Return to Bald Eagle State Forest - Victoria Day Weekend - May 2014

mortonm

Expedition Leader
My Turn!







There is only enough space for two vehicles at the top, barely, but a nice view in both directions (no pictures, sorry)


After we finished up Poe Paddy Drive we decided to hit up a near-by railroad tunnel to check it out, we went last year but its so nice I wanted to see it twice. We didn't get any pictures this day, but we decided we would come back tomorrow and have a much closer look at it with more time to spare.

We headed back to the site and fired up a portable grill we brought and had a steak, sausage and bean dinner, 3 course protein meal!

After dinner we had a bit of time to do some planning, as Bryan #2 does quite a bit of Geo-caching so we decided to mix this in to our trip, as none of the rest of us had tried it.





At this point I would like to throw some love in the direction of Purple Lizard maps again, if you haven't gotten this map and you are planning on visiting BESF then I HIGHLY suggest that you get the map before you go, worth your money and then some. I believe they are handing these out as part of the registration package at the Mid-Atlantic Overland Festival this year.

We had a nice little fire and tucked into bed pretty early as we were tired from a long day of traveling, but we slept well with anticipation of what the next day would bring....
 

Morticon

Adventurer
I would just like to point out for those of you who missed it. That is my brother Mike in the background of this photo(The man narating this story) Just about to plow down a bag of chips. A not-so-rare and beautiful moment dont you think? HAHA
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
After a lengthy delay, I will start getting back to this, was away this weekend for a bachelor party and last weekend was camping at Turkey Point Provincial Park, Ontario for my two wheeled offroad passion...

stay tuned for updates shortly

 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
The next morning we slept in a bit (this was a vacation after all) and were packed and on the road by around 9 am. Here, again, the cabin made a huge difference as we didnt have to pack up camp and move each day. This allowed us to sleep in a little bit and allowed us to stay in the field a little longer each day.

We had decided the night before while enjoying some of Elk Creek Cafes finest ales that we would first start out by heading back to old railroad tunnel. In order to access you have to park a couple hundred yards away and cross an old railroad tunnel by foot.



This bridge spans Penn's Creek which supposedly holds some spectacular trout fishing opportunities, I will have to come back one day to do some fishing. I have never fly fished before and that might be the perfect opportunity.

Penn's Creek





you can see the water is flowing pretty quick and is quite high due to the recent heavy rains the area received, although it was noticeably lower from when we had visited less than 24 hours prior.

This is the view you are presented after you cross the bridge, as you can see this end (North) still has the original rough cut entrance. There has been rock fragments crumbling and falling inside as has been closed, although, as you can see it is just a warning sign and is not physically secured. The other end (pics shortly) has been shored up about a decade ago and there are plans to complete this end as well according to a park ranger we talked to.



It is really impressive to stand at the entrance of the tunnel and picture trains a hundred years ago rumbling through this cut. The pictures really do not do it justice, if you are in the area I highly suggest that you visit, it is only a few minutes from Poe Valley State Park.

The Pennsylvania Mid-State hiking trail used to run right through the trail tunnel, but has been diverted up and over top of the hill, we decided it would be fun to give it a climb over as this section looked pretty rugged and literally turned out to be a scree slope of pretty large boulders, fun hiking for sure.

There was also a geo-cache that appeared to be on the other side, only one way to get there, up and over!







These pictures really give to credit to scale or angle, this was very steep and very long

 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
After we climbed up and over the hill, we decided to check out the other end of the tunnel first. My brother and I had not made it this far last year, so this was new to us as well

As you can see, the south end has been shored up and no longer has the original rough cut facade, nicely done none the less.





We took some goofy pictures, we had the flash on but you could hardly see anything once inside. There is a large round culvert protruding in from the south end about 50 feet before it opens up to the original tunnel (this is where the rocks are falling)





 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
We decided that it would be great to have a picture with 3 of us on top of the new facade, Bryan #2 didn't really want to climb up and he was also the photographer so that worked out pretty well.

Here is a picture of us on top, no zoom from about 100 feet away for some scale







At this point we turned around and quickly realized going back up was going to be a lot hard than coming down, Bryan #2 cuaght this pics of us escpaing without us knowing

This picture, if hung in a museum, would simply be titled "hmm"









Now, where was that geo-cache again?.....
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
This was my first ever geo-cache, it was located just around the bend from the railroad tunnel. We didnt get any pictures because we were having too much fun but it was about 50 feet up a scree slope. We looked for 15 or 20 minutes without finding it so we read the clue. It simply said "look for the twin trees". I took on look around and the first trees I saw it was sitting right there at the bottom under some rocks.....funny because afterwards we realized there were half a dozen "twin trees" we could see from where we were standing.

After we finished up with the cache we decided to do some driving around for the afternoon, catch some views and get some really nice creek pictures. They were really flowing at this time of year and it made for some pretty nice pictures.









 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
We cruised around for an hour or two, nothing technically difficult nor any spectacular views but we had a great time chatting back and forth on the walkie talkies and just enjoying the fresh spring mountain air.





These next few pictures were up Red Gobbler Trail, it was a dead end (private property cabin) but it was a nice little drive. We stopped at the top for some pepperoni and jalapeno cheddar sandwiches. It looked like there was a spectacular view but we would have had to trespass and walk out onto the cabin porch to get it, so we declined and moved on.













That night for dinner we headed into town, we had some sampler flights of Elk Creek Cafe's finest ales and some great food. Bryan #2 said it was the best burger he can remember having. One of the neat parts of the flight was that it consisted of all 10 of their current offerings. Of the 10 samples, the Brookie Brown Ale was on there twice. The first glass was cold from the taps and quite good, the other sample of it as from their cellar, through a traditional beer hand engine so it was significantly warmer and not as carbonated. Most ales actually increase the flavour profile as the temperature increase (there is a point of diminishing returns) so although warmer it had a much deeper flavour.

After dinner we headed home and had a nice little fire and we also had to re-sample some more of the beer just to be sure...
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
Really liking the pics of the water flowing. Also, something about the red XJ - it just belongs in those pics. It must be the classic shape and silver wheels (since black wheels are so overplayed).
 

mortonm

Expedition Leader
The XJs do have a classic line, easily visible when they are broken down on the side of the road :elkgrin:
 

geckoTy

Adventurer
Was one of the Brian's at the mid Atlantic overland festival last weekend in Huntingdon pa? Perhaps he owns a red 2dr Jk now? I met a dude there from Ontario who knew bald eagle state forest pretty well. Just wondering if its the same dude
 

Morticon

Adventurer
Was one of the Brian's at the mid Atlantic overland festival last weekend in Huntingdon pa? Perhaps he owns a red 2dr Jk now? I met a dude there from Ontario who knew bald eagle state forest pretty well. Just wondering if its the same dude
Hey Tyler, yup that's me! Its not so much that I now own a 2dr jk, its more so that I own 2 jeeps haha. It was a pleasure too meet you this past weekend!

Bryan
 
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