My usual MO is to figure out where I’ll land next the night before or even the day I depart my current location. I was leaving Clinton MA, heading to West Grove PE which is down in the corner next to Delaware and Maryland. Since I don’t care to travel major highways, I looked for a place to stop for the night that would allow me to check out some out of the way places.
I identified the Sands Casino in Bethlehem PA. I had no clue what Bethlehem was like. Perfect! Off I went.
Whoa!! the Casino was built on the grounds of the old steel mill in the heart of town. As usual, I found parking in the most remote parking lot and settled in. It was very late in the day, I was tired and we settled in for the night right next to a huge abandoned industrial structure. I suspected it was part of the steel mill.
During the night, I could hear faint bits of music and voices drifting through the abandoned buildings. It was eerie to say the least. As on most days, the dog and I were up before the sun rose. We walked around a bit while I enjoyed coffee. As daylight approached, I grabbed a camera and shot some photos of the old building. Shortly, casino security came by and I flagged them down. I asked if this was the old Bethlehem Steel plant. They said it was and then pointed toward some stairs on the edge of the parking lot and said I could climb them and walk on an elevated catwalk that wandered through the steel mill buildings right up close to the blast furnace. WOW! What a treat. It was awesome.
The catwalk stretches on along several buildings and has signs explaining what they were and discusses the history of Bethlehem Steel. I noticed that there was an amphitheater across the street from the steel mill. So, that’s where the music came from. Not long after I was there, Arlo Guthrie played there. He described the steel mill in a most eloquent way.
For me, it was and unexpected and very moving experience.