Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 22 – Staten Island to Laurel Hill State Park, Pennsylvania


It was a day of driving. It poured down rain from the time we entered NJ until about 50 miles from our destination. I had checked the forecast and was quite confident that we would be rain free so I wasn’t too overly concerned. I really wish we had a little more time. We ended up getting off the Turnpike for about 40 miles or so and it was fantastic to be driving through the countryside again. There is so much history here in the Appalachian Mountains. We went through one little town…ummm….it was called…ummm…..Bedford, PA and there on the corner was an old tavern with a placard out front that said something to the effect, “Col. George Washington stopped here in 1750 to do something….” Freakin’ cool!!! I’m sure that the locals have really no interest whatsoever in the history of their towns. Back on the Turnpike we went.
So, the speed limit on these toll Turnpikes is always 55 or 65. Everyone drives 80. Cops be damned. I had made a vow that I would drive the speed limit this whole trip. Well….if I drove the speed limit on the Turnpike, I would literally be putting our lives in danger so I figured setting the cruise control to about 73 or so would keep me out of trouble. We’re driving along and I see in my rear view mirror a car that is seriously hauling-ass. I see that it’s a sports car of some sorts…I was doing almost 80 and it was coming up on me really fast. I alert Dylan as one of the new Maserati sports cars and a fully raced out Mercedes coupe go flying by. On the back of the Mercedes there was a vinyl sticker that said, “” We looked it up and it seems to be an “invitation only” rally of the most expensive cars out there driven by celebrities and other rich dudes. The entry fee is $20k!!!! A few minutes later, a tricked out Caddy STS goes flying by. Very cool. Dylan wanted to keep driving on the freeway but, alas, we were at our exit. Check out their website, it’s sounds like a party.

We arrived at Laurel Hill State Park around 5ish and, after setting up camp, the very first thing I had to do was laundry. Ugh!! Two loads of really, really stinky camp clothes. While hanging out folding clothes and such, we met some really nice people and enjoyed chatting for a while. Dylan had done a lot of exploring on the bike while I was doing laundry. It seems there’s a beach at the lake right over the hill from our site. Dylan scoped out some “hot chicks” and announced that he wants to stay an extra day here. I don’t think we can afford the time. I really want to make sure that we have available extra days for us in Yellowstone. Everyone has said that you can spend 2 weeks in Yellowstone and never see it all. I’m trying for at least 2 full days…maybe 3 there.

So, I had my last load of laundry in the dryer and a very nice woman had come in and put her laundry in the washer. After about 45 min., she walks over to our camp and asks if it would be ok if she took our clothes out and folded them and brought them to us! HuH? Now THAT is the friendliness that we’ve been looking for for 22 days now!!! I said that I would be there to take my clothes out in a few minutes. I’m taking my clothes out and I thanked her profusely for the offer of folding and bringing us our clothes. She said that some people might get a little weirded-out having a stranger fold their laundry, that’s why she asked first. How cool is that!!??

Dylan and I went for a bike ride after dark to check out the lake. This park truly is beautiful and I do wish we had the time to spend an extra day here. Part of the ride takes us through a grass field. It was almost pitch black and the only reason we were able to ride was because Dylan had ridden the trail a few times before. In the middle of this field, Dylan stops to catch a firefly. He held it in his hands and the little guy just glowed and glowed. Fireflies are my buddies. They just seem to make everything better in some way. They are a little bit of magic in a world obsessed with reason. They make me smile….every single time I see one. Los Angeles needs fireflies. When we got back to camp, our Citronella candles were still burning and next to them were two freshly baked blueberry muffins!!! HA!!! More magic!!! Maybe it was the laundry girl, maybe it was the family with the 4 kids we met….we don’t know. All we know is that they were a wonderful finish to what started out being a non-eventful day! The forest was unbelievably quiet. No crickets, no katydids, no cicadas, no frogs. Weird. It was starting to get cold. We went to bed and actually slept inside our sleeping bags for the first time in about 20 days. I slept like a baby. Dylan is still sleeping as I write this.

Addendum: As Dylan and I were drinking the last of our coffee this morning, the "laundry lady" came by with her two young'uns and asked if we enjoyed our muffins last night! Dylan and I thanked her for her gracious gift of blueberry goodness and chatted a bit with her. What a treat to finally meet someone who is truly a nice person strictly for the sake of being nice. We formally introduced ourselves to Julie, her husband, John and her little boys, Hunter and Lane. We gave them the address to this blog so....THANK YOU JULIE for the blueberry muffins!!!!! We will always remember you.

Off to Ohio today!!

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