Saturday (6/18) to Friday (6/24):
This was an unusual Saturday for us since we are moving between campgrounds. We try not to move on Fridays or week-ends, but sometimes you don’t have a choice because of the site availability or lack thereof. Even though Ives Run COE Campground is only 7 miles from Hills Creek State Park, we had to take the long way around (about 25 miles) using US Hwy 6 east and then US Hwy 15 North before turning south on PA Hwy 287 to the campground entrance. This is a very nice COE campground that fills up on the weekends and stays almost full through out the week. We pulled up to the office and were told that our site was still occupied: we had arrived at 1:00 PM and check-out time in this park is 3:00 PM. We went up to the Visitor Center and got some information about the park before returning back to the Duchess for lunch. We turned on the generator and heated up some left-overs as we waited for our spot to open. About the time we finished lunch, our site was available. We backed into our Site 58 and got set up. Unfortunately trees are blocking our satellite dish and we only get 2 over the air TV stations. On the good side we have great AT&T cell service in the park. We walked around the park that evening to get a feel of where things are in the campground.
Sunday I was feeling “under the weather” and we took it easy at our site. I called my dad and wished him a happy Father’s Day, but other than that we did very little. Connie did ride her bike around the roads in our camping area.
Monday we travelled over Colton Point State Park and Leonard Harrison State Park which are located across from each other on the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The depth of the canyon at this point is around 800 feet. Further south the canyon depth in closer to 1,500 feet. The Pine Creek runs along the bottom of the canyon and there is a “rails to trails” path along the creek. The creek was used during the logging days of the 19th century as a way to float the logs down to the saw mills located in and around Williamsport PA. Leonard Harrison State Park is named after the man who donated the land to the state for the park. He was a banker who owned and developed the land as a public picnic area called “The Lookout”. In 1922 he gave the land to the state and the CCC did a lot of work within the park during the 1930’s. Colton Point is named after a lumberman who supervised harvesting of trees in the area. The state purchased the land for the park around 1900 and the CCC built the park during the 1930’s. We viewed a short film in the Visitor’s Center at Leonard Harrison State Park that gave the history of the canyon (formed by glaciers during the ice age), how the Native Americans used the canyon for travel, how most of the original trees (white pines up to 250 feet tall) were cut down for lumber and then how the parks were built to restore the area to it’s former beauty.
On Tuesday we travelled over to our next campground which is located about 15 miles from Ives Run. It is another COE campground that our current neighbors told us was very tight to get into some of the sites and most were very shady (not good for satellite dishes). We got a temporary pass into the park, checked to see if there were any sites available (there were not) and drove into the campground. We found our site and it is among the trees. Our motorhome will fit in the site but we may have to park our Jeep in the overflow area. We did some checking on other campground in southern New York, but they are either completely booked and very expensive.
On Wednesday we took our bikes over to the Pine Creek Trail which runs along the Pine Creek inside the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. It is a “rails to trails” path that follows an old abandoned railroad bed. We rode for several miles before stopping at one of the water falls that empty into Pine Creek. We counted and there were two hundred steps from the bottom to the top of the falls (and two hundred back down to the bottom). The Pine Creek Trail is nice because it is very flat and level while the sides of the canyon are very steep.
On Thursday we took the kayak out and put it in Hammond Lake. The water was rough and we had to keep rowing to keep the kayak heading into the waves. Friday was spent packing up and making the move to Tomkins Campground which is located a few miles north of Ives Run.