Glorious Esplen Morning
RATS run #00408 in Esplen and Sheraden

On this glorious Saturday morning, I ventured out to Esplen and Sheraden again. Nearly the site of my first run! I had no idea what I was getting myself in for! But now, I had to revisit to track down Bagdad Way in Esplen as well as several alleys up in Sheraden as well.

“Bagdad” conjures up visions of a sprawling, dusty strange city. Bagdad Way was nothing like that. Maybe the car wash at the end of the alley helps keep things clean? At any rate, its a short hop from the big bend of Rt 51 as it cruises out of Pittsburgh, crosses Chartiers Creek and hits the big city lights of McKees Rocks.

Drumming down Tabor Street from Rt 51 to Radcliffe Street, I took the left over railroad tracks down below. Right thereafter took me up Stadium Street. It rises sharply, quickly towering above the tracks filled with a waiting train full of tanker cars. Stadium Street is blocked off halfway up. It seems that the road is sliding off the hill, as it has been for at least a year. At the top of Stadium, I found myself in a rather pleasant, rather flat neighborhood. Fronona Way did an excellent job trying to hide, but eventually I found it.

Now, I have done much of this area before, but since I’m doing streets end-to-end, a missed block here or there means I need to revisit it. Ironically enough, CityStrides will call it complete if I just hit all their nodes (intersections). Speaking of which, take Wyckoff Avenue, part stairs, part alley and all hill, I had done most of Wyckoff earlier, but was determined to finish it end-to-end. I get a kick out of the “Avenue” moniker. It is slightly better than an alley for the most part.

At any rate, a short jaunt up Narcissus Avenue took me high above the Ohio. Properly taking a selfie, as everyone should, I took some time out from admiring myself to admiring the sweeping views. The Glasgow Steps took me even higher.

Coming back down to earth, I followed Stafford Street to the little dead-end of Adena Street. On my original (OpenStreets) map, Adena meets up with Joslyn Street, which connects with Strickler Street. However on Google Maps, Adena dead-ends, Joslyn doesn’t exist and Strickler dead-ends after a sharp elbow. Running to the end of Adena these days, I saw some hints an ongoing street, but houses and fences blocked the way. I cut over to “lower” Adena street, which meets Stadium. Curious about the view, I progressed on Stadium towards the Ohio River. The street is blocked-off on this end, too. There was some pavement on the other side of the jersey barrier, so I continued. The pavement disappeared into underbrush but not before a little switchback. I wonder if this is the remains of Joslyn Street? Or of the mysterious Saratoga Street and Gilroy Street?

I retraced my steps and again crossed Chartier Creek, happy with this adventure.

Where in the World is Waco Way?!?

RunAllTheStreets 0054

This run started from a curious corner of Spring Hill. Mis.steps was exploring some stairs and I went with her. The exploration took us to the corner of Waco Way and Valetta Street, as the newish looking street sign attests. But it was all grown over and blocked off. That Google maps screenshot is accurate, we were just really off the beaten path. I’ll leave you to read the mis.steps account of them, since I’m concentrating on running. Nonetheless, I started on Radner Street (I’ve never seen Schillinger St, it doesn’t exist now) and immediately made the right onto a very steep Rostock Street. I jogged down again to Brahm Street and plodded up that very steep hill. There are stairs at the top of Brahm as well. I explored a dead-end which dropped off to the left. The houses at the end were surprisingly well-kept. Retracing my steps out of that rutted dead-end, I went on to Rhine all the way to Itin. A part of the day’s excitement was seeing a firetruck try to make the turn onto Yetta Street. Yikes!

From Itin Street, I bounded up the Lappe Lane Stairs. Whew! Talk about heart pounding! I’m not sure how many steps there are, but it takes you three blocks straight up the hill from Itin Avenue to Yetta Street. Once you get up there, the streets are lined with nicely kept houses and people walking their dogs.

Since I was up here, I decided to run a few more dead-ends in the neighborhood. Sophia Street was a cul-de-sac with a 1950’s suburban feel. Tank Street, appropriately named because it is an access road to a water tank, was being used for neighborhood parking. Frontier Street doesn’t exist anymore. It is just a grassy driveway below a house.

Close up of Hunnel , the non-existent Frontier and Tank Street

I ended my run on Lappe Lane, right before it goes into an old hilly cemetery. This is not a large area, but it is a neighborhood full of crazy slopes, great views and missing streets.