Inky and I are back from our trek to the wild north of Pennsylvania. We hiked the long trail at Ricketts Glen State Park, and roughed it at a B&B. Along the way, our will was tested and our resolve to just survive was pushed to the max. OK, so that's bullshit. But I did get a blister on our hike, and after swimming in the big, cold-ass lake lil' Greazy experienced some massive shrinkage.
We stayed about a half an hour from the park at a place called the Eagles Mere Inn which is in the tiny little town of Eagles Mere. The town has it's own, private lake and some nice little shops, Inns and restaurants. Just the type of quaint feel you would expect from a late 19th century resort town that bills it self as "the Town That Time Forgot." We had an amazing dinner at the Inn, expertly crafted by Chef Toby, who taught himself by using his brother's textbooks from Culinary School. The bed at the Inn was a bit lumpy and much smaller than Inky and I are used to, but it was a lovely place to stay.
The Trail is quite simply breathtaking. It snakes through the forest, starting at an elevation of 1250 ft and topping out at 2350. Along the way you pass 23 waterfalls that range from tiny trickles going over an 11 foot rock face to surging sheets of water tumbling over multiple ledges from nearly 100 feet up.
We were a bit over prepared, having headed the warnings on the parks web site. The list of things I had in my pack was far and away more than we needed (Zippo Lighter, a gallon of water half of which was frozen so it would stay cold, a nearly foot-long army issue Bayanett knife, packets of tuna and mayo along with pita bread for lunch, granola bars, sunflower seeds, first aid kit, and extra socks.) We were about a half mile into the woods when we saw some people walking in sandals. I still contend that you can never be too prepared, even though I didn't take my GPS into the woods with me.
After our hike we went for a swim in Lake Jean, which looked so inviting after a long hike. We changed in the horrendous bathrooms, and set up on the beach. The air temperature was somewhere between 70 and 75 and the water was also pretty cool, so we didn't stay in too long. It did make for a very nice, and quite invigorating swim.
On the way home we stopped for a meal, of food, at a new restaurant that I'll post about tomorrow. And today, Inky welcomed a new member to the family, making for a fantastic end to our trip. Now: it's back to work.