Unique Streets: 62
Miles Walked: 7.1
Street Names: S. Main Street, Alexander Street, Neptune Street, Sanctus Street, Steuben Street, Elliott Street, Lander Street, Angle Street, Balfour Street, Mardo Way, Attica Street, Planet Street, Furley Street, Emmons Way, Herndon Street, Fairview Avenue, Marena Street, Comstock Way, Elkton Street, Marlow Street, Averilla Way, Parnassus Way, Uvilla Street, Fenton Street, Finch Street, Valier Street, Ainsworth Street, Payne Way, Gibson Street, Astor Way, Lorenz Avenue, Wilhelm Street, Wyanet Way, Navajo Way, Lakewood Street, Bucryus Street, Strahley Place, Rudolph Street, Valle Rue, Milford Street, Mark Way, Herrod Street, Bond Street, Werder Street, Acme Way, Stem Street, Prager Way, Rudd Street, Titus Street, Danley Street, Lakin Way, Corliss Street, Chartiers Avenue, Ace Way, Nittany Street, Elf Street, Azalia Street, Lester Way, Fredonia Street, Wilna Way, Janewood Way, Crucible Street, Zahniser Street, Calcutta Way, Berdella Street, Oswin Street, Linhart Street, Walbridge Street, Noblestown Road, Wabash Street, Violet Way.
Today I decided to walk in West End. I often drive through the area to avoid tunnel traffic on my way to walks and today was the day when I would tackle it. I parked near Cafe 412 so I could use their facilities and I also picked up this handmade mug.
West End is a neighborhood known to most Pittsburgers because of the West End Circle. It’s not there anymore but it altogether confused drivers for decades. I recall a directional sign (I couldn’t find any pictures) that had an arrow with at least seven heads. They’ve recently (in the past 15 years) changed the intersection so that there isn’t a circle but I bet most people are still confused when they drive through it.
The West End now…
And the West End Circle in 2007…
In 2007 if you were on the West End Bridge coming south and you wanted to go east towards the South Side, you would have had to counterintuitively go west and pray that you were in the correct lane once you made the first turn in the circle. In 2019 if you want to do that… I really don’t know. I still pray every time I enter that intersection.
One major difference you can notice between the two pictures is that the road running almost parallel to the railroad tracks is now gone. I walked on it today…
There is actually a neat little trail that runs under one of the roadways along Saw Mill Run before it empties into the river.
After successfully navigating the intersection, I walked on Steuben Street. I was looking for the stairs that led up into Elliott when I saw a man come out of the woods. After he left, I inspected and saw a campsite. There were also old train tracks running into the woods and an old train tunnel.
Here, along Steuben Street there were many ruins. I really wanted to explore this…
…but couldn’t because of this…
On the 1923 Hopkins Maps you can see that there were a lot of buildings here at one time (you can also see the old railroad tracks I mentioned.)
I found the stairs I was looking for and went up.
A few risers up and I saw a groundhog.
I paid him no mind for the time being and kept climbing. I was feeling creeped out (maybe the area is haunted) and was carefully watching the area under the stairs when all of a sudden a commotion arose from underneath me. I screamed (as you do when in the woods by yourself) and realized it was the groundhog, also being scared. I took a screenshot of my watch to catch my heart rate. I was only 118 bpm and I kept walking. At the time, I did not realize that when you screenshot, it pauses the walk measurement. 😵 I came up on Elliot and then kept going to Lander. At the top, I spied a huge landslide that is currently threatening a very nice house on the end.
I walked up Angle Street and was glad I did for this vista.
Many houses on the low side of the hill seemed precariously perched. More than one was condemned.
I came around Attica to walk Furley and saw a brood of chickens. This one crossed the road in front of me and I asked him why?
A man heard me talking to his chicken and popped his head out of a second story window. His answer for why the chicken crossed the road was that he wanted to be fed.
I found a street on no map (Emmons Way) and walked up the Fairhaven Street Stairs. I heard a dog barking and a man, in reply, telling Piper to shut the hell up and get down from there. Piper was not happy about me being on these stairs.
George and I had walked parts of Elliott back on Day 24 so I tried not to repeat many streets. I did make sure to hit Cameron Way because we had somehow managed to miss it entirely. After going almost all the way to West End Overlook Park, I came back down to hit the rest of the thankfully short streets. Piper found me and made sure to keep me away from her lunch (another groundhog, this one flat.)
I found a few map mistakes. Wyanet Way only exists in real life (Google doesn’t know about it and Apple calls is Wyant Way)
I noticed on the map that there was a long, winding road called Lakewood. I never saw a lake and was happily surprised that it was mostly flat. After about a half mile, an intersection arose. I chose to go right (uphill) to hit Werder, Herrod, Mark, and Bond. These streets were not flat. I got to the end of Herrod and saw a committee of vultures (I looked it up and that’s really what a group of vultures is called!)
I don’t know why I am the way that I am but I decided that something must be dead around here and I wanted to find it. I came to the end of Bond and found a trail into the woods.
Of course I went down it. I was hoping that it would deposit me out near the end of Lakewood, or even better, near Brunot’s Island. I walked about a quarter mile into the woods narrowly (I hope) escaping poison ivy, spiders, mud, and jagger bushes before I found this…
The pot of gold at the end of this rainbow was rusty car parts. The trail ended and I had to turn around. Half a mile walked for a dumpsite. Sigh. Double sigh for the fact that I realized my walk tracing had been paused up until now. I got my mile measurement from manually entering my route into Google Earth.
I came back into civilization and saw a remarkable view of the McKees Rocks Bridge.
I walked the other group of streets, Vixen, Stem, Prager, Rudd, Titus and came down onto Corliss Street. There were many auto repair shops and a very long mural. Here are a few of the pictures I took (the rest are on facebook and google photos.)
I crossed the street to walk Ace Way and found no street, no trail, only Japanese Knotweed. In a pile of dirt behind Sheraden Auto I found groupings of clover. I searched until I found…
A real-life four-leafed clover!
Luckily, the rest of my walk was pleasant and uneventful. I did find a street made of grass (Calcutta Way.)
After 7.1 miles I was hungry and thirsty. Thankfully, I had parked my car right in front of the Village Tavern and Trattoria in West End. I got a much deserved beer and southern BBQ club sandwich with sweet potato fries. It hit the spot.