Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer 2018 - Day 36: We Got To See Punxsy Phil as well as a Covered Bridge!

One of the things that we like to do is look for covered bridges. So on our way to Clearfield County, we made a quick stop by Punxsutawney again to say hi to our favorite weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil! And guess what, this time Phil was out in all his groundhog glory!                       

Phil looks a lot larger than I first thought, kind of like a fat house cat. The square was getting ready for Groundhog Festival happening the week of July 4th. There were a few rides already set up as we were there.

Saying goodbye to Phil and his upcoming festival, we drive over to Clearfield County and The McGees Mills Covered Bridge.
McGees Mills Covered Bridge
Only remaining covered bridge over any branch of the Susquehanna River. Thomas McGee built this single span Burr arch truss bridge in 1873 for $175 using hand hewed white pine timbers from the area. It was the last covered bridge built in Clearfield County. Thousands of rafts floated under bridge including the last raft in 1938. Listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Renovated 1994 after collapse from snow damage.

The bridge over the West Branch at McGee's Mills is the only covered bridge crossing the Susquehanna River and the only one still being use din Clearfield County. The 122-foot span was built in 1873 by Thomas A. McGee, a son of the town's founder, Reverend James McGee. During the thaw of the winter of 1873, floodwaters rushed downstream and the bridge became one of its casualties. The commissioners appropriated $1,500 to repair the structure, but Mr. McGee, a lumberman, spent just $175 to repair the arch type truss type span.

This type of bridge style was patented in 1804 by Theodore Burr, the famous early bridge builder. In 1976 the bridge was closed for renovations and reopened in 1978. It was placed on the National Register of Historical places with dedication ceremonies being held on May 15, 1982. On March 14, 1994, mother nature again created havoc in the area. During this record breaking snow and ice storm, the roof of the span collapsed. After 19 months of renovations, the bridge was rededicated on October 11, 1995. The scenic spot remains one of the most popular photograph taking attractions in Clearfield and surrounding counties.

McGees Mills Covered Bridge is open for car and pedestrian traffic. Be careful if you're crossing by foot.

Walking across the bridge.

On the other side is this sign for the West Branch Covered Bridge Association. I tried looking it up, but couldn't find out how to join the association. Hmm, mysterious...

Walking back across the bridge.

The McGees Mills Covered Bridge is a lovely bridge just waiting for you to pay it a visit. And if you find out how to join the West Branch Covered Bridge Association, let me know. I'll bet being a member would be a trip!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 33 - 35 - Have Game Trail Will Travel


Now that we're here full time, I've been makign the most of the game trails available here, long stretches of nature with a built in driven path. Sometimes when it's getting dark you can even see a deer running across the path. Today I only saw an uncommon bun-bun. Look at it I say!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 32 - Game Trail, With Actual Game!

The rain from yesterday followed us to today up to about 8 am. Luckily it stopped so I could head down the game trails that are near the park. It was still pretty muddy. It's going to take a few days of sun to get everything dry again.
Later on in the day, it got lighter and I took another walk. I actually saw three deer on the path, but my phone had a hard time picking them out on the side there. So there is actual game on the game trail! I'll have to be careful of that in the future.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 31 - Will Pittsburgh For Views

Driving into a large city is pretty unnerving for us. We're just so unused to it. Even when we lived in Anaheim, we would dread trips to Los Angeles. The cars become much more numerous and the driving more tricky. On doing photo research on the street, I thought there would be plenty of on street parking. The only thing is the people who live across the street are taking up all the spots. So we continue to circle the block wondering what to make of all the street signs with 1 hour parking or street sweeping. It's just not very clear. Then we decided to just park next to these houses near the restaurant and hope for the best. How much could a parking ticket be?

At Korea Garden Restaurant after a long spell from not having any Korean food. Glad that it was good after such a long wait!

We were discussing if parking is such an utter nightmare that maybe we would forgo the next stop, but we decided to try it just in case. We didn't struggle as much to find parking going to the Seoul Mart. It was here we realized it was next to Carnegie Mellon University. The streets were super maintained and clean. It was like a completely different city even though it was a five-minute drive away.

The Seoul Mart was only about four aisles, but it did have an emphasis on Korean food. It better have if it's calling itself Seoul Mart!

The rain had been going off an on throughout the day. If we didn't have to be in Pittsburgh today, we would've played it safe back in Shippenville rather than drive all the way through the bad weather. But drive we did, and luckily the rain stopped so we could park at the structure on Liberty Street and walk across to the Harris Theater.

Outside around 6:30 pm, there wasn't a group of people waiting or anything like that. In fact there didn't seem to be too many people arriving yet. Maybe we were fashionably early?

We walked in to find a man with a clipboard checking for names. From the front doors we walked into the lobby which was well lit and really warm. We made a beeline over to the concession stand and ordered a large Sprite to help us cool down. We tried to enter the theater, but one of the filmmakers told us they were still having some issues.

Eventually they did let people in, although it was obvious they were still having some problems. Either the curtains wouldn't open all the way or the sound was off. But even after a small time delay, they got the film (or Blu-Ray) going with no problems.

