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North America / North Carolina / ohio / pennsylvania / travel / United States / Washington D.C.

Why You Need to Ditch the Car and Ride Amtrak

Bridge over river in Pennsylvania

It was two in the morning when the Amtrak train finally pulled into the station. Truthfully, calling what we have in Cleveland a “station” is incredibly forgiving. In reality Cleveland is cursed with a glorified slab of concrete held up by a couple of pillars next to the train tracks. City Lab rightfully called it one of the saddest stations in the country. Continue reading

North America / pennsylvania / travel / United States

The Wonderful Pain of Hiking in the Allegheny National Forest

Camping at Willow Bay Campgrounds in Pennsylvania

I woke up feeling stuffy with a bit of a headache. That seems to be the norm for me on the first night on any camping trip. Something about whatever allergens are in the air or the fact that I almost always forget to bring a proper pillow that would keep my head tilted just right so fluids don’t build up in my head. (Our bodies are weird.) Continue reading

North America / pennsylvania / travel / United States

Traveling Pittsburgh Shines a Spotlight on the New American Dream

I learned to hate Pittsburgh at a young age. Growing up in exurban Cleveland, not quite far away enough from the city limits to avoid the flaccid grip of the Browns’ television radius, I suffered irrational fandom. This fandom taught me to loathe a city 134 miles away because of an event that happens twice a year — the Cleveland Browns playing the Pittsburgh Steelers for 60 minutes of professional football.

Embarrassingly, it took me until adulthood to realize how indescribably silly it is to judge any city off of sports alone, let alone a one-sided rivalry that — fantasy land car commercials and male anatomy-hardening ads aside — happens annually for 120 minutes. Yet there I was in my youth, referring to Pittsburgh as “Pittspuke” with the same vitriolic hatred I should have reserved for Shredder like a normal kid.

Boy, how wrong I was about Pittsburgh. Continue reading

North America / pennsylvania / photography / travel / United States

Pittsburgh: The City of Bridges by Bike and Foot in 15 Photos

Pittsburgh Skyline from Hot Metal Bridge - JoeBaur

Jennifer, volunteering to lead our urban bike ride with Venture Outdoors, showed off another “epic” view of the Pittsburgh skyline from Hot Metal Bridge. Continue reading

michigan / missouri / new york / North America / ohio / pennsylvania / travel / United States

Why I Want to Cycle the Ruins (and Hope) of the Rust Belt

I love the Rust Belt, its frustrations, character and all.

I love the people. The innovators and pioneers who are returning home to help rebuild our economically throttled region.

I loathe (in general) the leaders. The corrupt politicians who continue the practice of back-room dealing, generally leading to development policies that favor suburban commuters over city residents, continuing decades worth of political ineptitude.

And yes, the weather can be a son of a bitch bastard at times.

Continue reading