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Although we've come to the end of the road

Jason Werling • May 22, 2015 at 2:58 PM

So why is U.S. 6 called the Grand Army of the Republic Highway? 

According to PAroute6.com…Route 6 was named the Grand Army of the Republic Highway by the same group that started Memorial Day.  The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War are responsible for the legislation creating Memorial Day and for convincing 14 states to dedicate US Route 6 as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway.

In Sandusky U.S. 6 is known as Cleveland Road, Lima-Sandusky Road, Venice Road, Washington Street among others.

As it curves through the hills and small towns of other communities it is known as the Roosevelt Highway, Main Street, Erie Street, Golden Mile Road and the Mid-Cape Highway among many other names.

Traveling over 800 miles in five days doesn’t do the road justice for all U.S. 6 has to offer, but the boys and I found several places we would like to return to when we have more time. We missed Conneaut Lake Park where I hear they have their own Blue Streak and we also missed some New England towns like Willimantic, Conn. where I read the frogs roar. We missed several 6 hotspots because of bad weather and lack of time.

The boys listed their favorite things from this year’s trip and they are as follows…Payton liked getting toys and stuffed animals along the way and his brother Will’s favorite stops were the pool at Bear Mountain, going to Dunkin’ Donuts several times, handing out smiley stickers and road trip cards to people, the rain storm (Tropical Storm Arthur) and taking our photos with the final sign in the storm.

My favorite areas of the trip were the Bear Mountain/Peekskill area and Pymatuning Lake. Cape Cod would have been more enjoyable without the tropical storm. I enjoyed telling people about the trip and the Sandusky area as it was very well-received. Although the boys became restless and said I talked too much.

As in our past trips Will kept track of different things we passed throughout the trip including U.S. 6 signs, different types of animals and American Flags. Our first day of the trip hit record numbers when Will counted 934 American Flags in the 148 miles traveled in Ohio. Our state is very patriotic, but the second day brought more U.S. 6 signs than any other day. The “Do 6” tourism campaign by the PA Route 6 Alliance has a sign for every mile of the Grand Army of the Republic Highway. It kept Will counting as we spent the entire second day in PA.

Payton joined in the counting fun as we started seeing Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner in Connecticut and Rhode Island. We saw a dozen in the first two hours of day four.

My2CommonCents commented on our last day of the trip at our live blog… “Can I get paid to go on vacation if I send the SR all my pics?”

Our road trips are not a free ride as I cover most of the expenses and the sponsorships help cut the costs as well. The boys and I are very grateful for the opportunity and try to serve as good will (and Payton) ambassadors for the Sandusky area as we meet new people throughout the trip. My2CommonCents- if you would like to send us your vacation photos we would welcome the opportunity to feature them on our Firelands Faces page. And that invitation goes out to all of you reading this as well. Send 1 or 2 of your vacation photos to firelandsfaces@sanduskyregister.com for an upcoming photo page.

Following the end of U.S. 6 on the east coast I took the boys about an hour north to Boston for a couple days to see Beantown. On our way home we met with Joe Hurley, author of Ten Million Steps on Route 6. Hurley walked all 3,600+ miles of it from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. I took photos of him in 2004 during his trip as he walked through Sandusky. He lives in the Danbury, Connecticut area with his wife and now travels to speak about his 9-month journey.

As we talked at an ice cream shop, of course, Joe answered some of the boys questions like “How many hotels did you stay in?” and “How much money did it cost?”

I’m jealous of the time Joe was able to spend walking and talking on the road and during our visit he realized why we had an abridged look at our common road. The boys were stir crazy even before the ice cream as they had been in the car for several hours before.

As Will and Payton reach 9 and 8-years-old we may have one more road trip in us before we end the series. Talking with Joe and reading more about where 6 goes the other way has me thinking “Go West, young man,” or in this case young men. There’s over 2,500 miles left to conquer and it might take a little longer than five days.

If you have enjoyed this trip and would like to see another one, please let me know via e-mail (werling@sanduskyregister.com) and let our sponsors know by patronizing them. You can find them at the bottom right corner of this page at our site www.sanduskyregister.com/b2b

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