For a few days either side of the Portland show, we enjoyed the hospitality of the Fero family of Pittsburgh, the UK-US link demonstrated by this welcome by the back door! Arnie had arranged a whitewater rafting trip on the Youghiogheny river, so, just in case things went wrong, we had a family portrait taken overlooking the river. As it turned out, we had a wonderful time, nothing too hair-raising, and the boys had great fun, spending more time out of the boat than in it!

After Portland, we returned to Pittsburgh, and spent a day at Sandcastle water park, washing off a week's accumulated engine grease! There we found a very civilised aspect of American life - the hot tub, just a few yards from the bar!!!!

When Arnie had to go back to work, we took ourselves into Pittsburgh for a tour of the USS Requin, a World War II submarine, then a sightseeing tour of the city via an unusual means of transport - DUKWs! The tour takes the roads of the city, and also a trip on the river, the transition smooth from tarmac to water. Out on the river, children on board were given a chance to drive - Tom and Chris both took their turns! As a dedicated train lover, one of the things Chris loves about Pittsburgh is how close you can get to the railroad!

One evening, we enjoyed the excitement of the rollercoasters at Kennywood - or at least, Arnie, Jim and the boys did. One ride was quite enough for me and NO! I will not put that picture up on the web taken by the automatic camera ;-) On the day we left, we realised that one of the promised activites hadn't taken place - firing of Arnie's quarter-scale British Naval canon, so naturally, this omission was promptly rectified, with both boys taking a turn to fire it.

The final event of our western Pennsylvania tour was the spectacular Horseshoe Curve on the Altoona railroad, where we watched the trains tackling the gradient of the curve for some time.

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E-Mail: helen@insulate.co.uk

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