Car graveyards, tram grave yards and a gravity defying hill!

As great as it was hanging out with everyone at the Hamilton’s, it felt good to be back on the road. Now we could start making our way down south towards the last of the warm weather.Before we left Pennsylvania though, Jen had kindly given us tickets to go and see Kentuck Knob. A hexagonal house designed by world renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The house would end up being Wright’s last ever completed building.Never ones to turn down opportunities to broaden our horizons, we went to visit the house, even if I am honest and admit that I had never heard of Mr Wright; but since visiting the property, I have suddenly seen his name cropping up in a few places.The house was located near Ohiopyle State park which we had visited on Sunday.On the drive to the house, we drove past a car scrap yard next to a garage. In the corner of my eye I thought I also saw some vehicles abandoned in a woods on the otherside of the garage. Pulling over, we headed over to examine it further.Walking down through the woods, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The whole woods, for as far as I could see, was littered which hundreds of abandoned classic cars. The majority of the vehicles in the patch we searched seemed to be Fords, and if they were in better condition would definitely be worth a fair amount!Not wanting to delve much further in fear of being caught trespassing, we returned to Ruby and finished the short drive to Kentuck Knob.A small tour bus drove us from the car park up a winding drive way, through an autumnal woods.

Why’s it not rectangular?
Unfortunately photos were not permitted inside of the house, so I will do my best to describe it (I’m sure you can check my descriptions after on Google!)The house is centred on the kitchen, which sits discreetly in the middle of the property and helps spilt up what is mainly an open-plan dwelling. The furniture on display is vintage furniture, mainly from the 70’s and helps give you a flavour of what the house would have been like to live in. Apparently, the current owner is an English Lord, who used the house as his main residence for many years. Our host informed us that he still frequently visited the property and would even entertain guests once the tours had finished. When passing at the weekend, Jen pointed out the farmhouse which he stayed in during the day.For a house built in the early 50’s, you could see signs of arciteure way ahead of it’s time. Counter levered edges. Open-plan space with large windows overlooking the woods.The kitchen was fitted with all of it’s original appliances and we witnessed a clever fold down electric hob, which could be closed when not needed to provide extra work surface. There was even a very perculiar looking TV, which more resembled something that had landed from outer space.The rest of the tour lead through all of the bedroom and bathroom areas located on the otherside of the property. For someone who is one day planning on building his own house, I was desperately trying to make mental notes of clever features.With the tour of the inside complete, we were left to explore the rest of the grounds to enjoy the view of the valley just outside the woodland.On the walk back to the car park, we passed loads of different sculptures that the owner had bought. We even saw another piece of the Berlin wall.Back at Ruby, we decided to make a few stop off whilst we were still in the Ohiopyle Park.Our first stop was this waterfall called Cucumber Falls.Next we headed to some natural water slides that Jen had pointed out on Sunday. Not quite sure which part of the stream was the slide, we headed up alongside the river for a bit. As we walked along, I couldn’t help picture what this river would have been like hundreds of years ago, with native American hunting along the riverbed.As it was starting to get late, we turned back around and headed back down stream. Back at the start, we watch a couple of girls no older than 9 or 10 try and attempt the water slide. One of the sisters was petrified and after 10/15 minutes of trying to motivate herself to do it finally gave up. Her sister on the other hand, attempted the slide multiple times, moving further and further along the stream, towards the faster flowing section.After watching this little girl throw herself down multiple times I decided that I couldn’t leave without trying it at least once. Plus, it had been a hot day and it was uncertain when we would have access to a shower next.With all the enthusiasm of a small child, I climbed into the stream hoping to be swept down in one swoop.The dream never lives up to the reality. Instead, I slowly slid down, constantly having to push myself as I repeatedly came to a stop. It was still fun though!As I got out, I told Willow that she would regret not doing also, as we were here for new experiences. It’s amazing what a bit of peer pressure can do.It wasn’t long before Willow was flying down the stream, clearly possessing a better technique than me.He got ourselves dry and then said goodbye to Ohiopyle, now it was time to start putting some long hours of driving back in, aiming for a town named Windber, where supposedly lay an abandoned tram graveyard.We arrived stopped one town over from Windber, hoping to crash at a Walmart for the evening as it was late and dark, neither of which make it easier to find a spot in an unknown area. The Walmart we arrived at was part of a larger shopping complex, with shops scattered all around the car park.Feeling isolated without our dark car park corner, we set off to try a few other spots around the area. The first spot we tried to scout out was the University accommodation car park which was large and mainly unused, but within a minute of driving on the campus we passed a campus security car, who very quickly turned around and stopped us after we were already in the process of turning around. Willow informed him that we were leaving and we exited quickly. We next stopped off at a small car park at a nearby crossroads a couple of minutes from the campus. From here we saw the same campus cop had followed us, I am assuming to make sure we steered clear of the campus. Still feeling exposed, we drove down a road which led to a wooded area. Passing a small abandoned site, we made base, somewhere we definitely wouldn’t be bothered. At this point, both of us were desperately craving to be further south, somewhere not very populated.We threw together a quick meal and chilled out to a horror movie (The Faculty I think), nothing better than freaking yourself out in the middle of a dark woods.Not surprisingly, we didn’t have any disruptions during the night, well a bit of rain, but that wasn’t enough to keep me awake through the night.After completing our morning van ritual of putting everything away, we set off for to Windber to find to supposed abandoned trolly graveyard. Trolly being an American name for tram.Pulling up to the address the satnav brought us to, we were greeted with a security fence with a sign that stated ‘No trespassers’. Now driving around in a classic VW with a Subaru engine isn’t exactly discreet, so we decided to park the van a couple of minutes down the road, at a car park we had driven past.Whilst parked up somewhere empty, Willow felt that she had been deprived from baking (she has clearly been watching too much British Bake Off!) It didn’t take her long to get the generator running and to start neading some dough.Bread in the Remoska, we just had to sit and wait for it to do it’s thing. So I had a bit of a wonder and checked out a pretty car parked next to us.Bread baked, we enjoyed a freshly made lunch before setting off to find some abandoned trams.We walked back around to the gated entrance, the side of which had been pulled down, which made accessing the site a lot easier for us.A short walk up a dirt track quickly confirmed that we were in the right place. Two overturned trams, smashed to pieces covered in overgrowth.The graveyard reassembled a set from a dystopian apocalypse movie, with rusting trams abandoned all over the field.It was fascinating to walk through them and try to figure out how long they had been out of service.I think at some point the site had once been open to the public, but it was nice to be able to explore without anyone else around.From the graveyard we had another destination to check out, this one being a gravity defying hill, where supposedly your vehicle will appear to roll uphill. That was definitely something worth checking out.The road has been marked with a ‘start’ and ‘finish’ line so you know where to park your vehicle. To be honest, it just seemed like we were rolling a downhill at the start, and it was only when we got to the top and turned the van around that it seemed to be facing down hill again. It definitely messes with your head a bit.That evening we stopped at a canal visitor centre near Williamsport and watched the sun set. We decided it would be the ideal spot to wake up and jog in the morning.It may be hard to believe with my athletic build, but we haven’t been jogging a quite sometime. We had hoped to have completed more jogs since arriving, but we hadn’t quite managed to work it into our morning routine yet.We followed the canal, using a health app on my Samsung. We chose the ‘beginner’ setting as we wanted to ease ourselves back into it.We had only been jogging for a couple of minutes when the kind automated voice informed us that we were jogging ‘too fast’.

