This tour is Part 1 of a four-part eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike series that eliminates turnpike boredom. To access the rest of the series, just tap on my author profile.
It tells incredible prehistoric tales of ancient Indians who once walked this trail, and compelling historic dramas from the time that the cultures of Indians and European settlers clashed here.
This part of the tour begins at the Pittsburgh turnpike entrance at Monroeville, ascends into the Allegheny Mountains, and ends atop them at the Somerset travel plaza. Also reaching a new plateau will be your understanding about life here centuries ago. I guarantee that!
We learn how to track game; how to find a husband, and what to say if we encounter any Indians -- or even a Bigfoot -- on the trail.
We also pass a battlefield that helped seal the fate of Indians in this region. And, we'll be near the Flight 93 National Memorial, if you wish to stop and make a pilgrimage to honor brave souls.
And, there's a lot more.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks for the contributions of the Seneca Language Department directed by Ja:no's Bowen; Paul A.W. Wallace whose 1965 work "Indian Paths of Pennsylvania" cleared the way for all to follow; and Henry Schoolcraft who in the first half of the 1800s put tribal stories, legends and myths into writing -- as best as a Victorian white man could -- as Indian culture was thought to be on the verge of extinction.
Bushy Run Battlefield Park, Historic Hannah's Town, Flight 93 National Memorial.
The tour starts at a pull-over area just passed the tollgate at the Pittsburgh interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville. It ends at the South Somerset travel plaza. IMPORTANT: Use the far right lanes as you enter the Turnpike tollgate. The pull-over area where you start the tour is a lot closer to the tollgate than it appears in Googlemaps. After getting your ticket, inch away slowly, allowing Easy Pass traffic on your right to pass before pulling into that lane and off the roadway to the START area.
Places to stop along the way:
Bushy Run Battlefield Park, Flight 93 National Memorial, Historic Hanna's Town.
Best time of day:
Any time, day or night.
This wilderness path becomes a frontier trail when Europeans arrive. Frontiers tend to be violent. This one more than most. I avoid graphic details, but if you wish to spare a child, or yourself, talk of killings and scalpings, this tour is not for you.
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