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Style and Travel

The slow track

Harry Mount crosses the mountainous waist of America

31 January 2007

6:02 PM

31 January 2007

6:02 PM

When a hobo dies after a lifetime riding the rail across America, his fellow hoboes say, ‘He’s gone west.’ I could hardly have felt more alive as I went west from New York’s Penn Station 2,500 miles across America, hunk of Emmenthal and 10 slices of Citterio prosciutto by my side, New York’s two robustly conservative papers, the Sun and the Post, on my lap. Two dollars to the pound. Heaven was right on track.

First came the English Perpendicular and German Gothic spires looming over Philadelphia. Then the steps of the Greek revival Philadelphia Museum of Art, the ones that Sylvester Stallone ran up and down in Rocky.

The farmland of Pennsylvania followed, the horizon broken only by grain elevators and church towers. At Lancaster


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