Trip Start Oct 04, 2012
18Trip End Oct 21, 2012
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Where I stayed
Monday was not much better, overcast and dismal. Pittsburgh's prosperity was originally made from steel production and heavy industry and try as it might it hasn't quite thrown off a tough and dishevelled feel.
I went to The Cathedral Of Learning as it was close by. It is apparently the second highest educational building in the world (why do AmerIcans do, that, boasting about not being first or best?) but to my eye in terms of ugliest it is a clear winner! The inside is a gloomy, gothic, dark cathedral like space but with no ornamentation to relieve it. There were tables and chairs scattered around where pupils apparently study. I can't think of a more depressing environment to work, and the nearest to religious artefacts were Mac PowerBooks and some Starbucks coffee cups
Downtown Pittsburgh had that deserted, empty atmosphere that many US towns and cities have these days since everything but offices moved out to the Beltway. The Body Snatchers had been in early this day, and there weren't many of us left! To be fair it was Columbus Day, a public holiday and all the offices were closed. I'd been looking forward to visiting the Warhol Museum but it was closed on a Monday as well, so I hightailed it out of town.
Once the city sprawl was behind me the road became hilly, leafy and mildly pleasant and before I knew it I was in West Virginia. This runs for a mere three miles running through Chester and across the Ohio River into Ohio itself.
Ohio is the first state on my trip I had not visited before. I was intending to lunch in East Liverpool, once a thriving pottery centre, but it was so decrepit and depressing I moved on, managing to lose my way and ending up around 30 further north than I intended. Yes Martin, if I was using Sat Nav, but that would be too easy!
Using 62 South to find my way back to the Lincoln Highway was no hardship, it was leafy, green and pleasant, with trim little prosperous towns dotting the highway
By the time I got to Mansfield, OH, I had already decided to forsake it as an overnight stop and move on. Much of The Shawshank Redemption was filmed here. It looked grim in the movie, but I suspect they had to lighten the place up to make it more believable. No movie goer would believe a town in Maine could look this grim!
It seemed every restaurant I tried was closed on a Monday, so I decided to make a dash for the Indiana line (it's OK to 'hightail' it and 'dash' when you are on a Road trip!) and I rolled into Fort Wayne, Indiana late, but getting myself a day ahead of schedule. So now I get a day in Chicago, before the road stretches out into the Midwest and the distances become even longer.