Philadelphia to Pittsburgh

While packing the car this morning I noticed this street art across the road from the car park.
Street Art 27 June 2016-1

After wending our way around the one-way system we were finally on Lancaster Avenue, the road out of town towards R30 which is the 1913 route of the Lincoln Highway through mainstreet America. We passed through some of the more down at heel parts of the city but once we crossed the county line into leafy Montgomery County there were plenty of mansions, Whole Foods Markets, Audi garages and adverts for yoga classes. R30 runs alongside the railway for much of the route and one train passed us.
Amtrak 27 June 2016-1
In Exton, we saw the first cornfield of the trip (many more to come) and were soon in Lancaster County where Dutch barns and Amish farmers are a-plenty. Today’s best roadside sign was one for a balanced diet: a doughnut in each hand. Our coffee stop was at the Route 30 diner.
In Columbia we stopped just before crossing the Susquehanna River and seeing I was taking photographs, a local guy came over for a chat. He thought we were Australian, said that he was a Vietnam veteran and advised me about other good photography spots. The French usually think we are Dutch; the Spanish assume we are German so Australian is a new one! The concrete bridge we crossed was built in the 1930s by veterans and was a great alternative to the four-lane R30 one upstream.
Bridge over Susquehann River 27 June 2016-1
In York we saw adverts for a gun fair that had taken place yesterday. Our lunch stop was Gettysburg which is full of history. I was slightly surprised to see a collection of musical instruments alongside shells, guns and other weapons. On the way down to the visitors’ centre I was enjoying the natural history: listening to the insects and birds in the surrounding woodland and enjoying the wild flowers.
Wildflower 2 Gettysberg 27 June 2016-1
Further exploration of the battlefields was curtailed by a heavy downpour. At this point James remembered that he had left his waterproof and a jacket in the airport hotel in New York and is currently trying to arrange for it to be sent to us in Denver. Between Gettysburg and Fayetteville, we crossed the Appalachian Trail (I started thinking about long walks) and the rain stopped. After Chambersburg, we could see hills on the horizon and were obviously in a big fruit-growing area. The road then continued up the wooded hills and we achieved another first for the trip: the first summit: Tuscarora at 2123ft in the Appalachians. All the communities we drove through had derelict houses, defunct businesses and rusting vehicles lying in the yard. The forested hills reminded me of Perthshire in Scotland where I grew up and we crossed another three summits before we reached Pittsburgh: Sideling Hill (2195ft), Bald Knob (2906ft) in the Allegheny Mountains and Laurel Hill (2684ft). We passed the Flight 93 Memorial and at Stoyston Auto Wreckers saw huge fields – acres of scrapped cars. The other first today was signs of the American election, absent yesterday but appearing today in the form of several Trump posters, the first in Jennerstown. Eventually we descended into Pittsburgh.
Tunnel into Pittsburg 27 June 2016-1

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