Thursday, April 9, 2020

Graffiti Highway

Centralia, PA, USA
Last March J and I went to New York City for my spring break. I always want to plan extravagant road trips with lots of cool stops, but then I get overwhelmed in the planning of it. I don't even know how I stumbled upon it, but I saw that there was an abandoned highway on the way to NYC. It was slightly out of our way, but we planned it in our stop because we knew it wouldn't take up hours of our time. It was also good that we did this on our way to NYC because I feel like at the end of every trip I take I just want to get home, but on the way to a place you have so much excitement and want to do all the things. I also got the flu on my last day in New York so even the slightest movement in the car on the way home was awful, and I definitely wouldn't have wanted to take any detours.
What is graffiti highway? One of my favorite movies is October Sky (that soundtrack is amazing), so I am drawn to the idea of mining towns and the soundtrack I dream plays constantly in them. So, naturally I was drawn to graffiti highway because it is in the middle of one of those mining towns. Back in 1961 a mistake in trying to burn the trash at the city dump led to the mines catching on fire. The fire was never put out because of the complexity of the mines, and by the 1980s, fissures were forming causing noxious gas to escape and leading to the evacuation of the town. Route 61 was rerouted leading to the graffiti highway we know today. The fire actually continues to burn underground, and apparently you can see smoke coming out of these fissures.
We actually had a hard time finding the "entrance" to the road, and so we didn't spend much time because we were afraid we were parked legally. There must have been a different entrance because people were driving their cars down it and I assume that is where you could see the smoke. We weren't lucky enough to see any of that. We did see a lot of interesting artwork, and Javier found spray paint cans he used to add to the ever-evolving work or art.
It was surprising seeing how many people were there walking about the abandoned highway. I always wanted to go back and explore more of the abandoned town and take another walk down this road. Unfortunately, I must be vibing something because when I went to look back on the road I found that just a few days ago the owner of the property decided to cover the highway under truck loads of dirt. This truly breaks my heart because it was a unique open space, unlike a building where there is higher probability of getting hurt. Apparently there were liabilities here too, and the owner was tired of people showing up from New Jersey and New York when they should be in self-isolation. Also people were causing fires and ruining the town. It's always those few people who have to ruin it for everyone.
In all seriousness though, please stay safe and healthy during this covid-19 pandemic, not only for your health but for everyone else around you.

Friday, March 29, 2019

McBroom Cemetery

Rockbridge, OH 43149, USA
On our way to and from Cantwell Cliffs we passed this little cemetery that caught our eyes from the side of the road. J, being the amazing boyfriend that he is, insisted on stopping. It might have been more of him wanting to test out his new truck off-road than being a good boyfriend, but I digress. I only found one blog post about the cemetery and it was fascinating. In the early 1800s Nancy Cantwell's father, Josiah, was a land speculator. Robert McBroom (the cemetery namesake) and Nancy met and got married. They were given some land as a wedding present, and the land actually included the Cantwell Cliffs! In a nut shell, the McBrooms had a lot of land around the area and had several cemeteries, one of which I assume is the one in these photos. If you want to read a more in depth piece about the family history, go here and read Carrol's piece. I won't take the credit.
The cemetery was small but cute. We didn't spend much time there because there wasn't much to see. If you plan on visiting, there isn't a place to park, even off the road, because there's either a ditch or you're parking on the road and I don't recommend that. There's a slight grassy path, but I don't suggest taking it unless you have 4 wheel drive or it's completely dry. We got stuck, but luckily J's truck has 4 wheel drive and he got us out, but not without getting his truck all muddy.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Cantwell Cliffs

Cantwell Cliffs, OH-374, Rockbridge, OH 43149, USA
I mentioned in a previous post that over winter break J and I went back to Hocking Hills for a little r&r. We loved our cabin and the variety of trails we could walk on, and thought it would be nice to take advantage of a hot tub in the middle of winter (as well as not dehydrate walking the trails). Our first trip we visited Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, and the Rock House. This trip we wanted to try new tails, so we chose to walk Cantwell Cliffs. It was an excellent choice, because the walk was relatively easy compared to Ash Cave, and the scenery was absolutely stunning. I'm a sucker for moss and stairs that are added to nature, so this was the trail for me. There isn't much to say about it other than the pictures speak for themselves. 
It was so much nicer walking in the winter because you didn't have the humidity blanketing you from the tree canopy above. It still get pretty hot at some points because it was a nice winter day, but it was not nearly as bad as going in the summer. We really enjoyed this hike because there was a lot to see. There were also several look outs at the top and a beautiful stone bridge, although we didn't get to spend time at the lookouts because other people were already there with dogs. I did get mad at J, though, because he'll always use the excuse that he grew up in El Salvador to do stupid stunts like climb boulders and jump over valleys. That sort of stuff terrifies me, and I told him I didn't care if he did them as long as I wasn't around. I hope I'm not alone in thinking that, but I guess I'm not a risk taker. I like feeling comfortable.
Have you been to Hocking Hills? Which is your favorite trail?
© Tiny Sputniks. Design by Fearne.