Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pittsburgh Part 2

Pittsburgh Part 2

Sunday, October 12th - We still needed some rest for our tired legs so we climbed in the Jeep and went exploring the countryside. H thought we should go find a restored old village in Hookstown, Pa. We did but it was only 3 little buildings and they were not open yet. We ended up north, across the Ohio River but we were still in Pennsylvania! Could not get that to register in my brain- crossed the Ohio River and were still in Pennsylvania. The Ohio River starts in Pittsburgh at the junction of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers and flows north and then west BEFORE it becomes the outline of the state of Ohio!

Monday, October 13th was a shopping day! We found Harbor Freight, IKEA, and the biggest Joann Fabric store that I have ever been in! Our legs were worn out again when we finally got back to the trailer but we did manage to walk the campground loops one more time! The resident deer were out on their nightly tour of the campground also! There were 2 doe and 2 half grown fawn that nibbled their way thru the grounds each morning and evening!

Tuesday, October 14th- senior day at the Carnegie Science Center! A giant COSI! We even worked some of the experiments! The Miniature Railroad exhibit was closed for updating but we were taken on a private tour of the extremely detailed model of the Pittsburgh area as it might have been, years ago. The museum also included a tour of the Cold War Submarine, the USS Requin. Just about a mile away from the Science Center was the National Aviary. 600+ birds of 200 different species and obviously, plenty of “hands on” experiences. I had a bird eating mealworms out of my hand and H had a tern grabbing a fish out of his upheld fingers! The worms didn’t smell half as bad as that fish! There was also an educational visit with an African Penguin named Simon! Back at the State Park we finally had the strength to hike to the historic Frankfort Mineral Springs that we had wanted to locate ever since our arrival. On our evening walk thru the campground we met a fulltime couple in a 5th wheel that had solar panels on the top! Solar panels!

Wednesday, October 15th – cloudy this morning but it was 60 degrees when we got up. When we arrived at the state park last Friday, there were no leaves on the ground and this morning the ground is covered with them. We did pick the best week to be here! The rain is to arrive today so we are heading for Ohio. The color will be gone, so - - - so will we. IF we find a spot to park for the night – we will. If not – then we’ll sleep in the waterbed at home tonight. A stop at an Amish Country store for ice cream and then we headed home. We pulled into the driveway - and it started to rain.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008


OH NO! We’ve done it again! The trailer was loaded and the new equalizer hitch was hooked up so we left home again on Thursday, October 9th. This time we’re headed east to the Pittsburgh area with a stop in Amish Country Ohio at the Holmes County Flea Market and a night camping at Tappan Lake Park. The fall colors are out, the temps are rising into the 70’s and we think this might just be the peak color weekend!

Friday, October 10th we crossed the Ohio River at Steubenville and whizzed thru West Virginia to Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, and parked the trailer before lunchtime. The afternoon was enjoyed by walking and exploring the park’s many winding roads, the scenic reservoir and the wooded camping areas. There were signs all over to not feed the deer and bears but we only saw one deer and no bears.

On Saturday, October 11th, our objective was to find the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. Lily the GPS was set for the address given in the tour book and off we went. HOWEVER- - the route we dutifully followed thru endless neighborhoods and up hill and down, led us to a dead end street in a quiet neighborhood! The police officers that we located parked in a small shopping center said we were not the first to have ended up in their area and gave us new directions to find the zoo - - - which took us 18 miles across town to the north. This time the gps address the officers sent us to was another small neighborhood. H’s frustration level was at its peak and we finally dug out the cell phone and called the wayward zoo!! We had left the campground before 9am and it was now noon!

The day was warm and sunny – the parking lot was full and the zoo was crowded! But what a wonderful zoo! Wondrously arranged on the top of one of Pittsburgh many mountains, the walkways led from area to area, up and down and around, from the lions to the African elephants, to the awesome aquarium and underwater walkway. We walked UNDER the polar bear, frolicking in his pool, watched the sea otters antics and had a shark swim over our heads! As we left the zoo and headed, hopefully, downtown we stopped in a neighborhood they call “the strip”. We parked and walked several blocks while enjoying an expensive Greek pastry. The old buildings and sidewalk booths reminded us of both Toronto Ontario and Progresso Mexico!

We found the Duquesne Incline which dates back to 1877 and took some great pictures of downtown Pittsburgh and the 3 rivers that divide it- the Allegheny to the north, the Monongahela to the south and the Ohio to the west. The water in the large fountain at the point of the 3 rivers is flowing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

After a long day on the road and walking thru the zoo and exploring downtown, we finally found our way home, after dark.