Pretty much due west of Shanksville, Pittsburgh,
despite being the home of the Steelers,
seems to be a beautiful city. Pittsburgh would probably best be a day
trip all it's own. I still haven't been out there for pleasure, though
I can now get to UPMC/Children's Hospital asleep and blindfolded. I will
update this once I've seen some of the other sites in the city.
The city center of Pittsburgh is about a 2-hour drive from here on the
For day trips not
centered on Pittsburgh, once you've visited the Flight 93 Memorial, there
are several attractions to the north and west of Shanksville to consider
for your tour.
- Not far from Shanksville
in the town of Somerset, you'll find the Quecreek
Mine Rescue Site (corner photo above), where 9 miners trapped underground
for 5 days all survived in what is undoubtedly a modern miracle. This
happened less than 11 months after 9/11 in the same county as the Flight
93 crash. Plans are underway for an extensive memorial and exhibit center
honoring not just the rescuers at Quecreek but rescuers from many other
disasters in the mining industry, as well.
- Further afield
to the southwest, Fallingwater
and Kentuck Knob are architectural
masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright. Fallingwater is considered to be
the foremost example of American architecture and should be viewed in
every season, if possible. Reservations are required for tours of each
house, though the grounds are open with an admission fee without reservations
at some points in time. Be sure to check the websites and confirm your
plans at least a couple of days ahead, preferably a week or two. Click
here for photos and commentary
from my April 28, 2007 visit to the homes.
- If you'd rather
go northwest from Shanksville, the Johnstown
Flood Museum and the Johnstown
Flood National Memorial are but two of the many attractions to see
in and around Johnstown. From the Flood Museum website, you can link
to most of the key attractions. Be sure to check out the Incline! It's
amazing - these pictures show the Inclined Plane as you look up toward
the summit and looking down toward Johnstown from the top.
The Seven Arches
Bridge, at which debris from the Little Conemaugh River and Stony Creek
caught fire during the 1889 Flood, burning overnight and smoldering
for days afterward. The bridge, amazingly, survived with little damage
and is still in use today as a railroad
The tombstones marking the burial sites of unidentified victims of the
in Grandview Cemetery.
Johnstown boasts the largest free-flying American flag in the country
(possibly in the world, though I don't know that for a fact). When you
look up from Johnstown to the top of the Inclined Plane, the flag looks
as though it's waving from the upper station itself, though the flag
pole is really about 200 yards further up the hill from the upper station.
- When you come
back to Schellsburg from places northwest and west, come back along
Route 30. Mark your mileage at the Mount Ararat Lookout (no one has
ever claimed to find a gopherwood ark on this particular Mount Ararat
. . .). It's well worth stopping here if it's a clear day; looking across
the vista, to your left is Maryland and to your right is West Virginia.
You can see 7 counties in 3 states from this lookout, the site of an
old hotel that was, appropriately enough, built to look like a ship!
The hotel burned in October of 2001, but you can see the ruins just
over the guard rail.
- In 4.9 miles from
Mt. Ararat, stop in at the Bison Corral, which will
be on your right. Rich and Anne Darrow own this unique range, which
spans both sides of the highway. They have a gift shop on site as well
as the Guest House for overnight visitors.
- Continuing toward
Schellsburg, after you leave the Bison Corral, in 1 mile on the right
you will see the entrance to Living Waters Camp and Conference
Center, a ministry of the Penn West Conference of the United
Church of Christ.
- A half mile after
Living Waters, you will come to the Schellsburg cemetery and The
Old Log Church. Built in 1806 as the first building of the German
Reformed Church of Schellsburg, the Old Log Church is quite literally
the mother church of the United Church of Schellsburg. The picture below
is from the bicentennial celebration, during which I participated in
the dedication of a new tombstone for the town founder, John Schell.
Other sites that
might be of interest, depending on your family and your time, include
Amusements and Nemacolin
Woodlands Resort & Spa.
If you'd like to
make Schellsburg a stop coming or going from points west, Ohio has some
pretty neat things, including the Pro
Football Hall of Fame in Canton and the Rock
'n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.