Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Coal Country and Rain...

30 June 2009 Tipton, PA to Stroudsburg, PA 205 miles

Pictures L to R: Central PA farm land; Sharing the road with the horse and buggies; Lilies growing wild in the forests...something I've never seen before; The town of Jim Thorpe, PA, named for one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.

We woke to gray, rainy skies as we packed the car. We were hoping that the sky would clear, and we would be able to camp tonight, but the rain continued to follow us most of the day, and then got much worse the further east we went...

We headed up old highway 220 from our cousins house, then picked up Highway 45 toward Lewisburg. The drive was beautiful, through forest and farmland along the way. At one point on the highway, we were sharing the road with horse and buggies. We crossed the West Branch of the Susquehanna River at Lewisburg, and then the Susquehanna shortly after that in Sunbury PA. This town had a wall built along the river, we think as flood protection. They had stairways going up one side of the wall, and down the other spaced out along the river front. Good for flood protection, but it sure did mess up the view of the river. The town of Sunbury was all decked out in red, white, and blue for the 4th, as were most of the small main street towns we traveled through.

I am amazed at the variety of towns and neighborhoods we are passing through…In trying to work our way down to Highway 209, we traveled through what we were told was “coal” country, and really hit some of the back roads of Pennsylvania. It was actually an eye opener for both David and I to see the mountains of coal being mined, the dark gray dust gathering and settling on virtually every surface, and some of the small, small towns still surviving…barely. In some areas, the roads got narrower and much more twisty; the houses were jammed so close together and built up so tall between rock faces of the hillsides that we were beginning to feel a bit claustrophobic. I was actually surprised to see that abject poverty level and disrepair in this day and age—so many churches sponsor mission trip to other countries, and there is a huge need here in our own backyards. I was so busy looking around, that I forgot to take some pictures...or grabbed the camera too late!

As the afternoon progressed, the weather worsened and we were soon in rain again. Another severe thunder storm watch was in effect for this area…so camping is out…we decided to continue driving and try to reach Stroudsburg, PA, a town on the Penna and New Jersey border on the fringes of the Poconos. We had discovered this thriving town with neat shops and cafes about three years ago when we were back here for a side-trip to see the Statue of Liberty. We ended up staying at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn, ( up on the hill from the main town. If you need a fabulous place for a weekend get-away—or a wedding—and are headed toward eastern PA, this should be your destination! The main building and the old mill were built in the early to mid-1800’s, although they have expanded over the years to include cabins, a day spa, meeting rooms, a bridal suite, and an outdoor pool, as well as a nadatorium—indoor pool. This inn is family owned and operated, and they have wonderful dining room attached with the most fabulous food and service. The price of the room included a full breakfast—made to order, with fresh fruit, juice, coffee, pastries, and more! Yumm...

1 comment:

  1. Dave and Peggy,
    It was so great meeting you here in Lansford, (Carbon County) PA in front of my studio. I posted the pics of you on my website. Hope that you stop by to check them out.

    Stay safe and happy motoring!