The last stop on my trip before arriving home was a good one. One of my best friends from Boise, Lindsay, moved back to the East Coast two years ago, and she and I planned to meet up for a few nights of camping in Pennsylvania before I finished up my trip a few states North. I tried to research some campgrounds that would be ideally located for both of us: not too far off-route for me, not too far of a post-work drive for her. I wound up landing on Poe Paddy State Park, a bit more rustic (less campers) than its sister campground, Poe Valley State Park. It was quite a ways into the forest on old dirt roads through Bald Eagle State Forest.
|"Nature will renew this wealth if given a chance."|
I arrived in the late afternoon and was able to get to the campsite with plenty of time to walk around, get the tent pitched, and make dinner. Poor Lindsay was leaving the city in rush hour traffic on a Friday, and didn't get in until after I had gone to sleep. Still, we had the entire day on Saturday, and we didn't let any of it go to waste. We ate our breakfast and drank our tea in the early morning hours, trying not to be chatty and disturb any sleeping neighbors. After not seeing each other since January, we had lots of catching up to do! Once we had given ourselves ample time to fully awake and think about hitting some trails, we got ourselves back into the car to go explore and find a good place to run. There were several trails nearby to the campground, but I had picked up a detailed map of Bald Eagle State Forest, and we were eager to go explore and possibly find something with a vista.
We wound up pulling over at Gobbler Trail and had a nice trail run/walk into the woods. Unfortunately the trail ended at a gate with a big "private property" sign (no vista), but it was a fun trail nonetheless. The dogs and I were still getting used to running in the humidity, so the nice 4ish mile run was enough to poop them out pretty good.
Lindsay and I were both thrilled to find an awesome farm stand on the side of the road where we were able to choose from a wide variety of veggies for our dinner. We decided on asparagus and tomatoes to mix into some pasta, but the woman who owned the farm stand was kind enough to throw in a bunch more vegetables that were not attractive enough for her to sell- some nice squash and zucchini. We snacked on strawberries and tomatoes on the drive back to the campground and schemed on what a delicious feast we were going to have for our camping dinner. Lindsay and I are both very enthusiastic about vegetables, cooking, and camping, so it was a perfect combination for our reunion.
Another fun thing that we got to do for our reunion was drink a very special bottle of wine. Lindsay and I became friends shortly after we both moved to Boise, and we spent Thanksgiving together (along with her lovely partner, Sean) since we were away from our families. That Thanksgiving, with the three of us having our orphan Thanksgiving in my first apartment, was by far one of my favorites. Lindsay and I had bought a bottle of wine from Winco for that Thanksgiving celebration that we never wound up drinking. It sat it my apartment for ages, eventually moving with me when I moved into another apartment and Lindsay and Sean moved away. Lindsay has come back to Boise a few times since then, and while the bottle of wine was often mentioned, it was never at a time when we wanted to drink it. Knowing that I was going to see Lindsay on my trip, I packed the cheapo bottle of wine that was now aged three more years so that we could share it together on our camping trip. The wine was quite tasty. We drank some, poured some into a delicious sauce for our pasta, and spilled a bit on the ground. The best part was that we got to share it together after almost three years.
We didn't stay up too late after our long day of bustling around in the heat and drinking wine at four in the afternoon. We spent some time playing in the river with the dogs before dinner, which mostly comprised of Jake trying to sit on our laps and Gracie standing on a tiny rock so she didn't have to get wet. We prepared and ate our delectable feast- quite a feat with so many vegetables and only a little backpacking stove. We made a fire that lasted for about 10 minutes (neither of our strong suits), which worked out well since we were both pretty pooped. We were off to sleep before too long, but woke up the next morning happy to hit the trail again before we both made our ways home.
I found a nice trail by the river on the first day of my arrival, and Lindsay and I decided that would be a good run for the morning. The trail did not last for too long before we crossed a bridge and realized that we were on the Pennsylvania Mid-State Trail, and a rather sketchy section, at that. Shortly after crossing the bridge, we came to a place where the trail had been rerouted from its original course through a tunnel, which was quite eerie to see in the early morning hours. We decided to follow the detour for a little ways, even though we were warned by the sign that the trail was deemed "most difficult."
We scrambled up and over the rocky trail, played around on top of the hill for a little while, and came back down the way we came. It was a fun excursion, and a fun reminder that you don't need to be up in the Idaho mountains to find some technical trail, even if it is hiding out under all those lush leafy trees.
We didn't stay for too long after our run- both of us eager to get to our destinations and get settled. We said our goodbyes, which although are a bummer, never feel too final, since it is always like no time has passed when we do see each other. The dogs and I packed ourselves into the car for one final day on the road, and the rest is history. Seven or eight hours later, I was pulling into the driveway at my parents' house, where I would hunker down for five nice weeks.