August 12, 2020
The Hampton Inn South Erie gave us a bag breakfast to go. I do wish they would figure out some type of protein to add to their breakfast bags.
First stop was a pre-Route 6 bonus stop – Presque Isle State Park, a peninsula in Lake Erie. It was beautiful and relaxing, low 70s and low humidity. Walking on the sandy beach, hearing the gentle lapping of waves on the shore made this Florida girl feel at home. No sharks teeth were found, although I did find a lot of tiny shells close to the lighthouse.
It took some sleuthing, but Gregg found the Route-6 Mile-0 marker at the Pennsylvania-Ohio border without us leaving Pennsylvania. From there, we turned east to begin our 400 mile adventure.
The Spillway at Pymatuning State Park is “Where the ducks walk on the fish.” The many carp, ducks, and geese clamor for the food that people throw into the water. The fish stick their large open mouths out of the water, reminding me of baby birds. It was quite entertaining.
Hanks Frozen Custard was our lunch stop. They use batch freezers that were made around 1950. Crazy! The ice cream was very smooth and creamy. Delicious! I had a Mexican Sundae – vanilla custard with hot fudge sauce and peanuts which ended up being pecans. Gregg had a Dusty Road Sundae – vanilla custard with hot fudge and sprinkled with malt powder. We both enjoyed it!
Having missed our morning coffee, we went through the drive thru at Tim Horton’s. It may have been too long for my memory since having Dunkin Donuts, but their iced mocha coffee surpassed it! Maybe it was because Gregg ordered mine with cream. Yum!
We enjoyed driving through beautiful Pennsylvania. It started out flat or rolling hills with fields and lakes interspersed, the many fish hatcheries and bait stores reveal it must be a fisherman’s dream up here. The further west we went, the more mountain ridges we drove past or through. This is America, a huge variety of homes, typography, views, and political opinions being expressed.
Oh, and many types of ice cream! Perry’s is a very popular brand up here so, “When in Rome…” We stopped for “supper” at Mt. Jewett Tastee Freeze. Curious side note, this town had many Swedish flags being flown.
In an effort to eat something other than carbs anx ice cream, our first course was grilled cheese sandwiches. They were unique. For dessert, I had one scoop (“baby”) of mocha with peanut butter swirl and brownie balls. Gregg went for “the jaw dropper” – 6 scoops in a tall cup. Too funny! He had two flavors, a cookie dough which included oatmeal cookie pieces and a caramel mix.
Perry’s Ice Cream can be purchased in grocery stores so it tasted and had the consistency of mass produced ice cream. I would eat it again yet I don’t need to.
Ice cream fueled us up for Kinzua Bridge State Park. This was a railroad trellis bridge from mountain ridge to ridge, so high at the center that the Statue of Liberty could have fit under it. In 2003, a tornado ripped most of it out. One portion remains which is now a pedestrian overlook. The twisted metal remains in the valley. We took the steep hike down to see it. The wind’s power is mind boggling.
The quandary for the night was where to stay. And we didn’t figure that out until midnight. We had one goal in mind first… to SEE STARS! Cherry Springs State Park is a certified dark sky park. Many people took chairs, snacks, and telescopes out into a field to watch the stars appear.
We bundled up, took beach towels, stadium cushions, and a pair of binoculars, found a patch of grass, and laid down to watch God’s show.
The sunset was gorgeous! The sky had whispy clouds all day so I wasn’t too hopeful for a good look at stars. What a gift! As the sun set, the clouds disappeared with the rays of light. Little by little, we saw stars appear until the sky was full.
This happens to be an active meteor shower time, so we saw a number of “shooting stars. We could easily identify the Big Dipper and the Milky. IT.WAS.BEAUTIFUL!
Typically if it is dark and I’m in a prone position, I can’t keep my eyes open. Tonight, I could barely blink. I drank in the sights, understanding for the first time in my life the draw to “sleep under the stars.” I’m not a camper, yet I longed to stay all night.
Yes, the night sky reminds me of how small I am in the universe. Yet, I felt so close to God, like I was gazing deeply into His eyes, connecting, drinking Him in.
I could have stayed all night. Yet after 10:00, we were cold and damp and had no idea where we would sleep (the park won’t let you park all night. Although they do have a campground next door. We weren’t prepared.)
Due to closed bridges being repaired, we took a very long way around to Wellsboro and stayed in an historic old hotel called Penn Wells. It reminded us of England. Loved it!
This puts us a little more than half way across PA on Route 6.
Tomorrow, the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania! And more ice cream!
PS – internet/cell service is very intermittent at best using AT&T, so I may have to add photos later. If you are on Facebook, Gregg is posting pictures as we go along.