Friday, August 10, 2012

Allegheny National Forest

Wednesday August 8

Stone Creek Valley, PA Fire Engine
Woke up at 7am in Greenwood Furnace State Park and packed the bike so I could get an early start. Within five  minutes I sighted a black bear crossing the road.  I got a good look at him.  My first glimpse at wildlife!  It was really foggy and fairly chilly so I pulled over to an old firehouse to put on a jacket liner.  I decided to strap my camera around my neck so I wouldn’t miss any more prime opportunities at photographing wildlife, etc. 

25 miles later I pulled into Penn State main campus, no shortage of wildlife here. I found a coffee shop with wifi. With everything that has happen to Penn State in the last year, I was surprised to see how busy it was early august. I was there for a good 3 hours doing freelance work, looking at maps and updating my blog.  I grabbed some quick snacks at a grocery store and headed out to Allegheny National Forest.  This is the Northern Forest Eco-Region. It’s free to camp in US National Forests.. saaweet! 

camping spot minister trailhead
3 hours later I arrived and set up camp a few hundred feet from a  trailhead right next to a brook.  I went for a 2 hour walk and explored the forest.  This forest is part of the appellations with an altitude of approx 2000k feet. It’s truly beautiful and quite lush with moss and ferns.  I discovered some wild flowers and other plants I thought to be native to this region. Luckily a friend gave me an Audubon book of wildflowers and low and behold, these were native.  There is no electric or cellular coverage here so I connected my peripherals to my motorcycle and got to work once the sun was set.  I had several people ask me if I was okay as they had no clue what the hell I was doing.  Tomorrow I head to Erie PA where I will visit the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and explore Presques Isle Sate Park!

woody sunflower

fertile soil
aquatic mushroom