20 Days in Ebensburg, PA


As this site makes ever so clear to anyone who’s been reading along, we’ve had some pretty serious setbacks when it comes to our year on the road. First the transmission caught fire, then the new transmission died not 300 miles later, and when we took it back to get replaced, the replacement transmission that Ford sent the garage was busted. Today we finally heard back from the garage: the RV is raring to go.

The last twenty days, however, have been spent in my hometown of Ebensburg, PA. To be exact, it’s just one of many towns in my “home county” which I’ve lived all around. It’s the county seat of Cambria County, and it’s where my mom resides in a rather large house that looks rather like a barn in a rather upscale neighborhood. It’s quintessential smalltown life for the upper middle class: my step-dad is a retired police officer who enjoys drinking tequila and riding his Harley (not simultaneously, of course) and can be found either in front of the TV, at his local bar or on his riding mower; my mom works ridiculously hard at being the perfect wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker and seamstress at a local high end bridal shop; they have a chocolate lab, a fire pit, a big yard, and live on tree-lined suburban street.

While I was here the county fair came through. I spent some time with old friends and we watched football and frequented bars and I rode my bike with Tristan quite a bit. I had plenty of work and we saved money by not having to pay campground fees or put gas in the RV. All in all, it should have been a wonderfully calming experience.

I wish I could say that it has been.

To be honest, I’ve never liked Ebensburg. There’s a haughtiness in the air, the residence all seem to exude an “I’m too good for you” attitude and though everyone smiles and says hello, you can see the facetiousness stuffed up into their cheeks. The police are all very much overweight and make their livings, and the town’s taxes, on DUI money. There are laws ontop of laws, like no loitering in the parks and no spitting on the ground. No seriously, both of those are actual laws here. While riding my bike one day and waiting my turn to make a left turn a police officer, in uniform, beeped at me and tried to run me off of her side of the road and into oncoming traffic’s lane. Everyone eyes everyone else with suspicion.

Tomorrow I’m going to make the train trek back to Pittsburgh to retrieve our RV and bring it back here, and I can honestly say I’ll likely never be happier to be leaving anywhere.