Eastbound Day 18 – 287 miles – Sutton to Bedford

Tuesday, 12 April 1994

Today we manage our most comprehensive get-lost-exercise since our exit from Las Vegas two weeks ago. From West Virginia we go into Pennsylvania, intent on visiting Falling Water, Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous house. Unfortunately the house, the nearby towns and even route 381, which passes by it, are not on our map, the directions we have been given are not too clear and we end up making a huge loop towards Pittsburgh before finally finding our way there.

Falling WaterIt’s worth it, despite seeing the house countless times in magazines, articles and books, seeing it in reality is a real experience. Even our children seem mildly impressed. Two things knock me out about it; first it’s beautifully built, every little detail seems to have been put together with thought, precision and regardless of cost. But even more impressive is that this phenomenally ‘modern’ house is actually coming up for its 60th birthday. It’s a real architect’s creation, much of it thoroughly impractical; but all of it superbly conceived and created.

From Falling Water we get on to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and head east, exiting at Bedford. The cost is a mere $2.25, having paid tolls in recent years on Japanese motorways, French autoroutes and Italian autostradas this is another example of what a great bargain the USA can be. We don’t want another freeway motel and fast food experience so we head straight into the centre of ‘historic’ Bedford and find a central motel. While the kids run around Maureen and I wander the town and quickly decide this is another place we’re glad we don’t live – it’s dead! The only restaurant we can find is Fungaroli’s, an Italian restaurant and bar. It’s a good choice, we have a beer at the bar, I collect the kids from the motel, we have salads, pizzas, pasta, wine, ice cream, interesting conversation with staff, the kids channel surf the bar television and the whole evening comes to less than $40. I’m almost forgiven for having lost the way to Falling Water.