Sunday, December 16, 2007

Raccoon Creek State Park in the snow

The weather forcast for western PA this weekend was for about a foot of snow, 50 mph winds, flooding and all sorts of other fun things. Of course, now that school is out, S was worried about getting bored. So she thought it would be a great idea to go backpacking. Preferably someplace far enough away to be interesting. Somehow, all of S's friends neglected to tell me how dangerous it was when S got bored. Furious negotiation over the following week reduced this to a mere hike, in a park that was in the county that S lived in. Much safer (for a saner L. Not that L has not done crazy things like this is the past, mind you).

So, this morning, we made our way to Raccoon Creek State Park, through the falling snow, rain, and forbidding clouds that were above during the drive there. We arrived at the parking lot off PA-18, the parking lot was empty. We picked up our packs. Checked our maps. Looked up at the gray sky, and headed up the Lake Trail (to Forest trail)

The start of the hike

Raccoon Creek features some nice trails, up hills, through evergreen conifers. One of the early ominous signs we saw were the sign notifying us that we were in No Hunting zones, which brings to mind the question, why was that important?

The other side is the safe side

The answer, of course, is obvious.

Oh, we don't want to go any further that way

One other highlight of this hike were the creek crossings. I don't know how things are the rest of the year but on weekends of rainfall, the creeks are high enough so that they cover any rocks. So we went wading through the creeks. Fortunately, S had recently purchased a pair of Gore-tex (TM) lined REI Monarch boots, with the assistance of an expert consultant. So her feet were nice and dry after wading through streams twice. After going through mud and now being dunked in a flowing creek, her Monarchs seem very happy that they found a worthy home.

Creek crossing

Around now it started snowing in earnest. And eventually we came to point in the trail that was blocked by fallen trees. So we turned around and head back.

snow covered hair

But, we also stopped to eat. S was thinking that lunch would be energy bars or sandwiches. But L thought that Pad Thai was a better choice. KL can say if this counted as an L cooked meal or not.

Chef at work

Trail cooked Pad thai

Happy customer eating pad thai

The return hike was smooth (after all, we had been there before). It was different, as the trees now had a highlighting dusting of snow, making for a Currier and Ives type scene.

Snow on conifer

We returned to the parking lot, with dirty, snow covered, muddy, wet boots.

Happy boots

And happy.

After picture
Post a Comment