This winter has been unusually cold and we have had a fair amount of snow where we live. Coincidentally this is the year we failed to prepare ourselves for another wood-burning winter and have had to rely on the electric heat. As a result I have rediscovered, and added to, my wardrobe of warm base layers & outerwear and wool socks have become a staple in my every day attire. I have never been one to despise the cold or the short days of winter and this one has been no different. I only hope for a snow-blanketed landscape until it’s warm enough to seriously shorten the mud season. Until then I look forward to more opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
I spent time with a couple of appropriately themed books this winter. The first, “The Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania” by R.R. Thorpe is a history of the State Forest System. I purchased this book at Caledonia State Park during our visit last Fall. The second book, “Reserves of Strength” by Michael O. Gadowski is a gorgeous photographic journey through the state parks and forests as seen through the lens of a state park ranger & naturalist. I have spent hours reading the detailed descriptions and enjoying the magnificent photos of places I have seen and places I now want to see. The PA Parks & Forests Foundation has announced 2014’s Day In The Life of A State Forest April 12th and Day In The Life of A State Park May 23rd. I plan to celebrate both days in Pennsylvania and hope to snap some worthy photos, using these two books as inspiration.
Happiness is planning a trip when you’re feeling the winter blues and cabin fever. My next Pennsylvania Park Tour is well into the planning phase and Matt is on board as my favorite navigator and travel companion. I was lucky to reserve a cabin for Memorial Day weekend in an area of the state unfamiliar to me. Researching each park on the tour as well as local attractions is always something I enjoy almost as much as the trip itself. With this trip “on the books” it is no doubt my mind will be planning the next trip long before long.
2013 brought me to the halfway mark of seeing all the Pennsylvania State Parks. May 2014 be a good traveling year as well!