Monday, August 29, 2011

Vacation 2011: When the road you are on has a grass strip in the middle, you can be assured that it is the one less traveled.

A week ago, we came back from a mini 3 1/2 day vacation to Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania.
Bob's Road.  Really, it was named Greenbriar Road, but we called it Bob's Road.  (Name that movie.)  I made a few premature turns, the GPS recalculated and I ended up here.  I had to put the truck into 4 wheel drive and two hands were necessary.  Wow.  Hubs thought that I went down someones driveway.  Then, he thought it was a slightly improved trail.  I think that this road was a very long 3 miles.

Because of Bob's Road, the boxes shifted.  This would be our camping provisions.  They dumped out of the truck when I opened the door.  Hubs made me stop so that he could take a photo. 

This was home for 3 1/2 days.  To the left is the tent for changing and so forth. Our sleeping tent is ahead.

Here it is!  We even have a little "porch" as Hubs calls it.  You can see K-'s camp cot and our air mattress.  There isn't extra space, but we're cozy.

Our cozy space got a little damp over Friday night/Saturday morning.  This bottom corner is on my side of the bed.  I was in a sleeping bag and thankfully, I didn't feel that dampness.  I felt general dampness, though.  I'm glad to say that by Saturday afternoon, it all dried out and all was well for sleeping that night.

The scenic view.

They like signs.  Signs like, "Hey, don't do something stupid, because people die here."  Inviting. 

Hubs and K- at the falls overlook.  On a side note, notice that left hand up on her hip?  She's found the silky tag on the inside bottom of her shirt.  That, my friends, means that she is tired.  From her earliest days (in the low months old), she has always looked for silky tags.  That was the first thing she would do with a toy.  She's a tagging kid and it is funny that at 7,  it still brings her comfort.

The falls of the Youghiogheny River.  Yes, I had to double check the spelling.  How to pronounce it?  It is yock-i-hay-nee.  How can I recall that?  I live in Ohio with places like Cuyahoga (ki-ya-ho-ga) and Tuscarawas.

Bless K-'s heart.  It was here that I realized that she suffers from horse syndrome.  "Mom, I don't like high bridges over water where I can see over the edge.  I'm okay with little ones, but I'm going to ride in the middle."  This was a rather high bridge.

When we arrived in town for the Over the Falls Race, the perfume of burnt brakes hung in the air.  When you go down the mountain, it is a road full of "s" turns.  We saw one car with smoke literally rolling from their front wheels.  A brake shop would make a killing at the bottom.

Junie B. by lantern light, anyone?

My mom used to make these little cut boxes of cereal for us.  Hubs saw the box and didn't realize what I was doing, but said, "Hey!  You should cut the box so that she can eat out of it!"  Way ahead of you, Hubs.

We chased this rainbow on our way back from Idlewild on Friday evening.  It was a full double bow.  K- knew that we would see one.

Cucumber Falls after the rain.  We stopped on our way back, but after the rainbow chase.

We camped on Aspen, which was a small "road" with a turnaround at the bottom.  K- liked to ride her bike up and down.  It gave her something to do as we did camp chores.

When we woke up Saturday morning, felt damp and we were all silently struggling with the damp induced grumbles, K- started signing, "The sun will come out . . . "  "No, K-!  Wrong song!"  Then she started belting out, "Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me!"  I picked that up with her and very soon, we saw this.

Lined up and ready to go over the falls.  This was the practice run.  Keep an eye on that blue boat.

He's going over.

The guy with the rope?  That's a safety line.  He was tugging and yanking on the rope.  We were all standing there stunned. 

A boat and paddle came up, but without the guy who came down with it, we were on the edge of a heart attack.  I'm THRILLED to report that "after 5-10 minutes" (as was told to me by someone who has run the falls and saw him), he popped back up alive and well.  He was caught behind the falls and couldn't get out. 

Can you imagine?  It is an 18' drop, which may not sound like a lot in terms of a falls, but there is a swirl of water that if you hit it wrong, you'll end up like the guy above. 

More folks waiting for their turn.

Again, I'm amazed.

Look at the straight line.  How does it hold up like that?

And this?  Well, people were going over in kayaks.  This guy went a different way.  He ended up flipping at the bottom, but came back up and was fine. 

We laughed at her.  She came over just fine, with water wings and silk flower decorated helmet fully intact.

This guy is amazing.  This is Jeff Snyder.  He, by what I was told, is the guy who coordinates the Over the Falls Race.  He is standing in a "Strider" with some type of boot thing that straps his foot in.  He made the paddle from wood and his helmet is also handcrafted from a burl.  Only a true artist would be willing to wear a hunk of burl on their noggin to keep their smarticles intact. 

And he succeeded.  I know, not the greatest photo, but I included it to prove to you that he landed at the bottom upright. 

K- wanted to go on a bike ride and she was kind of done with watching people go over the falls.

A freestyle guy.  He danced the kayak back and forth over the "tongue" and ended up upside down at the bottom.  He was fine, but it's never a good sign when your journey over the falls is tippy to start.

To sit back and take this in made me happy.

Dinner cooked over the open fire.  The pieces of wood off to the sides are drying out from the pouring down rain the previous night.  You'd be glad to know that dinner was good.

Had to move some things in towards the fire a bit more, so we decided to tripod the corn over top.  Turned out fabulous!  The corn was from the farmers market in town.  Yummy!

See, even Hubs approves!

The tussock moth that K- found on the back of the truck.  She knows that these are not cool to touch, as my niece ended up accidentally dropping one down her own shirt and was left very uncomfortable.  I walked him to a tree (on a marshmallow stick) and thought we were good.

We kept finding them.  This one popped out of the side view mirror.  They were on the tires.  Wow. 

This sign made me giggle.

So did this one.

In the end, Pennsylvania bid us adieu with driving rainstorms that made it very difficult to see.  I had my hazards on, the wipers were on high, the headlights were on (what is it with people who don't?!) and I had the two-handed lean forward drive going on.  Geeze o' Pete was it a long drive home.  No wonder why it was a mass exodus on the way out of the camp ground.  We forgot our weather radio at home.  We soon found out what the weather was going to be. 
We had a great time and were thankful to have the small vacation that we did have.  Between work and the need to save money, a bigger vacation just couldn't be.  This one was just our size, though. 

Smiles in my day:
-  Rachael and family came through the hurricane okay.  Today, some quality time was spent in the ER checking her husband out for some low blood pressure issues, but I'm glad to say that he's okay, too.  Geeze!
-  K- started back to soccer today and had a really good time.
-  Line dried laundry.  The laundry was wet in the basement overnight and had a hint of basement dampness to it, but the line snapped it right out.  Hooray!
-  We've gotten to tag a few monarchs in the last few days.  Hubs and K- were going to tag one today, but lost control of it before they could tag it.  Oops!
-  Being happy to see that "big boy cable" isn't really all that.

Have a great night!


ChupieandJ'smama said...

Looks like a GREAT trip! Glad you all had a good time :)

Rach said...

Okay, I'm LOVIN' the new header, and thank you so much for the virtual vacay. Since I won't get one (sniff sniff, sob sob, feel sorry for me ;oP) this was wonderful. It looks like it was amazing...wetness and all.

Rach said...

P.S. Thank you so much for all the prayers and positive vibes!

Michelle said...

Looks like you guys had a wonderful time camping - great photos!