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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Reporting in from the road

    Hey, all! We're starting the second leg of our trip today - we've spent the last week in the Allegheny region of Pennsylvania, and I must say it was quite nice. Temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s during the day, 50s at night, low, low humidity, and scenic drives all around!

    We checked out Kinzua Dam, Kinzua Bridge State Park, Jake's Rocks, Warren, Bradford, Grand Canyon of PA, hiked the Tracy Ridge trail, drove on the Longhouse Scenic Byway, and trekked out to Pittsburgh (where a security guard told us to stop taking pictures of PPG Place) <--besides that, it is a really nice city, very accessible and not too big. I went under the "Timpani" bridge, but I didn't see any timber supports there - it looks like the bridges have been undergoing repairs as of late.

    Well, that's all for now. I'm on a limited access wireless plan so I can't indulge right now.

    Just a couple of quick notes, though: US-219 in Bradford is one of the worst roads I have ever been on. Concrete slabs with holes everywhere, a very poor shoulder, etc, especially on the Northbound side. But, US-219 South of Bradford is a very enjoyable ride, the only traffic I encountered was a car from CT that I was behind for about 1 1/2 hours.

    That's all for now!

  2. Default

    Wow! Sounds like great weather! I'm sitting here in Phoenix in 110+ today. (I think I'm actually going to have to turn on the air conditioning.)

    As far as being forbidden to take photos by a security guard, I understand their concerns but is this really the kind of country (atmosphere-wise) we want to live in? I like better the British people's response after the attacks in London this past week -- one man interviewed had the day off -- but the day after the bombings rode the Tube to work anyway just to make his point. They don't call it GREAT Britain for nothing.

    Thanks for the report. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Marimba News

    Quote Originally Posted by TimboTA
    Hey, all! We're starting the second leg of our trip today - we've spent the last week in the Allegheny region of Pennsylvania, and I must say it was quite nice. Temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s during the day, 50s at night, low, low humidity, and scenic drives all around!
    Sounds about perfect. Dennis will be bringing a bunch of moist air in the next week up there -- so enjoy while you can.
    trekked out to Pittsburgh (where a security guard told us to stop taking pictures of PPG Place)
    Yeah, Thurman had the same experience, but here is a photo of downtown:
    I went under the "Timpani" bridge, but I didn't see any timber supports there - it looks like the bridges have been undergoing repairs as of late.
    Bummer. Well, thanks for checking for us!
    Just a couple of quick notes, though: US-219 in Bradford is one of the worst roads I have ever been on. Concrete slabs with holes everywhere, a very poor shoulder, etc, especially on the Northbound side. But, US-219 South of Bradford is a very enjoyable ride, the only traffic I encountered was a car from CT that I was behind for about 1 1/2 hours.
    Thanks for that field report. Have fun!

    Mark

  4. Default

    It really is a beautiful city, isn't it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    Well, the security guard mumbled something about "private property" and handed me a torn brochure...I guess it's akin to being in the lobby of a building. I don't know, I didn't bother to ask him (truth be told, he probably couldn't have answered "why" anyway!).

    The city is quite nice. We're in Fredericksburg, VA right now. We went into town today and walked all around. A highlight of our walking tour was viewing in-progress restoration at the Kenmore Plantation , a definite must-see for anyone interested in history. Three girls were in there working away with dental picks and the like on the intricate plaster detailing. Many other homes and businesses in the area are being restored. Just last week, I was lamenting how the country seems to have forgotten how to paint highly visible edifices (this includes oil refineries and their enormous, rust-covered structures) - but here they seem to have remembered.

    The area is growing really fast, even since our last visit in 2001. According to Sunday's paper, in the 1990s, an average of 23 people moved into the city <i>every day</i>, which is over 84,000 people. Looking at 1990 vs. 2000 census figure data gives an interesting picture.

    The weather here...hot, humid, sticky. Ah, just like back home in MA! But, that's okay. I prefer heat to cold anway. Tuesday is pretty much shot as I have to take a test for an online class I'm taking (note to self: don't schedule classes when you're on vacation!), but I'm trying to get it done tonight (Monday) so I can get out a little bit. We're planning a day or two in DC, then we're headed back home on Friday.

    Then I begin planning for a blast drive in August!
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 07-11-2005 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Corrected placename, added link

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default hot, sticky weather -- Oh boy!

    Quote Originally Posted by TimboTA
    The weather here...hot, humid, sticky. Ah, just like back home in MA! But, that's okay. I prefer heat to cold anway.
    You lucky dog. Washington DC in July. In addition the usual stuff, there are a couple of places you might find interesting: The National Museum of the American Indian and The National Museum of Health and Medicine (you aren't squeamish are you?)

