Fracking Hell

We camped in Clintonville, with no problems, it wasn’t a very entertaining evening, we ate noodles and watched some Arrested Development on my lap top. We woke early and walked on to Grove City.

The days have become hot, and Kieran has become burnt. We are getting through water quickly, but luckily we have the means to carry 8L a day, so we are fine. We have got into a pattern of walking till around 1, finding a shaded area, making lunch, and waiting for the day to start to cool.

We arrived in Grove City around 5. We were staying with a lovely lady called Michelle and her daughter Maegan, we met them through CouchSurfer. It was so nice of them to let us stay, they are in the middle of moving house, so even though it was a really hectic time they still found time to help us out, which is amazing.

We sat in their kitchen ate and chatted the night away, Michelle mentioned she wanted to take us to Pittsburgh the next day, which was a really cool prospect for us because we haven’t been in a big city since New York, plus Pittsburgh is were they filmed Batman. It was a great evening, and they were both great company.

The next evening Michelle took us to Pittsburgh, there was a premier of a documentary called GasLand2, which was about fractural mining, or Fracking. It was first come first serve to get in though, so we had our fingers crossed.

Pittsburgh is a cool city, we went to the cathedral of learning, which is the tallest university building in the world. It also has a very similar feel as Hogwarts from the inside, so Kieran got a little grief. He tells alot of people here, he is Ron Weasleys stunt double after all.

It was a very interesting building, on the first few floors, all the classrooms have different country themes, it had a nice feel, we found the welsh room quite funny, it was pretty much a normal classroom, I didnt know what was implied, boring welsh?

The Israeli Room

The Israeli Room

There were also blackboards in each classroom, so obviously the need to find chalk and draw a penis on the blackboards ensued. When we eventually found chalk we thought better of ourselves (or just got too scared).

We went to the 36th floor to a room with a view of the city, it was beautiful, and such a nice thing to be able to do. As Pittsburgh isnt on our route, we never thought we would see this city, so it was great to tick it off the list, and also just a nice feeling to be in a city again.

We finished at the cathedral for learning and went and sat in the Shenley Plaza and had bubble tea, and ate some Iranian food. We finished and went onto the premier at the soldiers and sailors memorial hall.

the soldiers and sailors memorial hall.

the soldiers and sailors memorial hall.

We were lucky that it was a huge space (beautiful too) so we didnt have any trouble getting in. There were a few stalls of people giving information on various causes, obviously the main focus was on Fracking.

The film was great, it was introduced by the director, Josh Fox. It was all about how Fracking, which is were they drill a mile or so into the earth, then pump at high pressure water and chemicals into the rock, which makes it crumble and release natural gasses. Most of the water for houses here is pulled from wells and spring supplies, so these chemicals and gasses are being brought up in peoples water. There are videos of people literally holding a lighter to there tap which creates a ball of flame. Its pretty scary stuff.

It was a great watch, and well worth looking into, if you are in the US, the documentary airs on HBO on the 8th July (at 9pm) for everyone at home, it will probably be on the internet somewhere, its called GasLand2.

There was a questions and answer session after which was great. Kieran and I were being pretty childish and making Fracking puns. “Why the frack are they doing this?” or “you can Frack off.” We found it way too funny.

Maegan had a little chat with the director after, he was a very nice down to earth guy, so it was nice that he could give advice to her.

We then went back to Grove City for a good nights sleep. We were walking to Mercer the next day so we needed some rest. We had had a great day and seen a new City, our next will be Cleveland.

We said goodbye to Michelle and Maegan in the morning around 10 and set off, it was a hot morning, so we did as many miles as we could in the morning before it got too hot. We made turkey rolls (which Michelle very kindly brought us) and sat in the shade, it was cool, but we are always on the look out for snakes and ticks in the woods, and obviously bears, (which John and his friend told us we would never see)

When we set off getting back out in the sun really hit us, we both put our music on and marched as quick as our feet would let us.We got into Mercer, and planned to walk through to the other side where there was a campsite. We walked past a yard sale and a women at the sale stopped us “Are you the boys doing the charity walk.” We couldnt believe she new, the newspaper we were in was quite a few towns back, so we didnt know how she new. She gave us $5 for water and food, we couldn’t believe it , we were very thankful. As the day was drawing to a close and Mercer in our view. We decided to stop in a bar for a quick beer.

The bartender, Tom got us too large pints of Yeungling and chatted to us, we told him what we are doing and he was a little shocked. He went and got his colleague, Amanda. She couldn’t believe what we were saying and walked off, she came back with two bar T-Shirts and handed us some money, we couldn’t believe our luck.

We both chatted to the bartender Tom a bit more. He got us another free drink, and invited us to his place, he told us he was going to take us out and get us good and drunk. We hesitated to begin with, and the thought of walking hung over the next day, but we did it any way.

We walked to Toms, he drove his Crysler 300c with huge chrome rims, slowly beside us. We got to his garage, greeted by the ‘man cave’ sign. It was amazing, decked in different bar signs, huge sculptures of indians, and two life size statues of the blues brothers and princess layer. With 2 litre bottle of fire whiskey to boot. We had a few drinks with his brother and headed out for the evening.

Toms 'Man Cave'

Toms ‘Man Cave’

On the drive to the bar Tom picked up his cousin Dame, who is actually the cousin of Trent Reznor (the singer from nine inch nails). He gave us a signed back stage pass, which was cool. Any who, we drove to a mexican bar and brought some huge margaritas and watched a band out the front. We met a couple outside the bar and chatted to them about the walk. They were lovely, and even spoke to the band and got them to dedicate a song to us, it was lovely. Such a nice couple.


The beers they were-a-flowing. by the end of the night we were a mess, we realized today that we only ate the two rolls earlier, and had been drinking since 4. We needed to get out of the  bars and back to some kind of bed. Luckily Dame saw the state we were and took us back to his. He very kindly gave up his bed, and Kieran slept in a spare room.

Dame was a really cool kid, who lives in Pittsburgh most of the time. He mentioned possibilities of getting us Lulapalooza tickets, which would be unbelievable. He took our number, and we hope to stay in touch with him.

We woke this morning hanging, the day was already getting hot and we needed to be on our way. We decided to walk the 4 miles to the camp site past Mercer and stay there tonight, which was hard enough, the road was very busy, and in our state of desperation that morning we forgot to put any suncream on, and were only wearing the clothes we had on the night before. We needed a shower. Desperately.

We rolled into the camp site around  2 this afternoon, its a huge place, with a swimming pool, fishing lake and loads of other activities. As soon as we spoke to reception they asked us were we are from, and about what we are doing. They then wouldn’t let us pay. Again such amazing generosity from the people here. Its very comforting to know that there are still so many amazing people out there.

We are now camping up, and tomorrow we hope to cross into Ohio. We have nearly finished in Pennsylvania. Its be such a great state to us, the people here have made us look forward to the rest of our trip. Fingers crossed Ohio is just as friendly.




2 thoughts on “Fracking Hell

  1. I’m a friend of Amy’s and she put your video blog on Facebook and linked to here – fuck your adventure sounds cool – just remember the sun cream!!!

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