Skip to main content

Christmas Eve trip through the Laurel Highlands

On Christmas Eve, I traditionally take a brief four or five hour loop trip to an area of Southwestern PA I haven't been to before.  This Christmas Eve was no different as I headed east into the Laurel Highlands.

Route: PA 48, PA 51, I-70, PA 31, US 119, PA 982, US 22, PA 217, US 30, PA 711, PA 31, PA Tpk, I-70, PA 51, and PA 48.

The entire photo set on flickr is here.

When I got on PA 982 North, I immediately came upon this sign.

002

Obviously, I was curious about the Iron Furnace (more on that later); however, the sign style intrigued me.  The sign's font, besides being the same font from Law & Order, is what is used for the destination signs throughout the Laurel Highlands.  These signs come from the Laurel Highlands Visitor Bureau.  The style is slightly similar to the Keystone Town Markers we all know and love, but aren't exact.

So I did travel the four or so miles up PA 982 and then took a quick right turn onto Oremine Hill Road and came to the Mount Vernon Iron Furnace.

004

Amazingly, this stone furnace has been standing here since the early 1800s!  It was first built my Isaac Mason in 1798 and operated until 1830.  It is amazing that something over 200 years old and exposed to the elements like this furnace is pretty good condition.

Further north on PA 982 is the town of Youngstown.  The town recently had a replica Keystone Town Marker made - but it's nowhere near as nice as the originals.

Youngstown

The brief amount of time I was on US 22 between PA 982 and PA 217 in Blairsville.  I noticed that there were a lot of jughandle turnaroundd on this recently rebuilt section.  Many of the jughandles also had guide signs for advance warning.  Like the one shown below.

009

At Blairsville, I exited US 22 to head south on PA 217.  However, I did briefly stop in Blairsville, and I am glad I did.  First, US 22 had ran through downtown Blairsville until the 1950s when US 22 was moved to the north on a new bypass.  US 22 ran through downtown Blairsville on Market Street.  But to get to Blairsville from Westmoreland County you had to cross the Conemaugh River over this bridge.

011

I stopped and did a quick photowalk through Blairsville, and it didn't disappoint.

012

013


020

From there, it was a rather uneventful drive down PA 217 to US 30 and then PA 711.  However, I did find one decent road item in Donegal.  A Pennsylvania Turnpike cutout that has seen better days.

026

From there it was onto the Turnpike and back to my parent's home to watch the football game and begin the Christmas celebrations.  Overall, this was a nice little trip, I do think that the scenery would be enhanced if there was some snowfall, but I did pick up some new mileage on PA 982, 217 and 711, so I can't complain.  Happy New Year Everyone!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …

Throwback Thursday - October 12, 2017

In this week's edition of Throwback Thursday, we travel back to December 2003 to the southern end of Interstate 99 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where we can see button copy guide signage for US 30 and US 220 (US 220 runs concurrent with I-99 through this part of the Keystone State). Since I-99 was relatively new at the time, it feels like it was an afterthought.