Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Whirlwind Labor Day

Soooooooo, I'm studying hard for a big test in November, and that has cut down on my blogging time.  But I am popping in to share some pictures from our Labor Day weekend getaway.

We decided to explore Pennsylvania's northern tier of counties: Tioga, Potter, and McKean, and even a smidge of Warren.  Our first stop was PA's "Grand Canyon," the Pine Creek Gorge.  This is a view from Leonard Harrison State Park.  We hiked the Turkey Path down to the bottom of the gorge, where a nice rail trail runs.

Despite some rain early on, we decided the next day to go ahead and try to see for Kinzua Bridge.  The rain stopped right as we parked!  Kinzua was one of the tallest railroad bridges in the nation, until a tornado destroyed two thirds of it in 2003.  Now you can walk out on the remaining part, where they have installed glass panels in the bridge decking.

I'm really glad we got to see this.  You don't normally encounter destruction on that scale.  Something we read said that when the bridge was rebuilt with steel in the 1900s, the engineers kept the 1800s-era iron bolts that held the bridge to the concrete supports.  It's the bolts that failed.

We camped at a place called Austin Dam Memorial Park.  It's a quirky place completely run by volunteers and I am blown away by how much they have been able to accomplish.  The story of the place is sad.  In 1909, a lumber mill constructed a large dam to power their works.  Two years later, after heavy rain, the dam gave way and destroyed the mill and most of the town of Austin.  At least 78 people died, often whole families.  The park memorializes the disaster and contains the ruined pieces of the dam.  This picture doesn't do justice to their size.

On our way home on Monday, we stopped at Stevenson Dam State Park for one amazing view, and then at Hyner View State Park for another:

Hangliders use Hyner View as a take-off spot, and we were fortunate to get there right before one took the plunge.  The river below is the West Branch of the Susquehanna.

1 comment :

  1. Leonard Harrison State Park covers 585 acres land area, situated in united state. It is an ideal for the adventure seekers because here you can enjoy the white water boating, hiking, fishing, hunting, camping .
    Pine Creek Gorge also known as The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. I have enjoyed this park attraction before my bus from providence to niagara falls tour. Scenic beauty of the Grand Canyon can be seen through the Pine Creek Rail Trail.