamiliar with an area to tell the difference.

From Ithaca, this is a two hour drive on US 220, a two lane highway that starts at the New York border. Long after I knew the names of all the places we passed on the way, I continued to play “What Place Is This?” with my father. Some towns we passed were a spattering of twenty buildings, while others had two block shopping districts. We passed through Milan, pronounced Meyelin, New Albany, where signs proclaim it the “Christmas Wreath Capital of the World,” and Dogtown, identified by Rand McNally as Tivola.

Route 220 winds through high, tree greened hills. It is cut over and along the sides of these hills exposing gentle valleys with flat, cow-dotted pastures and a spectacular view of the narrow, meandering, mighty Susquehanna River carving its path through the fertile farmland it floods, sometimes violently in spring. Anytime you drive through the area, vistas are a visual delight. The high, winding roads can ice over in winter but in

summer inspire free spirited motorcycle rides. The well shaded two lane roads over the hills and through the dales bring relief from the black pavement’s heat rising to meet the hot sun baking your bare arms.

Before the Eisenhower Interstate System was built in the 1950s, a main travel route through the eastern part of the country was US 220. Even now you quickly and consistently find yourself behind slow-moving tractor trailers crawling steadily up and rolling down these rollercoaster hills. In response to this, recently built passing lanes

were carved deeper into the hillsides at the steepest climbs. Few take this route to its end in Tennessee. While most use it to make their way to the interstate connecter, four miles from Hughesville, some use it to deliver goods to the Lycoming Mall. The mall’s entrance is a football field away from the Interstate 80 connecter.
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