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Columbia PA Bridge 2 by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

A Fall Stroll Along the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge Over the Susquehanna

A few times a year I visit friends out in York, PA.  Most recently, I visited during the first week in November to join in some Birthday celebrations.

Every time I visit I drive over the Susquehanna River while on Route 30.  And every time I see this awesome looking bridge in the distance.

It looks so neat that I seriously would like to stop right on Route 30 and take several pictures.  Unfortunately, there is NO PLACE to stop 🙁

But there is an exit to get to that neat old bridge.  Doug and I had stopped there during the summer.

Turns out it is in Columbia, PA.  A very cute old town and according to their website, Smithsonian Magazine named them one of “The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014”.

If you drive Route 30, you’ve seen the new ‘Turkey Hill Experience’ building – that is in Columbia as well.

Definitely a lot of neat things to explore there!  For this visit, it was just the bridge as the sun was setting.

The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge looking north east towards Wrightsville PA.  Do you see those two dots just to the left of center in the photo?

Columbia PA Bridge 2 by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

Those dots were the beginning of a whole bunch of gulls flying over the bridge at sunset. There must’ve been at least 100! I was really surprised to see so many.

Columbia PA Bridge Gulls by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

This is looking north towards the Route 30 bridge.  Columbia is on the right.

Beyond the Route 30 bridge is Chickies Rock County Park off of 441/Chickies Hill Road.  Doug and I checked that out during the summer – beautiful views of the Susquehanna from there!  I’ll eventually post pictures from that visit and put a link to them here.

Columbia PA Bridge 2 by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

A crack in the sidewalk adorned by a tuft of grass growing suspended over the Susquehanna River.

Columbia PA Bridge Sidewalk by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

This is looking south west from the bridge at the two wind mills.  I’m always happy to see alternative energy sources at use.  Three Mile Island (nuke plant) is not too far from here.

Columbia PA Bridge Wind Mills by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

Looking back towards Columbia I saw not only the colorful trees and sky, but also a colorful train – bonus! 🙂

I’ve had a hard time figuring out which railroad line this is – Pennsylvania Railroad?

Columbia PA Bridge Train by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

Here are the railroad tracks in Columbia PA heading south that run next to the Susquehanna River and under the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge.

Besides the modern signals, this looks like an old scene.  I believe that is the old signal tower on the right.  And on the left, the building with the front porch probably saw many travelers pass by – it may have even been a general store at some point.

Columbia PA Bridge Train Tracks by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

The view from the bridge looking towards Columbia PA.  I just love the colors here!  The houses, the trees 🙂

Columbia PA Fall Color by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

And one last image of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge.  The sidewalks and lights leading to Wrightsville.

Columbia PA Bridge Lights BW by Beth Sawickie fall-stroll-columbia-bridge-susquehanna

Prints and cards of the above image are available HERE.

Now here’s the rest of the story from my PA road trip…

Green Juice, Thrifting & Photography

My ideal road trip involves stops to go to thrift stores and also photograph nature along the way.  This trip had it all!

I had the pleasure of driving out to York, PA during the beginning of November to celebrate birthdays with my best friend’s family.

Doug was working so I drove out on my own (my usual).  No problem for me – I really do enjoy the solitude and being able to listen to podcasts or books on tape (er.. CD or mp3).

I packed up healthy snacks and green juice for the ride.

Green Juice www.BethSawickie.com

Took Syd from The Suburban Monk along for the rainy ride…

Syd on the dashboard www.BethSawickie.com

The drive out was yucky – dreary, rain, and towards the end of my evening drive – fog beyond belief!

Needless to say, not good picture taking weather for me.

Actually, though – there WERE several good scenes I saw – BUT – I was on the PA Turnpike with nowhere to pull over!  And I think they frown upon a crazy lady with a camera sprinting across the highway to “get that shot”!

No photos on the way out…but there were THRIFT STORES 🙂

Thriftin’ My Way Through PA

I stopped at the Morgantown Goodwill where I found this AWESOME velvet mandala print blazer!!  Unfortunately, it was not my size 🙁

Mandala Print Blazer www.BethSawickie.com

Then I stopped at this Goodwill Outlet in Lacaster – pay by the pound!  Starts at $1.39/lb. and goes down from there dependent upon weight of purchase.

2 hours I spent in there going through bins of housewares, clothing and misc. items. It was definitely worth it.

On another day I also hit up a Salvation Army where I saw this embroidery kit that made me chuckle:

Retirement chuckle http://www.BethSawickie.com

All the thrifting was well worth it.