After the screening was finished, the audience applauded. And then Paul's dad stood, soon followed by the rest of the theater all standing and clapping for the stars and the filmmakers alike.

Soon the Q&A session ended. As Weird Paul emerged, although it was his big night and he was beyond busy, he took a moment for a photo. What a great guy!

Surprisingly it was still a bit light outside. Better for us to make it back home without hopefully hitting a deer on these Pennsylvanian roads. It took some time but we indeed made it back to the RV park. As we drove up, the skies began to pour once more, leaving us to bring in all the Korean food as fast as we could while the cold rain drilled into our backs.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 30 - I See A Tree


I see a tree
A tree I see
I see a tree in front of me
The tree in front of me, it laughs
"He he! He he!"

Okay, I forgot what we did. I think we went to Eat N Park or something. But I for sure walked on the game trail since I took this photo.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 29 - Trails and Empty Pools


Another morning on the Pennsylvania game trails. The sun was out today!





After going to Sakura Buffet, went to Cook Forest where they had the French Indian War reenactment. Only today it was eerily quiet as we were the only people on the trail. Saw a chipmunk I tried to take a photo of, but was too slow. Check out this chipmunk colored blur!



Although today is the first official day of Summer, the pool wasn't yet filled. In fact, it looked rather neglected with fallen leaves blown up against the doors.

Even the kiddie pool can't get any love!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 28 - Even The Rain Can't Stop The Timbits!


The rain seems to be coming and going, drenching everything one second then going away the next. When we thought it was safe, went driving to Franklin and their Eat N Park and Tim Hortons. We did manage to get a bit rained on though. By the time we made it back from Walmart shopping, it was pouring and we had to run everything inside including a new pillow.

Later on we walked on the game road near the park. It was pretty nice until it decided to start raining again on the way back. Silly rain!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 27 - Back to Sakura

After a few days at Eat N Park, we decided to go back to Sakura Buffet again. I've been trying to stay committed to walking every day. There's a little game trail near our RV that I walked down. It's not that far, but it's only one way. This is the way that hunters travel, I guess. But I haven't really seen anyone driving in or out of the trail since I've been here.

I can't imagine if two cars were to meet in the middle of the road!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 21-26 - A Haze of Eat N Park Visits and Tim Hortons in the USA

For the first couple of weeks since we arrived here in Shippenville, Pennsylvania, we kept noticing the sign for Eat N Park. "Now what is that?"we thought. It didn't sound promising, to tell the truth. But after a bit of review online, it seems like a restaurant in line with a Denny's or something along those lines, although with a great soup and salad bar.  Our first Eat N Park was in Franklin, PA. But, since we have another one just a freeway exit away, we can have it whenever we want!
The reason we were originally in Franklin, Pennsylvania, was we heard a rumor, a rumor that was too good to be true, except it was true! Tim Hortons has a few locations in the United States, and one of those is around 30 miles away.
Admire the box of Timbits, the very same as we had in Vancouver, BC a few years ago. Amazing to see a great Canadian export so close to our location. Besides that, nothing else that's really been going on since our visit to the Christmas Story House a week ago. It's been getting warmer though, a full 87 degrees today!
And now, a photo of Zooey choosing an Amazon box over a comfy cat bed.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Summer 2018: Day 20 - The Christmas Story House - Cleveland, Ohio


Our first trip into Ohio, and what better thing to go check out than The Christmas Story House! As we circled the block looking for parking, there were several signs saying the street was being worked on. So we parked at a paid lot right next to the house.

On the street you can see the exterior of the house free of charge. However, if you want the full experience, head across the street to The Christmas Story Store. If there was anything Christmas Story related that you ever wanted, it's probably right here! BB guns, bunny suits, Department 56 miniatures, even Ovaltine!





After you purchase a ticket at the store for a tour, you wait for your appointed time and then a guide will lead you from the store across the street to the house itself.

The door opens on a familar scene, the leg lamp ensconced in its packing crate.

The the guide moves to the staircase, which gives him a few feed above everybody else, and they tell the story of how Bob Clark became a fan of Jean Shepherd and how Clark's success with Porky's gave him the leverage needed to make A Christmas Story.

After the guide finishes with the history of A Christmas Story, you're free to roam around the house and explore for yourself. You can explore the downstairs with the front room, kitchen and dining room, or you can head upstairs to Ralphie and Randy's room and the bathroom.

Didn't see the silver zeppelin, but did find the blue bowling ball!

Up the stairs into Ralphie and Randy's room, complete with two beds.

Next is a trip to the bathroom where someone's left their confidential code cracking material out for everyone to see.

Back downstairs to the kitchen


And from the kitchen we walk to the back of the house where Ralphie first tested out his new air rifle.

Across the street is a bench dedicated to director Roy Clark.

And finally the tour leads us to the Christmas Story Museum, chock full of props and other items related to the movie.

One of the six Red Ryder air rifles made for the movie.

Our group is rounded up and led out the exit of the museum to admire the reproduction cars in the garage. We head to the Rowley Inn where I have what really is Cleveland's best grilled cheese sandwich!