CacheCrazy.Com: Columbus Day Bus Trip 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Columbus Day Bus Trip 2011

By Big Al

Come along with me on our Columbus Day Bus Trip to Williamsport, PA.

Last Monday I was getting ready for my trip to Williamsport, PA with the Susquehanna County Forest Landowners Association (SCFLOA), and as I packed my car I realized it was quite foggy out, so I knew I would have to be extra careful while driving. I had gotten up early enough so that I would have plenty of time for traveling. That was until I got down the road a ways and remembered I had forgotten the cooler I was supposed to bring for the drinks. I had to turn around and go back and get it.

I picked it up and headed back out. As I was driving along I was being really careful and watching the road the best I could. It was just soooo foggy. I continued driving along peering into the fog and then I couldn't believe my eyes; BAM!!! There it was... A big sign across the road saying road closed.

I parked my car and got out and went to check things out. Then it happened. I hit... GROUND ZERO for a Geocache. That's right I was out for a cache before the trip. It was now 6:15 a.m. and I was trying for a FTF. I searched for a bit and could not find it. Then I stepped back and thought about who had hidden the cache and where he might have hidden this one. Then I saw it. I picked up the cache and opened it up and yipppeee I was the first to find. I don't get many of those so I was really happy. I placed the cache right back where I had found it and then ran like mad to my car. I did not want to be late meeting the bus for our trip.

As I drove along the fog continued to get a little worse. This did not help matters. As I got closer to Montrose I really slowed down, again due to the fog. Then it happened again. I almost got a FTB. You do know what that is don't you? Well I'll tell you. It's a Front to Behind. That's when a deer runs out in front of you and you hit him in the behind with the front of your car. LOL.

That is one that I am glad I did not get. Well I actually arrived with some extra time so I was able to go buy some new batteries for my camera and GPS. Then it was off to meet the bus.

Once everyone arrived we loaded up the bus and headed to Williamsport. We were going to Penn Tech College and we were visiting their Forestry Division. Okay, so where else would a bunch of Foresters visit on Columbus Day! We arrived and were met by the top Forestry instructor, Dennis Ringling. He took us on a tour of their saw mill and he and another instructor, along with their seven students, showed us how it works.

          Our SCFLOA President Jim Kessler (Red Plaid) and Prof. Dennis Ringling

 Logs ready for the mill

                                                 Cutting a log                                  

                                        Second cut

                 Stacking the cut wood for drying This is Hickory, a hardwood.

After visiting the saw mill we walked around through their Ornamental Garden and then into the cafeteria for lunch. After lunch we went outside for a walk around their Wetlands Pond area. It is a beautiful 2 acre pond with lots of wildlife.

After visiting and learning about the different programs they offer we loaded back up on the bus and headed for the place I was waiting for; Clyde Peelings Reptiland.

If you've never been to this nice little place I suggest you visit when you get the chance. It is just full of all kinds of reptiles.

                               The Love Turtles. They are really huge.

                                Momma Gator

                            Pappa Gator

After walking around inside I went outside to visit the Dinosaurs. Yes there is a Dinosaur display.  They are really neat looking. They at least tell you that they are not sure what the dinosaurs really looked like, but this is the best they can imagine. They have many fact sheets and guess sheets. They tell you facts they know and then some things they guess at. All of these Dinosaurs are animatronics, which means they move. They also have guessed at what they might have sounded like. They are just down right cool.

                                         This is my buddy T Rex.

After getting acquainted with these Dinosaurs I headed into a much smaller garden area. This area has the small winged fliers. They're called Butterflies. This is an indoor area where as you walk along the Butterflies can land on you and just flap their wings. It is truly amazing.

                                     Indoor Butterfly Garden

These are just a few of the ones flying around while I was there. There were many more there, but we were on a time schedule and had to move on.

We then headed to the Taber Museum and learned about early Indians and Logging in Penn's Woods.

Early Indians

                                         Early Settlers
Scenes like this always intrigue me due to my wife's family history. The town she is from, Birchardville, PA, was settled in 1799 by her relatives the Birchards. She is a Birchard from Birchardville, and we love History.

      This is one of the earliest candle dimmers. You lite the candles and then you can spin the candles up or down depending on how much light you need. Cool huh?

                                    A One Room School House

Know what this is? An old telephone operating center called a Switchboard. 

This is a really neat museum with many displays to see. There's even a ghost story about the picture above that you can learn about, which I may relate at a different time. Hint, hint. All in all this was a wonderful day. I started out with a FTF, almost had a FTB, and got to visit some really awesome places. As we headed to dinner at Hoss's Steak and Seafood the sun began to set. When we came out of the restaurant we were awed by the orange sky that ended our beautiful day. Enjoy these last few pictures and go visit some neat places.

                                  The whole crew


Kim@Snug Harbor said...

What a great day. I would have loved to do all of that. Great pictures too. Thanks for a fun and interesting post.


Super post Big Al! Man, you could have carved that baby up into three separate articles but you gave us the FULL tour, thanks!

smithie23 said...

That sounds like it was an awesome trip! That reptile zoo is somewhere I'd like to get out and visit one day. Is it just me, or are the deer closer to roads and neighborhoods this year?

Erika Jean said...

Looks like a great day! I just recently visited a butterfly garden too. It was so neat! I bet the saw mill was interesting!

Dodger said...

"Did you say you have a T-Rex?"


"Say it again?"

"We have a T-Rex."

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