Little Camper in the Forest

Once again, I’ve fallen behind with my camping trip recaps. I often try to sit down and write at the end of the day, just before I turn in. Lately though, as soon as I settle down with my laptop, I hit the wall. “I’ll finish this tomorrow,” I say to myself, but the cycle just continues, night after night.

So, this one is going back to Canada Day holiday weekend…

Our second time out in the camper took us to the Allegheny Forest of Pensylvania. We’d been to this region many times before. We usually go farther south in the the forest, but in the interest of not driving quite as far, we tried a new spot.

Traffic was fairly light on the way to the border and we got though customs quickly. However, we ended up in the most miserable traffic in Buffalo, which is rare. We usually have all of our traffic issues on the Canadian side. That led to a very late arrival in Pennsylvania and a fun excersce in backing in the camper in the black of night.

Our park was called Buckaloons and when we woke up on Saturday morning we were quite pleased by our surroundings. It had all of the amenities we look for in a campsite. It was on the Allegheny River with a trail that ran along beside it. The sites were surrounded by trees and spaced so far apart that you had complete privacy in every direction. It was also well maintained, with great facilities.

We knew it was going to be a rainy weekend, but now that we have the camper it was less of a concern for us. Still, after we had coffee and breakfast on Saturday morning were were restless, so we set out for the town nearby that we’d passed though the night before.

We poked around Warren, PA for a little while, as we waited for the rain to clear up. We did some shopping and had lunch and by early afternoon the sun came out. By then, we’d made our way to the Kinzua Dam. As, seen in other vacations, Jeremy and I enjoy a good dam (we haven’t seen the Hoover yet, it was too hot when were in Nevada last August).

The Kinzua Dam was built in the 1960s and was surrounded by some degree of contraversy, as it’s constuction meant displacing several hundred natives, along with a handfull of other small communites. This didn’t go over particularly well with the affected parties, especially the Seneca’s, who’d been given the land in a treaty signed by George Washington.

This region needed flood control though. In 1936 Pittsburgh was underwater for weeks and the threat of another devastating floodwater disaster loomed over the region for years. So, despite the concerns of the residents, the Kennedy administration moved them out and began construction and since It’s completion it’s been estimated that at least a billion dollars in flood damages have been prevented.

Apparently, Kinzua means ‚ÄúPlace of Many Fishes.”

The next day, we went to see other engineering marvel – the Kinzua Bridge. For a short time at the turn of the century this had been the tallest railroad bridge in the world. It was originally made from iron in 1882, it was rebuilt using steel in 1900. Steel was great for accomodating heavier railway cars, but it was no match for the tornado that tore though it in 2003.

Prior to it’s collape, the tressel had been in the process of restoration, as it had not actually been in use since 1959.

One end of the bridge is open to the public and features a vertigo inducing partial glass floor near at the lookout point.

Then, we were homeward bound. Although Monday had been a holiday, we came home early to spend some time around the house. Plus, it seemed unpatriotic to spend Canada Day, stateside.

Since then, we’ve been on our third trip, and I look forward to telling you all about it soon.

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