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Category: Pennsylvania

NE Road Trip 2019 – Day Fifteen

Last day of our trip and a long drive ahead.  Today started as many of our travel days have: wake up, eat something, pack up sleeping bags and pads, move tent contents to car, take down tent, pack it into the back of the car last.  We’ve done this so much that we’re almost on auto pilot.

Our drive home was supposed to take five and a half hours.  Add a couple of hours when you have kids.  Construction on the Interstate also slowed things a bit.  We arrived home just after 6PM.

Since we left two weeks ago we’ve covered 2,230 road miles, nine states, and two national parks.  I didn’t record our miles hiked but I’d say quite a few.  The kids did a really good job scaling mountains and I’m very proud of their “I can do it” attitudes!

So what’s the next adventure?  Only time will tell.

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NE Road Trip 2019 – Day Fourteen

Today is waterfall day!  Basically this is Amanda’s only reason for coming on vacation.

First up was a hike to Raymondskill Falls.  Hard packed trails greeted us and made the hike easy.  The falls were active and full.  Elise spotted a snake attempting to sun itself on a stick.  All-in-all, a nice waterfall to visit.

Next was a stop at the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center.  The kids started their Junior Ranger program.  We then walked down the boardwalk-like path to see both Silver Thread Falls and Dingmans Falls.  These, too, were very pretty.

After lunch we went up to the Pocono Environmental Education Center.  There are many hiking trails here and Amanda chose the Tumbling Waters Trail to hike while I fought off a migraine in the car.

We were all fairly tired by the time we got back to the tent.  Amanda read a bit and then we were all asleep.

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NE Road Trip 2019 – Day Thirteen

Oh boy, another travel day.  This time we were headed to Dingmans in Pennsylvania.  What was supposed to be a three-hour trip took longer due to several iterations of road constructions.

Overnight the skies opened up and rained down water in great quantities.  It was a calming noise for those of us on the bottom bunks.  Apparently the top bunks were quite loud.

Upon arrival at Dingmans the weather radio was squawking about a line of severe thunderstorms heading our way.  The tent went up and we put the rain cover on it for the first time since Camden Hills.  As we headed out for supper the storms hit dropping a lot of rain.

Word from Maine is that similar conditions are occurring there as well.  Looks like we left just in the nick of time.

Did I mention the rainbow?  At supper, just after the downpour, a teacher at a table behind us very excitedly began pointing out the window and inviting the kids to “come and see”.  A double rainbow had formed in the sky just minutes after the downpour ended.  The wait staff was quite confused when most of their customers got up and walked out.  I informed them that we’d be back shortly.  At one point they even came out to see what all the fuss was about.  I was busily explaining the physics behind rainbows, light, and whatnot that I forgot about our food coming.  That left Amanda alone at a table for four with lots of food and no guests!

Showers were had by all when we returned to camp and then Mom (Amanda) read the rest of a book to the kids.  It wasn’t long before little snores were heard from all the sleeping bags.

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New England Road Trip 2019

Tomorrow starts our New England Road Trip 2019. A few years ago, Amanda and I made a similar trip up to Maine, camping along the way, and we felt it was time to do it again. I’m not sure I’m looking forward to the driving and all the activities, but I’m hoping that the lack of a schedule will do me some good.

If you want to follow along on our adventure, feel free to use the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” feature on the right hand side of the screen or use your favorite RSS reader. All posts will be in the NE Road Trip 2019 category.

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NE Road Trip 2010 – Day 20: Choo Choo

by Amanda
As we approached the ticket booth at the Steamtown National Historic Site this morning another family was walking up from the parking lot with a little boy. The youngster pointed at one of the engines on the track bordering the site. "Choo choo," he said. And that about sums up the day. Although hopefully he didn't repeat that mantra throughout the whole site and drive his parents crazy because there were trains everywhere. As appropriate based on the name, steam engines were the star of the site, but there were also diesel locomotives as well, in addition to freight cars, passenger cars, and even a mail car you could walk through. The site is located on a restored Delaware, Lakawanna & Western Railroad yard, centered around a 90-foot-long turntable. The D, L & W railroad was one of the major carriers of anthracite coal mined from the region.

I should digress here and go back to yesterday since Eric said I should write about the tour of the Lackawanna coal mine. First a tip- it's chilly underground, don't wear shorts. Had I had more than a minute to rush to get on the last mine tour of the day that might have occurred to me, but instead I used the opportunity to get a fuller understanding of the air drafts that ventilate the mine. Thank goodness they at least had jackets available for borrowing. It was interesting to walk around down there and get a better understanding of the mining experience. I can't imagine spending a 10-hour shift down there, especially working in some of the smaller veins where you can't stand up. Our tour guide said the average width of a vein of coal in the area was three feet. That's tight quarters.

