Day 6

Trip Start Oct 04, 2012
Trip End Oct 21, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There was a Pittsburgh Steelers American Football game on Sunday night, and accommodations were both at a premium with sky high prices. I ended up in the university area, and the weather was so cold and miserable I ate locally.
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 Pittsburgh's prosperity was originally made from steel production and heavy industry and try as it might it hasn't quite thrown off a tough and dishevelled feel.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. When America does weird it goes overboard and The Cathedral of Learning is a shining example.
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. school seemed to be in session so i'm not sure who takes a holiday to remember Columbus.
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.
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Ben on

Dad, I can't say I am sorry I missed that part of the journey!
I hope the rest of the trip more interesting and a bit more pleasant.

alberto on

first thing in the morning while awakening with my intravenous coffee, i look out for your is not always there. but when it is....oh what a pleasure it is to read it.....i told you pittsburg was the pits !!!! and all that area seems so sad and grim.....except for that foliage that seems on fire. run for the hills ,run for the will encounter better offerings. more images of you included please....the images of street corners , signs and regular spots are best.... so amerikanah......

Susan on

dear Walt, what a flavour of your trip so far you have given us ! absolutely fascinating....your descriptive written words have elevated you to a position of greater magnitude than before......and thats after only half a century`s friendship. Seriously we do feel on the road with you...with or without sat-nav! Happy motoring...much love, Susan +M

Antony (G) on

I've been enjoying catching up on your blog. Can't wait for you to start describing your travels around Scotland! Bon voyage!

The Lawsons on

Not the most interesting Walter but you're enjoying yourself and that's the main thing. Keep on "Rollin'" Take care and our loive to the USofA

Pat on

Walter your a legend !
You managed to get any cheap tennis balls yet!

frank on

good blog you make it come alive even the not so good bits Safe travels

Harold_Lawson on

Again Walter you're in a part of America not too suited to those of a broader Scottish outlook !!! I'm sure although informative your blog will soon become more exciting as you pass through several more states. But well done never the less

Ann Buchanan on

Really enjoying your journey Walter! Love the pictures of the prison used in my favourite film of all time The Shawshank Redemption.

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