Friday, August 28, 2015

Pine Creek Rail Trail

On Friday, we drove about 70 miles north of the campground to a bike trail that Ken and Bonnie had ridden on previously and thought we would really enjoy.  The trail is called the Pine Creek Rail Trail and was voted by USA Today as one of the 10 best rail-trails in the country.  We saw a lot of deer this morning.  Ken had to stop to let 2 or 3 deer cross in front of the car soon as we left the campground and when we neared the trailhead where we would be parking the car, we saw these two fawns down off the side of the road.

While the total trail is about 63 miles long, we parked and rode on a section in the middle starting at a place called Rattlesnake Rock.  The rock is named this because when early settlers were canoeing down the river, they spotted about 30 lying on top of the rock, sunning themselves.

Fortunately, there were no snakes on Rattlesnake Rock today.

There were beautiful yellow flowers growing along the trail.

As soon as we began riding the trail, we could understand why it was so highly rated.  The views of the Pine Creek Gorge area were beautiful.

We initially headed north for a couple of miles to Blackwell.

There was a bed and breakfast located there and a little store that bikers would stop at.

Look at this cute wooden bear carving.  One half of the bear is on the front of the building and the other half of the bear is on the side of the building.

We turned around at Blackwell and began heading south working our way to our lunch destination in Slate Run.

We crossed Pine Creek via a beautiful old railroad bridge.

We noticed as we were riding these bushes with white flowers growing everywhere.

They were so prolific we wondered if it is a plant that is almost becoming a problem taking over the other vegetation.

We continued heading south down the trail which ran parallel to Pine Creek the entire way.

Ken had a flat on his front tire.  We stopped and tried pumping it up to see if it would hold until we got to Slate Run.  Unfortunately, the tire kept going flat so Ken and Chuck took off the wheel and found a leak in the inner tube.  Chuck tried some of our new bike patches and within a few minutes they had the tire fixed and back on Ken's bike.

We still had about another 3 miles to go before reaching Slate Run.  We arrived at Hotel Manor around 2 pm and enjoyed a nice relaxing late lunch on their deck.

Before getting back on our bikes, we sat in their Adirondack chairs on the side porch of the restaurant trying to get a picture of the hummingbirds.  All of us tried to get a picture.

We left the restaurant, crossed back over Pine Creek,

and saw a couple of more deer.

We looked around in a little store in Slate Run before heading back up the trail.

Our lunch at Hotel Manor was delicious but we left enough room in our tummies to stop for ice cream at a little restaurant in Cedar Run.

After finishing our ice cream, we walked across the street to another little bed and breakfast place that had hummingbird feeders all along the side of the building.  This time we got several pictures of hummingbirds.  They were flying in and out everywhere.

We got back on our bikes and rode back to Rattlesnake Rock where we had parked the car.  By the time we had finished, we had ridden around 23 miles!!!  I think all of our knees and tushies were just a little tired.  But the great thing about biking with friends is you talk and laugh and share the ride together which makes it a lot more fun!  And of course, ice cream is always a good incentive!  :)

After loading up the bikes, we rode back to the campground getting back around 7 pm.  We were all pretty tired but not too tired to play another game of SkipBo and a game of Pinochle!  Another great day with Ken and Bonnie!  Thanks, Ken, for all the driving today!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Susquehanna River Walk

On Thursday, we decided to take the day off from baseball and just enjoy a nice, relaxing day.  Bonnie and I both worked on our blogs that morning and then after lunch, we decided to take the bikes and go for a short bike ride in Williamsport.

The Susquehanna River Walk is a paved bike trail that runs for a total of about 8 miles along both sides of the Susquehanna River.

There were several informational signs along the trail that talked about the logging industry from years past and how the logging companies used to float the logs down the river.

This old guy is a statue of a man from those years who worked to help float those logs down the river.  He was called a "wood hick."

