Monday, January 6, 2014

A weekend at Allegany State Park

This past weekend, we got a chance to hang out with some of our good friends that we met in Erie (Adam and Alecia Hollinger). We traveled out to Allegany State Park this time. I don't know if many people remember, but Jarid and I went kayaking this summer on the Allegheny River in PA. For some reason, I must not have been paying attention because I thought we were going to the same area. It wasn't until we got there, that I found out that we were NOT in Pennsylvania anymore, but we were actually in NY. Its interesting how the two forests share the same tree line, but they're spelled differently... Allegany and Allegheny. Anyway, I thought I would share that little bit of info since it messed me up for a bit when I found out lol.

Those of you who know Jarid and me, know that we LOVE the outdoors and we especially love to camp. It was nice to find another couple who shared the same passion because the trip was a blast! Here's a recap of our weekend :)

Friday morning, we got up eager to pack up and head out for our trip. We've been collecting camping stuff over the years and were pretty excited to use some of the new stuff we got in between trips. It took us a little while to decide what we wanted to bring because we were trying to make it a goal to pack lightly...
... I don't know how well that really worked out for us because after stopping at several stores to get a few more things, were finally happy and on our way lol
 We made it to Allegany State Park right before the sun went down.
 When we got to the administration building, we were greeted by Adam, Alecia, and so much taxidermy!!
 It was so realistic. I was very impressed.
 I've never seen a bobcat before, but its side shag reminded me of a hippie. 
 This was pretty gross, but I had to take a pic of it because deep down, I thought it was pretty cool too. Its an embryo of a white-tailed deer!! The mother was injured and died, so someone decided to preserve the embryo. Its now 54 years old!
Here we are inside of our cabin. The concrete floors look dirty but this is luxury living compared to how we usually camp lol. There was a stove and two rooms with mattresses in them. In the past, Jarid and I have only camped in tents and lean-to's. It was way too cold out this time though. 
Here we are at breakfast the next morning. I think one of the best parts about camping is the amount of time you can burn eating the snacks you brought lol. You know I love my snacks :)



I think this little contraption was the most impressive thing that either of us brought on the trip. I've never seen a portable coffee maker before. 
 Soon after breakfast, we had plans to go cross country skiing! Jarid and I had never tried it before so we were extra excited. 
Disclaimer : I did research before deciding to ski, since I'm pregnant and all. It was safe for me and Alecia even added that its safe as long as I don't go higher than an altitude of 10,000 feet because its harder to breath.... I believe we only got up to 2,000 feet.
 Here's Adam and Alecia, in the warming area, getting ready for the trails.
 Jarid and me right outside.
I was SO READY! I learned that it was the easiest to just follow the grooves made by the previous skiers.
There were many trails we could have taken, but we decided to take the one shortest in distance, (but not the easiest) Christian Hollow. We were also excited to see the vista, partly through the trail. 
 I do admit that I was the first person to fall, but it wasn't bad. I slipped on flat ground and the snow was a cushiony landing spot. This isn't me in the picture above. It's my husband lol. He kept us entertained by how much he kept falling...
 And falling...
 And falling... poor baby lol
We finally got to the vista and this was the amazing view. It was the perfect time to take a quick breather and have a snack :)
It was also a great place for a photo opp! I love this picture.
 ... well a couple of photo opps lol I love this picture too :)
 When we got back to the cabin. The only thing on my mind was food and we planned on roasting a chicken over the campfire that night. I seasoned it with a chipotle pepper rub and let it cook over a hot bed of wood coals and a low fire. It was delicious with canned corn. I wish I would have taken an "after" pic of the cooked chicken and also what it looked like after dinner lol
 The next morning, it was time for check out and we set out to find some beaver dams before we decided to make our way back home to Erie. 
We pulled over and found what we thought were some, but weren't really sure. The frozen stream looked so cool to me.
 We got back in our cars and out of nowhere, Adam spots a huge dam! 
It was pretty amazing because we were able to notice the bite marks on the surrounding trees.
 Here's Adam walking on the frozen stream
Alecia didn't like that too much lol. I thought it was a dangerous thing to do too.
This experience was amazing. I was completely satisfied with all of the fun we had with such great people!
Can't wait for the next trip!!
P.S. Jarid brought along some cameras to shoot film with. Hopefully he posts them to his photo-journal after they get developed. I'm excited to see the footage!

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