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Our 2017 Road Trip, Part 41: A Meeting on Mount Washington

Points of View!

Two men enter. Two men leave. It was more of a debate than a cage match.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. For 2017 our ultimate destination of choice was the city of Baltimore, Maryland. You might remember it from such TV shows as Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, not exactly the most enticing showcases to lure in prospective tourists. Though folks who know me best know I’m one of those guys who won’t shut up about The Wire, a Baltimore walkabout was Anne’s idea. Setting aside my fandom, as a major history buff she was first to remind skeptics who made worried faces at us for this plan that Maryland was one of the original thirteen American colonies and, urban decay notwithstanding, remains packed with notable history and architecture from ye olde Founding Father times. In the course of our research we were surprised to discover Baltimore also has an entire designated tourist-trap section covered with things to do. And if we just so happened to run across former filming locations without getting shot, happy bonus…

DAY SEVEN: Friday, July 14th.

When morning came, I didn’t want to leave the Omni William Penn, but we didn’t want to live there, either. It was time to go home. Before we left Pittsburgh we made one last stop — beyond downtown but with a fantastic view of it. We previously visited the elevated neighborhood of Mount Washington on our 2010 road trip, but somehow missed one of their storied attractions, a reminder of a pivotal time in pre-American history.


Liberty Tunnels!

For a second I was excited that we might get to zoom through more mountain tunnels, but Google Maps insisted we make a hard right at the street sign. Rats.

In 2006 the bronze sculpture “Points of View” was installed in front of the fabulous Pittsburgh panorama. The work of artist James A. West, it depicts a 1770 meeting between future American President George Washington and Guyasuta, a leader of the Seneca tribes, who were there first. The two had met previously in 1753, shortly before the French & Indian War, but reunited to discuss their ideas for the future of the area. The reunion ended amicably and without immediate bloodshed, for what it’s worth. Sources indicate the actual confab took place nearby down below, but Mount Washington has a much showier view.

Points of View!

Our lead photo puts the city in the background. Swing around to the other side, and now they’re chatting in front of a working-class neighborhood.

Guyasuta!

In this corner, Guyasuta of the Iroquoian Seneca, local guide who largely sided with his people and not exactly with us in either the French & Indian War or the American Revolution.

Washington!

In thee other corner, this guy George Washington, beloved idol of millions and so on.

And behind them…that view. All the better Pittsburgh travel materials use photos taken from Mount Washington. If only every major American city had a natural vantage to let photographers capture their good sides.

Pittsburgh left!

To the northwest, the Ohio River heads toward our home and eventually forms Indiana’s southern border.

Pittsburgh center!

To the north, the Ohio River comes to its easternmost end. Up and to the right, that’s the Allegheny River rushing in to meet it.

Pittsburgh right!

To the east, downtown skyscrapers dominate the skyline. At far right is the third of Pittsburgh’s “Three Rivers” — the Monongahela, which we previously visited on Day Two down in West Virginia, and coincidentally was an answer on Jeopardy! this past Thursday night.

Heinz Field!

A special “Let’s Enhance!” bonus for sports fans or anyone wondering what that large orange spot was in the northward pic: that’s Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who I understand are doing a lot better this year than our hometown team…

To be continued!

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email signup for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my TV live-tweeting and other signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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