Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stockdale, PA - A Day on the River

There is nothing better than a guided tour along the Monongahela River with Captain TK.  Delightful views and stories about the river.

The ducks are floating in the river because our hostess Nellie chased them off of the property.

 View as we pulled away from the dock in Stockdale.
 Hostess Nellie is ready and in charge.
 Captain TK is behind the wheel and First Mate Jim is preparing the boat.
 View of homes along the river around Stockdale.
 Old factories line the river.  Some continue to produce.  This is Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Company in Allenport. The business is in scrap, finished products, and fuel oil. The front wall is concrete.
 We think that these heavy concrete pillars were used to tie up barges as they waited to be taken to their destination.

This is the Welland Chemical plant in Newell.  The production is in sulphur and acid.  The facility is inactive and has wooden icebreakers and 4 steel cells.

 The sun tips the trees with vibrant color.

The "High Point" restaurant at the top of this hill has good food.  High Point is a good name for this location!
 Newell Boro water tower.  We stopped at the Coal Center Public Ramp to pick up some pizza.  First Mate Jim phoned in the order and Captain TK did the pickup.
I haven't been able to identify this building yet.
 There are many docking areas along the river that are maintained by the community.

 The Norfolk & Southern Railroad Bridge spans the river at mile 55.1 around Blainsburg.
Detail of the railroad bridge.
One of the newer bridges in the Brownsville area.  This is the Brownsville High Level Bridge at mile 55.9.
The Brownsville Highway Bridge at mile 56.2.
This Hiller Barge Company facility manufactures and repairs barges.  The barges appear to be double hauled.  They are built on land and then slide down the rails in to the water.  The first photo shows a bit of the new barge type on the left side, with a covered container.

The markings on the side show how deep the tanker is running.

 A nice view of the new futuristic looking bridge for the turnpike 43, the Mon-Fayette Expressway.  The official name is the Ronald C. "Smokey" Bakewell Bridge to honor a local serviceman killed in the Vietnam War.  It is a high-level girder bridge for vehicular traffic.  It connects Luzerne Township in Fayette County to Centerville, Washington County.  The bridge was opened in the summer of 2012.  The cost of this bridge project was $93 Million
The east side.
 We turned around underneath the bridge. This is the west side.

 Waiting for a load of barges. Hiller Barge Company. (Needs fact check)

And, with perfect timing, a barge appeared.  My day is complete!

Look closely.  The big poles on the right side of the photo protect the dock from the barge when the water is high (in a flood condition).

Source for bridge and company information: Monongahela River Navigation Charts.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ohiopyle, PA - Ohiopyle State Park and Falls

Ohiopyle State Park is at the southern end of the Laurel Ridge.  The Falls are on the Youghiogheny [yaw-ki-gay-nee] River Gorge and are the centerpiece for Ohiopyle.  The "Yough" [yawk] has some of the best white water boating in the eastern United States.  The Park offers bicycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, picnicking, white water boating, and wildlife watching.  Sledding and snowmobiling are also available, weather permitting.

This is a panoramic of the Falls area.  There are multiple deck layers providing great viewing areas. 
Ohiopyle Falls, Ohiopyle State Park, PA - 2014
 I saw this sign in the planter. It explains that The Yough flows north and carries seeds from the south.  The area has conditions that allow the seeds to take hold, and you will see plants in this area that you cannot see around other areas in PA. 

 Little cones.  Mom said that this has already been in bloom.
 She also recognized this tree. She had seen only one or two others in the backyard of the Donaldson family in Newell, PA.  The fruit looks like little apples.  The fruit is editable.  She knew them as "Red Haw" but isn't sure if this is an official name or one that the neighborhood gave to Donaldson's trees.

 The area is accessible so don't shy away from going here if you are concerned about the access.

Uniontown, PA - Mountain Views Along the Way

These photographs were taken as we drove from Jumonville to Ohiopyle.

We left Jumonvilled and stopped at the flashing red light intersection on the Summit.
Here is the Summit Hotel at, yes you guessed it, the summit.

I took this though the window, grabbed the camera and clicked.  This is a mild warning about the Dangerous Mountain Road ahead.

We drove in to Kentuk Knob, the location of a Frank Lloyd Wright home, to see what we could see but we couldn't see much for free.  We didn't have time to tour the house but did see an incredible unexplained tree.  This is just off of Kentuk Road.

These types of fences are typical in Pennsylvania.

The mist rising off of a pond in Chalk Hill.
 Stone barn with a glazed tile silo along "Chalk Hill Ohiopyle Road".
The road turned in to Kentuck Road and stopped at Farmington Ohiopyle Road, Route 381.  The road becomes Water Street in Ohiopyle. 

 After Ohiopyle, we were finding our way home and saw these wind turbines on top of the ridge.
This is a beautiful drive but if you are going to take photos, you need two people because the driver really should pay attention to the road.  The roads are curvy, steep, and often have hidden driveways.  That is the norm. Some times they are marked with warning signs about "steep road ahead" as if the one that you just drove on was level. Forest on either side, windy road, water ditches along side the road and no room for error!  No room to turn around, so once you turn on the road it is a commitment for a few miles.