“If you think I’m wonderful now, wait until you see my Canadian side.” -Scott
Scott and I had never been to Niagara Falls, and we were so excited. Okay, I was excited and Scott was driving and everyone acted like if we didn’t see the Canadian side, we should just stay home. We couldn’t cross the border with the baby without a complicated process, and I forgot to bring passports for the big kids to cross with one adult. My Canadian side never forgets things. Sigh. However, we loved the American side. It was so quiet and serene and whenever something went wrong, we could blame it on not being in Canada, which worked out well when I accidentally sent us on a 10 mile hike to see a whirlpool. Things are never so far away in Canada.
“I’ll just hang on to the back of the kayak while you paddle around mom.” -E
Whenever we travel by RV, we always take the back roads, which means whenever we have to pee or stop for lunch, we still have beautiful views.
We headed up to a campsite just outside of Penn State’s main campus because I thought the kids would love Penn’s Caves — a series of caverns where the guided tours are given via boat! Although our campsite that evening wasn’t anything special, the caves were perfect especially because we were all still recovering from colds.
Luckily, there were mazes and giant souvenir shops and lunch to be had before we were directed by a grumpy lady to head to the boat. This was wonderful timing because the families on the boat behind us could not stop complaining about everything. She must’ve realized we were not irritated enough with their format to be with that group and sent us ahead.
Next time, I would stay in the Southern part of the Allegheny National Forrest then move to the northern part because our campsite the following day at Dewdrop, while not level at all, was beautiful.
The maps and information provided for hiking was terrible. I don’t know if it was because people mostly go to the Allegheny Reservoir for boating, but I was surprised by the barely marked photocopied map we were handed after all the national parks and forrest we stayed in out west. The only reason we found the trail to the water was because another family walked around our site then disappeared. We figured there must be pathway or there were Wendigos nearby (hey yo Supernatural fans) and we should run. Next time, I would write down my Allegheny National Forest research (no Internet service) or stopped at the main visitor center for better maps. This particular day we weren’t up for big hikes anyway so it all worked out just fine.
Next up, Niagara Falls with everyone feeling a-ok!
“I don’t think their definition of a creek is the same of ours.” -Scott
We stayed on the Conococheague Creek in Maryland. For our first night, I always chose something close by and laid back so we have lots of time to spare for last minute packing and errand running as we once forgot pillows. But with a baby, we didn’t do any drive beyond 3.5 hours so we could be flexible and happy the entire trip. And it worked!
The kids loved this campsite in part because our neighbors were the nicest couple. The husband was a veteran with traumatic brain injury, and he had a true gift with children. He taught them to build a fire and gave them part of his army pack. He still carried it everywhere just in case he needed to leave quickly, and I think that giving the kids part of his pack was a way to let go of some of that war readiness.