Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

Johnstown, Pittsburgh / Anthrocon 2017, St Mary's, State College

So once again, I went to Pittsburgh for Anthrocon. I've been to every Anthrocon since the first one, so it's my 21st Anthrocon. This time though, I turned it into an 8-day vacation so I could make some side trips on the way there and on the way home.

Wednesday, 6/28:

On the way to Pittsburgh, I stopped in Johnstown. I went there for the Munzee virtual garden in Grandview Cemetery but once I got there though, I learnt about the Great Flood of 1889. Johnstown is a bit hilly, so I was amazed that the area had been underwater. The older gravestones had been destroyed by the flood and in their place, a giant stone marker now stands. Afterwards, I went to the Conemaugh Gap Scenic Overlook, which has the distinction of being the deepest gap east of the Mississippi, or so the stone marker says.


Ah, Anthrocon. I've been to this con so many times, it's pretty much old hat, although there were a few new surprises. I didn't fursuit as much this time around. I went to a fursuit performance panel and the fursuit parade but skipped recess games and fursuit team games. One interesting twist to the fursuit parade this time was the opportunity, at the end of the parade, to head down to the lower level of the convention center to a public meet and greet. I've done a lot of mascot gigs before so I know it can be fun to mingle with the public in fursuit. It's nice to have a bit of this public mascot gig flavor at Anthrocon too. I also went to Fursuit Price Is Right and I thought it was kind of interesting. I hope there'll be more game show panels in future cons.

I didn't go to any of the dances this time around. What happened was on Thursday night, I started panel-hopping and joined in on an "Are You a Werewolf?" game in the tabletop gaming room. I thought that was a lot of fun, so I joined in again the next night, and the night after that.

In past years, there weren't too many options for breakfast at Anthrocon. While walking around the city on Thursday, I popped into the new Drury Hotel to take a look around. I noticed that while hotel guests had free breakfast buffet, non-guests are allowed to buy breakfast buffet passes and those weren't expensive at all. That took care of breakfast for the next few days!


On Monday, it was time to pack up and head on over to the second half of my vacation in St Mary's. I'm not sure there's a whole lot to recommend about this town, except that it has a lot of Munzee virtual gardens, including one emerald garden that helped a lot in the July clan wars. It's also not too far from the town of Benezette, where you may find elk in the Winslow Hill viewing area sometimes. I didn't see any elk in the viewing area this time, although I spotted one in the woods as I was driving away from the visitor center. Unfortunately, it was a narrow road with no good place to stop. So I settled for the next best thing, an elk sculpture selfie at a nearby winery.

On Wednesday, I finally headed home, stopping at PSU State College along the way. I had no interest in sports but the nittany lion is kinda neat.

Tags: #58, anthrocon, convention, elk county, fursuiting, johnstown, pittsburgh, st marys, state college

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