Scranton, Pennsylvania area
While in the Scranton area, we spent three nights at Lackawanna State Park. We were in a loop pretty much by ourselves (since it was midweek). We left on Friday, so I’m sure the campground probably filled up, but it was definitely quiet while we were there. The park has a nice lake for fishing, paddling, and swimming and seems to be a popular daytrip location for locals.
We spent some time at Steamtown National Historic Site. This is a National Park site dedicated to the preservation and history of steam locomotives. It consists of a restored roundhouse, in which two museums are housed, as well as the visitor center and a working roundhouse garage. One museum traces the history of steam trains in America, and most specifically in the Lackawanna valley of Pennsylvania. The other museum looks at the technology associated with steam locomotives and their infrastructure. The garage displays many of the engines in Steamtown’s collection and has active ongoing repair and restoration projects.
We also took a short excursion to Archbald Pothole State Park. This is a small preservation site of a glacial remnant discovered in the late 1800s. It is a 38 foot deep pothole formed by the runoff of meltwater coming off one of the large continental glaciers which covered the area 15,000 years ago.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania area
We drove 169 miles to Mountain Creek Campground, a privately-owned campground near Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania. Mount Holly Springs is between Carlisle and Gettysburg.
While passing through Harrisburg, I was reminded of another geologic feature called a water gap. The large Susquehanna River passes through several parallel ridges here. It has obviously downcut through the ridges, but did not turn and flow between them as one might expect. The best explanation for this is that the river pre-dates the formation of the ridges. As the mountains folded (like a sheet of paper being pushed together on a flat surface) the preexisting river cut across the uplifting ridges.
We spent a day at Gettysburg National Military Park. We were only able to view the displays in the visitor center on this day. They have a very good movie narrated by Morgan Freeman, along with an amazing Cyclorama (360-degree, 42 foot high, 377 feet in circumference) oil painting depicting the last day of battle at Gettysburg, and a wonderful chronological museum about the civil war leading up to Gettysburg.
We were unable to explore the battlefield at this time. We interrupted our journey to fly to Orlando to complete the purchase of a house there which our son and daughter-in-law will live in, keeping care of our furniture. We’ll use the house as a homebase during our travels. When we get back to Pennsylvania, we plan to finish our tour of Gettysburg.