The Oberfrau and I have been talking about taking a trip to one of Pennsylvania’s many state parks over the last couple of months. Since I’m on vacation this week we made reservations for a two-day (trial) run. Our first choice was booked out so we ended up at Worlds End State Park in upstate Pa. It’s about 180 miles north of Philly. We booked a “rustic” cabin. Thats one room with double bunk beds, and a fireplace and a small kitchen (actually a stove and refrigerator). For me and the boy it was perfect. The girls… well it was just OK.
Upstate Pa. is straight up beautiful. I’d move up that way in a heartbeat. Maybe not quite that far but you get the idea. The weather this week was nothing short of stunning, just perfect. We hiked a mountain, cooked on a campfire, hung out in the cabin and by the creek. The kids went swimming in the crystal clear Loyalsock Creek. But most of all it was just family time. The campground was amazing. The showers buildings were clean and bright. We brought our own food and sat around munching our faces off.
As we were leaving we decided to drive up to one of the scenic overlooks. As luck would have it they were grading the mountain road. We were also in the van not my truck. So as the road got steeper and the family got more nervous I vainly tried to ignore the bumps hitting the undercarriage. When we finally got to the top I saw the grader poised for a return run back down. The driver kindly pointed out that I had a flat tire. One of those bumps was our tire going flat. I couldn’t tell since we were driving on loose gravel. I stifled an aneurism as I probed the van for a jack and a spare. (I really had no idea if it had either). Luckily it did and I managed to change the flat right there on top of the mountain (to the delight of the girl who now thinks I have magic powers).
Our return home was delayed by about two hours as we side tripped to a Ford dealer (hey look dad a Ford dealer) YEAH!!! They patched the tire and we stowed the nearly bald (but heroic) doughnut-spare and got back on the road. We took the scenic route (long way) home because I promised the boy a trip to his favorite place on Earth- the Mecca of all things camping related, Cabelas. Along the way we found ourselves in Centralia Pa. and some of the depressed areas of the state you often hear about but never visit. It was an eye opener for the kids to see a town that is no more. For those of you who don’t know the story of Centralia Pa. click the link, its fascinating.
In any event we made it home in record time (record slow time) after stopping for dinner at everyone’s favorite Cracker Barrel. Hooray!
It was a great two days. I know me and the boy loved it. The girl… well she is a princess after all. The Oberfrau actually liked it a lot (partially because she brought her beloved coffee maker (but forgot the filters). Dad had to show her the field expedient (paper towel) coffee filter hook up or all would have surely been lost. Pa’s state parks are some of the best in the country. I highly recommend a trip. You can check them out and make reservations online. Have a blast.