I'm one hour into Pennsylvania when the landscape really starts to change. In The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold describes Maryland as America's least remarkable state, and in some ways this is true. The interior is largely forgettable landscape-wise, with Maryland's eternal miles of poorly maintained highways being the defining factor of most, if not all, road trips.
Go Northwest though and things start to shift. The roads of the border of Pennysylvania are narrower, and are better maintained (or at least less heavily traveled). It becomes hilly, and although it can't really be true, there seem to be more downhill slopes than uphill. A multitude of trucks kick up kernels of black sediment, which I come to realize are fragments of coal. The highways are covered in eddies of black coal dust, perpetually moving in the breeze and pushed about by the wheels of passing vehicles. The road looks like it's smoldering, flameless.