So back to the railroads, what the miners hauled out got loaded onto the steam engines. Eric was won over by the site before we'd even bought tickets after spotting the 4-8-8-6 steam engine that was out front. The numbers are a wheel count- four forward, eight driving, a second set of eight driving, and six trailing. It was quite a machine. We toured the shop where they repair and restore the trains as well. A lot of metal and a lot of men in overalls. Literally living history inside a building built in the early-1800s. Inside the museum portion we walked through a luxury business car. It put our little Amtrak room to shame. Beautiful. There was also a mail car, which was neat to walk through and imagine the hustle as the train hauled in mail bags hanging from poles at stations as it sped along, sorted the letters, and tossed the bags full of correspondence back out along the route, delivering the mail across America. It was a neat place and hard to go through without getting excited about the heyday of steam locomotives. Eric and I are definitely putting this on the list of places to return to since we didn't get to see it all today.

We did get to visit though with two of my favorite people who are headed south now on their own trip back home to Charleston. Although only 23 hours long, we had a fun-packed time with my parents and enjoyed our stay at the Radisson, located in the renovated Lakawanna railroad station, an absolutely beautiful building with marble walls and stained glass ceiling panels. Our lodging tonight is not so glamorous but it is peaceful. We're at Ricketts Glen State Park, about an hour outside of Scranton, camping- thank goodness- when we arrived to check in at the park office we discovered we didn't actually have reservations like we thought we did. I don't know what went awry- I remember clicking through the online reservation system, but maybe I missed a final step. The ladies in the campground office got a good laugh out of our discombobulation though and hooked us up with one of the handful of campsites still available for the evening. We strung up the hammock again and have enjoyed relaxing so far this evening. We also had a nice chat with our neighbors across the way, who came over to warn us a bear raided their campsite last night. They had left food out and shortly after they crawled into their tent for the night heard a racket outside. They looked out and there was the bear on their picnic table gnawing away at an unopened ketchup bottle, can of soda, and Tupperware container of garlic among other items. They banged a spoon against a pan and he/she eventually wandered back off into the woods. They also spotted a skunk the other day. We have no intention of meeting any of the wildlife, however, and as usual will be keeping all of our food inside the Rubbermaid container inside the car.

Tomorrow if Eric's knees are feeling better we hope to hike to some of the more than 20 waterfalls in the park and then head south.

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NE Road Trip 2010 – Day Nineteen – Scranton by 3 o’clock or bust

by Eric
We slept in this morning. It was quite relaxing to not have to be anywhere until later on in the afternoon. I stayed up later than I should have the night before talking to my sister but it’s not often that I get to do that and I do so enjoy our talks.
Amanda and I slowly started our day with a shower and a light breakfast and more conversation. It wasn’t long before we realized that we needed to be in Scranton by 3 o’clock so Amanda could go on the tour of the coal mine. So we quickly loaded the car, said our good byes, and headed off. Unfortunately we couldn’t seem to leave Connecticut. Our directions told us exactly what roads to take to make it to the interstate in New York. It seemed, however, that the closer we got to the state line the worse the roads got. We couldn’t actually find the road that we were looking for to cross from Connecticut to New York. We stumbled our way onto the interstate, finally, and headed west.
We rolled into Scranton with five minutes to spare. Amanda ran up to the mine, met her mother, and was whisked 300 feet underground. I’ll let her talk about her underground experience, herself, as I would not do it justice. After the coal mine we drove to the hotel, checked in, got all of our bags upstairs, and then promptly left to go find supper. If Scranton doesn’t have a hundred Irish pubs I’d be surprised. The one across from our hotel served very good food, though, and I ate my fill.
After supper we played card games in the lobby until we all got tired.
Tomorrow we plan on visiting Steamtown National Historic Site and then on to Ricketts Glen State Park.

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NE Road Trip 2010 – Day Four: Waterfalls and Family

Up at 7:30AM and gone by 8:30AM. We have figured out how to get up, eat, pack up, and be gone in no time at all. Today’s agenda includes Dingmans Falls and a quick trip over to Connecticut to see family. We are excited to see everyone and, since this is Amanda’s first trip to Connecticut, we’ll be exploring all the public trust land we can.

We made two stops at waterfalls on the way up to I-84. The waterfalls represented the highest and second highest in the state of Pennsylvania. Not accounting for height they certainly were nice to look at as they made stops along the way to the bottom. The hike from the parking lots of each were fairly short but had some steep climbs.

We traveled north out of the park and made our way along the interstate toward the New York state line. Just before entering New York we stopped at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center and picked up some brochures and a map for our journey back through. We also made a stop at a small diner and, similar to most of our food stops, ate too much.

A quick two hours from there and we were landing in the small town of Roxbury. It was exciting to see everyone. Tomorrow I’m sure we will venture out of the house to go tour some of the public trust land. Mostly we’re just excited to be here and be able to catch up with everyone.

Friday we plan to leave for Rhode Island.

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