Rain beat on the roof all night, and trekking to the bathroom was a drenching experience. Lounging on the porch after a 2 a.m. comfort trip, we were reminded that sound really travels in the woods, and lovers will spat everywhere. Raised voices were heard from another cabin, followed by the slamming of a door and a man who had evidently broken the “no alcohol in the park” rule drawling, “Aw, come on, honey.” After a bit, the man climbed into his car and evidently went to sleep. Hope he took his sleeping bag, it was cold that night. “Not, evidently, as cold as his cabin, though,” we couldn’t help but chuckle.
The rain ended at dawn, leading into a chilly, partly-sunny day. I had picked up a brochure for the Grice Clearfield Community Museum, which boasted antique cars and mounted game animals. Good wife that I am, I didn’t toss it, and over breakfast suggested we go there. Well, Ron was certainly game. Old cars and dead animals, what more could a man want? While I waited for him to dress, I chatted with the couple in the cabin behind us who were preparing to leave, and he told me elk had been spotted in the park that week. He also gave us their remaining wood. Campers are just like that.
The overpowering smell of motor oil greets you before you even get into the display area of the Grice Museum. It sent me on a choking fit, but to Ron it was sweet aroma. The place is chock full of restored cars and I found it rather disconcerting to see vehicles from the 60s and 70s labeled vintage and antique. Ron kept saying, “That was my first car!”, “Hey, I had one of those!”, “I’ll be darned, look at this.” The game mounts were gorgeous, but I’d rather see them alive in the wild. There was one mount labelled a “Hootnany.” I stared at it for while, thinking it was a really big owl. Suddenly it hit me that this was nothing more than a deer’s butt with eyes and a tongue inserted in a very unmentionable place! How demented did someone have to be to think this up!?
It was an interesting way to kill an afternoon, but I was glad to leave the motor oil and formaldehyde. (See “Visit the Grice Clearfield Community Museum,” with accompanying slideshow, here.)
Clearfield County’s tourism magazine, “Backwoods, Backroads, Backwaters,” was sponsoring a photo scavenger hunt where entrants had to take photos of themselves at featured spots. Ron’s initial reaction was not positive, he doesn’t find getting lost fun, and said anyone he knew who went on a scavenger hunt came back either injured or with a damaged car. But when I pointed out that several spots were already known to us, he gave in.
Never mind that pulling over to the side of Rte. 555 to pose in front of the “Entering the Pennsylvania Elk Range” sign was life threatening. Never mind that we ended up on a back road labelled “Aggressive Driver Area.” Never mind that the Pizza Shop had reopened under another name, or that the Shaker furniture store was closed when we arrived.
One thing we did learn — upstate, all things lead from a Sheetz gas station/convenience store. Every time we asked for directions, it was either FROM a Sheetz, or a Sheetz was part of the directions. And where, unbelievably, Ron missed the edge of the parking lot and drove the truck into a gully. I say unbelievably because two years ago he did the same thing one night on an elk hunt at Moshannon Forest. I can use, almost word for word, what I wrote in 2008: “Every bone and tooth in my body was jarred as the [front] passenger wheel went into the ditch. We managed to pull out …, but were badly shaken up. A cursory examination revealed no major damage….” (Chapter 3, 2008 Travelogue.) In his defense, he IS almost blind in one eye.
No longer a happy camper, hubby declared the scavenger hunt over. Realizing that discretion is the better part of valor, I didn’t argue, having perfected the art of silent manipulation. After a few minutes cooling off, he grabbed the map and continued on to the 322 Drive-In, our last stop. Hopefully one of us will at least win a t-shirt, but I’m holding out for the adult weekend getaway in Clearfield County. Not the Bahamas or Disneyworld perhaps, but, hey, I’ve always been easy. (See Scavenger Hunt slideshow here.) To Be Continued.
Ch. 1, Ch. 2; Ch. 4, Ch. 5, Ch. 6; Ch. 7