Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ohiopyle State Park

You must be kind of zany
To raft  the Youghiogheny
Part of a poem a co-worker wrote about me
One of many waterfalls in the park

Me balancing on the railroad bridge which has since been redone complete with railings for the Railtrail. I am pregnant with Josh.

Mountain laurel all over the place. Should be in bloom for the ride in June

A very long way down. If you enlarge, you can see tiny people on the banks. Generally walking across a railless, rickety bridge would kick in my fear of heights but if we didn't take this bridge, we'd have to walk another 3 miles to our campsite.
It is strange sometimes how random events seem to be tied together. For instance, within a few minutes of each other, I had two requests for my address for totally unrelated reasons when noone has asked for my address for years.

The same with this park. My friend, Soul Mate, recently lost his mom and has a house to sell near this park located in an old coal mining town, which has seen better days. But the frackers will come soon! Maybe they  will buy the house! Then my travel magazine has an article on Great State Parks that are in Danger. This one was featured. Not for budgetary reasons such as the Michigan entry (Ludington) but because of the Frackers. All of West Virginia (Blackwater St Park also on list where we once rented a condo) and a good part of PA rest on shale, which is frackable. Even though this is state land, private interests control mineral rights below the surface. Then I get an e-mail from Rails-to-Trails urging me to sign up for a bike ride on The Great Allegheny Passage which goes through this park and lots of beautiful mountain lands. All flat due to it being on abandoned coal train lines. 5 days for 150 miles. Sounds cool. I had thought that The Michigander was the only Rail trail ride. Rails-to-Trails for some reason dropped the Michigan organization. My ex-neighbor and her co-worker then formed their own organization which sponsors the Michigander amongst other projects. The only reason I am on Rails-to-Trails mailing list is because I joined to find out about the railtrails in MA during my exile there in March.

Ohiopyle. An unfortunate name suggesting it is Ohio's hemorrhoid. But the name means Foaming Water due to the rapids of the Youghiogheny, known as The Yuck, that runs through it. A very popular whitewater rafting place. I have been there by myself or with the kids at least 6 times. The last time, I fell off the raft in what was supposed to be a minor rapid but it was a hydraulic. Think of being put in a spin cycle while held underwater bumping against rocks. Eventually I was spit out all bruised. Not fun. The park is beautiful full of waterfalls, canyons, mountain laurel, and lots of hiking trails. From my later visits, I could see the RailTrail which crosses the canyon on the fixed up bridge pictured above. I had considered organizing my own ride but now I see that has been done for me.

On the way there for the first time in June, 1981 at a rest stop in Ohio, I knew in an instant that I was pregnant with Josh. How pregnant could I be? One week, way before any tests could indicate that. It was another 5 weeks before I could use the crude EPT that you had to wait for 3 hours while some barely visible ring formed (which it did). I suddenly felt this overwhelming fatigue that made me want to just hole up in my tent for the duration. But hike and raft I did.

A few friends have said they might join me. Rasta Man grew up near there also and is well familiar with the park. I have rafted with him in groups and with my kids  several times.

It is cold and windy right now. Yet this will be the warmest day this week. How much do I want to bike today?

1 comment:

Teri Bernstein said...

What a wild and wonderful post. BTW...your package should arrive on Halloween.


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