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2011 Trip across the US
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Thursday, September 6 - Ricketts Glen State Park, PA - 287 Miles Today, 15,366.7 For the Trip
I was wrong about not getting a cell signal - I do have one here in the park, at least Verizon, but it is so slow that while connected for 1/2 an hour it only managed to download the headers of my mail. According to the WiFi Ranger control panel, I'm connected at 37Kb, or far less than an old fashion dial up modem.
Lots of miles today; more than most of the daily drives on the trip. Almost all of it was on interstates or 4 lane roads, with the exception of the last 30 miles. The last 3 miles were interesting. Between Red Rock & Ricketts Glen State Park there is a 2 mile, 18% grade (uphill into the park), probably the steepest of the trip (at least on a paved road). The RAV4 did fine, pulling 40 mph in 2nd gear.
Ricketts Glen is my favorite state park. I love many others, but the variety of waterfalls, rapids & cascades along two streams running through the park provide some of the most interesting hiking anywhere. This is my 5th visit to the park, and the first at this time of year. While I prefer the color provided by the Fall leaf change, the streams are pretty anytime. I was hoping for a chance to see what the cascades & waterfalls looked like with a minimum of water going over them, but evidently there was quite a bit of rain over the last couple of days & the streams are running strong. Many of the sections of the stream were muddy giving some of the cascades & waterfalls a brown color. We will see what tomorrow looks like...
For those of you who don't like long exposure water photos, you probably should skip today & tomorrow's post. I know they are overdone, but I love to shoot them.
After setting up the trailer in Site 76 in the small loop, I drove to the Rose Lake parking lot & hiked down to Tuscarora Falls, photographing most of the falls along the Ganoga Glen as well as many cascades. I headed back when it began to thunder. It never did rain, but there have been distant thunderclaps all afternoon. There is a 40% chance of thunderstorms overnight. I'll try to shoot the rest of the falls on the Glen Leigh side as well as below "Where Waters Meet" tomorrow. I'll "cheat" and drive down the hill to the parking lot along PA 118 so I'll be hiking uphill to take the photos. You get a much better view of what things look like on the way up stream, and after you finish taking photos the return is downhill! All in all, the entire waterfall look os a little over 7 miles.
I got back to the trailer around 5:30 with my clothes soaking wet (sweat, not rain). While the park calls the Falls Trail "Most Difficult Hiking", I am still managing to do it 3 days from my 68th birthday. It isn't all that difficult as long as you are willing to stop and take a break, particularly when climbing the stairs along side the larger falls. There are no actual staircases, just flat rocks arranged as treads in the steeper areas. In some cases you are scrambling over rocks & tree roots but all in all, well defined trails.
I had a long, hot shower & put together a large salad for dinner. I had picked up a steak, but will save it for tomorrow.
Until Tomorrow or whenever I get an internet connection -
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Last Update: September 7, 2012