Friday, May 27, 2011

Vacation Part II: Karen's Visit to Potter County

The first week of vacation was great. I forget how quiet it is here. Other than the peepers, it’s mostly silent.

Fantastically silent.

I so don’t miss my neighbors. Or city noise.

My friend Karen (and her husband and daughter) came up to our neck of the woods to visit over the first weekend of our vacation. We had a great time! She stayed at a local camping grounds, Potter County Family Camping. They are experienced campers, having done it for a few summers now, but this is the first time they came to North Central PA. Since the weather was a little iffy (likelihood of rain), they decided to rent a cabin instead of take a chance with their tent. It was the cutest little cabin.

Too bad I didn’t get a picture while it was light out?

It was just one room (sleeps 4 probably) with a little porch. There was a picnic table and a firepit, of course. The other cabins around them were empty (pre-holiday weekend). It felt like we had the whole campgrounds to ourselves!

Mountain pie and roasting a weenie over the campfire

We sat around the campfire for dinner, making mountain pies and then dessert - S’MORES!!! You have to have s’mores when you camp. It’s some sort of law I think? At least with us it is. It was Ludi’s First Official Marshmallow Roasting.

graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallowy goodness

After we ate we took a short walk around the campgrounds, and then came back and sat around the campfire until it was just embers.

hypnotic campfire

My clothes still smelled of campfire days later, but it was worth it. I love sitting around a campfire. There’s something about staring into the fire, listening to the great outdoors outside your circle of light, and fighting the smoke column that makes your eyes water and lungs burn. Nothin’ better.

Earlier that afternoon we visited the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. If you are ever in the area, I do recommend a visit here. When the region was first settled, since it was so thick with forest, they naturally turned to logging. This museum has all sorts of lumbering memorabelia and even a logging locomotive on display. And very very nice people working there too.

engine number 4

house for engine number 4

It looks like it's snowing, but that was fluffy stuff from the trees (no idea what kind of tree). It was everywhere! You couldn't take a deep breath without inhaling some of it.

logging pond

mess hall stove

I can't imagine cooking up a meal for anyone on that, let alone dozens of hungry woodhicks.

Saturday we all went to The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. We stopped first at Leonard Harrison State Park, where they have a fantastic lookout.

definitely grand

Down at the bottom of the canyon, there is a trail that follows along Pine Creek. It used to be a railroad, but they’ve taken out the rails and left it groomed for bikers and hikers. The entire trail is over 60 miles long, and starts near the Grand Canyon. Since it’s flat, we thought we’d give it a shot and do some biking on there. Certainly not the entire way, but just a little ways.

early in the trip, when we still had energy

Karen and her family brought their own bikes, but my sister, Ludi and I rented some from Pine Creek Outfitters. They aren’t right next to the trail, but they shuttle your rented bikes to the trail for you! How cool is that?

We (I?) still over estimated how far we could ride. We ended up going over 16 miles total.

16 miles.

25.7 kilometers

84, 480 feet.

It was way too far. Times two. We were hurting by the end. (At least I was!) That’s why there’s no pictures after about a quarter of the way. It was all I could manage to stay on the bike. On the way back I had to walk about half of it.

Now I know.

But in the end, now that it doesn’t hurt to sit anymore, I can say we had a good time. We made a lot of good memories, so it was worth it. We got rained on twice, swallowed bugs, ate our lunch at the ladies “Comfort Station” (fancy name for the bathroom) and spent time with good friends.

Well worth the effort.

Stay tuned for a post of our visit to Pittsburgh!


1 comment:

Pam said...

Lunch was not only AT the ladies comfort station, but IN it as well! Who knew 6 people could eat a fine meal under that overhang?! Haha!