Day 12: May 1, 2012
Brews, Boxes, and a Bridge
Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I slipped off of US-22 just a little to have lunch at Appalachian Brewing. You gotta admit that's a good looking bar with cool growlers and good looking food. The daily special chicken stromboli was even better after I replaced the alfredo with marinara.

I've been here once, in 2004, and at the one in Gettysburg two and possible three times. I was talking about this with bartender Brian when I mentioned a poster I had seen at Gettysburg. There were several posters of ABC labels hanging there and one featured four men with brewing gear in a Beatlesque Abbey Road crossing scene. When I told of how cool I thought that poster was, Brian pulled a small box from a cabinet behind the bar and flipped through a small bundles of cards. Then he slid a magnetized version of that very poster/label across the bar. That alone would have made my day but Brian also identified the four figures with updates. I'm not sure of all the names so will omit most of them but, from left to right, the picture contains the original head brewer, a fellow who has gone over to Dogfish Head Brewery, and a guy who has vanished happily into the wilds of Alaska with his wife. That's Artie Tafoya, the current brew master, on the right.

On the same trip that led me to Appalachian Brewing in 2004, I noted the construction on US-22 as I approached Harrisburg from the northwest. It was a sufficient mess that I can recall it without any notes. In the posted journal I said "I doubt that the four lane riverside drive will be as pretty as the two lane version used to be but it will certainly look better than the current chopped up landscape." The landscape is no longer chopped up by construction but by multiple ribbons of pavement. The eastbound lanes are now high on the hill with the westbound lanes even higher. Now and then I glimpsed pavement near the Susquehanna's banks but have no idea how to get there. The road eventually crosses over the Susquehanna and continues west. An informative sign stands by the expressway where some may read it as they flash by at 65+ but most will have to stop (and back up just a little) as I did.

The nice looking theater and courthouse are in downtown Lewistown, Pennsylvania.

This was a surprise and it took me quite awhile -- and a visit to the visitor center at the nearby national park -- to get my head around it. I had heard of the Allegheny Portage Railroad but wasn't aware that I'd be encountering it and I had trouble understanding how this awesome bridge fit into it.

From 1834 to 1854, the portage carried canal boats over the Allegheny Mountains to complete a connection between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The boats were pulled up rails on the mountain sides by stationary steam engines. It's a story bigger than I can tell here but this video does a pretty good job. It's the same one I watched at the park's visitor center. The Huntingdon, Cambria, & Indiana Turnpike was already in place when the canal came through and this is where the pike and the rails crossed. Apparently a straight line was important to both parties so this impressive skewed arch bridge was built in 1832. There's a bridge related sign here and the four plaques on the monument are here, here, here, and here. There's a lot of stuff at the park I didn't see so I definitely need to return.

Yeah, it doesn't look like all that much on the outside and, OK, it doesn't look like much on the inside either but Speal's Tavern is reported to have some of the best blues in the area. But nothing tonight. Gotta be here on the weekend for that. But the world's only Cigar Box Guitar Museum was open. It's hanging on the barroom walls so when the bar's open, the museum's open. If a Brazilian Rosewood Martin is out of your reach, you might wat to consider something with a Dutch Masters base.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]