As the year closes
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a piece about things I’d like to do in the Pennsylvania Wilds called “In the coming year: A PA Wilds bucket list” – places I’d love to visit, things I want to learn. It wasn’t too hard to write. Writing for the PA Wilds has been a very positive experience for me, and I’ve loved having the opportunity to explore this part of the state.
I hadn’t planned on writing a follow-up, but here we are. As the year closes, I’m thinking that it would make a nice article if I looked back, and figured out how I did with my list. I know I didn’t get everything on it, but there’s always next year.
One of the places I didn’t get to is the Straub Brewery. Straub makes an excellent beer, and I’d love to visit the brewery sometime. That’s a little hard to do with an eight-year-old, though, so Straub may have to wait a little while. (A visit there, I mean. I plan on drinking the stuff whenever I want.)
I wanted to explore Cook Forest, and I did that. And loved it. Cook Forest is a great place, with some of the oldest trees around. There’s also a very cool swinging bridge that bounces as you walk across it. My son Paul and I enjoyed that. My wife, who is obsessed with weird concepts like “safety,” a bit less so.
Photo: Lou Bernard in Cook Forest, taken by his safety-conscious wife, Michelle Bernard
I said, back in January, that I wanted to camp at Old Bull State Park. It’s a great place in Potter County with all sorts of things to do. I didn’t get to camp overnight – ridiculous things like “work” kept getting in the way. But we did get up for a day trip, which can be a lot of fun, too.
Another thing I wanted to do was stop and eat dinner at Doolittle Station. Doolittle Station is a cool area in Clearfield County, just south of I-80, and it has sculptures of dinosaurs and Bigfoot, miniature golf, and places to eat. My family had made a brief rest stop there before, but I wanted to go back for longer.
Photo: Paul with dinosaur and Bigfoot statues at Doolittle Station near DuBois, taken by Lou Bernard
We did that – twice. Doolittle Station is a great place to stop on your way someplace else, and we stopped as we traveled to Cook Forest in June and Tionesta in August. We walked around and got our photos taken with Bigfoot and the dinosaurs, and had some food — I highly recommend the sausage sandwich. We even had ice cream, to Paul’s delight. If you happen to be traveling along the I-80 Frontier in Clearfield County, this is a really good place to stop and eat.
A year ago, I commented that I know the history of Lock Haven, where I live. One of my goals is to learn about other communities. I’ll never know anywhere else as well as I know Lock Haven, but I can learn a lot about the community. And I’ve done that—I’ve learned a bit about Saint Marys, and I’ve learned a considerable amount about Tionesta, which I have visited and absolutely love. This one is ongoing—I’m going to try and keep learning about these places out there; there are a lot of great ones.
Photo: The Sherman Memorial Lighthouse in Tionesta, on the shore of the Allegheny River, taken by Lou Bernard
I didn’t manage to check off all of my goals for the year, but I met quite a few. And I’m not exactly disappointed, either. I’m still going to be exploring the Pennsylvania Wilds, and there’s always next year.
More From Our Blog