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Monday, September 15, 2014

Headed on South to the Land of the Pines

      Like the lyrics to Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show we're headed on South. After about a 2 week stay at Bass Lake CG in Springfield Oh. and riding the Little Miami and Great Miami trail, once with Larry Varney we are now in Canonsburg Pa. visiting my Sister, parked in her drive way.  Yellow Springs Oh. is in the process of building a hotel which I would suppose to be rather boutique but who knows.  They do get a lot of tourism in town.
     Yesterday we took a ride on the trail along the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh from The Hot Metal Bridge to McKeesport which is part of the Great Allegheny Passage to Washington DC.  Joan my sister rode the ICE Adventure, Cindy and I on our Tour Easy LWB.  My nephew Steve and brother in law Bo were going to go but Bo's knee was acting up and Steve caught a bug in Equador and not feeling up to par, so it was Joan, Cindy, and I on a splendid sunny cool day.
      Although most of the steel industry has moved overseas in the 70s and 80s there is still some action going on in Phg.  Used to be steel mills, blast furnaces, warehouses, and railroad yards of the Industrial Revolution along this corridor which is now University of Pgh. training facility, restaurants, shopping, and this trail we are riding. Lots of jobs lost, people retrained, and the city now has a clean skyline and listed as one of the top cities to live in. 


    Like I mentioned, there is still industry here and you can see and hear signs of it along the trail.  I guess you could call portions of this trail "rails with trails". At one point I was riding right beside a train when at a crossing his whistle blew and set my ears ringing. Many trains along and crossing at bridges all along the trail moving freight and containers.

      Nice to see blue collar jobs still in this city which I grew up and still making things here in the good ole USA.
      Also rode by the amusement park I went to as a kid, Kennywood Park, although our school picnics were at a different park called West View Park which is now gone.
Kennywood always had the better rides but the public school kids went there. We Catholic kids went to West View. They still have a wooden Roller Coaster that was built in 1920 and is one of the oldest still-running coasters in the world.  The design uses wheels both under and over the track holding the car to the track in the double dip making the rider feel like they will be thrown from they're seat. The last seat provided the strongest air time and the most desired seat on the ride.  There is another newer steel coaster called Phantom's Revenge with steep drops and upside down twisting turns.  The park has been on PBS many times.
     Here a few more days to ride the Montour Trail then on South towards home in hot steamy FL.