Having accomplished my purpose, I set out on Thursday from Calcutta toward Youngstown on Highway 170.
Calcutta and East Liverpool are in the hilly part of the Ohio. The road goes up and down and around.
The ground flattens out by the time you get to Youngstown. It’s that flat part, where I-80 runs, that most people associate with Ohio. But there’s hillbilly country in the state.
It has been hellaciously hot for the past few days. That walk in the state park on Tuesday was in the shade and nearly dried me out. I sweat so much that I wanted to drink water.
So I spent most of Thursday in the air-conditioned Ford to get back to Clearfield. Taking very little exercise, I didn’t stop for lunch.
By five, though, I was ready for dinner. At my current weight, if all I do for exercise is drive a car all day, theory says I should be able to live off the fat of the land without eating for a week.
But it never works that way. I was getting the wobbly symptoms of low blood sugar.
I got directions to a place I had visited once before, the Race Street Brew Works, an active brewery with a taproom in the middle.
The bar has a light food menu so I planned to start dinner there with a salad or an appetizer. For some reason there was no food today, so I had to stop after two short beers.
Red Walloon, a Belgian style red ale, is better than OK. It has a lot of interesting flavor.
Then I got Vexed, a black sour ale. Never heard of that before. Its alcohol content is listed at 6.66%. It is an excellent drink. I hope to have it again next time I’m in Clearfield.
It is very close to Belgian red sours, like Duchesse du Bourgogne or Rodenbach Grand Cru. Good hops and dark malt flavors, with the tartness of the wild yeast.
Save for a half-pint of the red and 10 ounces of the black, my stomach was empty.
It was high time to get to Denny’s for something to eat
The only vegetables at Denny’s are deep fried, so I opted for a salad to start. Except for peas and carrots in the chicken gravy at the Y-Inn, I hadn’t had any vegetables for days.
I had a burger made with bison this time. The meat is very tasty, a little drier than elk and not as sweet.
I had a couple of good local IPAs, whose names I have forgotten,
I was surprised to find that Denny’s Bottle Shop is nowhere near as interesting as the bar. Maybe it's leased. I don't know.
I couldn’t find anything brewed in the area, not even from Pittsburgh, which is a brewing city.
The guy at the register knew nothing about what the store was selling.
It seems his job was just to collect money. The way he stood there and scowled reminded me of the low-level mobsters you see in good B movies.
I settled on a four-pack of Head Hunter IPA from Fat Head’s Brewery in Ohio. It was an OK drink. Not enough aroma to make me really happy, but good bitterness and enough malt.
I stayed in the Comfort Inn on the way back, and as usual, it was a lot brighter and more comfortable than the Super 8, where I stayed on Tuesday and is right on the highway into town.
Comfort Inn is on a hilltop and the parking lot has views of the valley.
I left Clearfield around 11 almost without incident or delay on Friday morning. There was one spot on the way home where traffic was alternately stopped or crawling at a few miles an hour for about 15 minutes.
There are several sections of I-80 that are down to one lane for road work. But this is the only one that backed up traffic this badly. I think somebody got pushy around the merge and caused a crash.
My Ford is little more than a year old. The odometer turned to 20,000.0 miles exactly at mile marker 308.5 in Pennsylvania. That’s about a mile and a half from the Delaware River bridge at the Water Gap.
Good thing I’m no hunch gambler. I could go broke playing combinations of those numbers.
I made it to La Quinta in Fairfield around 2:30 and settled in for a short rest before I went to see Joanna.
We went to Egan’s for supper. Joanna had a terrific crab cake made with something really savory in the mix.
I had raw oysters with a Flying Fish extra pale ale, which was too sweet for the job. I should have stuck with IPA to go with raw shellfish.
I’ve been eating a lot of red meat lately. Like spending time in the Wild West, you know your diet is beef-heavy when bison is health food.
Anyhow, I followed the oysters with a shrimp cocktail and one of my standard brews at Egan’s, a house brand Irish red. Not hopped like a red IPA, but with enough flowers to make it interesting.
I picked up some bottles on the way home. One I hadn’t seen before, an IPA from Anchor Brewing called Go West. I don’t usually associate the Anchor name with ale.
I can’t tell you if this is new, or just new to the store, or if it has been there all the time and I finally got around to noticing it.
It isn’t Dogfish Head, but it’s good. Victory Hop Devil, the other six pack, is always good.
Hoppy trails, all. This run is over.