Today we leave our favorite place, Cades Cove, for a long, familiar drive to New Jersey to see some of our favorite people --grandson Anthony Serpico (age four) and his parents Joanie and Tim. We will take two days to cover the 700+ miles. The route up Interstate 81 and across the Pennsylvania Turnpike is routine. We start with no intermediate destination in mind.
" How about Shenandoah NP?"
""There is a mysterious Airstream only park reported in West Virginia..."
Eventually, with over 500 miles behind us, we pulled into Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Pensylvania. It's a lovely park set in deep woods. The facilities are new, but the campsites give the feeling of a long settled place -- heavy shade, tall trees, a minimum of asphalt and some LEVEL gravel pads and electricity after a week without. We don't even unhitch, but the surroundings make us wish we had longer to stay. The Appalachian Trail winds through. (This is the place where tradition requires thru hikers to consume a half gallon of ice cream; no one seems to object to the practice.) It is also a great place for families to share a few nights with their hikers.
Quiet. cool night. In the morning we did a thorough cleaning and headed out wishing we could ride the bike trail, maybe hike a little and fish the trout stream that wanders through. Surely next time.