Sunday Drives- A Thing of the Past


On October 1, 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened between Irwin and Carlisle as the first long-distance limited-access highway in the United States. It went through the mountains of Pennsylvania using seven tunnels built for the abandoned South Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1880s.

My parents always referred fondly to the Sunday day trips of their youth going up to and returning from the Howard Johnson’s at the Midway Plaza. Today, traveling the length of turnpike one way will cost you $39.05 which is a far cry from the $5.90 I used to spend when I went back and forth from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in my college days. Add to that the cost of a tank of fuel and there is nothing left to that old ideal of a leisurely drive.

However, even if you can’t afford to drive on it, you can like it on the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s facebook page. Not!

4 Thoughts

  1. Steve Root says:

    Can’t even get Howard Johnson’s ice cream or fried clams sandwich. The rest stops are an amalgam of fast food America. De-energizing.

  2. Steve Root says:

    This best thing about being on that long stretch of highway is being with you and noticing the countryside and the proliferation of wind turbines.

  3. Phyllis says:

    I remember when it opened. My mother called it the “Dream Highway”. We used to go over the mountains every month to get to Washington D C. Now we went through the “tunnels” . The rest stops were new and amazing. Glad you brought up this memory for me

  4. Sarah says:

    It’s still fun, but you gotta bring your own food. Making better highway stops food-wise would be a great business idea, I think.

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