life update, PA

Greetings from Johnstown, PA!

Yes, you read that correctly. If it seems as though I fell off the face of the earth for a while, well, it’s because I did. Here’s the scoop…

After Allan graduated with his Ph.D. this summer (doesn’t he look smarter?),

he got a job at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, making us Mountain Cats

and new residents of Johnstown, PA.

We are now among the 5,000 residing in the Westmont Borough of Johnstown, sitting at the top of a mountain in the middle of the Allegheny Mountains. We’ll post pics of the house (or maybe even do a video tour…ooh) once we get some of the boxes cleared away.

What we’ve learned about our new town so far:
*Johnstown is the name of the city in Cambria County. The rest of the county is comprised of 30 townships and 32 boroughs, each of which governs itself. So in a 15-mile radius, you might have 10 councils, mayors, school districts, police departments, fire stations, etc. Apparently they’ve never heard of the word “unified.”

*Johnstown has endured three major floods (thus why we live on top of one of the mountains instead of in the valley). David McCullough wrote a fairly well-known book about it.

*Johnstown is home to the world’s steepest vehicular inclined plane. It was built to evacuate the rich in the event of another flood. Now it serves as an awesome observation site and, from what we hear, a pretty fun ride.

*Johnstown is only about 20 miles from where Flight 93 crashed on 9/11.

*Johnstown still has an operational drive-in movie theater.

*Johnstown is home to several large festivals, including FolkFest and Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally. They even have a film and wine festival.

*It’s hard to be a vegetarian in Johnstown.

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