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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Long Way Home

Hi, We left E. Liverpool around 10 am yesterday. I was quite tired since we had driven almost non-stop for two days since other than the River and Grant's birthplace there were no major sites to explore. I would have liked to have stayed an additional day there---the room with the whirlpool was wonderful and I still have a great book to read. Bill, on the other hand, opted not to since he said there was nothing to do there. I know he was tired, too, since the River road was a tough drive, what with the curves, the narrowness and the roughness but when we get this close to home, he doesn't realize it, but he gets antsy and started so cover lots of distance in a short time. In fairness, the upper Ohio was not as beautiful as the lower part.

At any rate, within a few minutes of getting on the road we came across the somewhat contradictory--or at least not definitive--signs about the location of a marker that finalized the Virginia-Pennsylvania border and allowed the survey of the lands to the West to commence. Of course, after the Civil War the boundary became that between WEST Virginia and Pennsylvania. Thank goodness for the obelisk--for there was no Welcome to Pennsylvania sign to let one know that Ohio and West Virginia were both in our rear view mirror. Not so the Ohio River, however; we followed that for several more miles towards Pittsburgh and its head before veering to the Northeast toward one of its formative rivers, The Allegheny. It is interesting that rather than the Allegheny being a tributary of the Monongahela or vice versa, the two come together at Pittsburgh and give rise to a new river--the Ohio.

The first town we entered--Midland, Pa--had the steam and other gasses pouring out of looming stacks and cooling towers. Nice Church though. Don't think I'd want to live there. Moving along we came upon an interesting looking restaurant in one of the old lockhouses. Beaver is not far from Beaver Falls, the home of Joe Namath. And then we climbed out of the valley up, up, up to Zelienople. The Strand is a 1913 building--just looked so cute. Harmony was very interesting and when I looked it up online last night I wish we had stopped. The cemetery is on a hillside as you come around and down a hill into town. It is a great old wall with neat newels at the corners surrounding a field of grass! Not a marker or anything in the field.Check it out: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/1101 or http://pittsburgh.about.com/od/butler/p/harmony.htm

This road we were travelling is the  Washington Trail--he must have been one of the surveyors--1753--he did that as well as made a name for himself in the French and Indian Wars. I'm not sure right now what town we entered at noon but one of the many Churches was playing its bells for the Angelus. I haven't heard that in years--always in Glens Falls--do they still?  And play Christmas carols? It is a sound I've always loved--church bells.

Another thing I love--the lushness of the magnolias and forsythia even this far north in Pa. I did notice that the trees are not as far along as they were in Ohio but then we are not near the moderating affect of the water. Cut across the Allegheny for the first time in Allegheny Point and it was fairly good size as it was at Brady's Bend . Located near this point, 1839-73. Organized as the Great Western and later known as the Brady's Bend Iron Company. One of that era's largest iron works, and first to make iron rails west of the Alleghenies.  We reached a high point with a great overlook of part of Brady's Bend. We then followed a truck up and down and around until the end of Pa 66 in Kane where we picked up 6 East. I'm not at all sure what Mt Jewett had to offer other than a beautiful welcome sign. Several almost non-existent towns did the same but it is possible that we didn't pass down the middle of Main St!
Kind of an interesting Do 6 mural though--probably a bird's eye view of what is in store along it. The sold Victorian in Smethville was just one of many beauties in town.  So sad so see so many old buildings--even those associated with mills and other commercial enterprises--that were designed to be visually appealing either empty or plastered with horrible modern signs or both. 1895 for that nice brick empty storefront. Sigh!

And then we were finally far enough away from Pittsburgh that the Allegheny was a small creek--for we were close to its head in Randolph, Pa--in Couderport, with its small theatre. Wish they were having a showing --I would have made Bill stop--I'm dying to see The Artist.

Shortly after passing through town we turned North on 449 headed into New York. Gold has an intriguing name but all that's there is a general store at the crossroads.  Bill said there won't be a welcome to New York sign on this backroad, either. Uh, huh, sweetie, think again. Of course, the adopt a road program is more important!

 And a few miles later, in Hornell, we called it a night. I was so exhausted I literally fell onto the bed and said I'm done. Bill went over to the Italian restaurant and had spaghetti and brought me the best bbq ribs I've had in a long time. Ate them as I watched DWTS and had a Millers while watching Castle. Fell asleep at 11  and slept until 930 this morning.

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