Monday, August 14, 2006

Anniversary weekend

Hubby and I spent the weekend in State College to celebrate out 18th anniversary. While we were there, my brother took us on one of his favorite hiking trails.

I had no idea we'd be doing any hiking, so I didn't have my boots, hiking stick, knee brace or even a backpack. Luckily, I had at least thrown a pair of sneakers in the trunk.

The trail is uphill from the start. That should have warned me what was to come. I found a pretty stout stick along the side of the trail to keep me upright. We walk to about 10 minutes, then get to a split in the trail. He breaks out with, "Do you want to take the hard way or the REALLY Hard way?" We opt for the hard and head off - straight uphill for another 20-30 minutes. The view when we got to the top of the mountain was gorgeous though.

After some water and an elk stick, I was finally able to move again and we start back down the mountain. It's very rocky, so I kept slipping and rolling my ankle. Little Brother ended up carrying my camera, so it wouldn't get smashed if I went rolling the rest of the way down the hill. If you get the chance to be in the area, I would recommend a good pair of hiking boots and stick, but the trip is worth it. :)

The rest of the time, we went to two State College Spikes (minor league baseball) games and one night of ghost hunting. An old haunted church in the area was one of the things I had to see after the game Saturday night. The games were a blast, they even put our names up on the scoreboard to wish us a happy anniversary on Sunday and I got a TON of autographs in my scrapbook and on a team baseball; Oh, and the ghosties were fun, too.

Monday, August 07, 2006

PA Grand Canyon

We got back from the PA Grand Canyon in Wellsboro last night. It wasn't as far a drive as we thought, only about 2 1/2 - 3 hours for the 260 miles round trip. It felt like a whole lot more when we got home and tried to stand up though!

We spent Saturday with a friend camped out. I need an air matress. These old bones didn't care for sleeping on the ground. Even with a comforter underneath, it felt like concrete. Not having my CPAP machine also hurt because I woke up with a nice headache Sunday morning that didn't leave until today. The new tent is very nice. Big and roomy and easy to put up and take back down. The ceiling fan and light were wonderful. The tent stayed nice and cool.

My 11-year old son has always wanted a walking stick, so my friend's husband made him one while we were at their place. It's a nice thick stick, a little taller than T (about five foot tall) and has a hole drilled through the top. He has a cord through there to add feathers he finds. Looks pretty nice. Many people commented on that while we were hiking. When we stopped in the gift shop to get a map of the trails, I saw they were selling walking sticks. They were the size of small canes and were going for $30-$50 each! We saw people using them, so they do sell. I had my metal stick and wouldn't have made it without it. I'll make one like T's eventually.

We went to the canyon on Sunday afternoon. We wanted to take the wagon ride, but it was full. The canyon is breath taking! Even from the top at the main platform, it is something that has to be seen. We were brave, shouldered our packs and hiked to the bottom by Turkey Path. It's one mile down. Not a big deal, but that one mile back seemed more like four hundred miles up the canyon. WOW! I thought I'd die long before we made it.

There are several waterfalls and lots of small ponds to stop by and cool off. Had my hair pulled up in a pony tail before we made it down and was ready to shave it all off long before we were half way up. There are 295 wooden steps for the steepest parts, then the rest is just regular path. The steps were the true killers for my bad knee. I'll make sure to take a knee brace for our next trip.

I know my pack is on the heavy side, but I can't figure out anything that should be taken out of there. We finished off all the jerkey during a rest stop on the way up. The kids were thrilled to have that. Hubby carried all the water for us. He says he's our pack mule. I sure couldn't carry anything else.