Postcards from Pennsylvania

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by FourHondas, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. FourHondas

    FourHondas Been here awhile

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    Postcards from Pennsylvania

    A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. Shapes other than rectangular may also be used.

    Postcards let the addressee know that the addresser was someplace special, just like today’s internet-based communications. Before email attachments, Instagram and texts, there were postcards. Handwritten and mailed, their transit time was measured in days, not milliseconds.

    I became interested in postcards while doing research on the early days of Route 30 in Pennsylvania. Some of the postcards I encountered were just ho hum pictures (RPPC) while others were works of art like this painted postcard of the Ship Hotel on Route 30 west of Bedford.

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    To me, postcards celebrate the birth of the travel industry in America enabled by the automobile and roads that took people places – like Route 30, aka the Lincoln Highway. When folks stopped at points of interest as they traveled, be it the Ship Hotel, the Coffee Pot in Bedford or Bill’s Place above Breezewood, they sent a postcard.

    I don’t send postcards after my visits. I do the opposite. I plan my day trips to postcard locations that catch my fancy. I try to take a picture at the same location using the same perspective (not always possible due to the passage of time).

    Feel free to add your own postcard entries.

    For starters, here is a little nugget of PA history that I’ve been driving by (ignoring) all my adult life – Gallitzin Spring on Old Route 22 west of Altoona. Thanks to theses two postcards, I can now count it as a place that I have visited via a motorcycle.

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    Some changes over the last 100 years. Route 22 (Old Rt 22) has been moved above the spring, although I'm standing on the original roadbed.

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    The original spring stone work is mostly intact and the spring is still flowing. I'd give this spot a 9 on a 10 scale for survivability. Thanks for viewing.
    #1
  2. ejm4

    ejm4 Adventurer Supporter

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    Something similar...

    We have a motorcoach and have traveled all over with our kids. Usually at each destination or cool stop, I buy a postcard. When we arrive home, I write a quick blurb about the trip and the date. I then keep them in a three ring binder in plastic picture holders. A great way to glance thru all the places we have been fortunate to visit.
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  3. FourHondas

    FourHondas Been here awhile

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    The Lakes-to-Sea Highway ran from Erie to Philadelphia via Harrisburg; then on to Atlantic City, NJ. Parts of the Lakes-to-Sea Highway in PA were later designated as Route 322. When it comes to vintage postcards, the Lakes-to-Sea Highway takes a back seat to the Lincoln Highway and the PA Turnpike, however here are some interesting and attractive postcards from the Lakes-to-Sea Highway – aka most of present-day Route 322.

    I came across this postcard this past summer. Not much to look at, just a curve in the road. Locally, the road is called Seven Mountains Road, I guess that was prior to the Rt 322 designation.

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    I looked for “the curve” on a current map and came up with this location, just west of Milroy PA.

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    New Route 322 is the four land and the old hairpin curve is still mostly intact. It can be reached via an unofficial exit on 322 eastbound, or via a detour of off the MABDR section 7. The road that shoots off to the left is Stone Creek Road. Follow it west and it takes you to the point where the MABDR heads north to Penn-Roosevelt Sate Park.

    Below is a 1924 topo map of the hairpin curve. That’s it, right in the middle of the map - a 180 degree turn with Stone Creek Road coming in from the west. Laurel Creek was just a creek, prior to becoming Laurel Creek Reservoir (see above pic)


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    Here’s me and the Super T at the intersection of Stone Creek Road and Old 322 on Labor Day weekend, 2018.

    I was tempted to take the Super T around the Jersey barrier. Glad I did not as the road surface was slick as crap and I would have dropped her for sure.

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    Looking north toward new 322. The road reminded me of the abandoned section of the PA Turnpike east of Breezewood -perhaps a future topic. The grass, weeds and trees are slowly but surely re-claiming what is rightfully theirs.

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    Following the old hairpin back to new Rt 322. The old road is across the highway.

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    I would have liked to set up a picture using the same perspective as the first postcard, however too much as changed. I can’t tell if the original postcard is looking east or west and the road winding up the hillside just does not fit at all with the current landscape.

