So on this mini weekend, we visited Centralia. If you'll remember, Sam and I took the motorcycle there last year, but were too dim witted to find the abandoned road covered with graffiti. We kind of figured that maybe it was so abandoned that it crumbled to bits and evaporated. We mostly thought this because the fact that we were just too dim witted to find the abandoned road was a less pleasant thought. We found it this year. Turns out, it wasn't hard to find at all.
After our day at Centralia (or hour and a half, but who's counting) we visited some state parks. We love state parks immensely, because Pennsylvania is such a pretty state with so many wondrous things to see. No flat and boring here! The hills we love provide for waterfalls and other fun things. Ricketts Glen State Park has so many waterfalls that it's nearly impossible to see them all in a day. The Falls Trail has the most, and while Sam and I hiked the 7 mile loop in 2.5 hours last year, we knew it would be too much with Micah this year. We walked down the side with the largest falls, got some fun pictures with a few, and hiked back up out.
Yes, we took the dog, because he provided us this vacation. State parks are dog friendly, of course. It's part of the reason that we love them. They're non discriminatory that way. And yes, Louie kept right up with us, because he's an athletic dog. I bet if you'd give any small dog a chance, they'd hike with you, too. I'm not entirely sure we're doing pets a favor by toting them in purses. But that's just my opinion. What do I know?
Sam had wanted family pictures this summer before Quincey leaves for college, but like a doofus, I didn't think to bring a ginormous reflector to the park. One doesn't think of intense shadows in the forest while packing for an overnight with a dog in tow. Plus, what kind of vacation would it be if we didn't fail at something?
Never fear, however, because a very kind lady was taking photos of her daughters at the falls, and she had a ginormous reflector that she was willing to loan to us. Note: it's hard to get a ginormous reflector to work well when you have a ginormous family to reflect light onto. You only get half of the crew. The fact that Sam was forced to stand on rocks in the creek, and couldn't get into an optimal position to reflect light just so didn't help, either. But we did get something that's not horrible even if it's not good.
This is workable as a family photo, I think, even with the ginormous reflector finding it's way into the photo. Hey, even Louie got in there!
You guys, I was way impressed with that small son in the green shirt. He was such a trooper that whole trip, keeping up with the family and never once complaining about not being able to climb rocks or navigate steep things. He simply asked for hands to hold and supportive siblings to guide him. He was thrilled to be able to go and do with the family, even if he did gag a little when he stepped on creek bed slime in his bare feet, and get nervous about unsure footing in the freezing cold water. He did so much better than we feared he might. Our fear was that he'd ask to be carried, and nobody can lunk that 120 pounder very far at all.
We have Red Roof Inn to thank for allowing us the opportunity to have a family get-away this year.