Friday, September 21, 2012

Saturday, 9/21/12:  Tonight we are in Matamoras, PA. It's probably the closest to the New Hampshire border without being it. The river borders along the way. Tomorrow we will drive through New York into Vermont. After that head on in to New Hampshire and finally make it in to Maine. The leaves are just starting to change color now around here.

After Hershey area last weekend, we moved on to Lebanon, PA. The weather forecast wasn't very good, so we stopped at  Lowe's and ended up spending two nights there, waiting out the rain and storm warnings. They supposedly got 2-1/2 inches of rain. When it rains in the east coast, it doesn't mess around!

From there were went to Cabela's in Hamburg, PA. It has a huge lot with a separate row for RV's and separate area for semi's. It is a huge store also. They have a whole area for "Deer Country" that's larger than some stores.  We spent some snooping around in there.

Thursday we went to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.  There are look-out areas on the mountain where researches and others view the "raptors" and other birds and wildlife and keep count of them during the fall migration south. They do this from August 15th to December 15th. I can't quite imagine sitting outside all day with binoculars doing this, especially in December!  We took the Jeep up there, paid our $6 each and hiked the mile up the loop. Most of that trail was easy, but there were some areas that were pretty rocky, especially toward the end. They had other trails that had lots of rocks/boulders that I decided I didn't want to do.  We stopped at the South Lookout which only had 3 people there watching with binoculars. We went on to the North Lookout, which is supposed to be the best area, and there were about 15 people. As we got there, a volunteer explained who the researchers were, and an intern from Spain, who were keeping track of the raptors migration. There were boulders all over that people were sitting on. The only talking was when someone spotted a bird and said where it was in the sky, then everyone looking for it with their binoculars. Before we got the binoculars out of the backpack, there was an osprey with a fish in his mouth being chased by a bald eagle. The osprey dropped the fish and the bald eagle caught it - I would have liked to have seen that! Curt used his camera lens to watch and I used the binoculars. We are able to see some birds, but I had no idea what I was seeing. Most of the ones mentioned were osprey, broad winged hawks, eagles and turkey vultures. At the visitor's center they show the migration pattern and the different birds.

So we got to try out Curt's new backpack, which seemed to work okay; we have to figure out how to pack it decently.  We had lots of extra stuff in there for a couple of hours on the trail, but Curt said if we get lost...

I thought this was a cool billboard!

South Lookout

Part of the trail. There was red paint on some of the trees or the rocks to follow.

The busier North Lookout

2 eagle sculptures near the visitor's center.

Hamburg, Pennsylvania Cabela's

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