You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Swampangel Takes a Trip

A few weeks ago, Sam and I flew to Pennsylvania to see my bestest friend, Lois, and to go to a Geo Event at a place called Camp Carmel. I hadn't flown commercial in 18 years, so the whole thing was an experience for me! Making sure none of my liquids were more than 3 oz. and making sure I had them all in a on, shoes off, shoes on, stand in line like cattle...I'm surprised so many people still fly!

We flew into Pittsburgh. The airport there is pretty neat with fun stuff to look at like the T-Rex below. We had just seen Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian so I had to get a picture of this guy to show my little one.

A tunnel.

I know there is one in Ft. Lauderdale that goes under the New River, but other than that, I can't recall ever going through one.

Cut me some slack...things like this are new and exciting for me, as sad as that may seem...

Pittsburgh has alot of bridges

After about 2 hours or so, we finally arrived at our destination - Camp Carmel.

This river runs along the back of Camp Carmel. The train tracks on the other side are VERY active. Trains kept going by every 15 minutes (or so it seemed).

Everyone at the event had to do something to help get the Camp ready for the summer season. Some cut the grass, weedeated, chainsawed trees...we repainted some bunkbeds.

The temporary caches placed for the event were some of the best caches I have ever seen in my life. Very creative and in beautiful areas...

You may be able to see them in the distance...windmills. In case you can't see them, Lois and Joe demonstrate what they look like.

Yes, cachers are dorks.
Wow. Just wow. One wrong step, one slip and it was a loooong way down!
But, ah...the places caching can take you to!

Hey Dude, ya know there's an easier way to get to the cache!

I have no idea what kind fo snake this little guy was. We passed him coming and going on the trail. The only snake I saw the whoile time up there after being warned about Copperheads and Timber Rattlers.

George, Joe, Lois and Sam...grabbing another cache on our long hike. The scenery was so worth the long hike and aching feet covered with blisters.

Elk Rocks. So cool. So totally, completely, incredibly breathtaking. At least they were to me.

I kept thinking of the Lord of the Rings and was half expecting to see a Hobbit pop out.
The pictures do not do them justice. The area was almost I guess it would be to anyone from Florida!

We were here bright and early so Sam and Lois could check in for their rafting adventure.
Sam had a great time and can't wait to do it again!

Ohiopyle Falls. Aren't they pretty? This is the Youghiogheny (you get a gold star if you can pronounce it right) River that Sam and Lj went rafting on, though NOT over these falls. They are off limits.

Sam and Lois's group. You can actually see Lj's arm in the boat on the far left. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures where you could actually see them. The outfitter's took some, though, and have them on their website. I need to remember to order some.

The weeds in PA are so beautiful...daisies!!! Lots and lots of them everywhere!
Sam being Sam

Can you see the girl in the gown behind the waterfall? I guess they were doing pictures for either high school or maybe her "sweet sixteen". It was kind of a neat thing to see.

I didn't get any really good pics of these falls, but they were really cool.
A day of caching brought us to this old, peaceful cemetery. So serene, but of course the cache was hidden in a patch of poison ivy...grrr.....

We passed two of these real, original tollhouses. Cute...I wonder how they tie in with Tollhouse cookies?

We grabbed a cache at a park that was full of these awesome wood carved statues. All of them were carved with chainsaws...beautiful!
Our caching run even took us to Maryland! Ok, so we only got one cache in Maryland, but it was a very cool one that took us here...
We didn't stay there! Only parked there. Then it was a short hike across a field and into some woods to find a stone marker of the Mason-Dixon Line.
I have no freakin' idea what was up with the dog , but none of us wanted to move it.
See...Sam is a "P" because he's standing in Pennsylvania. Lj is an "M" 'cause she's in Maryland.
As mentioned previously, cachers are dorks!

On the search for a cache in an old, unmarked graveyard....

I found it unbelievable that this little graveyard of Revolutionary soldiers is covered with weeds, off the trail and completely unmarked! It was nice to see that someone had placed flags on their graves for Memorial Day.
(Thanks to the kind stranger on a bike who showed us where it was!)

The war memorial in Dunbar, built in the 40's. Very nice monument. I am proud to be able to say that I now know someone who is listed on one of those plaques...Lois's dad. He's a great guy...funny, kind and very hospitable. And sharp as a tack for being 90 years young!

Check out the ninth name...cracked me up!

Brownsville...this was an abandoned hospital. Very old and very creepy!
This little town is loaded...I mean LOADED with churches! We checked out the graveyard behind this one. Some very old graves in it from the 1700's.
Nemacolin Castle, built in 1789 (I think)
The biggest "bear" we saw in Pennsylvania!


Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed your visit -

JG said...

It's easy to see you had a wonderful time...the pictures are great

And I can't agree more on's been about two years for me and I can't see myself flying again unless it's absolutely necessary...It used to be fun...Now it's just a huge PITA

Anonymous said...

Hey why no pic of Pine trees?

SwampAngel65 said...

Ok, I will add a picture of the Christmas trees!

Sandcastle Momma said...

Wow! What a great trip that must have been. It would be so fun to wander through those woods. I love old cemeteries so you would have had to pry me away from some of those places.
I agree with you - geocaching takes you to the most beautiful spots - places you'd never see if there weren't a cache there.
Glad you had fun and thanks for sharing your pics!

Sayre said...

Wow - Pennsylvania is gorgeous! Looks like you had a great time - in spite of the poison ivy.

The Church Lady said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I live in the southern part of PA near Gettysburg. Your photos are fabulous! I have never been to Philadelphia (yet). I have been rafting on the Yough though!