    Also could you do me a favor, dial 511 on your mobile/motel phone and provide a field report here on how useful the system is for traffic in DC and the surrounding area.

    Great to hear from you.

    mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    Well, we just got back from our trip! What a hectic day of driving...we also lost one of our travel mascots that's been with us since '99. His name is Martin and he is a bat from Mammoth Cave, KY. Right now we're quite sad. Maybe he'll show up yet...

    We didn't get into Washington, DC at all. A combination of weather, traffic, and time management conspired against us. A rare defeat, that.

    The trip was, overall, quite enjoyable. Our first day out, we headed along I-90 to I-88 and stopped for breakfast in Cooperstown, NY. Breakfast was subpar, but at least it was something. We picked from several different establishments and I guess we came up short. Oh well. Traffic on I-88 was almost non-existent.

    From there we headed on to PA-267, 706, 409 and then US-6. A great meandering drive through the forest. We stopped at Colton Point State Park, the "Grand Canyon of PA" for lunch. The views were spectacular from the overlooks. There is a short trail running along the rim with some binocular stations. In the river below folks were swimming.

    Our last stretch was on PA-59 to the campground. This road appears to have once been heavily traveled, but is now mostly fodder for locals bringing their boats to the Allegheny Reservoir.

    Speaking of the reservoir (and the national forest of the same name), we were able to take a long hike in its environs. The air was thick, but once we made it to the shore and dipped our feet in the water, it was all worth it. We hiked for over 6 hours.

    One day we headed for a ride to nowhere, and ended up taking PA-27 into Titusville to the Drake Well Museum, where, bonus!!, a car show was taking place. Everything from 1911 Fords to 1986 Firebirds were there. There was a DeSoto Airflow and a 68 Camaro driven by a man in a wheelchair. We walked the show, we walked the grounds, and we went in the museum and now know more than we ever thought we would about producing oil. PA-27 was smooth sailing. In fact, most of the roads we encountered (exceptions noted) were enjoyable drives, whether you like a sporting drive or a relaxed one.

    Our day in Pittsburgh, as mentioned above, was overall enjoyable. We took US-62 much of the way. I counted 11 historical markers in as many miles. Pennsylvania has recently (2002) redone all of its historical markers in a nice blue paint, and they are highly visible.

    Towards the end of the week, we drove the Longhouse Scenic Drive and stopped off at Jake's Rocks, which has great overlooks of the Kinzua Dam and surrounding areas. Thanks to my local maps, we were able to head up to the reservoir that is used for the Kinzua Dam peaking station (where all the water is stored at the top of the mountain). It's not hard to get to, but it is something to see. We headed to Kinzua Bridge, which, unfortunately, was partially destroyed by a tornado a couple of years ago.

    At the campground, we met a couple from New York that appeared to be on their first outing together. We talked a little bit, but they seemed quite shy so the conversation fizzled out.

    Since I'm still not digital with my photographs (odd for a computer science student, yes?), I'll have to wait until I get my film developed to post any pix. And yes, I'm going to be shopping for a camera soon, but I can't abandon my film SLR.

    This was the first leg of the trip, which was more relaxed. I'll post about the second leg later.
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 07-15-2005 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Added content

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    Here's some pix from the trip: One from Colton State Park (the Grand Canyon of PA), another of Kinzua Dam (color's a bit off - old scanner)


    <img src = "http://home.comcast.net/~shecky258/GrandCanyonPA.jpg">

    <img src = "http://home.comcast.net/~shecky258/Kinzua.jpg">
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 07-18-2005 at 08:49 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Great trip report! I can't wait for the next installment. I had never heard of the "Grand Canyon of PA" so that was interesting to read about. How fun to run into a good car show like that. Sounds like you saw some great cars!

  10. #10

    Default Porsche's in the area

    TimboTA, I recently completed a drive with a group of friends with our Porsche's through the Allegheny Forest, leaving from Fort Erie, Ontario to Kane, Longhouse Scenic-By-Way, St. Mary's, Hwy 555 to Emporium etc. The roads in Pennsylvania are EXCELLENT but I do agree with you on the US 219 in Bradford. We tried to by-pass this section of the highway along High Street but it to was not great.

    The scenery in that area is fantastic, unfortunatly we did not manage to visit the Kinzua Bridge.

    We had a good lunch stop at the Kane Manor Inn. Over night accomodations were in the town of St. Mary's at The Towne House Country Inn. A great place to stay.

    I would like to post some pictures: how did you insert pictures with the text and not as an attatchment?

    Sports Car Driver
    Last edited by Sportscar driver; 07-19-2005 at 01:52 PM.

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