Thanks for SixBears for the idea… http://sixbearsinthewoods.blogspot.com/2012/10/walking-out.html
For what ever the reason all other Preparations have failed and Your only option is shanks mare. That is gonna suck donkey balls, fer sure, Trust me I know. In my circustance I was left with a walk from just outside of Cleveland to Pittsburgh Pa. Then from the Burgh to home. I had an “L” frame pack frame and Alice mounted, In good condition and well adjusted. Also I had a full army type duffle with pack straps. Total load about 200-250 of stuff I was not about to part with.
So how did I do it? Simple actually. I repacked all the heaviest stuff into the alice w/”L”frame and repacked the duffle bag with the following mods. I added a tumpline to the duffle as it would be on my back and a padded hip belt from the alice frame. Inside the bag I installed some stiff, light cardboard, scrounged from a dumpster. After packing I crushed the bag so it would ride flat on my back.
The pack frame I use was one that can carry an injured hiker out of the woods on your back. It’s the biggest and lightest they used to used back around “79”. Oh, it has a super Alice bag mounted on it. Mod one, was to use foam pipe insulation w/ electrical tape, to pad the top bar of the frame. Mod 2, was to install some wheels on/near the bottom of the frame making it into tow behind luggage. Those little Scooter wheels from one of those little aluminum toys.
I was able to get a ride from the city limits outside Cleveland to almost Youngstown Oh from a Vietnam vet, Who stopped and asked me if “I was a vet” and the “where ya headed”, Some times it pays to wear the old green jacket and the patrol cap. Also most of my gear is OD surplus stuff. He asked if I was good for money and I replied with affirmative and offered him 2 of the frozen deer steaks from my bag. He gifted me a pack of cigars in return.
It was a rough hump down 422 from there till about the state line when a Trucker (another vet) gave me a ride to I – 79. Then a short hump to some woods where I could camp near Moraine state park. I was avoiding I – 79 as it gets weird up there. You can get beat – robbed – killed up there and I was well armed and still avoided the place. From Edinboro down to around Zelienople is a dangerous road.
The plan was to continue down 422 to route 8, But I was picked up by another Vet on his way to work as a delivery driver. He dropped me off just before his turn to work and told me to wait around. That’s how I got down to Cranberry/Warendale. I made a late breakfast at the sheetz there and tidied up a bit using their restroom. It pays to keep a clean appearance and I looked travel worn but clean and smelling of soap. I humped away some down route 19 before I got picked up by a yuppie commuter. I was let off near Ross township where I used public trans to get down to the Burgh proper.
I took advantage of the occasion to see some sights and had a late lunch at the Original Oyster House at Market Square. You haven’t done Pittsburgh unless you have had a fish sandwich from there. Nay, you have not lived, NOT. I had a Titanic platter with extras and some Dark beverages. I got some more takeout to go.
So far this trip was a lark. It was a little SHTF that put my on my feet. Some Jaggoff bus driver put me off the bus in Cleveland… Some of the passengers though I was scary looking. They are Sheep. Yep, I’m big and scary looking and have a way of looking at people with what has been described as a wolf look. And I was making some good time considering the circumstances and the fact that I had all the time in the world to make the trip. So, I waste the rest of the day. Eating fish sammiches and charging my cell on solar, eventually making a few calls and arranging a pickup for early evening…..
SHTF Again. The ride, a trusted friend, blows me off at the last minute. I haven’t talked to it since. POS TURD. You ain’t a person any more you’re an It. I make some more calls and all of the crap out. One person wouldn’t give me a ride because of the hockey game. FU MOFO. And that’s how I end up walking from the county seat of one county to the other county seat of the other. Allegheny to Westmoreland. After mid night and through some of the worst neighborhoods there are in these parts. A 1 hour 3 mins
44.7 mi – I-376 E by car. But on foot it will take you way much longer. Hazelwood, Homestead, Braddock is one the route I had to use and account of hills and tunnels. The tunnels don’t allow for pedestrian traffic and to walk over them are just nuts, almost as nuts for walking through the high crimes areas I was about to attempt.
Hazelwood: I chose to walk down the river and a more easier rout than try to walk over squirrel hill. Besides the po po , will be on you like a tick if you tried it at the hour I was walking in. Hazelwood used to be a nice section of town back when there were steel mills and jobs. But, it isn’t as bad as other places. I witnessed 5 crimes in less than 2 hours including to one where I had a 25 cal pistol shoved in my face. I did the unexpected and dropped the backpack and produced 2 pistols while shouting “mines bigger”. They split and I had a cheesy 25 pistol, which I stripped and dropped in the Mon river as I crossed it. 2 – 45 LC beats a 25. Bing, bang, boom, and it was all over and I didn’t even raise my pulse or fire my weapon. It took longer to pickup my dropped gear.
Crossing The Mon: State route 885. Got down on West 7th and started to step it out aiming to drop down to the rail road as soon as possible. Just in case the Bangers found a car and the will, to give chase after me. No pursuit. NADA. I ran parallel to the sand castle area and and avoiding the waterfront without incident. I decided to avoid the Braddock area completely. That place is like a DMZ.
The Rail Road: I used to work this branch from SW Brownsville to Conway Yards and back again. I know this place like the back of my hand. After the waterfront I stayed on the rails and here’s where I took my good old time. I thawed out a deer steak and and made a little stealth camp just out of view from civilization. For me it’s home free in about 24 hours or so, for others it might be a trek. I was headed for the Yough river and the trail there. I would cross at the old RR crossing just before Mckeesport and follow the Mon river to the mouth of the Yough. Before I got to Boston I had acquired a serviceable bicycle($20, 2 cigars and the last of my wild turkey) to use on the trail that parallels the Yough. with a bungee and some duct tape I secured my pack frame now trailer to the rear of the bike.
Yough River Trail; It’s scenic no matter what time of the year. I made camp one more time at an undisclosed site. I was whooped. My feet were hurting and my legs were burning, so I used that last camp to carb up and medicate with some ibuprofen. After breaking fast the next AM, I made my way up to the place called bare assed beach where I hitched a ride to home.