    Here is another old postcard look at the hairpin.

    Laurel Creek near Route 322 is now Laurel Creek Reservoir, so this shot is at the hairpin curve.

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  4. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

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    Just rode past there on the bike this morning on the way back from camp.
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  5. Runswithscizzors

    Runswithscizzors Been here awhile

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    This stuff is great! Let’s see more of this stuff!
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  6. FourHondas

    FourHondas Been here awhile

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    Many small towns in Pennsylvania hold little nuggets of history like this monument in Cherry Tree. If you are not familiar with Cherry Tree, it’s located in Indiana County; just south of another unique PA small town - Glenn Campbell. Yes, there is a town in PA called Glenn Campbell. Glenn Campbell the town is not named after Glenn Campbell the singer, although Glenn Campbell the singer did visit Glenn Campbell the town in 1971. I digress.

    The monument marks the location of a large Black Cherry Tree that served as a boundary for the 1768 land purchase by the William Penn family from the Indians. Thus, the name of the town, Cherry Tree.



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    The present-day scene looks pretty much the same as the old post card, however a flood control embankment has been constructed in the immediate area.

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    The Cherry Tree Monument marks the corner boundary of present-day Cambria, Indiana and Clearfield counties. You can see the tri-county boundary just left of center on the map below.

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    Here is the plaque on the Cherry Tree monument:

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  7. FourHondas

    FourHondas Been here awhile

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    Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona PA is known by many railroad fans, but its smaller brother, Muleshoe Curve, is less well known.


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    The Muleshoe Curve was completed in 1850 by the New Portage Railroad; four years prior to the completion of the Horseshoe Curve by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The New Portage Rail Road was purchased by the PRR in 1857 and the Muleshoe Curve along with its route over Cresson Mountain was closed. The route was re-opened and double tracked in 1904 by the PRR. In 1955 one set of tracks was removed and in 1981 the Muleshoe route over Cresson Mountain was closed for good.

    I took this picture during a Tenere ride this past fall. Sorry, I could not get the Tenere over the guardrail for an authentic motorcycle shot.

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    I'd say that the Muleshoe Curve arch has held up pretty well over the years.

    Here is a topo view of the curve:

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    The road that passes through the overpass is Old Route 22 which links Cresson with Hollidaysburg. Wiki says that the old railroad bed north of the overpass is used by locals to access hunting spots via ATV's, so maybe there is some good single track ADV riding here? The roadbed south of the overpass is a rails-to-trails bike path.

    FourHondas
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  8. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Nice. I gotta ask though..... where are you getting the old postcards?

    Top of the hill on old 22, before you get to the Lemon House, there's a dirt road on the right, quite a few miles of riding back there.
    #8
  9. FourHondas

    FourHondas Been here awhile

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    EBay - tons of them. You can buy them or right click and save them to your hard drive.

    The road above the Lemon House, is it big bike friendly

    FourHondas
    #9
  10. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Below the Lemon House, at the spot where the east and west lanes split.

    It's about like your regular township gravel or Game Land road. I've been back there a few times during hunting season in my truck. Never think about it when I'm on the bikes.
    #10
  11. SuperChuck

    SuperChuck Adventurer

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    This is super cool. Keep it up! Staying tuned for future posts.
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  12. 2degreesout

    2degreesout Been here awhile

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    Isn't the Gallitzin Spring just west of the Muleshoe arch.
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  13. rickcj7

    rickcj7 Been here awhile

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    Not much there any more, Game commission bought it and gated off.
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  14. FourHondas

    FourHondas Been here awhile

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    Yep - just about 1/2 mile to the west.

    FourHondas
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  15. 2degreesout

    2degreesout Been here awhile

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    I remember seeing the sign but I've never stopped, I will next time
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  16. CanineCombatives

    CanineCombatives the sound of inevitability

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    Not many folks I know return to where they hail from, for me these pictures are bittersweet, lots to love about PA, still.
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  17. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Some of us don't have to return....we enjoy it all the time!
    :nod
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