Wednesday, December 30, 2015

20 September 2015 Traveling to Wellsboro

Each trip to Wellsboro is exciting. Wellsboro is our stopping point for visits to Pine Creek Gorge. Today's journey started at Lyman State Park. We are slowly filling a Pennsylvania State Park stamp album. We've visited Lyman multiple times. Today, the park was quiet with the beach deserted and only a few boats out enjoying the day.

We also made our way to a few more CCC caches on our journey, including a visit to an old CCC camp with a trail through the old camp.

The trail had numerous information signs regarding the camp and life at the camp. This camp had a documented history of the ways the camp members spent time off on recreation including boxing, ice hockey, and tennis. The old camp site still contains the remains of the poles that supported the nets for tennis.

We also saw the Dyer house while on our journey. While nearly all buildings from the CCC time are gone, the Dyer farmhouse is different. It pre-dated the CCC and became a part of the camp. It served as the camp office during the time of the camp and reverted to a private residence when the CCC camp was closed. Today, there is an addition to the back and clearly some modern updates, but the front of the house is very easily recognizable as the building in the picture on the historical sign.

The safe used during CCC camp time for the payroll of camp members still stands in the woods near the house. Even without it's door, it looks quite imposing.

It was a quiet, peaceful day in the woods.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

19 September 2015 Traveling Day

We had already found the CCC Legacy of Conservation caches which were close to home so today was a driving day to Coudersport. We started our day with a wrong turn on a trail while looking for a remote gameland cache. We eventually took a deer "trail" through some very unpleasant blackberry stands. :(

It looks tame here.

Much of the blackberry was behind us and up by here.

We were rewarded for our journey with two caches and a chance to see one of the highest flow artesian springs we have encountered.

A private property geocache gave us a chance to see not only gentian but a few nodding lady's tresses on the journey.

Unlike the earlier CCC trail whick took us to a number of wonderful places which had been protected or made accessible by the efforts of over 19,000 men, this trail took us to the places where the men had called home for a few years of their lives. The CCC camps were typically the first thing built by the camp members when they arrived. They provided a few offices but mainly residence and dining halls with a few recreational opportunities added. Most were near roads so reaching the sites of the old camps were usually just a short walk on our journey.

Most of the camps sites are 80 years old now. The wooden structures have long since disappeared with the wood being reused by the locals, removed by DCNR, or just giving in to the cycle of nature and returning to the ground. What's left are slowly rusting bits of steel fabricated by the camp teams, gathered stone structures, or quarried stone blocks. The physical presence of this piece of US history is fading away and sometimes difficult to spot in the months of growing vegetation.

Spotting ice cream in the second half of September in even a dairy rich state like Pennsylvania can be tough. We were lucky a familiar location was still open today. We ate our cones near a whimsical bench.

It seems ages since we enjoyed a geocaching vacation in this area for the Allegheny GeoTrail. In 2008, Coudersport still looked like a boom town with plenty of evidence of the wealth brought in by Adelphia Cable. On our last visit the town was noticeably quieter and seemed on the edge of sliding. By this visit it seems to have leveled off and once again returned to an attractive, stable, small town. It's a nice place to stop on our journey. We were happy to see the hotel is still open and happier yet to have a nice suite to relax during the evening.

We were also happy to see the Olga Gallery, Cafe, & Bistro is still open and prospering. We enjoyed a quiet, pleasant meal.

By the time we were done with dinner, the threatening clouds above the courthouse were bringing rain.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

18 September 2015 Albion Fair

It was fair time! We were ready for vacation, and the timing was perfect for kicking it off at the Albion Fair. We were here in time for the riding activities and watched the costume contest. I don't remember a banana in Fruit of the Loom but the costumes and horses were popular.

Ali was happy to find a few friendly goats.

The produce and flower competition was lively with many good entries. I had not previously seen the tomato variety below.

I have a hard time picturing the era when Burbank, California was home to a manufacturing company making tractors, but the Earthmaster was originally a Burbank product. Those early ones from the late 40's are extremely rare, but one had made its way to Albion and was on display.

These antique pedal tractors seemed at home in the tractor display.

The midway was popular as always. We visited the stand of a nearby bison ranch for a bison burger.

I always lose to Ali when we race on the carousel. ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

16 September 2015 Eagle Marsh

I have cached at Eagle Marsh before. This evening was not one of those times. I looked for three caches and managed to find none. I did have a nice visit to the marsh with abundant wildlife sightings

Fast trains at the edge of the marsh

Friday, December 25, 2015

13 September 2015 Chagrin River Park

We stopped at Lake Metroparks' Chagrin River Park for a walk and to search for a puzzle cache. Along the trail we spotted a very large buck and his harem. This is the second time we've spotted a buck while searching for a cache placed by this hider.

He's large

His does

Thursday, December 24, 2015

12 September 2015 Rainy Day in Medina Parks

10 September 2015 Simple Pleasure

I spend a few quiet lunches each summer at this ice cream stand. There are just days where life is made bearable by walking away and driving a few miles to this stand. A hot dog and chocolate malt make the rest of the day easier to face. It's a place where no one I know ever shows. I have one of these in most towns I travel. Today was a day calling out for a last visit with a hot dog and a chocolate malt.

After lunch, I decided to make a stop at Pitluck Preserve to search for a cache I had wanted to find for some time. It seemed the few times I have passed by, the site is popular with multiples of youth in the parking area.

The cache was a wreck. A wet, worn container placed by a cacher long gone from the game. The woods and stream were okay, but calling the area a nature preserve was a big stretch. The woods looked like the place where the locals threw the excess of building projects and the youth left their condom wrappers. These woods deserved better.

Nice tree fungus