“This literally will be a walk in the park” I thought to myself.

Oh how quickly things can change! The kind app lady told us that we would now need to speed up. It wasn’t long until she was back telling us that we would again have to take our pace to another level. It was at this point that the kind lady changed. Now she was telling us off for not running quick enough. She may as well been yelling “run you little fatties!”We didn’t manage to complete the beginner level, however we both felt a great sense of achievement for getting the first one out of the way.Our next destination was Washington, with a planned detour to Great Falls Park.You wouldn’t think it from the pictures, but we were actually very close to Washington DC now. We had identified a campsite just on the outside of the city which was supposed to cost no more than $10, so for that price we thought we would treat ourselves to a nice spot, as the first Walmart we got to didn’t have any overnight parking.We arrived at the camp site just as the last hint of sunlight had faded. It turned out that the site was closed for maintenance to the road running through the park. Although we had to drive past a police station entering the park where the camp site was located, we decided to park outside the closed park office, deciding that it was highly unlikely that anyone would come and check a campsite that was closed…WRONG!!Not long after popping the roof and starting to cook, a police car pulled into the car park and stopped right next to us. Although paranoid that I will be shot at whenever getting out of my vehicle for American police, I stepped out of the van and had a chat with the officers. They informed me that the park is shut and when I asked if we could possibly stay in the car park anyway as we didn’t need any facilities, he flatly informed me no and stated that if we were still here when another police car came to check, then we would receive a ticket. He did at least allow me to stay whilst I finished making the sauce for our burritos.The cops didn’t actually leave the car park. There was a car parked at the far end of parking lot and apparently there seemed to be problem. Within a couple of minutes, more cars had arrived at the scene, but fortunately my sauce was complete, so we left before waiting to see what was going on.It would be another night in a trusty Walmart car park!Since being in the States we haven’t seen much of a police presence, so it was surprising to arrive at Walmart to see more police drama.Welcome to DC I suppose!

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