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It’s a long drive from Chicago to Pittsburgh.

There’s Chicago in the distance. We are lucky that it’s Sunday morning, with no traffic. Most of our driving has been in the countryside on this trip, and though we love being in Chicago we are looking forward to returning to the greenscape.

Not immediately. A few showers but we can see lighter skies ahead, and on this trip we always leave bad weather behind.

Here’s a sign at a Denny’s. Who says we’re an illiterate country?

There is plenty of tidy farmland as we cross into Indiana, skim Michigan and cross into Ohio, and enter Pennsylvania from the West. We are deep into a brilliant reading of Faulkner’s SANCTUARY, and finally we have to turn it off for awhile as it turns down a Noir alley. We both admit we’re sorry the trip is almost over. And then we unfold ourselves and enter the chill of our Fairfield Marriott, Neville Island, west of Pittsburgh.

Very attractive room and Maura at the desk has given us a river view. She also dogs an internet reception problem so by the time we return in the evening, I do have internet. Got to keep up with these blogs! We head out to find Max’s Allegheny Tavern, a tip from TripAdvisor, and we ask Madge the GPS to take us on non-highway roads only. We see the backside of industrial Neville Island and the backside of the Ohio River opposite Pittsburgh. Looks like a lot of good pizza in this town.

And then there is Max’sAllegheny Tavern.

An old German restaurant whose standards never slipped. Locally made wurst for both of us and a German pilsner on tap for me. Great service and some of the best food we’ve had on this long trip. We enter the address of the Frick House and explore Pittsburgh a bit, as a degestivo.

We start in a neighborhood called the Mexican Wars Streets. ?? Pittsburgh, for those of you who do not know, is a city where three rivers meet. Three Rivers Stadium? That means a lot of bridges.

And it’s a city of hills which means tunnels.

Squirrel Hill is where Tom Rea grew up. It’s a long way from Casper. Frick lived there too.

The neighborhood has lots of restaurants and shops, and an Art house.

The Princess of Montpensier is directed by John’s friend Bertrand Tavernier. It’s good. Go see it. This is our last hotel night. Just one more reading to go.

Good night. See you in Schenectady.

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