Sunday, June 26, 2011

Continuing west

The carnies started arriving last night and early this morning so we had to move on. Todays destination was the COE campground at the East Branch, Clarion River Lake near Wilcox,PA. Next weekend is the 4th of July; probably the busiest camping weekend of the year. We're checking our potential campgrounds that either don't take reservations, like this one, or have a good number of non-reservable sites. If we get a campsite on Thursday, we'll be good for the weekend.
This campground is OK, but nothing special based on our needs. The campsite itself is nice, but there is no special view and it would be difficult for Carol to get near the lake. We'll continue our search tomorrow when we drive through the Allegheny National Forest.
$15 w/o electricity, $20 with. Half price with the Old Age card.

On the way to the campground, there was a sign on I-80 that said this was the highest point on I-80 east of the Mississippi River; 2,230'. The highest point in PA is Mount Davis at 3,213'. Not much as the Western states go, then again, these mountains are very much older than the Rockies. They have had several million more years to erode away. Did you know that 60% of PA is in forest? I didn't. According to an article I just read, by 1900 there was no marketable timber left in PA. Everything you see today is second, third or fourth growth. When the loggers were finished clear cutting an area, they would leave behind the stumps, limbs & assorted trash. These areas frequently caught fire. When they do, they burn with such intensity and duration that the soil is sterilized for decades to come. Nothing but weeds will grow. Today there are laws that prohibit such destructive and short-sighted practices.
A few years ago we were in Minnesota and visited a Forest Service Visitor Center. About 1870, the timber interests in Minnesota were clear cutting mile after mile of forests. There was a drive underway in Congress to set limits on such practices. There was a quotation from the Senator from MN painted on the wall. It said "There is enough timber in Minnesota to last for all future generations". The legislation died. By 1900 all the marketable trees in MN were gone. We hear the same tune being played day after day. No quotas on fishing, global warming is a joke, restrain the EPA because toxic air & water isn't all that bad for you, plus it's very expensive to clean up. I suspect that fifty years from now we'll look back and just shake our collective heads at our short sightedness.


Anonymous said...

COE campgrounds are really a basrgain for those of us with "America The Beautiful" cards (AKA Geezer cards). I have found several in my trek through Texas and am always on the lookout for them.

Love your background information about the area.

Jim and Gayle said...

I emailed a friend from Erie who does a lot of camping in the Allegheny NF. Will let you know if she has any recommendations.