Sunday, July 8, 2012

Family Adventure

On a Sunday afternoon, what could be better than a few hours with your family?  If you live anywhere within driving distance of Mercer County, PA, there is this remarkable place called Hell's Hollow Wilderness Trail that is a surefire way to spend a wonderful day with your loved ones.

Getting there from the Sharon/Sharpsville/Hermitage area is simple.  Jump on Rt. 62 towards Mercer, and before you know it you'll see Bestwick St. on your right.  It is about a 20 minute drive from the Sharon area.  Bestwick is right outside of Mercer, before you get to town.  Spring Valley Golf Course is right there, so when you see that, your turn is visible.

There is an option to walk or bike ride through the trail, but we chose to ride trail carts.  Rental is $25 per cart for two hours.  It took us a little over and hour & a half to do the four mile trail, and we took our time.  We got off and explored on foot several times, as well as taking photos, and climbing a lookout tower.

The trail is four wonderful miles of WILDERNESS!  There are indian camp areas (authentic), an iron ore furnace, waterfalls, streams, beaver dams, wildlife, all kinds of flora, swamps, ponds, and other interesting things to observe. 
The trail is fun with all its hills, twists and turns.  Some of the hills were frightening because they were steep and curved around with dropoffs.  Go too fast, and you might drop down a loooong way!  We were constantly yelling back to our kids to make sure they 'braked' as they descended. 

A few times, we got carried away and took the hills pretty fast, and I have to admit--it was FUN!  Kind of a roller coaster sensation.

I saw dozens of butterflies along the way, John saw a frog or toad, and Therese and I spotted a very large deer romping in the forest.  There were also lots of birds and dragonflies.

The canopy of trees provided natural 'air conditioning' so the entire ride was quite comfortable.  It was beautiful and lush--ferns, tall trees, brush, berry bushes...just gorgeous and wild. 

I highly recommend a trip to this place if you long to get away from civilization for a little while.  When we got back to the rental area, the owner told us that if you go early in the morning, or later in the evening, the deer are easier to spot--often up to a dozen in a trip.  We only saw one, but we were there mid afternoon.


Friday, July 6, 2012

A VERY Cluttered Mind

I haven't blogged for awhile...this entry will be very random...

Stuff on my mind...

I'm hating the fact that Penn State sent Jacob a letter saying he is not meeting their 'Satisfactory Academic Progress' standards, when we checked, and his grades are REALLY solidly high, he's on course to graduate next May, and he's been tutoring in the learning center for two years now.  I can't begin to understand why, and no one answers a darned PHONE!  We get all these dumb options, but no real people. 

I cannot stand things that I can't resolve immediately--I'm impatient.  I want answers and I want them NOW!!!!!!!

I'm thinking of things I want to do as Summer marches along at an accelerated pace--what has happened to 'time'?  It's bounding away like a wild horse with no direction, an unbridled ride full of bumps and bruises along the way.  I feel like I got knocked off the horse and am lying in a dusty trail somewhere rubbing my black and blue...ummm...well, you get the picture.  Time took off and I can't figure out how to capture it.

I have an alternate life, it's really's the life I land in when I enter REM continues on every night.  Maybe someday it will make a fantastic story for a book.  Its me, John, and the kids, just as normal as apple pie.  But, in that life, we have moved into a home where everyone has space.  The house is equipped with extra rooms, large windows, extra baths, modern appliances, and we are on perpetual vacation.  Every day is a new adventure, and almost always involves vivid family trips to the ocean or Lake Erie.  We ride lots of roller coasters in that other life, too.  Sometimes I return to school, and that is one of the down sides to the alternate life.  I always feel confused that I'm back there, and even have had to ask my own kids what time a certain class begins.  I tend to get confused because I'm sure I have a test but don't know what is on the test.  Sometimes I stand at my locker and wonder how to open it because no matter how much I wrack my brain, I cannot remember the lock's combination.

In that life, I often spend time on stage.  Sometimes, it resembles the school dream, where I'm on stage and realize I never memorized any of my lines.  Somehow I get myself out of every jam.  I always fix those problems, and come out on top.  The last time I was on stage in that life, I was in a chorus line, and had never attended rehearsal.  Everyone knew the dance steps but me.  I did a lot of improvising!

A psychologist would analyze that and conclude that I'm trying to problem solve in my sleep.  It might be true, but who cares?  I love visiting my 'other' life.  :)

Today is payday--gotta do bills--bathroom day--(clean that)--wash dishes--plan dinner (have no idea what to make!  I'm running out of ideas!!!)--finish laundry--(finish?  Ha!  In my dreams!)--and think of something fun to do with my honey and my 'little' honeys tonight.  (The little honeys who aren't out with their friends or working.)

Thinking of Tony, who starts his new job tomorrow!  He got hired at WalMart!  He'll be making pretty good money, and will be a WORKING MAN!!!  Yeah, Anthony!!!

Last but not least--thinking I should have done my exercises earlier, it's really getting hot and I haven't done them yet.  Better get to it before the weather gets worse!

XXX000 Annie