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.