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Reporter Danielle Zulkosky is on a quest to visit all of the nation’s Lancasters

Danielle Zulkosky eases the driver’s seat back in the WISH-TV news van and shifts the vehicle into Drive. Then she looks at the mirrors and puts the van back into Park. “I guess I should adjust the mirrors so I can see,” she says with a laugh.

Zulkosky is exceedingly comfortable behind the wheel. The WISH-TV nightside reporter spends a lot of time on the road, racing to break news stories for the station’s night broadcasts. When the young journalist can string a few days off together, though, she often chooses to spend those days on the road too. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania native is on a mission to visit every Lancaster in the nation. It started when she was a reporter in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“We ran this story about this cow named Hilda that set a record for milk production, and I found out she was located in Lancaster, Wisconsin,” she says as we round a turn in downtown Indianapolis. “And, I was like ‘wow, I thought there was only one (other than Pennsylvania) in South Carolina.’ I didn’t know there was one in Wisconsin. ‘I gotta go check this out.’

With that, a reporter was transformed into a knight on a quest. On days off, Zulkosky is likely to drive ten hours or more to make social media posts in a Lancaster or several Lancasters. Her Instagram posts are filled with Lancaster images.

“I would say my favorite one has been Lancaster, Kentucky, not counting my home in Pennsylvania, because that’s my favorite.” With her eyes on W. Washington Street, Zulkosky smiles as she remembers her Kentucky sojourn. “Lancaster, Kentucky is gorgeous. It’s about an hour outside of Lexington. It’s kind of hilly out there. You’re not fully in Appalachia, but you’re kind of on the edge of it.”

We ride around greater Indianapolis for over an hour with Zulkosky recalling the many Lancasters she’s visited including three here in Indiana. At some point, though, we realize we were lost.

“I actually have no idea where we are,” she laughs.

“That makes two of us,” I concede before asking her, “what’s next?”

Unlike when she’s on assignment for WISH-TV, Zulkosky isn’t facing any deadlines, so her quest is ever-evolving.

“I don’t know if it will be Missouri next or New Hampshire,” she says as we both recognize we are turning onto the familiar turf of West Ohio Street.