Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A FEW REASONS WHY I GO TO THE POCONOS








A FEW REASONS WHY I GO TO THE POCONOS

Actually, I have lots of reasons for going to the Poconos, my Aunt Kathryn being the first and greatest reason. I would walk the 300+ miles to see Aunt Kathryn. Of course, it would probably take me a year to walk that far, but I would give it my best shot if there were no other way to get there. On my list of top 10 women in my life, Aunt Kathryn would be 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. Grandma has to be first, of course. But, this is not going to be about Aunt Kathryn, as much fun as that would be – she’d shoot me or go out shopping for a new ping pong paddle to greet me with the next time I get up there. If you are family, you KNOW what that ping pong paddle means (the clue is in its name and it has nothing to do with ping pong) but if you are an “outsider,” well, I am sure you can guess. (Though I have never felt its actual presence on my behind, the LOOK was always enough for me, my cousins can attest to its power – or the threat of its power. I learned that LOOK and used it well in my classroom for 38 years. But, as usual, I digress. I probably do that better than anything else in my old age.)
Anyway, the Poconos… My paternal grandparents (and theirs) came from the Poconos, maybe back as many generations as you can count – or so I have been told. When I was young and of dating age, every guy that asked me out Dad said was a cousin. 4th or 5th is still a cousin as far as I am concerned and I have never figured out that twice removed stuff. Now that I live in the South… but I digress again. (Do you think that’s why I married a man from Michigan?)
“Will she ever get to the point?” you say? Well, maybe if you wait long enough. But dating does have something to do with it – back in my youth, one went parking after a movie, dinner, BBQ or whatever, though parking didn’t mean quite the same thing as it does today. Often we would just go for a drive, and the Poconos is the place to be if you want to go for a drive. It seems that no matter what road I was on, sooner or later we would get to a waterfall. Or many waterfalls. Hickory Run was often the destination of choice, or down along the old Pennsylvania Railroad bed that ran along the Lehigh River and is now the Lehigh Gorge State Park. See http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/Parks/lehighgorge.aspx for more info, maps and pics! Or, try http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/hickoryrun.aspx for info about Hickory Run. Another site http://www.audubonslehigh.org/route.htm tells a bit about the area and is a drive we often follow today. Years ago we used to drive the Honey Hole Road, not just because we loved its name, but because it was a beautiful ride. They are in the process of turning it into a State Park, also. Catch a glimpse at - http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/nescopeck.aspx. I practically grew up in these parks and in http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/francesslocum.aspx which is near Trucksville where I lived with my maternal grandparents until I was 9. We drive thru a part of http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/bigpocono.aspx most summers. We also drive thru Tobyhanna http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/tobyhanna.aspx each year, and are just a stone’s throw from bunches of other parks.
As a little kid, I used to go to Ricket’s Glen a lot. It is on my list of places I want to go back to again while I still can walk a little bit. Maybe next year????? http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/rickettsglen.aspx.
My brother keeps talking about selling the Tree House (our house in White Haven) and I am kind of OK with that… well it has been in the family for 4 generations… but those stone steps just about do me in… but I kind of panic when I think I might not be able to see my favorite waterfalls again. Then I found out there are cabins available in some of the Pennsylvania parks. I just discovered that when looking at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/worldsend.aspx#cabins. Now I am kind of excited! But the waiting list is probably years long, like when we went to St John’s in the Caribbean, I think we had to wait 2 years to get the accommodations we wanted. Anyway, it may be an option, after all, since we pack up and take all the same stuff when we go to the tree house. That part would not be much different – it’s just that there would be NO STEPS to take to get in or out of the house. I vote for that!
So here are a few pictures all within 10 miles of the Tree House, most from Hickory Run or the Lehigh Gorge. We live 7 miles from Hickory Run and 400 feet from Lehigh Gorge. These shots, however, are closer to Rockport than White Haven. I just remembered, I promised pictures of the Tree House, too – so maybe I will do that tomorrow.


I borrowed the shot of the road where you actually drive thru the creek. The water was low this year when we were up, and my old legs just did not want to climb down the bank to get a picture. I have some from previous years - I just haven't dug them out yet.
And last but not least, did I mention why we go when we do? I will add just one or 2 shots of the Mountain Laurel that is usually in full bloom when we are up there. As you can see, it goes as far as the eye can see. As the laurel fades, the Rhododendron starts to bloom. I will do more on the flora and fauna in another post. Blooms and BEARS!
Unfortunately the shots of the falls don't include all the beauty in bloom around them and to expand the view to include everything would make the images too small to be effective.
Anyway, for what its worth, here are a few reasons why I love to go to the Poconos!

1 comment:

Takin'pictures said...

Beautiful pictures and entertaining prose. I have never been to the Poconos, but now I want to go. Looking forward to pictures of the tree house.