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Amtrak’s Cardinal Loop: Hoosier Fave Midwest Capital? Indy, Columbus, Pittsburgh

Amtrak’s Cardinal Loop: Hoosier Fave Midwest Capital? Indy, Columbus, Pittsburgh

Old Jun 29th, 2022, 06:00 PM
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Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers meet

Duquesne Incline

Sunset on the Monongahela River
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 03:59 AM
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Tom—There’s not too much to say about the Uber minivan. Essentially, there was an older gentleman employee at the Columbus bus station who asked all of us to raise our hands who were going to Pittsburgh. He said he was calling Greyhound head office to find a solution and several minutes later said he was going to put us in an Uber minivan. Greyhound it seems has a contract with Uber, so we didn’t pay anything extra; one of my fellow passengers told me Greyhound had put him in an Uber also from Dayton to Columbus, and joked that they should Uber him all the way to NYC. Nice Uber driver, I felt for him that he would have to drive back to Columbus after. It was a bit cramped in the van, but it was only a 3 hour ride and I was thankful that the Greyhound employee looked after us, far better than the Indianapolis Greyhound chaos a few days earlier!
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 06:47 AM
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Pretty pictures of Pittsburgh, Daniel...many thanks.

FWIW, the Kaufman family of that city commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build Falling Waters. The Kaufmans had the plans vetted by an engineer who said it wasn't a good idea to build over the water. When they relayed their misgivings to Mr. Wight, he ripped up the plans and left in a huff. The Kaufmans and FLW finally made up and the house was built. The engineers were correct and some structural repairs were required later on.

Off to look at Warhol works online.
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 01:21 PM
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*Amtrak’s the Pennsylvanian Pittsburgh-Philadelphia*

I was surprised how busy Pittsburgh station was this morning. Turns out, the Capitol Limited train to Washington DC which was due to leave at 5:15am (my final destination today) was only just departing a little after I arrived at the station at around 7:15am, so it felt sort of weird to not be boarding that train instead. I found it interesting the number of Amish (Mennonites?) that seem to use the Pennsylvanian train and for that matter, were at the Greyhound station in Indianapolis.

The Pennsylvanian train stops at a number of towns I imagine to be associated with industry: Greensburg, Johnstown, Altoona, prior to arriving in the capital of Harrisburg. Seeing such places that I have barely (or in the case of Greensburg never) heard of reminds me how little I actually know of America. Other than seeing communities such as these that had a somehow 19th century architecture that appealed to me, the scenic highlights of the journey are the views of the wide and powerful Susquehanna River right before Harrisburg, the Horseshoe Curve and the steep slopes adjacent rivers following the tracks between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Definitely, I was glad also to see the domes of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building from the tracks in Harrisburg, which alas I did not interrupt my journey to visit.

*Final thoughts*

I wouldn’t have imagined in my youth that I would one day plan and enjoy a train and bus journey DC-> Indianapolis -> Columbus -> Pittsburgh -> DC. The Amtrak parts were great but I am hesitant to *recommend* to prospective visitors doing something like this, given that Greyhound for Indianapolis to Pittsburgh was frustrating. (One bus line called Flixbus does the Indianapolis to Columbus route; perhaps they run into less trouble than Greyhound since the Greyhound eastbound buses out of Indianapolis and Columbus start in Denver or Los Angeles?)

And the question in the title of who’s your favourite Midwest capital? The charm of German Village makes me pick Columbus so far but I really liked both Columbus and Indianapolis. In truth though, I’ve only been to Springfield Illinois other than these, so I’ve got a number more to see left!

Despite the problems, I’m so glad I did this trip. My eyes have been opened and I feel like I understand the USA just a little bit more than I did.

Happy travels this summer to you all!

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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 01:35 PM
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Thursdaysd—Hope you get to do a train adventure soon! Tdudette—Glad you enjoyed the Pittsburgh pictures & interesting about Fallingwater (which I was unable to see)
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 05:41 PM
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The Falling Waters comments were a bit of a hijack, truly sorry! So what's next?
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Old Jul 3rd, 2022, 06:51 AM
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Tdudette— No need to apologize. Many who visit Pittsburgh include a visit to Fallingwater—I actually researched to see if there were a day tour out of the city to the Frank Lloyd Wright home but couldn’t find anything. Next up I think will be a visit to a dear friend in Paris, which might seem bizarre to some will be less of an adventure than this little Midwest jaunt (I’ve been to Paris a few times while I had never been to either Indianapolis or Columbus), although no doubt good fun.
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Old Nov 6th, 2022, 08:13 AM
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I mentioned I saw a few charming looking towns with no stop from the Cardinal train window in Virginia but foolishly didn’t think to look them up on my GPS while travelling. Thanks to a photo I snapped with a shop called “Colonial Florist” and a street sign in it, I decided to do some detective work and found one of them. The town is Gordonsville, which actually looks like a pretty easy getaway from Charlottesville.
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Old Nov 8th, 2022, 02:19 PM
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Daniel, I am glad this TR got bumped in November as I have enjoyed reading your accounts of travel without a car. I do hope to get to Columbus this year as DGD is a senior at The Ohio State U. Maybe I can convince DH to go visit some of your sites as well as graduation.

Thanks for the report.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 11:29 AM
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Hi oldemalloy

I hope you do have a bit of time outside of graduation while in Columbus as I found the city rewarded exploring and underrated. I didn't even have time to check out the Franklin Conservatory, which I've heard good things about. If I were to advise others what to see, what stands out to me in recollection as most interesting and unique are the German Village (involving a meal there hopefully), biking along the Scioto Mile, the Ohio Statehouse tour, Topiary Park and North Market, more or less in that order.

Best wishes,

Daniel
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Old Nov 10th, 2022, 06:42 AM
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[QUOTE=Daniel_Williams;17412912]Hi oldemalloy

I hope you do have a bit of time outside of graduation while in Columbus as I found the city rewarded exploring and underrated. I didn't even have time to check out the Franklin Conservatory, which I've heard good things about. If I were to advise others what to see, what stands out to me in recollection as most interesting and unique are the German Village (involving a meal there hopefully), biking along the Scioto Mile, the Ohio Statehouse tour, Topiary Park and North Market, more or less in that order.

If you are in German Village, make sure to stop at The Book Loft. https://www.bookloft.com/tour-store
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Old Nov 13th, 2022, 07:59 AM
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Glad you got to visit Point State Park Used to hang out there quite a bit. Girl named Amy gave me my first french kiss there on April 4, 1972.

Sunset on the Monongahela River
Interesting shot.JSYK, it is also called 'the Mon" and the "he" is pronounced like "hay".
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Old Nov 13th, 2022, 05:23 PM
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mrwunrfl— I was mentally mispronouncing Monongahela so thanks for your insider Pittsburgh knowledge. Also for the “Mon” nickname; now I wonder if the Allegheny and Ohio called the “Al” and the “Oh” too.
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Old Nov 14th, 2022, 12:16 PM
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Well, if you go up the Mon Valley from where you were then you get to Mckeesport where the Youghiogheny (yok a gainy) River flows into the Mon then you would be in the Mon-Yough area (mon yok).

Oh, you have been in the Mon-Yough area and valleys on the Capitol Limited which travels along both rivers. I looked at the route map and saw where the train turns right to cross the Y river for the final time heading into Mckeesport. There used to be an after hours (illegal) bar there that served under-age called The River's Edge where I met Denise.
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