Saturday, August 23, 2008

Great Day in Kutztown

Actually we were in Kutztown, Lenhartsville, Kempton, and a a few other towns along the way. Basically we are in the Lehigh Valley area, somewhere between Reading and Lancaster PA. Got up late this morning, (7:30a) made coffee, and had breakfast with the girls, and then headed for the showers. Pine Hills RV Campground (No places for tents) has the showers just like I like them, and anterior room with plenty of hooks and even a shelf – and a shower with shelves as well. The only issue is that they have a timer on your shower – looks like long ago you had to pay for the shower. The coin box is still in operation to turn on the water, but it contains a token that you use to get the water going – for a “good” 6 minutes. The instructions were a bit complicated, but I finally figured them out for a nice hot shower. Only problem is it seems I take 7 minute showers. I was at the end of my shower, just done my feet Put soap in my travel box, went to rinse my hands – time up. I had to go thru the whole process of retrieving the token, winding up the mechanism, and starting the water – just to rinse my hands. Not the worse of problems, just a silly one.
Once back to RoadAbode, grabbed another coffee, brushed teeth, and headed out to Hawk Mountain. The ride there was scenic, thru farm land and wooded hills. Does seem the tent caterpillars are in full force this summer, some trees looked like they were covered in silky down. I also forgot how close the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is to the Appalachian Trail – will have to hike this part sometime. We went into the visitors’ center there, and while Amy went to the desk to pay our visitor fee, I looked with the girls at some of the exhibits about the history of the mountain, and about raptors themselves. Perhaps it’s my age, or the level of “Political Correctness” these days, but I was a bit perturbed by the next exchange. I asked a staff member (I had to catch their attention -a group of them having a discussion about something) where a trash can was to dispose of my coffee cup. “Sir, we have a ‘pack it in, pack it out’ policy at the sanctuary, please take it with you.” I was puzzled by this, but said thank you, and headed back to the car to deposit the cup in the car, rather than have to take it on the trail. Is it environmentally better mojo, to have all guests “pack it out” – or will some – especially visiting schools, or some wise guys – fine places along the trail that they deem “packed out”? I have more on this later. The trail was very well kept, but very rocky. I reminded the girls to be care full along the way. We were rewarded with wonderful views of the mountains and valley below, but few raptors. (We are a bit early in the migration season) Amy had brought along some fruit, which once at the uppermost part of the trail – the North Face – was a great treat. The tempature and blue skys made the steep hike quite easy, and totally enjoyable. We enjoyed stopping at every lookout along the way. We headed back, tired a bit from the hike, but a good tired. One thing I noticed as we pulled out of the Parking lot. As we left the visitor lot, we passed the employee/volunteer lot. What do you think I saw there? A huge trash dumpster, the kind used for household type trash. So SOMEBODY is not “packing it in, packing it out”.
Our next stop was Crystal Cave, by request of Em. We hardly looked around the gift shop, tried to get ice cream (Icecream shop only took cash – we forgot our “big bills” at RoadAbode) and then waited for the cave tour to begin. It was the same as the last time we were there, but still enjoyable. I love watching the young teens that lead us thru the tour do their “spiel” hitting all the important points of the cavern, with a little humor thrown in. The young lady we had handled a few rambunctious kids very well – better than their own parents.
After our Cave tour, the girls didn’t even want to peruse the gift shop, we were hungry and our meal was at our next stop. By request of me, we were eating at Cabela’s Outdoors shop. They have a resurant on their second gfloor, and I had heard I could get Elk, Boar, Bison, even rattlesnake in my meal! Well the rattlesnake was not to be had, but I tried a bratwust made from bison, the girls went for mare traditional fare. Meal was good, and portions big. I wish I wasn’t filled so quickly, or I could have tried an elk burger, wild boar wrap, or duck hot wings. We wandered around a bit, gawking at the stuffed wild game displays, and the huge fresh water aquarium. The girls checked out the “bargain Cave” and the sidewalk sale, but still couldn’t find anything they deemed a real bargain. So we headed home to RoadAbode, full but ready for dessert.
Once back, we headed to the office for some ice-cream. Not cheap, but good. (told ‘em we should stop at a supermarket and get a half gallon, but there must be something special about “camp store ice-cream”) We rested a bit, took a walk around the campground, checking out other rigs as usual. We found out the neighboring farm had horses – and a llama, so we returned with carrots for them. Girls had fun feeding. We returned to our campsite, had a fire, some marshmallows and pistachios, and then a little ‘show’ with some rainbow crystals from the camp store, to have a fire of blues, greens, purples and oranges. Quite pretty! Girls are enjoying a bit of tv, and are ready for bed. A great day! Here’s a few pictures:
How they Sealed Each Sites Sewer connection at Pine Hills
Directional Plaque at Hawk Mountain
The Rocky Trail
A Stick bug on the trail
Am and Kim at North Face Lookout
A Stuffed moose
Where we had "linner"
By the Campfire

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