We escaped the land of Lawn Ornaments (Gaslight Campground) at 8:30 and headed for Cook’s Forest State Park; We wanted to see the BIG Trees. The showy display of rhododendrons was just a bonus.
We hadn’t done enough research (or consulted our friend and muse) so we were surprised to see how developed the area is. Lots of cabin rentals (little cabins), canoe rentals (slow, low Clarion river) , inns and theaters, shops and such. It’s like the Poconos without the comics. The crowd isn’t the National Park-outdoorsy-gear-hanging-on-the-jeep gang we are used to. It’s more “my husband is an Eagle Scout and he wants us to do this.” They, however, seem to be having a ball and may soon buy a car rack…
The trees are BIG -- White pines saved from the axe by Mr. Cook until some far-sighted citizens and a responsive legislature bought it in 1929. The network of trails through it is extensive and heavily used, but start at the uphill end and we found that most turn back before reaching the “Forest Cathedral”.
Our attempts to capture tree pictures were less impressive than we hoped. Perhaps tomorrow we will do better or someone will leave a new Nikon on our doorstep. It is different from our other “Big Tree Place” –Joyce Kilmer Forest in North Carolina. Here it is the same tangle of fallen trunks overlapping like giant Pick-up-sticks, but here there is no understory. (Clearly off-trail bushwhacking is possible, even desirable, here, Joanie).
Our (handicapped) campsite is nice. ( I have been walking with a limp when outside.) We have a shower room and laundry 30 yards away and a dumpster perhaps a little too close. They assign these when the rest are full. Pat told them, “ We aren’t handicapped, but we ARE Old.”
Patty has a new boyfriend; we are going over to have “marbellos” with him later tonight.