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  1. #1

    Default From Pittsburgh... WEST!

    Hi Everyone! Thanks for all of the great posts and links and resources to be found here at the site (forum and site proper)!

    I'm 25 this coming Monday and I've made the spur of the moment decision that I'm running west for 10-14 days roundtrip. I'm fortunate in the respect that I have three weeks off between jobs, a reliable car, and a tax return that all seem to collide into this great idea to go on the road trip of my lifetime. I'll also be bringing along my pooch for the trip (he's great in the car, we've gone back and forth to Myrtle Beach quite a few times non-stop.)

    So, here goes. I'll be departing Pittsburgh, PA and my only real desire is to go west. I want to meet amazing people, see some mountains, buy some kitschy magnets and souvenirs, take some pictures, and eat some good old road food.

    I have hit a bit of a road block in my "planning" (I know, planning isn't necessarily the right word to use...) but, I'm not sure what a realistic destination should be. Obviously, I know that I can't head to California or Nevada realistically. But, would Colorado be realistic for my time table?

    I'm fairly certain that I'd like to ride out US 50- but I'm not opposed to other routes if someone can suggest something better.

    I'm greatly interested in historic sites if possible; however, I also would love just to see the majesty of the good ol' U S of A.

    Thanks so much in advance!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-16-2007 at 06:52 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Quest and a Challenge -- All in one!

    Quote Originally Posted by SLewis View Post
    Hi Everyone! Thanks for all of the great posts and links and resources to be found here at the site
    Thanks for looking around! There are about 2800 active pages on this site, so there is always plenty more to see. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum and... Happy 25th Birthday!
    I'm fortunate in the respect that I have three weeks off between jobs, a reliable car, and a tax return that all seem to collide into this great idea to go on the road trip of my lifetime.
    There will always be more roadtrips... but this does sound like a great time to go!
    I'll also be bringing along my pooch for the trip (he's great in the car, we've gone back and forth to Myrtle Beach quite a few times non-stop.)
    Megan and I were fortunate to travel with Marvin the Road Dog for several years....Here are some tips, about keeping him safe with you.
    So, here goes. I'll be departing Pittsburgh, PA
    Pittsburgh is one of our all-time favorite cities -- (as an aside -- have you heard the giant "marimba" at Point State park recently?)...
    and my only real desire is to go west. I want to meet amazing people, see some mountains, buy some kitschy magnets and souvenirs, take some pictures, and eat some good old road food.
    Well, if you jumped on I-70, you could easily be in Vail in three days, zig-zag around the rockies awhile, go to Estes Park and then make your way back slowly. US-50 is OK, but perhaps you would find the challenge of tracing the original coast-to-coast highway more enticing? Here is some more info about the Lincoln Highway.

    Tell us so more about your goals and we will give you some more ideas.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default The Marimba

    It's pretty tough to the get the Marimba these days- they're redoing a portion of point state park to make a much "nicer" museum and I think to fortify the fort (that sounds kind of redundant, doesn't it?). I'm glad you guys love this great city!

    In terms of things I'd love to do- I'd like to do a little hiking (I'd love to do a lot of hiking, but Chuck is getting artheritic...); I've always had a thing for the history of industry (maybe it comes from being in a steel town...) so mine tours, or factory tours, or whatever would be great- but I don't know if they're feasible with Chuck in tow.

    I've planned that I'll most likely be staying in Hotels or Motels most nights- and if there is a cheesy Wigwam or other theme sleeping spot out there, I'd love to hear about it!

    The reason I thought about 50 is because it's on a map, easy to follow, but it still has the nostalgia of an old two lane road. I'm not necessarily opposed to a big old highway, but I'll admit to being a romantic road tripper. Maybe when I have a travel companion I'll do the Lincoln! It sounds like quite a challenge! 66 is also a thought, too.

    Last, but certainly not least, I'd love to get to a couple of real diner cars, even if it's just to take my picture outside of them.

  4. #4
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    Default You are the first local, who even knew what I was referring to!

