So Much to See Here
13.07.2015 - 14.07.2015
I picked up a vacation map at the Johnstown Flood National Monument and realized there was too much to see in the area to move on.
The next day took me to Kentuck Knob, the home Frank L Wright built for the Hagen family. Falling Water was my original and only FLW destination, but since it opened at 10 and Kentuck Knob opened at 9, I headed that way first.
The Palumbo family of the UK bought the property from the Hagens and used it as a vacation home. They still visit and entertain there every year. They have added a sculpture garden which makes the visit even more delightful.
Initially, I hedged on taking the tour. In the end, I firmly believe the $23 was well spent and I enjoyed every minute of it.
After viewing Kentuck Knob, there was no way I could skip Falling Water.
This site is maintained by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Many more people visit this site. You can certainly tell the difference, but they handle the crowds without any problems and you feel as if you are receiving a small group tour.
FW is much larger than KK.
The Kaufman's left most of their furnishings that were also designed by Wright and their personal belongings so you are to feel that you are actually visiting the family at their vacation home.
If you are in the area, visit both homes. No need to skip either. If you are pressed for time, flip a coin. FLW might have been a somewhat despicable man, but he could certainly design a home and furnishings.
As it was so close and I had visited the 9/11 Memorial in NYC, I decided to visit the Flight # 93 National Memorial.
It is also very moving. The hilltop had been previously ravaged by surface mining and then by the plane crash. The memorial has beautifully restored the land.
I am not sure the yet-unfinished visitor center is of a design that is pleasing to see - either from a distance as you spot it several miles away or when on the actual site. However, a Ranger explained how the center will allow you to walk through the walls with crash site blocked and then open out on a black granite pathway that marks the flight path. The black granite used in the pathway is meant to signify the former coal that was mined from the area.
The rain continued off and on and through the night where I camped at Raccoon Creek State Park just west of Pittsburgh.
As beautiful as I have found Pennsylvania, I wonder about two conditions:,
1. Why do they have a mile post for every 1/10 mile, i.e., 181.0, 181.1,181.2, 181.3,etc., etc., ad nauseum? You can stand at one and see the next three posts. I think the money could be better spent on improving the condition of the actual roadway.
2. The parks are in lovely, remote spots but could use just a bit of remodeling on the shower and restroom facilities when compared to some of the other states.