On the Old Forbes Road And Over the Mountains

2013-06-05 16.06.56

This Lincoln Highway-themed gas station pump sits outside the Historic Texas Lunch in Chambersburg, Pa. (Photo by Michael E. Grass)

PITTSBURGH — It’s already abundantly clear that I’m not going to be able stop off and see — and photograph — everything that I would want to along the Lincoln Highway. That became evident yesterday as I was racing from Gettysburg to make it to the Flight 93 memorial in Somerset County before its 6:30 p.m. closing. I breezed through Breezewood, which is not that scenic, but also through places like Chambersburg, the town burned in a July 30, 1864, Confederate raid where I hopped out for literally 30 seconds to snap a photo of the highly decorated gas pump you see here.

But if this is a preview of what the highway offers as I go west, then there’ll be plenty for me to see.

The route through the mountains is naturally beautiful and largely empty, dotted with plenty of aging and artistically repurposed gas pumps, bucolic barns with Lincoln Highway murals, breathtaking mountain-top vistas of the valleys below, and plenty of 19th century buildings from the pre-Lincoln Highway days, when this was this was the primary — but rough — road across Pennsylvania.

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