Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Camping Trip, Day 3

On our way in, we had passed signs for the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. By the third day of our trip, we had to see what this was all about. 

We typed in "PA Grand Canyon" in my GPS. My GPS is Australian and her name is Karen. Karen instructed us to go down a hilly gravel road which was most certainly not the tourism-approved route. I bet the locals there on that road really hate Garmin for messing up their peace and quiet just because their road is technically faster. We did eventually get to the Canyon, which is in Leonard Harrison State Park.  The official name of it is "Pine Creek Gorge," but I have a feeling the marketing folks did not like that so much.

Did the PA Grand Canyon live up to my expectations? Well, no. It is a gorge covered in trees. It is not an epic 7th Wonder of the World. I don't know who Pennsylvania is kidding. I suggest "PA Minor Canyon" or "Junior Canyon" or "Canyon in Training." That being said, it is a scenic view that you can get at least 20 minutes "Look, things that are far away" viewing out of, and the hikes around the canyon are worth doing. 

Views from the top: 

From the top, the trailhead for the Turkey Path begins. Spoiler alert: We saw no turkeys. That would have been a trip. Grand Canyon WITH TURKEYS!

The Turkey Path goes right down the gorge, passing by a series of waterfalls along the way. I bet if water knew how amused people were by it falling down rocks, it would start charging, but luckily water is pretty clueless.

Pine Creek up close: 

Later in the evening, we went to a dark sky (astronomy) park called Cherry Springs. It is at the top of a mountain far from any city and promises spectacular views of the night sky. 

Except for that pesky full moon, they might have been right. 

The lunar timing being not so great, the full moon light up the entire sky and drowned out a lot of the stars we might have seen. Granted, we did get some pretty good looks at the craters and valleys on the moon. I was amazed by just how bright the darned thing is. I really have not seen anything that compares to this view of the moon. It was as though someone had stuck a street lamp in the middle of the woods. I could see my shadow in the middle of the night. 

These photos by Chelsea give you an idea of how bright the moon was out here: 

If it happens again when we want to see the stars, we will go up into space and cover the moon with thick black fur. Problem solved. 

That sums up our camping trip - I hope you enjoyed the recap and the pictures. Stay tuned for tomorrow's bonus camping recipe: Crazy Vegetable Madness! 

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