It’s important to try and get your outdoor activities in before winter when you live someplace like New York. Naturally, this means camping in the beginning of fall! My youngest sister had pointed out that just outside Philadelphia there was a cool phenomenon known as The Ringing Rocks. In typical Kohl-sister fashion, we decided that planning a last minute trip over the weekend was do-able so we packed our things and headed out for the keystone state.
We decided to tent camp at a campground called, The Ringing Rocks Campground, mostly because it was close to our destination. As it turned out, the campground was actually an amazing choice! The staff was incredibly friendly, they had a campground shop with everything you could have forgotten, and they had clean bathrooms with free showers! I should also note that the weekend we were visiting they were running their annual trivia game. (We didn’t win, but we didn’t come in last place!) Most of the campers there were people who stayed all season and they had built a good community atmosphere that was welcoming to the transient tent campers.
In the morning, we made the short drive to the Ringing Rocks park and started hitting stuff with a hammer. (You have to bring your own so don’t forget that!) We had brought my other sisters dog and she managed to hop from rock pile to rock pile without too much difficulty. I was surprised at the number of other dogs there! Some were just tiny things that had to be carried, while others gleefully followed their owners off-leash. The rocks were fantastic though. You could find ones that were different tones and make melodies by hitting them.
The people there were pretty great too. One of the guys was there with his extended family and the group had brought a couple dogs with them. They were telling up about a waterfall we could hike to and shared the location of an off-trail route of getting to it. We chatted with them awhile and discussed all of the conspiracy theories about the ringing rocks. (Did they come from space? Why doesn’t vegetation grow in-between them? Why do they stop ringing when you take them away from that specific site?) And in the end, they shared some of their dog treats with our traveling companion.
While we were in the area we decided to check out a few other things. We stopped at this college and hiked back into the woods to see these weird modern art sculptures done by students. (And of course took some goofy photos!) Unfortunately, there was a lot of broken glass so we didn’t stay too long.
We had seen some billboards for Mazeilla a 14-acre corn maze on the way to the ringing rocks and thought we would stop there and check it out. When we pulled in we saw the giant No Dogs sign and decided it was best not to put up a fight with the workers. Fortunately, the stop wasn’t in vain as we realized we had stumbled across a town in the middle of the Appalachian Trail! Knowing that was dog friendly, we pulled over and started to hike. We did see a couple through-hikers but most were just day-hikers like ourselves.
After we had hiked to exhaustion, we decided to turn back. You might not guess this, but Pennsylvania is “a bit” hilly. Just before we got back to our vehicle, a small grey kitten jumped out in front of us. Of course, we picked it up petted it and tried to find it’s owner. Nobody seemed to know anything about the kitten. I told my sister to set it down and see if it would lead her someplace. It did lead her to it’s prized destination which turned out to be an opened bag of generic brand potato chips. After seeing that we scooped it back up, and decided to preemptively end our trip in favor of getting the kitten home with us to NY.
We called our brother-in-law who’s rescued more than his fair share of cats and he gave us a bunch of pointers. By the time we were back to NY, we had already found some new owners for the kitten. Before it left for it’s new home it stayed with my sister a couple days and we got to see what a sweet and loving cat it really was.
The new owners took the little tatter to the vets and were happy to hear it was completely healthy. They also found out that it was a little girl kitten and named her Ash. It was a happy ending to a spontaneous trip to Pennsylvania for sure!
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