We circled back slightly on day two, we had tickets to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, it’s a must-see if you’re anywhere near Pittsburgh, about an hour drive from the city. The house is one of Wright’s most famous buildings, now a living museum built into the surrounding rocks overlooking the waterfall and woodlands. You don’t have to appreciate architecture to appreciate Fallingwater, and just this month it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Tickets should be purchased ahead of time, from $30 per person.
From Fallingwater it was over to I99 straight up to Watkins Glen, NY, or so we thought. It was along this route that we discovered the beauty of driving without an agenda, it gave us the opportunity to stop at places along the way.
It’s here I should discuss covered bridges, because I’m going to post a lot of cool photos of them. They’re exactly what you think they are, The Bridges of Madison County and the bridge Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin drove off in Beetlejuice, those covered bridges. It was Memorial Day and it seemed quintessentially American, but for reasons that are now unknown we stumbled upon our first covered bridge, Trostletown Covered Bridge. It’s an ornamental barn-red wooden bridge with a chipped paint interior, a bridge that literally goes to nowhere (except a Huey on stilts), but I was impressed nonetheless. I was so impressed that we (read: me) stanned as many as we could, we probably visited a dozen more bridges before the trip was over (I’ll never be allowed to navigate again).
It was leaving Trostletown we noticed a sign for the Flight 93 National Memorial, we made the 30 minute detour and paid a visit. A 93’ tall “Tower of Voices” welcomes you as you enter the complex, with winding roads leading to a welcome center and eventually a Memorial Plaza set among the fields of this quiet Pennsylvania enclave, inscribed with the names of the heroes lost that day.
Back in the car we continued up into New York and on to Watkins Glen, located at the foot of Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes. It was a long drive with stops only for gas, we made it in time for sunset but missed most of the vineyards due to early closing on Memorial Day. Shakes fist. We drove up the east side of the lake stopping occasionally to take in the views of the lake and waterfalls, eventually finding ourselves at a somewhat obscure vineyard called Rasta Ranch. Nestled on the side of the road, a wooden barn filled with scented candles and vintage pictures covering every inch of wall space, and beat up vintage cars in the parking lot. The wine was cheap, there was live music and a few pizzas on hand to round out dinner. We didn’t stay long as sleep was to be had, but as Hotel Tonight doesn’t quite reach Watkins Glen we made do with a local motel, the Villager Motel, it was cheap and clean, that’s all that mattered.