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Wintry Views of the Route 40 Historic National Road & Watering Trough in Fayette County

Driving from the southeast through Route 40/National Road back to Pittsburgh is one of my favorite routings. It is scenic and exciting, crosses waterways, and goes up and down hills and curves from Western Maryland. My favorite kind of driving. As we were driving, it was just getting toward sunset and we were seeing some of the first snow that we saw all year. Heading out of Maryland is pretty spectacular on I-68. Getting to see the Alleghenies unfold like that is pretty spectacular, as you glide across the edge of mountains. I enjoy riding on the Turnpike, up through Breezewood, but I really enjoy taking this routing instead, for variety in road conditions makes me more alert on the road. 
In one spot you go through a massive cutout at the top of Sideling Hill, where they have created an observation deck and rest stop in the location of a massive 340 foot road cut into the mountain, one of the largest cuts for any highway in the world. It is visible from very far away, to the point that it looks like a gap in the mountain. 
Our first quick and scenic stop was the Youghiogheny River Lake which is a terrific spot to visit as a campground on a warmer day, or to pass through on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail. At this point, the major rains that we saw earlier in the month had not passed through yet that likely loaded the reservoir up pretty well. Within short distance of here, you can reach Nemocolin Resort and Ohiopyle State Park. 
The one downside to this routing down the summit on Route 40 means that you don't get to see the pretty view from the roadside overlook in the eastbound direction. They have really worked though to capitalize on the beauty and history of this spot lately in the westbound direction with restoring the old springs here that has serviced roadside travelers and residents for centuries, for people and horses to drink, to fill old radiators, to bottle up and take along, and more. The Summit Inn at the top of the hill has serviced many people over the years including Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. It is likely that they topped off their radiators at this old springs. 

Just recently they capitalized on this history and rebuilt it nicely. The spring was home to a house, the Mountain Water Club, and the Drinking Trough Restaurant. It with just the spring going into a stone trough for a very long time and they have since restored it into an attraction. Exhibits have shown what existed here and they have built structures to both illustrate this and capitalize on the beauty of this spot. There is even a small picnic grove for roadside picnics.  
Historical Marker
In addition to seeing the spot, we also stopped to let the pups play in their favorite kind of conditions.


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