Friday, October 3, 2014
Last weekend we were camping in northern Pennsylvania in Tioga County. This is a lovely part of God's world.
We stayed at Hill's Creek State Park. The accommodations in the tiny camping cottage was very simple (only beds and a table) but far better than tenting and we like to cook outdoors.
The park was lovely. A short walk from our cabin found a beaver lodge and signs of beaver like this young cut tree that still had green leaves. In the morning, the lake was shrouded in fog. While Ed cooked breakfast, the children and I sneaked down the trail to the lodge in hopes of catching a glimpse of the beaver. But before we saw them, we heard a huge splash. And all we saw were ripples.
Summer in Pennsylvania's forest is a deep silent green. But fall in the woods has a completely different feel. The golden leaves pulls down the sunlight. There is something vivid and alive in the autumn forest even though I know that the coloring of the leaves is a sign of winter and the leaves demise.
Though we were a week or two before peak leaf color, we don't think we could have picked a better weekend. The weather was perfect, not cold, not hot. The leaves were just beginning to turn with the red, yellow, and orange maples set off by green oaks and pines.
We began our trip with a visit to the Anthracite Museum in Scranton. We learned about mining and immigration. This museum is part of the Pennsylvania Heritage Trails. We had purchased a one year family pass and have enjoyed many of the museums and historical sites this year. We definitely have gotten our money worth and learned more about Pennsylvania's history. If you live in or near PA - this is a good deal! Check it out here.
We drove from Scranton to Tioga County by way of Rt 6, a lovely scenic road in northern Pennsylvania. We spent the remainder of our day enjoying Hill's Creek. Ed thinks it would be fun to stay at every Pennsylvania State Park that offers overnight accommodations. We have never been disappointed in any park we've stayed at. I think this is our fifth park. Only about 65 more parks to go! Maybe we should change our goal to having a picnic at each park instead of staying overnight!
We attempted to find several geo-caches during the weekend - but were not successful at all. We have never had such poor results. Maybe part of our trouble was that we were a little wary of rattlesnakes at this time of year. Digging through leaves and rolling over rocks made me skittish.
The second day found us at another museum on the Pennsylvania Heritage Trail - the PA Lumber Museum. The museum was moving into a lovely new building and we couldn't view the indoor exhibits but were able to tour the outdoor collections.
Then we went to Colton Point State Park to enjoy a picnic and awesome views of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from the western rim.
Then we went down to the canyon floor to bike the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Anyone with children knows how hard it is to get a photo with the whole family. I didn't even pack the camera along on our bikes since I figured I wouldn't even try to get any pics. But we ran into some friends who happen enjoy photography. So thanks Carolyn, for offering to take our photo and emailing it to us.
The Pine Creek is lovely and many bikers were out enjoying the perfect weather. A highlight was watching a bald eagle ride the thermals.
We ended the day with a trip to the Leonard Harrison State Park on the eastern rim of the canyon. We hiked the overlook trail which was quite a bit steeper than I had expected. We were all ready to head back to our cabin for a late supper.
Saturday we headed up to the Tioga/Hammond Lakes Recreational Area. Once again we biked, picnicked, and hiked. (And failed to find geo-caches.) The four-mile hike, much of it over rough trail or steep climbing, was a challenge but sure made us all feel good when we made it to the overlook.
I think that it can be good to push our children a little bit past what they think they can do. The next time will be a bit easier and they will hopefully be willing to tackle other hard tasks.
Hmmm...Maybe that is what the Lord is saying when He gives tasks that look too large? The challenge will be good for my child. So thankful that He walks alongside with encouragement.