Virtual Travel – Pennsylvania

As with Ohio I have spent considerable time in Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh feeling like a ‘hometown’ (Go Pens/Pirates/Steelers!)


History & State Capitol

1938     1955     1956     1986     2013



As with most states, the state capital is located (somewhat) in the middle of the state. Given that the vast majority of the people of Pennsylvania live on the ends, this meant a smaller city has been the capital – Harrisburg.

While outside the Pennsylvania Capitol looks like many others, inside is amazing!

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Unusual State Symbols

Official State Aircraft – Piper J-3 Cub. For decades Piper Cubs were built in Lock Haven, PA.

Piper J-3 Cub


State Colors – Blue and Gold Featured on the flag and every license plate ever.

Blue and gold PA license plate with keystone symbol

But in Pittsburgh the colors are Black & Gold! All the sports teams follow this color scheme.

Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.svg : Outerstuff Youth NHL Replica Home-Team Jersey ... Pittsburgh Steelers NFL 2020 Draft Chase Claypool Men's Nike ... Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates Black Youth ...




Pennsylvania has a long industrial history, much of which has been lost. The city of Bethlehem has a vacant steel mill that is now a National Park site that serves as a reminder of this legacy.





1952     1960     1964     1973     1974



It is impossible to find a city with more cool bridges and tunnels than Pittsburgh. While it makes the commutes tough, it is a great visual experience driving around the city




The Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest, and most famous railroad in the country in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This history is celebrated at two major rail museums, Steamtown in Scranton, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.



Not to be outdone the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA has a great collection of streetcars and interurbans.





1976 – Philadelphia



There is another large city in Pennsylvania other than Pittsburgh 🙂

Philadelphia of course is the seat of the independence movement in the 1700s. That history is on evidence everywhere in the city. Trivia moment of the day – there are only 2 cities that have been in the top 10 in population for every official United States Census – New York and Philadelphia.






Near Philadelphia is one of the world’s best gardens – Longwood.



1989 – Seasons



Most of Pennsylvania is beautiful rolling hills and mountains. Much of this area is filled with small towns and wooded countryside.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous structure is located in these hills – Fallingwater. Nearby is a second FLW house – Kentuck Knob. Both are stunning.

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U.S. Route 6 traverses Northern Pennsylvania, and passes a number of interesting venues including Kinzua Bridge. When completed in 1882 it was the tallest bridge in the world, towering 300′ above the valley. It was decommissioned in the early 1960s and sold to the state with the purpose of becoming a park.

In 2003 a tornado struck the bridge and destroyed a large portion of it, but the remainder makes for a great walk.



As you make your way along U.S. 6 you pass the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton, the Coudersport Ice Cave, and the Zippo Lighter Museum in Bradford.




1995 – Hunseckers Mill Bridge – Lancaster County



It is thought that Pennsylvania has more named places than any other states as each hill and valley seems to be another named small town. Some are more famous than others such as Punxsutawney – home of Phil! Each February 2nd this little town is overrun by 40,000 people coming to see a groundhog pulled out of it’s fake home to see it’s shadow.

It is celebrated with another collection of fiberglass statues.



The town of Ridgway has an annual Chainsaw Carving contest that draws artists from all over the world.



The C.F. Martin & Company has built outstanding guitars since 1833. Their factory is open for tours, and they welcome photography throughout! We have been of many tours of facilities over the years and this was one of the best.





2007 – Pittsburgh

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As noted in the opening, while I was not born or raised there I grew up close enough, and have spent most of my adult life spending time there, that it feels like home.

Built on steep hills along the 3 rivers (Ohio, Allegheny, and Mon), it has character. With the long history of steel, the city had enough wealthy people in the early 1900s that there is a great collection of historic skyscrapers. With the lack of build able land, the skyscraper construction has continued to this day.


The interiors and trim are just as impressive.


Pittsburgh has it’s fair share of quirky places, including Randyland and Bicycle Heaven. The best, by far, is Anthrocon – 7000 people descending on the city dressed in furry animal costumes.








Philadelphia – May 2018 – Views of the City

A Sunday afternoon in downtown Philadelphia…


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Flowers outside Independence Hall Visitor Center.

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Everything in Philadelphia seems to be dedicated to Benjamin Franklin. Apparently his newspapers are laying on the ground to this day.

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The Benjamin Franklin Parkway that leads to the Art Museum (and the Rocky statue)

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An Airplane outside the Franklin Institute

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As well as the grand front entrance.

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A fountain in the Franklin Parkway looking back towards City Hall.

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The Pennsylvania Convention Center – built in part in the old Reading Railroad Terminal.

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Philadelphia – May 2018 – Simeone Automotive Collection

The Simeone Automotive Collection is located in a warehouse near the Philadelphia Airport. The cars were obtained by a now retire neurosurgeon named Frederick Simeone.

His stated goal for the collection was that all of the cars needed to be sports cars with fenders and headlights, have a history of road racing, be a significant winner and have mostly original parts.

The automobiles are group by period or type of racing.

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1963 Chevrolet Corvette that raced at the original Watkins Glen Road Races.

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1925 Alfa Romeo RLSS

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1975 Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12

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The LeMans collection – 10 stunning race cars lined up as though they are ready for the start.

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1933 Squire Roadster – one of only 7 ever made.

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1967 Ford MK IV

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Kennett Square, PA – May 2018 – Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is located in suburban Philadelphia, in the town of Kennett Square. Considered by most as one of the foremost gardens in America it is an amazing display of horticultural coupled with architecture and water features.

The Gardens have been located here since the 1700s where the Pearce family began cultivating trees. It wasn’t until the early 1900s when one of the DuPont family members purchased the gardens did it really become the showcase that is renown around the world.


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The day we visited nearly every person arriving headed straight for the flower gardens.

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Where a fountain graced the pathway.

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There are over 800 volunteers who keep the gardens immaculate. Once a flower loses it’s bloom they will remove it and replace it with something else.

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Resulting in vivid displays.

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Water features are everywhere, including this Italian Water Garden.

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This gazebo is a popular spot for weddings.

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While other buildings used for mechanicals are equally impressive with the floral.

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But the highlight is without a doubt the are the fountains. The  5 acre Main Fountain Area is said to combine Italianate ornamentation with French Grandeur coupled with a World’s Fair showmanship.

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Water features are everywhere, all synchronized to provide displays. The Bellagio has nothing on Longwood for fountain displays.

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Inside the Conservatory the floral and fauna continue to amaze.

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The variety of plants and flowers are extensive, many I had never seen before.

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And all in picture perfect condition.

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As you exit the conservatory you are again given an expansive view of the fountains.

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As well as another smaller flower garden.

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Before ending up at the Carillon, which provides chimes every 15 minutes. Longwood Gardens is truly an amazing place.

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Pittsburgh to Boston – May 2011 – A Train Trip

Having yet another trip planned to Boston I decided to do something different, take Amtrak. Yes I knew it would be slow (it was) but it was something different than driving or flying.

My train left Pittsburgh early one morning.

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We rolled through the shabby little station in Latrobe without stopping.

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As we neared Altoona we went around the famous Horseshoe Curve.

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We had an extended stop in Harrisburg where they changed the engine from Diesel to Electric. With the extra time I could wander around the station a bit.

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Eventually we reached 30th Street Station in Philadelphia where I changed trains for an Acela on up to Boston.

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The Acela made much better time, passing through New York City on the way.

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I arrived in Boston well after dark 🙂