The only problem is that the camp is six hours away, which means that we need at least a three-day weekend to make a trip there manageable and worthwhile. In 2009, we made it there four times, which ended up being a record. Last year, between the wedding and Steve's work schedule, we only got there once. It does make the actual visits even more special. But during the times when a six-hour drive isn't possible, we want to be able to enjoy all the benefits of camping anyway. That's one of the reasons we bought the trailer.
|Front view of the camp|
Our favorite spots
When Steve started taking me here in 2009, it was shortly after we adopted Lola. I remember being so thrilled watching her tear through the trails, romp through the streams and generally live like a dog is meant to do. After all, not too long before that, she was trapped in a cage at an animal shelter. It was great to see her unleash some of that boundless energy in the forest.
So every time we visit the camp, we make it a point to take her on at least one or two long hikes. This trip we opted to go to one of our old standbys, Buzzard Swamp. It's a relatively flat and scenic route, and it's also where we've had some of our most memorable wildlife sightings (grouse, pheasants, a ginormous buck that nearly trampled me...). And it didn't let us down this time either. On our way driving to the parking area, Steve spotted a porcupine crossing the road! My life was officially complete. I had to get a pic of course, which entailed following it into bushes and up a tree (okay, not the second part. I draw the line at climbing).
|Damn you, fast porcupine! You can barely see him|
|Lola drinking out of a Gatorade cap...when she's thirsty, she'll do anything|
|Halfway through Buzzard Swamp trail|
|She underestimated how deep it was going to be|
|This makes me laugh...Lola, Queen of the Forest|
|Lola inspecting the new additions|
One of my favorite parts about coming here is that we always seem to discover something new. While we were at Flickerwood Winery in nearby Kane (best wine ever, people...enough to turn this strict white-wine oenophile into a red-wine devotee!), Steve picked up a brochure from a place called Kinzua Wolf Run Marina. It sounded like absolute paradise -- a place to go swimming, boating and dine on a deck beside the Allegheny Reservoir. Unfortunately, the brochure stated no dogs were allowed, so it was going to have to be a Lola-free excursion.
|Back on the ground...I was afraid to take my camera along, which was smart because I got soaked|
After wearing out our arm muscles paddling, we treated ourselves to a lovely late lunch at the restaurant on site, called Docksiders Cafe. Relaxing outside by the water and listening to some live Neil Diamond covers capped off a splendid day.
|Yes, I'm a goofball|