After I flew into Las Vegas my BFF Jen picked me up from the airport and we drove to Flagstaff, AZ to spend a few days of sightseeing. On the list of planned activities was hiking Humphreys Peak. We were up before the sun and headed out to the trailhead which was only about a 15 min drive from Flagstaff. The sun was just coming up as we started down the trail at 6am – I was seriously wishing I had some gloves as it was a little chilly, but I knew it would warm up as the day went on.
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.
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!
Watkins Glen State Park is one of my favorite places to visit. The campgrounds are wonderful, bathrooms are clean with flush toilets and running water, and the hiking trails are great. The best trail is called the Gorge Trail and is the one that everyone comes to hike. The trail is carved right into sides of the gorge and goes up over 800 steps over about a mile and a half. It goes over, under and through 19 waterfalls along the way. Although the waterfalls weren’t flowing as much as I have seen in the past, it was still an extremely beautiful place to visit!
After getting rained on at Baxter State Park we decided to head to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The weather was only slightly better, but we had a hotel instead of a tent! We decided to drive the loop road and drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain first. It was so foggy and misty that there were no views at all. There was a camera man at the summit taking videos for the 100th anniversary of the park – watch HERE – you can’t miss me with my bright pink rain jacket – LOL! I’m taking the photo you see below left.
We decided to come back the next day because the weather was supposed to be slightly better. There was really no point in driving the road when you could only see a bit in front of the car because the fog was so thick. We ended up heading to our hotel to shower and then went to grab something to eat. We were pretty tired so we settled into the hotel and hoped for better weather the next day.
First, let me start this post by saying I GOT TO MEET THE SUMMIT CHICKS!!! I GOT TO MEET THE SUMMIT CHICKS!!!! 🙂
Let me backtrack: I have been using the Summit Chicks’ blog for quite some time as a reference for my own high pointing road trips. I was so surprised and excited when they contacted me shortly after I started my blog and asked if I would want to hike a highpoint with them – ummm YES!!!! 🙂 They found me because I left a comment for another blogger who was starting out highpointing and I suggested she check out their blog. After chatting back and forth we decided Katahdin in Maine would be the peak we would go after – how exciting! The Summit Chicks (Raina and Jill) put together the whole trip – it was in the works for MONTHS because you have to snag a campsite about 4 mths ahead of time for Baxter State Park. They have a ton of crazy rules and the girls did a lot of research to figure out what would be the best option to hike Katahdin.
I signed up to do a local trail run for a charity event with my sister and a friend Tracy on Sunday – we woke up and arrived early to register the day of the event and I knew the parking lot was small so I wanted to make sure we got a decent spot. The run was going to be a 10k – what I didn’t know was that the route would take us up every single steep incline that was in the forest.