Heading home from Pennsylvania
May 6, 2012 – The endpoint for this trip had been the campground at Little Pine State Park in Pennsylvania. The campground has typical full service sites for campers, 5th wheelers, motorhomes, a selection of non-electric tent sites, a number of cabins and a couple of Mongolian-style Yurts. The spot where the campground is located was, in the early 1800’s, the site of the village English Mills which provided a place to live for loggers working in the area and supplying a couple of sawmills operated by John and James English who had arrived in the Pine River area in the late 1700’s. The small fenced cemetery of English Mills still occupies a small knoll near to one of the Yurts in the middle of the campground.
Lilly Connor and John Connor
To get here days earlier, we had stopped in Corning, NY where we visited the Rockwell Museum of Western Art and, later, we traveled to Wellsboro, PA where we visited the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania and The MUCK before heading further south along Hwy 414 which followed the Pine River and the Pine River Rail Trail. When we arrived at the campground, we set up our North Face Mountain 25 tent and then, using the Little Pine State Park as a home base, we had visited Woolrich PA and done a tourist-style drive-through the area and then, around the campground itself, we had walked the Lake Shore Trail and, later in the day, I had planted myself beside a fragrant bush on the side of the embankment of the Little Pine Creek dam photographing butterflies as they arrived for a bit of nectar. Now it was time for us to take a final look around the campground and head off toward home.
If possible, I try not to take the same route twice so off we went looking for a different road to travel. We headed south n 44 to an intersection with 973 and then traveled along 973 until we reached 15 had headed north. Part of 973 was well paved, a result of the road upgrading required to service the gas exploration and production in the area. The first section of the road was through forested land but it wasn’t long before our route opened out into rolling farm land.
This shallow valley showed two sides of the current activity of the area. On the one side of the valley was a traditional dairy farm; on the other side of the valley there were a series of new homes; and at the top of a rise, a water retention pond required by the natural gas development was the last point on the newly paved 30 ton gvw road. Soon after, the pavement returned to the older 10 ton gvw road that one might normally have expected in an agricultural area.
Although there are plenty of people in Pennsylvania who are happy about the economic benefits of all of the natural gas exploration and development taking place in the area, there are certainly others who are concerned about the potential adverse impact on the safety and capacity of the traditional food production activities as well as the impact that increased right-of-ways might have on both agricultural environments and the forested areas.
It wasn’t long before we were back on multi-lane divided highway and heading north on #15.
Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to photograph a fire hydrant in Elmira NY and before long we were stretching our legs on a trail at Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY.