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A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Friday, May 23, 2014

Goldilocks Day

5.23.2014 #217 29m
Today was a Goldilocks Day; it was cool but not too cold, breezy but not too windy, bright but not too sunny, and the trails were occupied but not too crowded.

Started at the Bastille. Got to see world-famous PaulB working his rounds. Rode around to Federal St. to check the status of the railroad underpass mural and nothing much is evident. Rode across the 6th Street Bridge, closed in anticipation of the evening baseball game, very nice thank you very much.

Out to Uptown, hoping to see Sir Samelot in some regalia befitting Memorial Day, maybe some Doughboy OliveDrab, but no such luck. Over the Birmingham Bridge to Thick Bikes, happy to run into MC (who really doesn't look sixty) & Dyan. Out to Homestead, checked some murals.

Stopped at the Waterfront, took a look at the smokestacks all in a row. Last week I was told by a tourist that they were originally somewhere else and had been moved to this location, but a 1910 photo on the site places them in the same position relative to what's now the Whemco Plant.

Apparently, these were not smokestacks but cooling towers to vent off heat from the soaking pools, giant heated vats of 2400F liquid that steel ingots were soaked in, to equalize the interior and exterior temperatures of the ingots before they were sent to the rolling mill. It was probably not "goldilocks conditions" inside that operation.

Value-Added Link: Click here for an amazing 1910 panoramic photo of the Homestead Works. Extra points if you can identify the still-existing Pump House and the adjacent cylindrical building which today houses the trailhead restrooms, shown below in 1910 and 2009.

An uneventful transition back into town, Ft. Pitt Bridge, Ft. Duquesne Bridge, back to the Bastille. Saw several small groups of cyclists carrying gear who looked like they were heading out of town for the weekend, and encountered one group of cyclists arriving in Pittsburgh on the GAP.

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