Monday, October 15, 2012

10/14/12: Saw the Kinzua Dam and drove around the hills. There is an area called "Jake's Rocks" that we stopped at and took pictures. Went on to Warren, PA Walmart. Windy area here. Did FaceTime with the grandchildren tonight. Thanks girls!

10/13: Yup, got cold last night, 27 degrees. Glad we had our 2 little heaters able to be plugged in. Got a later start due to the cold, didn’t really want to go sight-seeing/hiking until it warmed up a little bit. Went to Kinzua Bridge State Park to see the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk. The Kinzua Viaduct was built in 1882, the highest railroad bridge in the world. It was 301 feet high, 2053 feet long and weighed 3,105,000 pounds and built of iron. In 1900 they had to rebuild it with steel to accommodate heavier trains, and then weighed 6,706,000 pounds. Freight traffic discontinued in 1959.  In 1963 the area became a state park. In 2002 it was discontinued to all traffic, including pedestrians, by engineers doing inspections. In February 2003 they started restoring the Kinzua Viaduct. On July 21, 2003, a tornado struck and 11 of the towers were knocked down. They’ve restored 6 of the original towers and added an observation deck with a partial glass floor. This was opened in September 2011 for visitors. It is truly a sight to see. The towers and trees are supposedly still laying like they were after the tornado. We also did 4 regular caches and an earthcache.

10/12: Left Mansfield and took Rt 6 and then 59 to go to Warren, PA Walmart. We figured we could park there (I called last night) and go with the Jeep in the Allegheny National Forest. The campgrounds in this area are really expensive, some are already closed. Most of the trees are way past peak now, lots without leaves at all.  We stopped at a ranger station/info center. We found out about a campground 8 miles from there with electricity, Red Bridge Campground, $23 for electricity, $18 basic. We decided to do electricity since it’s supposed to get cold tonight.

10/11: We went to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. It has a small visitor center and gift shop there. It’s free, basically scenic overlook areas into the canyon and some hiking trails. One of the trails was supposed to be rated as more difficult, so I chickened out; a mile-and-a-half down to the bottom of the canyon and then back up. There was a shorter one, not quite a mile, which took us to another scenic lookout which was really pretty. That went down and up just a little bit, but enough that I was glad that I had my hiking shoes on and my pole with. The canyon would have been prettier with the trees still having leaves on, but we’re too late for most of them.  Curt still got some pretty pictures though. When we got back to the Jeep, the battery was dead again. Terrific. We waited for a little while until a guy was coming back to his vehicle in the parking lot and Curt asked him if he could jump it. We had battery cables with.  Got it going.

10/09/: Endless Mountain Campground, Laceyville. We should have known something was wrong when neither the GPS nor Google maps couldn’t find it. It’s a Passport America campground. I called and asked them if they had room; he said yes, we “should” fit, and kind of gave directions. (I shouldn’t taken the hint from the “should fit” part.) Well, we couldn’t find it. Trying to drive around in a tiny mountain  town with narrow streets with a motorhome pulling a Jeep isn’t really fun. We stopped and called them. They said they would come and get us. By that time Curt was ready to say forget it and just go back to a gas station lot we past along the way. But, since they said they were coming, we waited. When they got to us, in about 5 minutes, we were facing the wrong direction on the highway and had to go about a half-mile to turn around and come back. We followed them through town and about a half mile out of town to a narrow dirt road turn-off with trees on both sides with low branches. Ok, next hint not to go. Curt went out and talked to the owner; he told him where the campground was from there and then they left ahead of us. We had to unhook the Jeep to be able to take the corner. Dead battery…what next?!  Jumpstarted the Jeep and I followed the motorhome down the narrow road, over a narrow railroad crossing and a sharp corner after that down a “path” beside the railroad and then into the campground. Very small, basically a half acre in their front yard, grass. A couple of campers there (no motorhomes), but they do have hookups. Ok, we don’t need water or sewer, but we can use the 30 amp electricity for heat. Curt went to plug in and their 30-amp hookup isn’t the regular 30-amp RV hookup.  It looked like the regular house plug-ins, and we didn’t have an adaptor to connect to this kind; so, no electricity either. Yup, $25 to spend the night on roads we shouldn’t have taken and no electricity.  

10/05/12: Friday: Drove through the White Mountain Forest. We were going to go to Castle in the Clouds, but they charge for the drive up there, and then again to see the castle. Nope. 

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