Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 025 - Uniontown to Washington PA

It was overcast with temps near freezing all day. Today was the first day in about a week where there was no snow cover on the ground.

The walk started in Brier Hill which is the birthplace of Janet De Orio who with Joan Lampart took care of me the first four days in New Jersey. I could not find many of the buildings she remembered from her childhood. There was an exposed coal vein that had enough equipment located near by that could indicate active mining although nothing was happening early on a Sunday morning.

Bob caught up with me in Brownsville He parked the RV and we walked together thru downtown Brownsville and across the old bridge. The downtown area was full of abandoned buildings that would have been impressive in their heyday. They included a railroad station, bank and church. The bridge crossed the Monongahela River which joins the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh to form the Ohio.

Near Daisyville I came across one of the Madonna's of the Trail. They are large statues erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution as a memorial to the pioneer mothers of the covered wagon days. My Mom had given me a post card of one of the Madonna's after I had gotten the idea to do the walk but before I had told anyone.

I started walking at 7:45. I had walked 5 miles ahead yesterday because of snow in the forecast so I arrived at today's scheduled end point at 11:30. I walked across the street to the Chuck Wagon Restraunt. The waitresses has just read the excellent article written by Tara Amber in this mornings edition of the Uniontown Herald Standard and recognized me from the picture. They insisted that I have breakfast. One of the waitresses Bonnie Is a cervical cancer survivor whose picture is on the blog. I put the article on the blog.

Next I crossed over Van Voorhis Hill (1445 ft). As I passed thru Scenery Hill I stopped at the Century Inn that was originally known as Hill's Tavern when established in 1794. Joan and I had stayed there as a splurge in the 1980's after a visit with my family in Ohio.

Lukens Steel had bought Washington Steel a stainless steel producer. In the 1990's I was assigned to go there for two weeks to train sales department personnel on a new order entry system that was being installed. On a whim I called the Century Inn to see if they could match the rate everyone had been getting at a chain hotel. The owner Megin Harrington said they weren't open for the season yet but that she had staff she was paying to do work including making breakfast for her three young boys and that she would take me on for the two weeks at the hotel rate. It was February. One day after training it was in the 70's so I grabbed a T-shirt and a pair of shorts to head out jogging. Megin said that her oldest son was into soccer and wanted to run for training and asked if it would be OK if he joined me. I said sure. We did a 6 to 8 mile run on some serious hills south of Route 40.

Probably my most embarrassing navigational error occurred the next day. By morning the weather had turned into a really nasty winter storm. A group of people had arrived from Lukens for the first time. I had written directions for them to get from their hotel to the plant and gotten east and west backwards. They went miles out of their way needlessly in the storm.

I went inside the Inn to find out that the Harrington's still own the building. I talked to Gordon now 32 who was the boy I jogged with some 20 years ago. He said as part of his training he had jogged with a number of guests over the years. I can't be sure but I think I may have been the first. I rememberer him saying that day was the furthest he had ever run. He wanted me to stay for a meal which would be too much with the walking I still had planned. He had some great sandwiches made to take out.

Next I went to the Tradesmen's Inn in Scenery Hill. The waitress there said that she was a member of the PA National Road Assn and that she had been told at a meeting to expect to see me coming thru. They offered water for the trip and insisted I had a cup of coffee and packed their specialty BBQ chicken wings and beer batter steak fries to go.

Because of the winter storm warning tonight calling for 4 - 6 inches of snow (more in the mountains I just crossed) I walked 23 miles to the end point of tomorrow's walk. I finished walking at 4:30 and the snow started at 6:30.

Today the funds donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund passed the $10,000 mark. Thanks to all for you incredible generosity. If there is anyone that wants to donate and doesn't know how it is easy. Go to my blog and click on the donate link in the upper right above Joan's picture. There are detailed instructions for how to pay by personal check, pay pal or credit card.

Last night Bob and I needed to make use of facilities in a hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Uniontown. Once again the staff was extremely helpful and gave us a corporate rate. It seems fitting that Holiday Inn has been taking care of me since they went to bat for Terry Hitchcock whose autobiographical movie My Run was the inspiration for my walk. After one of his marathons he stumbled into a Holiday Inn and the hotel clerk not only put him up for the night but for the rest of his journey.

Today's Trivia question:

I have been trying to travel ultra light using the hand warmer pouch built into the green hoodie that LBW gave me in lieu of a back pack for as long as I can.

What do I carry in the hand warmer every day?