I knew we were getting into the mountains when, after the rolling foothills of eastern Ohio, our ears started popping as we climbed in altitude.
As John Denver sang, "Almost Heaven, West Virginia".
It's only about 15 miles across this little strip of West Virginia.
Then we got into western Pennsylvania. The hills got higher and turned into real mountains with winding mountain roads. At one of the Turnpike rest stops, we saw these reminders that there is WINTER in them that hills.
Met this guy at a rest stop.
"I am a Pennsylvania black bear. Although I am brown, I am what they call a Cinnamon Bear. Our population in PA is over 15,000 in the state. I can run up to 35 mph and live up to 25 years in the wild. Three species of bears inhabit North America; only the black bear is found in Pennsylvania. I am intelligent and curious. I can see coors, recognize human forms, and notice even the slightest movement. I have an acute sense of smell and, to a lesser degree, use hearing to locate food and to recognize danger. I make distinctive tracks. I have five toes and my rear foot resembles a human's. I am omnivorous, eating almost anything. I am usually dormant in the winter, hibernating in my den or cave. The family group usually disbands after about a year and a half. Bear attacks are extremely rare, considering how often people encounter us. Don't run, don't be afraid, be respectful. Once a bear identifies you, it will usually leave. Adults usually weight about 200 pounds with males being heavier, often more than twice as much. My pertinent data: I weigh 200 pounds. I am 2 years old. I am a female. I come from Somerset County, PA. I have been here at the rest stop for 18 years. The State Game Department brought me here.