A guest article by Robert Stickney

For the last several years I have ridden my Harley Davidson with close friends Mark and Cindy Martin to a wonderful motorcycle event called “Thunder in the Valley” centered in Johnstown, PA.  Not wanting to roar through the Alleghenies with tens of thousands of other Harley’s, we venture out on our own and have discovered the beauty of western Pennsylvania and the delight of two lane roads that wind in and out and up and down and through some of the most spectacular and most peaceful scenery to be found in the United States.

Nothing I know of could define “IN CLASSIC STYLE” more than “Fallingwater,” Frank Lloyd Wright’s magical masterpiece in Bear Run, PA. The home was voted “Best all time work of American architecture” by the AIA (American Institute of Architecture) and surely would be by the six million visitors who have toured the “GEM” nestled in the Appalachian Oak Forest 50 miles Southeast of Pittsburg.  In 1963, after inheriting the property from his parents, Edgar Kaufman, Jr. gave the property to the Western PA Conservancy who operate it as an historic sight and beautifully maintain the home and the thousands of acres of pure forest surrounding it. Built over a waterfall, the modern structure captures all of the natural surroundings and it is a delight to tour the grounds (a ten minute walk through the woods from the parking lot.)  With advance reservations you can tour the inside of the house and even have a luncheon served there.

If you do not ride, I would suggest renting a convertible in Pittsburg and meandering through the mountains visiting such towns as Ebensburg and Ligonier (you will think you are in New England.)  Travel on the two lane roads and be prepared to be astounded at the natural beauty of the area.

In nearby Stonycreek Township is the UAL Flight #93 Memorial, scheduled to be completed September 11, 2011; well worth a visit as the Park Service does an outstanding job of explaining the event and operating a temporary memorial.

One would not normally think of Western Pennsylvania as a fantastic summer adventure; but returning each year, I am continually convinced that it is.

by Frank Lloyd Wright

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