I ended up with some clothes for myself, a nice fleece for Doug, 2 new pieces of luggage (carry-on size with wheels), Christmas gifts, canning supplies, candles to make fire starters with, re-usable grocery bags (might use ’em for container gardening), sturdy back-packs to use for emergency kits in our cars, new Crocs to replace my busted ones and some things to sell too!

My car was pretty well packed.  Only negative…some of those things smelled like moldy basement – yuck!  I believe it was one of the bags, that sucker is being washed right now.

40th Birthday Party

Then there was the Birthday Party!  My main reason for driving out to PA in the first place.

My best friend’s husband just turned 40!  I remember when 40 seemed “old” – lol.

40th Birthday Party http://bethsawickie.com

We took photos of the Birthday boy and taped ’em to the sliding glass doors in the shape of 40.  Very cool idea that my friend probably picked up from Pinterest.

We also labeled water bottles and Hershey bars to commemorate the day.

Oh and the food (for me the best part) – there was penne with vodka sauce, homemade meat balls in sauce (or is it ‘gravy’?), sausage with peppers & onions (hot and sweet), chicken marsala and of course cake and desserts.

A good time was had by all – lots of laughs and smiles 🙂

Thanks for joining me on the “virtual stroll” –  check out other strolls HERE.

If you enjoyed this, so will others, please share it using the buttons above/below – Thanks 🙂

Moving Water at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

Our Ricketts Glen Adventure

This is from our October 2014 trip to Ricketts Glen in Pennsylvania to catch the beautiful autumn colors surrounding the waterfalls.

In mid-summer 2014 we visited this beautiful area in North Eastern Pennsylvania with 22 waterfalls along a beautiful (and a bit treacherous) trail.  We had seen about half of the falls an we made plans to go back and visit during the fall when the leaves would be at peak color – and so we did.

2 1/2 days visiting the waterfalls and a few other nearby spots – it was wonderful!

And this time we left the dog at home.  Taking him down and up Ganoga Glen was a bit much for him last time – he slept for 2 days!

Come along and join us on our adventure…

By the way, prints are available of many of the photos seen here – please get in touch with me if you’re interested.

The Falls Trail

Ricketts Glen Map Along Trail

We visited all but 2 of the waterfalls (Murray Reynolds and Onondoga) plus 2 other falls outside of the park.

Doug is the waterfall photography enthusiast.  I shoot ’em a bit but pretty much just love looking at them and listening to them.  Photographing waterfalls is best done with a tripod – something I avoid.

Adams Falls

Adams Falls (not seen on the map because it was across Rt. 118) was the first one we visited – and also the last.  We went back on the last day because the shooting conditions were better.  Truth be told, I was exhausted and napped in the car while Doug photographed Adams Falls on the last day.

Here is Doug setting up his Adam Falls shot on the first day:

Setting up Adams Falls shot 1

While he was doing that, I was playing with my macro lens 🙂

Learning how to set the aperture (F Stop) so I get the focus on what I want. I initially had it set a little too low.

Fern near Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen, PAFlower near Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen, PA

These two would have been neat shots IF I had realized my F Stop was too low (5.6)!  – whoops!  I find it very hard to see what my photo looks like on that little screen on the back of the camera.  Hence why I’m happy to be learning how to use my camera better!

Plant near Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen, PA rg-near-adamsfalls-03 (2 of 2)

This ended up being one of my favorites (f8).

Plant near Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen, PA

Hobbit House:

Hobbit House near Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen, PA

There was a little bridge to cross to get to the other side.  To the right, the Evergreen Trail which we did not take.  That would’ve lead us away from the 20+ waterfalls we came to see 🙂

Evergreen Trail near Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen, PA

To the left was this interesting info about the old growth forest and the micro-climate that it creates…

Old Growth Forest near Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen, PA

With Adams Falls photographed, we walked back up the short trail and crossed the road to the other side 🙂

The Glens Natural Area

We hiked up the trail a bit towards “Waters Meet”. This sign explains what this area is:

Sign at Ricketts Glen, PA

Here is some of what we saw along the lower trail:

Lower Trail at Ricketts Glenn, PA

Here’s a shot I took of some moving water (I’m not sure exactly where along the trail this was).

Ricketts Glen, PA 1 by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

Lower Trail in Fall at Ricketts Glen, PAMushrooms at Ricketts Glen, PA

 

A scared Birch Tree along the trail. Unfortunately, some folks feel the need to carve their initials everywhere they go – like how a dog pees everywhere.  Unfortunately, these markings leave lasting scars.

Scared Birch Tree at Ricketts Glen, PA

The next day we were up before sunrise and on the trail by 7:30am.  It was a bit gray and we didn’t see another human until mid-day.

