Noble way to Crafton Heights

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RATS #00238 – Into Crafton Heights from Noblestown Road

This was a pretty well-planned run in Crafton Heights. Instead of approaching Crafton Heights from Steuben Street, I approached it from Noblestown Road. Honestly, a big draw was the availability of parking at the Shop ‘N Save on Noblestown Road. I wasn’t familiar with the area and didn’t know what to expect. I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised and look forward to running more in this area.

To get to my designated parking spot at the Shop N Save, I actually went out of the city on the Parkway West, exiting at Greentree. A few minutes and a few turns later, there I was, pulling into a rather empty parking lot. Social distancing and Covid19 fears has certainly made traffic lighter!

Noblestown Road, at this point, is a broad avenue crossing street after street of modest two and three bedroom houses built in the 1950’s. It sweeps down to Crafton Boulevard, where I took a left and caught Stratmore Street as it climbed steeply. I turned around at Steuben Street, which is the border between Pittsburgh and Ingram. From there, I went back and forth on the grid of streets between Stratmore and Arnold. Much of the area resembled Hollywood Street shown above.

Round Top Street dives down a particularly steep hill. It also has one of the newest set of steps I’ve seen in the city.

Round Top Street Steps

Eventually, I got to Clairhaven Street. For cars, that’s where you have to turn left onto Norwalk Street, but people can take steps from Clairhaven Street to Arnold Street. These stairs are a little wonky. The wooden top section is a work-around. Older concrete stairs, having fallen into disrepair, were simply bypassed. There are two “orphan houses” here. An “orphan house” only has entrances on the stairs.

Crossing Crafton Boulevard again, I came across this, the busiest front yard in the ‘Burgh. They had at least a dozen shiny mannequin heads on stakes.

How many lawn decorations can you count?

Making my way back to the car, I was happy with this nice run in the sun in a pleasant part of Pittsburgh. I’ll be back.

Shadows and Sunlight

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RATS #00231 – Duquesne Heights into Mount Washington

This was a six mile run up and down alleys and streets in Duquesne Heights, centering on Piermont Street. While the map makes Piermont “look” straight, it was as hilly as they come. On the other hand, with clear skies and brilliant sun, I really didn’t have any complaints. Duquense Heights, like many Pittsburgh neighborhoods is densely packed with houses, yet has some very woodsy areas too.

Tree grove

The early evening sun and low humidity made this a happy run. However, running in alleys is always fraught with uncertainty. Does the alley go through? Are there wild dingoes on this alley? Are there huge butterflies and gnomes? Tonight I found a huge butterfly and red gnome.

Running west on Piermont Street, I think I found the stairway to heaven. I even heard a voice saying “Come, come into the light”, only to find a young woman helping her grandmother read a map.

That was about it. In some areas, streets in one direction are relatively flat, while the cross streets are super steep. Here, they are generally steep in both directions. That makes running in Duquesne Heights and Mount Washington a challenge.