2020 was an unforgettable year, full of altered plans and misfortune.
I used New Year's Eve as an excuse to message quite a lot of friends of mine, ask how they were doing, and share good wishes. Wishes that they and their families remained safe and healthy, and that the pandemic gripping the globe would finally get under control.
In early December 2020, my phone buzzed with a message. Someone replied to my suggestion of "maybe going on a scocially-distanced hike" (sic) from months earlier. That weekend, the weather seemed nice, and the arbitrarily chosen meeting point was (for once) closer to me than to my friends.
Appalachian Trail: Caledonia Park to Old Forge Road
This would be first day hike on the Appalachian trail, one of the most important hiking routes in the United States.
My company would be the inimitable Nik and Andrew, former colleagues. Both of them are connoisseurs of fruit-essenced sparkling water, experts at making strange faces, and brilliant at pointing at things. Andrew's special skill is consuming vittles.
I'm really behind the eight ball in getting my "Attractions of Pennsylvania" written up about, but hopefully you enjoy this one from November of last year!
A few years ago, a close friend invited me to dinner at his parents' house, in suburbs east of Pittsburgh. We floated a few ideas for different activities near the area, including a visit to Ohiopyle, but due to time constraints and other reasons, just ended up hanging out at the Greensburg Mall.
Sans automobile, I didn't have an easy way to go to Ohiopyle myself, and so I never went.
A few years later, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I made arrangements to meet another friend in Ohiopyle, back in November. I drove five minutes away from Fallingwater, pulled into the visitor's center parking lot, and was immediately blown away.
And, also, I was quite miffed that it had taken me so many years to visit this amazing place.
Fallingwater is one of the most famous homes in the United States. Built in the late 1930's, it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufman family of Pittsburgh department store wealth. It features cascading levels of concrete, and a waterfall built into the home's environment.