Sherman, parked for the night at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Madison, Mississippi. Photo taken yesterday!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Clinton, Mississippi.

Where are they going next? Rocky Springs Campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike Tunnel

Woke up at 6:30am yesterday morning, put the heat on and went back to bed for another 20 minutes. It was a bit chilly on top of the mountain! But the skies were clear and it wasn't long before the sun was shining in Sherman's windows.

It was close to 10:00am when we headed down the mountain to try and find the abandoned highway tunnel.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike used these two tunnels from 1938 to 1968. But it was only wide enough for single lane traffic and when it came time to expand the highway, a major re-routing took place leaving the old tunnels abandoned.


Hmmm.

There has been a movement afoot to turn the old highway and tunnels into a bike path, but they haven't made much progress. In fact, despite what we had read on the internet, we arrived to find out that we aren't even allowed in the tunnels now due to "liability". Seriously? Damned lawyers have sure ruined a lot of things.

Now that I read that sign again, I'm not sure. It's possible that we were in fact allowed to use the roadway through the tunnels. Why do they make it so confusing? What's the "upper areas"?

Anyhow, we hopped on the bicycles and rode about a mile and a half to the tunnel entrance.

At the start of the path.

Abandoned highway.

Kevin, riding towards the entrance.

Lots of graffiti.

Looking inside.

Tons of graffiti. But it was still kind of neat. We wandered a few feet into the tunnel up to the point where somebody had recently spray painted "Turn Around Now" in bright fluorescent paint on the old roadway. Disappointed at not being able to ride on through, we turned around.

Nice roads!

Hardly anybody around.

Pennsylvania scenery.

We drove through Cumberland, Maryland.

I had looked up another state forest boondocking spot, this time in Maryland. There is a funny narrow strip of Maryland that sits above West Virgina and below Pennsylvania. And in that strip of land sits Savage River State Forest. Their website advertised actual campsites that had "self registration", but there was no fee mentioned anywhere that I could find.

Heading in to Savage River State Forest.

We got there and sure enough, there was a self registration system. But, all of the sites in the forest were now at $10 USD ($13.10 CAD) per night. Not bad, but not what we were expecting. I think this is a fairly recent change. Anyhow, we put ten bucks in the envelope and picked a nice site. Nobody else around.

Sherman, parked up at GPS 39.50262, -79.122554

Checked for a Verizon cell signal... and nothing! That's okay, we can do without internet for a night. Quiet as can be. We can hear the river, but nothing else.



Went for a walk down the road to a pedestrian bridge we had seen over the Savage River. Not much to see, but at least we stretched our legs. Walking back to Sherman, we heard a strange noise. Then it got louder, and louder, until we looked at each other and said "is that a train"?! Sure enough, we are about a half a mile from an uphill railway track and boy do those engines have to work hard to get up there. Hopefully there won't be too many through the night!

Turns out, we didn't hear a single train.

We've changed our plans a little. We were originally going to go due west to Marietta, Ohio but now we are going to go south into West Virginia because we want to see the New River Gorge and go for a hike. Marietta will have to wait for another time.

Yesterday's drive, 84 miles (135 kms).

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Nice price drop on the Black and Decker Max Pivot lithium vac. This is the one we bought and use in the motorhome. Love it!

BLACK+DECKER MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum, 20-volt - USA

And on sale in Canada too!

BLACK + DECKER MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum, 20-Volt - Canada



20 comments:

  1. If you'll be in WV a couple more days and have room in your budget, you should contact Nelson Rocks and see if they have room on a via ferrata tour. Circleville, WV https://www.nrocks.com/activities/via-ferrata/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow, that looks like it would have been an adventure and a half! Unfortunately we were already past the turnoff by the time we read your comment, that and the fact that the weather really wasn't conducive to doing it as it was cold, a little wet and just not the most pleasant. We will definitely have to try and remember this the next time we come through the area. Thanks for the heads up on this. :-)

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  2. What would a campground be without a nearby train track? ;c)

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    1. Isn't there a written law somewhere that states that a campground must only be set up near a railway line?!:-P

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  3. Abandoned tunnels are the coolest things! I think by "upper areas" they meant the tunnel's ventilation system. Not seeing any kind of gate at the tunnel itself---nor even a single No Trespassing sign---I would have definitely ignored the silly graffiti telling me to turn around and rode through twice ;)

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    1. Yes, in hindsight I believe you are correct. But at the time, I misunderstood what they were saying, and now I'm mad that they don't make it more clear! There should be no possibility of misunderstanding!

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  4. What Doug said above!

    By the way, if you smell anything unusual, West Virginia is paper mill country, and those railroad tracks are the safest way to get wood chips to and from the mills. WesRock bought out the old Westvaco bleached board mill in Covington, VA (I retired from their research and law depts. here in Charleston, SC.).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We know all about pulp and paper mills and the smell that comes from them! We were actually traveling along in Maryland and I mentioned to Kevin that I thought I smelled a pulp and paper mill and sure enough a few miles down the road there was a huge one.

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  5. "Turn Around Now" would get my attention.
    One thing you can almost always count on when camping....a RR track near by. Brings some comfort to the heart....lol

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    1. As Kevin mention in his reply to Doug, we really should have just continued on. Oh well, maybe next time.

      We were really lucky no trains went through during the night and believe it or not out of 7 nights that was the only one that had a train line near it.

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  6. We spent 2 vacations at Pipe Stem state park in West Virginia and loved it. We hiked the new river gorge. If you read please consider Follow the river by Alexander Thom. It is historical fiction based on fact. Out hiking guide told us about the book. I purchased it at the gift store and loved it.

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    1. We are looking forward to our hike at New River Gorge, it looks like a beautiful area and hopefully we will have some fantastic scenery to look at and to top it off the day is nice and sunny. :-)

      I have written the name of the book on my list so we will keep our eyes open for it.

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  7. Liability. Glad it doesn´t exist in Mexico or at least not at the level of the U.S.

    Really enjoy the pics of fall weather.

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    1. I know, that is one of them many reasons why we love Mexico so much! :-)

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  8. Please, remember its hunting season, dress accordingly !!!!! Bright !!!

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    1. Yesterday we went out and bought some nice bright t-shirts to put on over our coats! Thank you for caring. :-)

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  9. Running stream water can easily put me to sleep! cc

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    1. It put us to sleep too! And, luckily no trains went through during the night.

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  10. You will love New River Gorge They close the bridge in October I think
    To bungee jump off it
    Paul is

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    Replies
    1. Well, it is November so I guess we missed it, plus the fact that we have already bungee jumped before so we really don't need to do that again. ;-)

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