Penn’s Woods

We had a great visit with Fred and Cathy while in Elkland, PA. We saw the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” and did a nice hike there. Pine Creek cuts through the gorge and the old railroad was made into 60 miles of bike trails through the gorge.

We hit the Wellsboro House on the way home for a bite to eat and some good in-house beers.

We found some old family photos of my earlier visits to Elkland growing up. I was about 5 when this photo was taken, with my Mr. Rogers sweater on – lol. I guess I was meant to be an engineer.

We left Elkland and stopped in State College, PA to see my Godmother. At 85 she is still a spark of joy while Pam and I chatted the afternoon away with her.

We made our way westward to my sister’s place in Slippery Rock, PA for a visit with Brett, Hunter and my sis. There is always something happening at their place given the garden, the fields and the animals.

Their peacocks had chicks and the parents here were checking out the new folks in town. A new barn is going up for some future alpacas.

Cyndi also dug out some old family photos. This had to have been some time in my terrible twos – lol.

We all went to North Country Brewing Co for some good beer and to hear a local band. The beer and the food were great there.

We left Slippery Rock with a lot of supplies from their gardens and her kitchen. We then made our way south to Mill Run, PA to see Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Pam and I could easily see ourselves relaxing on those decks, or next to the fireplaces forever.

What a location, and what a design that made the most of the location – for a great weekend get-away. We’ll see if they will trade for the Roamer – lol.

Just a few miles away was another Frank Lloyd Wright home, called Kentuck Knob. His homes are very distinct, but what are always humorous are the stories that go along with them from his and the customer’s side during construction. When the home was completed, the new owners threw a party to show off the place, with Frank Lloyd Wright as the guest of honor. Everyone came, except Frank Lloyd Wright. His excuse was that he already knew how beautiful the house was so he did not need to attend.

The home was all non-90 degree angles at every corner, and resembled a ship at sea, inside and out.

I’ve always liked wood and stone together, and his designs are just uncompromisingly beautiful.

The lady of the house got many design changes incorporated during the construction, a fact that seemed very unique for his designs. However, she admitted that later in life the one mistake she made was planting trees around the place. All you can see from the porch is trees, but this was the original view before the trees were put in and grew. I think I’d crank up the chainsaw.

The property had a lot of sculptures and art randomly placed on the grounds. They also liked bird houses, where these were some of the largest we’ve ever seen.

We camped the night at Ohiopyle State Park and hiked the falls in the morning before saying goodbye to the area.

As we were driving, we passed Fort Necessity National Monument and had to stop. A young George Washington led some troops and surveyors in 1754 into the disputed western area to make a road so that British troops could advance and displace the French at Fort Duquesne, where Pittsburgh is now located.

A skirmish with the local French troops that left their commander dead led to retaliation and the requirement to build the small fort. The French surrounded and attacked, leading to Washington’s surrender. The events that followed ramped up to the French and Indian War from 1754-1763.

What was also at the visitor center was information on the National Road, route 40. This was the first federally funded road in 1811, constructed from Cumberland, MD to Vandalia, Ill. Because this trip has had a “great roads” theme to it, we will have to follow this road for awhile on our way to Minnesota.

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