We hiked down Ganoga Glen, past Waters Meet to 2 of the waterfalls, then back up Glen Leigh and took the “shortcut” through Midway Crevase back to the parking lot.

7+ hours on the trails with lots of stopping for pictures!

Like I said before, Doug is the waterfall photographer so here are some of his shots (I’ll add more here as he processes more of ’em).

In between I’ll post shots of things that caught my eye along the way.

Kitchen Creek

 

As we’re walking along the trails I was often looking up at the colorful leaves in the trees…

Looking Up at Ricketts Glen, PALooking Up at Ricketts Glen, PA
I had to remind myself, though, that when my eyes left the path, my feet needed to stop moving – lots of places to take a nasty tumble along this trail.

For instance, there were many parts with stairs like this:

Stairs at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

Green Log at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

Everything – EVERYTHING – along and on the trail is damp.  The walls of the canyon seep water, the waterfalls spray a fine mist.

Maple Leaf at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

Oneida Falls

 

 

Here is Doug setting up the waterfall shot that he took of Oneida Falls seen above.Doug Venner at Ricketts Glen, PA 1 by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

Trees appearing to cling to the canyons edge were common – like this one just above one of the falls.
Holding On at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

Ganoga Falls

I was SO SO SO nervous when Doug was taking this shot! I believe this is from the top of Ganoga Falls – 93 feet up!
Doug Venner at top of Mohican Falls, Ricketts Glen, PA 1 by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

And here is a shot of part of Ganoga Falls.  I believe this shows about 3/4 of it.  Doug was shooting from up on the top left by that orange tree.

Mohican Falls, Ricketts Glen, PA 1 by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

Here is a shot at the base of Ganoga Falls.  Can you spot Doug?

Doug at base of Mohican Falls at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

Here is another stone staircase at Ricketts Glen:

Staircase at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

There was always something neat to see when looking down.

Doug took it to the extreme when he stood along the edge of a 40′ drop to get a shot of the Gorge.

Glen Leigh Gorge

Here’s my ‘looking down’ shot, from safely near the ground 🙂 And a “nature scroll”.

Leaves in water at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure Nature Scroll at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

And some more moving water somewhere along the trail 🙂
Moving Water at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

We spent a little time hangin’ out with this furry fella…a Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hickory Tussock Caterpillar at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/Hickory Tussock Caterpillar 2 at Ricketts Glen, PA by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure/

A scene within Glen Leigh…

 

Glen Leigh Scene 1 at Ricketts Glen by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

There was a nice somewhat flat stretch to the trail as we headed towards the top of Glen Leigh.  It had a different feel to it.

Glen Leigh Trail 1 at Ricketts Glen by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

And along this mellow portion of the creek folks built Zen Rock Piles or Cairn…

Cairn Zen Rock Piles at Ricketts Glen by Beth Sawickie http://bethsawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

This stretch of trail is a spot that I could definitely hang out at for a while.  Next time I’m gettin’ all zen like and building me a nifty lookin’ pile o’ rocks 🙂 (really – I will!)

Post by Doug Venner.

Dutchman Falls

On our last day we headed out to find Dutchman Falls which is along the Loyalsock trail and creek.

Canyon Vista – World’s End State Park

Here we are at Canyon Vista within World’s End State Park near Forksville, PA.  The drive up had me having flash-backs to driving on switch-backs out West.  And Doug kept mentioning how it was a one-lane road with nowhere to pull over if anyone came down the other way – wonderful! Luckily, Doug is a good driver and we did not see any other vehicles on our trek.Beth and Doug at Canyon Vista, PA

Here’s the view from Canyon Vista.

Canyon Vista, Worlds End State Park, PA by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

You can see the road to the left of Loyalsock Creek in this photo:

Canyon Vista, Worlds End State Park, PA by Beth Sawickie http://www.BethSawickie.com/our-ricketts-glen-adventure

We went up there for sunset and it was raining a bit – the sky wasn’t very colorful – until we were down the mountain and driving away and saw a nice pop of orange behind us.

The Dandy

I couldn’t tell you about our trip without mentioning the Dandy 🙂

It’s a gas station and convenience store – much like the WaWa’s we have in NJ.

It was the ONLY place we could find food at 8pm at night.  This was AFTER we had driven up and down a mountain on gravel/dirt roads – in the dark – trying to find an elusive restaurant – the Brass Pelican – out in the middle of nowhere.

Thank God that the Google Map still works on the phone even when there is no cell service!

The Dandy in PAThe Dandy in PA 2

It was truly a wonderful little trip and only 3 hours from home.  There is lots more to explore in that area and I’m sure we’ll be back next year.