Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cook Forest part 2

The park chaplain came by this morning to invite us to Sunday service in the park and we got to talking about the Rangers that stopped last night and the Bus. The guy in the next site heard us and came over. He said I'm a lawyer and when I saw the rangers talking to you and looking inside your vehicle last night I thought to myself this guy needs a lawyer but when they left I stayed put, now I know what happened.

The part of Cook Forest we are at is nice and the old growth pines are of incredible height and the smell is so wonderful. There are also plenty of trails from easy to difficult but no real breathtaking vistas or scenery. One beautiful overlook was Seneca Point and the view from the fire tower we climbed was also beautiful. Both of these are across from Ridge Campground where we stayed.

The fire tower was crazy, it seemed to sway. It was put out of service years ago and shows. The height wasn't listed but the sign said it looks over the 130 foot tall pines. I found out later the height is 80 feet. A mother and her young daughter, maybe 8, started to climb it. The lady chickened out so the husband took the daughter and their even younger son, maybe 4, up. She told us I am a very protective mother but I can't look. I am thinking neither one would win parent of the year award. The steps are open and so easy for a kid to slip through. They were from Eastlake which is a city over from where I live, maybe that has something to do with it.

The trail we hiked was the Longfellow Trail. Only 1.2 miles. Some of the white pines on this trail are over 400 years old and some are the tallest in the Northeastern US at 150 feet, one is 183 feet.

But believe it or not most of the excitement centered around the GoGo Bus and meeting people. Nick started keeping count how many came up to us but quickly stopped. At one store we pulled in I was waiting for this lady to back out so I could grab her spot. She starts backing up, stops in the middle of the parking lot, gets out with her friend and both take pictures and then zoom off. How could I yell at them​ Another couple we met at Mac Beths convenience store ran into us again on a trail and said hey its the purple bus people. And of course at the campground, I think just about everyone had to peak at it.

In the morning church and then a slow cruise back, maybe the Tionesta area or the Canfield, Ohio fair. Hard to believe we are at the end of the summer vacation season, it seems like it just got here.

That's all for now.
Gotta GoGo!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cook Forest, Pa - part 1

A Pennsylvania rangers patrol car stops abruptly, two rangers get out with flashlights, they march up to me rather quickly and say OH you're not in any trouble we just wanted to see your vehicle.

Rewind. A week and a half ago I asked Nick you want to go camping? I called Cooks Forest in Pa they had two spot lefts. I grabbed one and made plans. I tried to rally a few people into going but you know what, I am tired of cheer leading so it was me and Nick and that's alright by me. Nicks a good traveler and never complains whats on the agenda.

In typical Carey fashion I wanted to leave by 10 am Friday but didn't leave until 2pm. But it always works out for the best. I had to do an oil change before we left. Wow did my oil look bad. Then we headed to the local gas station in Wickliffe filled her up and that's when Nick walked back to the Bus after paying and told me look under the Bus. His face told the story. I was chicken to look and kept asking what? Just look. So I did and OH no, whats that leaking? Gas! Pulled it to the side of the station, crawled under and found the culprit. The small hose from the gas filter to the gas pump was – chewed? It seemed that way to me, Nick said naww and I said yes gnaw. I have a mice problem in my garage and the GoGo Bus. They pooped all over the top of my engine and somehow got into it and pooped in my chip bowl I left in it. Didn't know mice like BBQ chips.

I am thankful the line ruptured close to home and not on the freeway.

We were making OK time but the Bus was running rough so we stopped before Youngstown at Craig Woodruffs place, he rebuilds carbs and just did mine. He gave it a few adjustments and said have a nice trip. We took notes from him of places to see in Cooks Forest and headed back to Rt 80.

We made it to Shippendale the place I thought the male strippers come from, then I realized its SHIPPENVILLE. Driving through town was a small little grocery store, Red & White. A real throw back. It had small signs in front like Burma Shave one after the other. The smoked pork chops sign was the one that got to me. The store has wood floors, mounted heads of animals, some dry goods, essential groceries, produce, and in the back the butcher counter, deli and a small room where he does the smoking and making of jerky. The smell of the place was wonderful.

The owners name is Dan Stiller. They asked if we wanted to try their Bologna, wish I would of. After we left I noticed their business card said Try our almost famous Bologna & other smoked meats. After a few laughs we left. Its a good thing I didn't listen to Nick, he didn't want to stop. Not only because we found quality meat but because we were going the wrong way. The owner directed us to Rt 66 and said head towards Leeper and we did.

One more stop before the campground at another Red & White for pop, but they are not related or a chain according to the first one.

A short distance from the campground entrance we see road flairs and a patrol car with flashers. A little bit further more emergency vehicles, a tow truck and someone directing traffic around an accident. This was a You Tube moment if there ever was one but I tell you if it doesn't come out on my vid cam I will strangle Nick. I handed him the cam because I had to pay attention to driving and said tape whats going on. He momentarily put the cam down before I could pick it back up. What do I hope came out? The emergency workers, paramedics or what ever they were stopped look up and said hey neat vehicle! Oh my gosh! I am sure the party involved wasn't to thrilled to see the GoGo Bus.

We set up camp. Nicks excited his first tent experience. He said he usually sleeps in cars. After supper I nap wake up just about to exit the Bus when a Rangers car pulls up, two rangers get out in a hurry with flash lights drawn. My mind raced, was it the wood we took, the electric hot plate I am using, Euclid coming to get me. I must of seen scared because the one said to me Oh you are not in trouble we just want to see your vehicle. But they sure must of thought I was stoned. If you don't know me its this way after a nap or just waking... silence please, coffee and then you can talk. I forgot where I was at and said you are from the NY police? Duh! They enjoyed the brief tour of the Bus and took off.

It was the first time cops asked politely if they could look in my vehicle and the first time I more than obliged.

Part Two to come, stay tuned....
Gotta GoGo!!

back from cook forest, pa - intro

Hey Gang,
Just returned from a 3 day escape to Cooks Forest. A quickly planned trip. For the most part things went well. It was a quieter trip, a trip to unclutter the mind as the camp chaplain said.

I saw things and areas that I have never been to before. And its not that far from my home, about 160 miles away. Not sure why I never went before. Maybe the high price of gas is good, its keeping me closer to home – yeah right.

It really is disturbing what has happened to our dollar under this current regime. I am not sure how the rest of you are getting along but its tough for me to justify traveling, I feel as if I am just throwing my money away. Camping was always one of the cheapest things to do. Here are just a few things that had me really upset: about $132 in gas for round trip of about 400 miles - camp site $62.00 for 2 nights in a state forest – bundle of wood for 2 nights $30 and corn, always one of the cheapest things is now at $4.50 for a doz! Crazy!!!!!!

Well I am going to post my outing in segments as I wrote them. But before I do that have to tell you my dream.

The weather was quite ideal Friday through early Sunday morning when it briefly stormed then dried up and didn't rain again till we started driving home late afternoon. All days were hot and sunny perfect way to end the summer travel season. Sunday morning at 5 am I awoke from a strange dream.

A storm was gathering that turned into a tornado. At the base of this twirling funnel cloud were Batman & Robin with their arms crossed. They were HUGE. I ran inside to tell my family and they said this is no storm but a tornado, hide. Just then a loud crack and BOOM woke me from the dream. I looked out the window startled. It had woken Nick also and he said yes Carey its a thunderstorm.

Now don't go writing to me saying my guardian angels must be super heroes it was only a dream... or was it?

Gotta GoGo!!