Chasing Deer and Climbing Steps

RATS #00269

Getting out of my isolation bubble for a bit, I ran Friday night with George, exploring the streets of Perry South. It was good to have the company and George got a taste of winding in and out of streets like true RATS. Hanging out before the run, I noticed this marker buried deep in the ground. It was a hot evening but we quickly made it to the Norwood Avenue steps, a harbinger of the remainder of the run.

Norwood Avenue plunges from Marshall Avenue to North Charles Street. Unfortunately, we had to keep going up and down that hill. The neighborhood was active, with people out on most of the porches, a few Friday gatherings, dog walkers and kids on bikes. Along one alley, we surprised a doe and a fawn out for an evening walk.

Along another street, an older woman swept the sidewalk as a little boy played with rocks, while across the street, large butterflies had been caught in a chain-link net.

And then, there were steps. It started slowly, with the gradual steps at the bottom of Norwood. Then it picked up a bit Delger Street. Those wooden steps were in pretty good shape, except one missing tread. It also was a convenient shortcut to the Delger Street, really an alley. Mayfield Avenue had a long series of street steps as it bucked up the hill like a horse.

Finally, as we rounded out one Quartz Way, we came to the Hawkins Street steps. They rose, block after block, from the ravine floor at Leland Street to their apex at Veteran Street, crossing Shelton Street, Ellis Street, and Perrysville Avenue.

Scooting down Veteran Street, we made our way back to the park. It was a solid run on a hot Friday evening.

Steps of the West

RATS #00241 – Westwood and Crafton Heights

This was another early evening run in Westwood and Crafton Heights. My primary goal was to finish the grid of streets west of Stratmore towards the city line. In these parts, the city abuts Crafton on the west and Ingram on the north.

The border of the City of Pittsburgh with Crafton and Ingram

First, I had to ascend some steps from Noblestown to Code Way. Another excellent street name by the city naming department, I must say. Would there be a spy ring up there? Covert CIA antenna? Hmm, nope. There was a fire ring with old-folks conversing with their children and grandchildren. There were a couple of flagpoles flying the Stars and Stripes. It looked like a bustling, tight neighborhood. People moving furniture from a UHaul, others gardening. Moving on, I came upon Milnor street, which presented a cool view across into Crafton Heights. It also had quite an impressive set of sidewalk steps.

Milnor wound to Clearview, right above Crafton Boulevard. There’s a convenient set of steps down from Clearview.

Earlier I had done the streets on the right of Stratmore going north. Today I did the streets on the left. Booming big houses perched on big hills were my main memories.

A uniquely named street, “Clairtonic”, reached up the hill and dead-ended. In spite of being a dead-end, it was lively; residents were hosting a pandemic porch party; young dudes were in the street messing with their sports car, playing rap music loudly. Trudging up the hill past them I was surprised how far Clairtonic went. I crossed a house with a fence and a beautiful, big, dark Collie. Saying hi to the old guy working on his car and to the lively Collie which trotted out the open gate, I quickened my pace. This was an opportune time to take the Irvona Street Steps. Alas, they only went to someone’s backyard and I had to sheepishly come down.

Irvona Street Steps

Moving on, I came to Ridenour Avenue, which beckoned with these extensive wooden steps. I hoped they would go all the way to Steuben. Looking at the map later, they might have, but I stopped where they flattened out into a trail.

I wound my way back to the car. I achieved most of my goals, but missed going all the way down Ridenour as well as Enderlin Way. Oh well, there’s only so much you can do in five miles.