[Floodgap Roadgap presents the Summer of 6]

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14 July 2006: Cleveland, OH to Warren, PA

This comes to you from a squalid room in Warren where I actually had to put my foot down and remind the guy that I'd like a room with air conditioning, since I'm paying to stay there. One would have thought that obvious. They also managed to lose my reservation, but at least they honoured the quoted rate, and the guy up front checked me in while half-naked. This didn't seem professional behaviour, even considering the surroundings.

Because of all the trouble I had getting situated, although I did manage to locate a wireless link, I got started on this entry late and so it will be somewhat abbreviated. Sorry, please blame the management.

235 pictures, odometer start 97220.

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Cleveland was still pretty gloomy and rainy when I arrived back from my aunt and uncle's in Columbus to resume photography on Superior Avenue.

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Eventually US 6 will join US 20 again and they will exit the city into West Cleveland and Euclid. Here in Euclid, US 6 branches off and US 20 will continue alone along the shores of Lake Erie into Pennsylvania.

After a period of suburban tracts and country retreats, US 6 then lapses back into the hilly farmland we left behind a few hundred miles ago dotted only with occasional little cities and towns.

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A costly error occurred here in the otherwise pleasant country town of Chardon: one might think that US 6 travels straight on, but it does not. You must turn left at the light in back, or you'll wind up along a county road happily traveling southeast and quite off the highway. Credit to the GPS here for correctly noting that "GAR Hwy" was several miles away from my current position, which I ignored as a glitch until I noticed it had been a long time since I had seen a US 6 sign. This wrong turn cost me nearly an hour.

After close scrutiny of the picture after the fact, there *is* a US 6 shield stuck off to the left pointing out the true route, but there's no advance warning.

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Several of these eastern Ohio towns also have quasi-traffic circles. They're not roundabouts in the truest sense, but they do evoke the same idea although they're more like traffic squares with stricter access control.

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US 6 through eastern Ohio.

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The Pennsylvania state line arrives virtually unmarked and without fanfare except for a sudden change in the style of county/city markings. There is no brag sign for either Pennsylvania or Ohio along US 6, which is a bit disappointing.

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Not far from the Pennsylvania border is Conneaut Lake, named for a corruption of the Seneca Indian kon-ne-ot "snow waters" referring to its frequently frozen state. US 6 runs along its southern tip.

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US 6 in Pennsylvania has been pretty tweaked. Much like Ohio, it has been given expressway and even freeway alignments (sometimes in places bearing little connection to its former path), which has the same double-edged sword of restoring its might as a significant arterial at the cost of its local flavours. A lot of realignment has occurred over the years and regrettably we'll only travel a few selected portions for reasons of budget and time.

Also like Ohio, it attracts a lot of company, including (here) US 19 and US 322 into Meadville. Based on the postmiles, however, they are all still legislatively US 6 when co-signed.

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On the southern edge of Meadville is this fascinating mosaic, but alarmingly made by cutting up old signs, outside of a PennDOT depot. I would have gladly taken a few of those signs off their hands, though ...

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One of the oldest sections of freeway/expressway realignment is outside of Meadville, a fairly typical industrial town of this region of Pennsylvania with a population of 13,685 [2000] and the seat of Crawford county, the first county we enter in the state (named for Col. Wm. Crawford, a Revolutionary War officer who was captured and scalped by local Indians in retaliation for the Gnadenhuetten massacre of 96 Indian non-combatants by American militia in 1782, with a population of 90,366 [2000]). Meadville is a fairly old town, first founded in 1788 by settler David Mead. An important transport center during the canal and railroad days of the 19th century, heavy industry moved in during the middle of the 20th century only to see a decline by the 1980s in many of the Great Lakes cities. Meadville was no exception but managed to transition to a lighter industrial mix instead, earning it the nickname Tool City USA for its typical export. Actress Sharon Stone is a Meadville girl.

The age of the bypass is obvious first from the button copy, and second from the dark sign backing instead of the more reflective later ones. It almost looks like Caltrans made it. (Bleh, now I feel homesick.)

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Pennsylvania's only remaining suffixed route belongs to US 6, but instead of 6A or Spur 6 or 6Y, we get ... 6N. The oldest 6N (1932-8) existed over what is now PA 97 between US 19 and US 20 in Erie before being shifted to its present route. This is the eastern terminus at US 6/US 19.

Note the construction in the background which obliterated US 6 between here and Union City, a loss of seven miles of photography. My Penn spy Terri H tells me there are other closures, confirmed by PennDOT, so we'll just have to make the best of it. Some of these areas will be coming up tomorrow.

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US 6N goes through very idyllic territory and few populated areas, including this rather charming landscape study.

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Unfortunately, US 6N was also plagued with its own upgrades, leading to the closure of the westbound lanes and this ugly but still legible shot through the windscreen of the western terminus at US 20 southwest of Erie, PA.

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Picking up US 6 east of Union City and the presently designated closed area. If there *was* local access, I don't want to hear about it. I'm not going back.

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For a period of time US 6 runs parallel with the Allegheny River, a major focal point of industry and energy discovery (first from its waters, and second from its fuel-rich valley). Allegheny is supposedly a corruption for the Delaware Indians' term for a fine stream, and is further corrupted by its frequent rendering as Allegany, more in line with its pronunciation. Approximately 325 miles long, it is a tributary of the Ohio River (which it forms in Pittsburgh with the Monongahela), ultimately leading into the great Mississippi.

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One of the major towns in this region along the Allegheny is Warren, tonight's stop. The county seat of Warren county (43,863 [2000]), both the county and the town are named for Maj. General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War-era doctor and soldier who died a hero in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Warren itself has 10,259 [2000]. This is a view from the old routing of US 6 through town, now remembered as Business US 6. New US 6 has a freeway/expressway routing on a southern bypass alignment. Part of US 6 and later Business US 6 is co-signed with US 62.

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Downtown Warren along US 62 and Business US 6. US 62 then branches off to the north in the middle of town.

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The freeway alignment is not yet complete and degrades to expressway within a couple of exits.

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We'll stop here at the point where the old alignment from downtown rejoins the new one.

Next: Warren to Scranton! Unfortunately, there is not enough time for the large Carbondale business alignment, so we will only mark it as we go by on the modern alignment.

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13 July 2006: Sandusky, OH to Cleveland, OH
 
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15 July 2006: A Series of Unfortunate Events
 


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