In the Coming Year: A PA Wilds bucket list
Well, it’s been decided: I’m writing for the Pennsylvania Wilds for another year. It’s been almost four years now, and it’s been a really positive experience for me. All of these articles have turned me loose in a thirteen-county area I would not have otherwise experienced very much. And, though I’ve been doing this stuff for a while now, there are still plenty of things out there for me to explore.
As the year turns over into 2022, I’m slowly making a list of new things I’d like to do and places I’d like to explore. A bucket list, in a way. Admittedly, the first thing I’d like to do is finish writing this article. My editor has been very patient. But after that, I’ve been thinking.
One thing I’d love to do is go explore Cook Forest. Cook Forest State Park has some of the oldest and tallest pine and hemlock trees in the Northeast, well worth seeing. I’ve been in the Cook Forest and the Ancients Landscape, and I like Clarion County. But I’ve never actually hiked Cook Forest and seen the old-growth trees. That’s something I’d love to get to; the photos show that it’s one really neat, almost prehistoric-looking place.
Visiting the Straub Brewery would be pretty awesome. A couple of years ago, Ed Byers wrote a piece for the PA Wilds about Straub beer, made in Saint Marys, and I gave it a try. It’s actually a really good beer, and I’m hooked now. (Curse you, Ed Byers!) I’ve had several six-packs of Straub since then, and I’d love to visit the brewery and see how it’s made.
I’ve been to Ole Bull State Park already, but I’ve never camped there—I’ve only been up for a few short hikes. I’d love to camp out there overnight, set up the tent and sleep over with my family. Ole Bull has a really neat history. Musician Ole Bull lost money while trying to found communities in the area, and never was able to create the towns he wanted. Today, the land he wanted to build on is a state park, with camping and nice hiking trails. I’d love to camp out there. There’s even a ghost story. A legend states that you can still hear the ghost of Ole Bull, playing his violin at night. Maybe one of these nights I’ll get the chance to find out.
And I’d enjoy taking a trip back to Doolittle Station. I’ve already been there, but I’d love to go again. Since I live in the I-80 Frontier, it’s not easy to find things I haven’t already done here once. But I did make a stop at Doolittle Station a few years ago, and my family had a great time.
Doolittle Station is a neat stop in Clearfield County that has diners with good food, but that’s not all. There are also all sorts of cool sculptures to see outside—several types of dinosaurs, which my son loved, and my personal favorite, Bigfoot. We stopped there on a trip a few years ago, and I’ve always wanted to go back.
And something else I’ve been meaning to do is to get to know other communities. I know Lock Haven. I’ve lived in Lock Haven for thirty years. I give tours and write about it. Clearly, I’ll never know any other community as well….But I’d like to try.
I’m thinking I’ll start with Saint Marys. I’ll learn about it and write about it (I already did one article about it, and it was fascinating.) And then I’ll move on to other communities—-Warren, Emporium, Wellsboro. I’d like to learn their history and get to know them.
I’ve loved exploring the Pennsylvania Wilds. And, clearly, I’m not finished yet. There are still plenty more things for me to see and do here, until I finish the whole list….And I’m working on that.
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