I have had a lot of people ask what I brought with me on my bikepacking trip so I figured I’d put together a quick list. The following items are what my nephew and I brought for our overnight trip.
Month: August 2016
First Bikepacking Trip!
I have been TRYING all summer to take my nephew on a camping trip, but it just hadn’t been working out and has been extremely hot lately. I have also been wanting to try bikepacking for a while so I decided to see if my nephew would be able to come on a short trip with me – win win right?! 🙂
In case you don’t know what bikepacking is, it is like backpacking except you load up all your camping gear in panniers (bags that attach to your bike) so you don’t have to carry it on your back….which I probably should have explained to my sister because she mentioned she was trying to fit his sleeping bag into his backpacking bag. I had to laugh at the image of my nephew riding his new bike down the trail with his giant backpacking pack on his back. I reassured my sister that I would be carrying everything on my bike and he could just focus on riding his. 🙂
I decided to take him on the York Heritage Rail Trail – which is a trail I have ridden a few times before. The plan was to park at Glatfelters Station Parking Lot around mile 13 and then we would bike Indian Rock Campground which is right off the trail around mile 18, camp overnight, then bike back the next day. This seemed like a reasonable distance to go for an 8 year old on a new bike and myself hauling all the gear – and it is a FLAT trail which is a plus!
Centralia’s Graffiti Highway
On the way back from my camping trip to Watkins Glen we stopped off in Centralia, PA – this is a whole town that was evacuated due to a fire that started in the Coal Mine below. The fire has been burning since 1962. Some people didn’t want to leave, but eventually most of them were forced out. I am always surprised at how many people come to see this — well — area of nothing but shrubs, weeds and cemeteries – there was even a person selling hotdogs at a stand on the side of the main road (that’s a new one).
You can wander around the abandoned roads and hope to see smoke that still escapes from the cracks in the pavement and dirt to this day, although to be honest each time I go there, there is less and less smoke visible. We didn’t see any on this hot summer day. I am going to go back in the winter because supposedly you can see it better then so I’ll talk more about the town in that post.
Camping and Trails At Watkins Glen
I can not say enough great things about this campground and State Park – I love it here. This trip was not the first and certainly won’t be the last time I will visit. The campsites are large with a picnic table, fire ring and room to park your car. There are flush toilets, warm showers and electric in the bath house.
I brought my friend Cathy with – this was her first camping trip and she LOVED it. We were driving up right after work so I called and told them we would most likely get there late. They told us that wouldn’t be a problem, just to set up when we got there and check in in the morning. We ended up arriving at 9:30 which meant unfortunately it was dark. Setting up the condo (as my tent is lovingly nicknamed) in the dark is a pain – actually setting up the condo in the day time is sort of a pain because it’s so huge and old. As we were putting it together we noticed one of the tent poles was missing the hollow metal end that fits into the peg attached to the tent – bummer! We couldn’t find it anywhere so we ended up rigging that side of the tent up with extra stakes and the ring attached to the tent that the stakes go through and trying to jam the pole in the hard ground – hey it worked – even if it was a bit lop sided!