By John Masefield
I have seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills
Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain:
I have seen the lady April bringing in the daffodils,
Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain.
I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships;
But the loveliest things of beauty God ever has showed to me
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.
Tuesday we got up, threw everything in the car and drove into the mountains to Fort Necessity, where we had a picnic lunch in a gorgeous wooded area where we watched chipmunks and saw, nearby, a deer, then toured the fort and national park information center (one of the fun walk-through ones with interactive talking models and artifacts). There were reenactors at the reconstructed fort, which is surprisingly small. Nearby we stopped at Mount Washington Tavern, long a major stop on the National Road, Route 40, that went north and west through Pennsylvania from Virginia. The old Route 40 is little more than a ditch now that runs parallel to the highway, but George Washington's onetime superior British Major General Edward Braddock was buried right under it when he died after a failed attack on Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War and his soldiers did not want Indians disturbing his grave. When his remains were discovered in the 1800s, they were reinterred at the top of the hill, and we visited that marker too.
Then we headed toward Fallingwater and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, stopping to see the Ohiopyle Falls on the Lower Youghiogheny River, which is a beautiful resort area at sufficient elevation that there are evergreens all around. Fallingwater is only a few minutes away, through some of the most gorgeous woods in Pennsylvania; the house is directly over Bear Run and I've read that it's the second most visited private home in the US after Mount Vernon. apaulled and I were there when older son was a baby and again when he was about three, but the tour is more extensive since then -- one of the cantilevered terraces that was closed for repairs is now open, the entire guest house is open and the carport has been turned into a visitor center with a film about the conservancy. The kids were a little restless but suitably impressed by the swimming pool built right out of the creek and who wouldn't love those grounds -- younger son wanted to know how much we could buy the house for.
Here you can really see the cantilevered terraces, and the fact that you can look right into one wall of windows out the back through another -- as if the woods are in the house.
Frank Lloyd Wright built the house right into the bedrock; you can see it coming through the sandstone floor in front of the fireplace.
These are the steps that lead right down to the pool and the falls -- again, see the trees through the living room.
The recreation of Fort Necessity, which George Washington defended in the French and Indian War.
Mount Washington Tavern on the old National Road going up through Virginia and through Pennsylvania.
Grave and marker of British general Edward Braddock.
Ohiopyle Falls en route to Fallingwater.
We are spending the night in Pittsburgh, took the kids swimming and are now going to bed early so we can get up and go see Fort Pitt, the aviary and the zoo. Happy Midsummer-Litha-Solstice!