Saturday, September 21, 2013
My family went camping in Pennsylvania over the beginning of the week. We had a wonderful -and memorable- time. Our campsite was right beside a stream. There were enough boulders for the water to froth and flow around to make all sorts of interesting rills. It would have been the perfect place for white-water rafting if you were a mouse! One of the boulders was (to my best estimate, which admittedly isn't very good) about four feet above the water and I could just picture mouse adventurers standing up on the `cliff' and gazing down at the foam, bracing themselves for the trip down stream.
Our fire ring was iron but didn't have a grill, so my brother Justin fished some wide, flat rocks from the stream and a few smaller rocks for the flat rocks to set on, poured the coals around them, and cooked our burgers on top. They were quite tasty, and of course the grease dripped off the rocks and made the fire burn hotter -which was fortunate. We'd forgotten how much of a temperature difference there is, traveling a few hours north! It got quite cold, especially the first night. I usually like a bit of nip in the air, but there is a huge difference between the kind of cold you go out in before returning to a nice warm house and the oppressive sort of cold that remains heavy in the air when you sleep in a tent.
We visited the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, which nobody around here has heard of. Mom knows about it because she and dad stumbled across it on their wedding trip. It's a beautiful, tree covered gorge. It actually probably would have been more impressive in a few weeks when more of the leaves changed color, but we didn't mind billows of green. We walked the Turkey Trail, which travels down the gorge in a series of switchbacks. There were about two places where streams were flowing down the mountain (or maybe we passed the same stream twice) and divided into a dozen or so tiny trickles falling down among the rocks. It made me feel like I was in a (rather chilly) rain forest. Farther down we reached the actual waterfall.
We had taken the scenic rout to the gorge (meaning we got lost) and so arrived right around lunch. We ate before we actually started down the trail, which was nice since it meant we didn't have to carry our food for the entire hike.
The whole vacation was exactly what our family needed: a chance to just get away and enjoy God's creation for a few days.