    Quote Originally Posted by SLewis View Post
    It's pretty tough to the get the Marimba these days-
    I do believe you are the first local to even know what I was referring to! Somebody else figured it out long ago and even built that concrete Amphitheatre right there!
    I'm glad you guys love this great city!
    I have lots of a favorite points -- but I love going through the tunnels (east-bound) at first light and seeing the lights of downtown Pittsburgh. It has always looked like Oz to me.
    In terms of things I'd love to do- I'd like to do a little hiking (I'd love to do a lot of hiking, but Chuck is getting artheritic...); I've always had a thing for the history of industry (maybe it comes from being in a steel town...) so mine tours, or factory tours, or whatever would be great- but I don't know if they're feasible with Chuck in tow.
    One of these days, you have got to make it to the Pendleton Woolen Mills, in Pendelton, Oregon -- you would not believe where they let you go! I assume you have been up to York County for their annual extravaganza of factory tours? If not, check this out sometime!
    I've planned that I'll most likely be staying in Hotels or Motels most nights- and if there is a cheesy Wigwam or other theme sleeping spot out there, I'd love to hear about it!

    The closest Wigwam motel is in Holbrook and I think that might be pushing the envelope a little bit.

    But you could certainly stay at the famous Blue Swallow Motel.
    The reason I thought about 50 is because it's on a map, easy to follow, but it still has the nostalgia of an old two lane road.
    I think it would be find to mosey back on it. But it is kind of slow...Here is a list of some very photogenic diners.

    Even though, you will have fellow companion (Chuck) with you -- you might find these tips and comments from Jillian, another solo roadtripper helpful! And this is a great link about snacks and also one about taking speed runs!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-16-2007 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Added navigation link

  5. #5

    Default

    I've always had a thing for the history of industry (maybe it comes from being in a steel town...) so mine tours, or factory tours, or whatever would be great- but I don't know if they're feasible with Chuck in tow.
    If you ever find yourself on Route 50 on the Eastern Shore side of the Bay Bridge, there is a terrific factory tour you can take that is just about a mile from the bridge. Paul Reed Smith guitars are made in Stevensville, Md (aka Kent Island) and their factory tour is pretty cool. You probably wouldn't be going in that direction on this trip, but it's something to remember for future Route 50 trips.

  6. #6

    Default Thanks for the feedback

    How does this sound for an itenary?

    I think my "turnback" point is going to be the blue swallow- though I'm going to give a call tomorrow and make sure they'll allow pets as guests.

    I70 to US54 in Saint Louis- probably stopping somewhere before there to stay in a hotel or motel or quirky bed and breakfast.

    US54 rides straight in to the good old Blue Swallow. (probably going to stop before here between St. Lou and NM.)

    Catch I40 until it hits I25 and ride that up to Denver where I can hop right back on to I70 to ride on back home.

    Is this a feasible trip for 10 - 14 days?
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-16-2007 at 10:15 PM. Reason: substituted "swallow" for swan

  7. #7
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    Default US-54 and US-66

    Quote Originally Posted by SLewis View Post
    I70 to US54 in Saint Louis- probably stopping somewhere before there to stay in a hotel or motel or quirky bed and breakfast.
    Here is a link about rustic spots along US-54 and you will find plenty of stuff to look at between St. Louis and the Blue Swallow on Route 66.

    Mark

  8. #8

    Default

    Got my route figured out and it's really exciting. Good news, for anyone who's curious, is that the Blue Swallow does in fact take pets. Since I'm moseying across country on the way there I figured I'd call a couple of days in advance to work out when they should expect me and the pooch.

    Also, another thing to let people traveling with Pets know is that you don't necessarily need to purchase one of the pet seat harnesses. It is actually possible to convert a harness you already own into one of these with a simple clip that threads through the safety belt and clips onto the harness you already own. It's just important that your harness have a loop on the back and not the front.

    Blue Swallow here I come!

  9. #9
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    Default More about pet harnesses

    Quote Originally Posted by SLewis View Post
    Got my route figured out and it's really exciting. Good news, for anyone who's curious, is that the Blue Swallow does in fact take pets.
    That is good to know, thanks for checking on it for us.
    Also, another thing to let people traveling with Pets know is that you don't necessarily need to purchase one of the pet seat harnesses.
    True, although the way we used ours was the opposite of your suggestion -- Marvin equated putting the harness on with "doing something exciting" and so he often wore his driving harness when we took walks -- much better to attach the leash to the C-loop on the top of his back than onto his neck collar. Really was critical whenever we would do any bouldering or anyplace he needed some flexibility of movement. In his early years, he was fearless about jumping down from boulders and often times would have to come back up a rock face to "check on me" (I was much more cautious about free-falling off a rock that was three times my height!) Marvin liked that free-falling approach to dog flight...

    Mark

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