Williamsport is located on the north side of the river and South Williamsport where the Little League complex is located is on the south side of the river.  As we rode our bikes along the north side of the river, we could see downtown Williamsport and the building where the old Grit newspaper was printed.  Ken said he delivered Grit newspapers when he was a kid.  The owners of Grit, the Lamade family, are who donated the land on which the Little League World Series is located.

As we continued up the trail, we passed by a small dam that went across the Susquehanna River.

There were a few people fishing on the banks below the dam.

After riding a few miles, we crossed over the Susquehanna River...

...and began riding back on the south side of the river.

We continued riding the trail until it took us to almost where we had parked last night when we went to the game.  We then turned around and headed back across a different bridge back to where we started on the trail.

It was a very nice day for a bike ride and we rode about 8 miles.  After we got back to the campground, we sat outside for a long while talking about everything and then grilled a late dinner.  Bonnie fixed wax beans which Chuck and I had never had but thought were very good.  We finished up our evening with a game of SkipBo and a game of Pinochle.  What a nice relaxing day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On to Williamsport

Chuck and I have begun to notice some hints of fall in the last week or two.  As we were leaving Gram and Pap's Fort Bellefonte on Wednesday morning, a Bradford Pear tree had already was a beautiful mixture of red, green and yellow.

We had a relative short drive today between Bellefonte and New Columbia, PA, where the KOA we are staying at over the next 5 nights is located with most of that being on I-80 so I decided to work on the blog rather than look ahead to see if the GPS knew where we going.  Because of this, the GPS took us about 15 miles out of the way plus we encountered a detour.  Note to self:  always check the campground's directions and don't rely on the GPS!

Oh well!  We saw some more of Pennsylvania's beautiful farms...

...and drove through another corn maze.  :)

We arrived at the campground around 10:45.  Just as we were backing into our site, Ken and Bonnie arrived!  After spending a few minutes exchanging hugs, we got our coaches backed into our sites and leveled which took several blocks for both of us.

We enjoyed getting caught up on each others' families and lives and then around 3 pm, we drove to the Little League World Series Complex.  The Pennsylvania team is still in the series and is undefeated so we expected it to be crowded.  A friend of Ken and Bonnie's loaned them some special chairs for sitting on the hill.  Chuck the Chairhead led the way to the stadium.  :)

The banks were already getting crowded.  We thought we had found a good spot at the top of the lower bank but it was too level.  These chairs have had the back legs cut short and are made for sitting on a steep incline.  They don't work to well on a flat surface as Chuck found out!  :)

We continued walking around the bank and found a good spot behind the right outfield.

Chuck, this is how you are supposed to sit in the chairs.

The way the banks are designed are actually great.  We had a perfect view of the field.  And the chairs are much more comfortable to sit on than sitting on the ground on a blanket.

The first game was between Venezuela and Japan.  Another good game plus we had fun watching all the kids sliding down the upper bank.

Japan emerged the victor beating Venezuela 5 to 4 in extra innings,

Before the US game began, we walked down to the concessions.  Chuck made friends with some of the characters here to entertain the "kids."

This one looks kind of scary!  It's a Honda car vac.  What?????
ESPN was broadcasting from outside the stadium between games and everyone was trying to get on TV.  Reminded us of College Game Day!

After eating some tasty hot dogs and buying a bag of kettle corn, we walked back up to our seats.  A perfect night for a ball game!  Pennsylvania was playing the Texas team and both teams were undefeated at this point.

By this time the lower bank was so full it looked like a regular stadium filled with seats.

It was a great game and both teams have very talented players.

But the home team won!  Pennyslvania beat Texas 3 to 0 in an exciting game with very good pitchers that was much closer than the score implies.

Wow!  What a great game!  Pennsylvania goes on to play for the US title on Saturday.  It took a while for us to not just walk back to the car with the crowds but also to get out of the parking lot once we left.  We didn't get back home until nearly midnight so no card-playing tonight.  But what a fun, fun day we have had!