Ricketts Glen State Park

Torrential downpours mean roaring waterfalls, so who cares if its a 200 mile roundtrip drive. Sounded like a great adventure to us.

On Sunday April 23rd we headed off for an adventure that came highly recommended by locals at our campground. We were talking about our adventures at Watkins Glen State Park in NY and they recommended Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania. It would mean a 2 hour (100 mile) each way drive from our campground in Hersey, PA but we are always up for a good road trip adventure. The deciding factor was the heavy rain we had experienced on Saturday.

According to the states web site Ricketts Glen is one of the most scenic parks in Pennsylvania. It is known for its 24 waterfalls. There are multiple hiking trails in addition to those near the waterfalls and camping is available in the area. Ricketts Glen was approved as a National Park site in the 1930’s but the WWII brought an end to this plan. The CCC even contributed to the initial build of this site by building the multiple stone steps you find along the Waterfall trail.

18% grade up to the park!

Our goal for the visit was to hike as far as we could to see as many waterfalls as possible. Unfortunately part of the waterfall loop trail is closed due to unstable rocks in a section of the trail but despite this we were able to see most of the waterfalls.

You have a choice of hiking from state road 118 or the Lake Rose trail head parking. We chose the Lake Rose parking area just past the visitors center. This would be a great trailhead to start the loop hike if it was open. It was just a short hike to the first waterfall, Mohawk at 37 feet. We decided early on to hike to the furthest point and take pictures on the return trip as we knew we would want “breaks” as we hiked up on the way out. The hike is mostly on shale steps with a few muddy spots mixed in. You will definitely need good foot wear. Lily and Sierra our 2 Shih Tzus did great on the hike but were in need of a bath by the end.

We were able to see 14 waterfalls before turning around at the top of Ozone, the location where the trail is currently closed off. Our Apple Watch tracked our mileage at almost 2 miles each way with a total elevation gain of 1079 feet. We did do a few extra steps and bit extra elevation for photo ops.

The photos below are just a small sampling of the many waterfalls and scenery along the way.

We loved our visit to Ricketts Glen and recommend it to dog lovers who want to take their best friends along for a great hike. The scenery rivals that of Watkins Glen but the ability to take your dog along with you raises the paw rating up to a 5/5.

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Spending the Winter as a Yuman

I have not blogged much this winter as we have done very little traveling since November.  This year we opted for a seasonal location in Yuma at The Palms RV Resort.  We checked out many of the resorts last year and decided this was the best resort in Yuma.  We were very fortunate they were offering a BOGO deal for first time visitors and we were able to rent 2 months and get 2 months free.  Taking a seasonal site was a great option for us this year since we were traveling with a puppy.  We could not have found a better place to spend the winter with a young dog than at this resort.  This has to be the most dog friendly location we have ever been to.   Continue reading

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Sleepless Near Cleveland

We started this year’s journey west on October 3rd, 2017.  We had hoped to leave on October 2nd but due to our new puppy’s  “dietary indiscretions” we were delayed a day.  Sierra, our new puppy is very fond of green beans and overindulged on October 1.


Sierra helping pick green beans from the garden

We decided that a day of travel with a puppy having diarrhea would not be fun so we decided to leave on the 3rd.  She seemed better the morning of the 3rd as we headed west.  We were not even out of Maine when she had her first episode of diarrhea for the day.  Let’s just say, the next 2 days would involve numerous stops at rest areas between Maine and Cleveland. Continue reading

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Working, puppies and prepping for 18 months on the road

You might be wondering where Gizmo is this summer.  It’s been a busy one for us.  I have gone back to work at MidCoast Hospital for a temporary summer job.  I decided to return to the bedside and worked full time in the Emergency Department.

First Day

First day back at the bedside full time

I had been a Nurse Director for the 16+ years before we started traveling.  I have had a great time caring for patients again and plan to continue to do this for the remainder of my career as a nurse.  I’m currently in Skowhegan, Maine, at a great little campground, Two Rivers Campground,  preparing to take the TNCC (trauma nurse core curriculum course) over the next two days.  We are planning on spending a minimum of 18 months on the road when we leave this fall.  I am planning on taking 1-2 nurse travel assignments in this time period.  In preparation for this I am making sure that all of my certifications are up to date, and I even got my California nursing license.

The main reason we have not written a blog for the summer is we have a new puppy.  Her name is Sierra (yes after the Sierra Nevadas) and she is keeping us very busy!

Coming Home

The day we picked her up! Just 9 weeks old!

Continue reading

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Acadia National Park- Rainy Days Can Be the Best!

Maine is going to get hit hard by a Nor’easter today on Mother’s Day.  We have been camping since Tuesday afternoon and we have only seen 2 days with dry hours since we arrived 5 days ago.  The rain has not stopped us from having a great time.  I personally think it can add to your visit if you come prepared.  We do not travel to this area without a really good rain coat, lots of layers and a determination to enjoy no matter the weather.    When I reflect on my favorite days in Acadia National Park the rainiest and wildest days stick out as some of my favorites.IMG_9764   Continue reading

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Sink Your Teeth Into This…

We moved up the East Coast to Virginia one week ago today.  We drove the 800 miles from Florida in two days, with a plan to settle in for 2-weeks in Virginia while the Maine weather warmed up.  This was our first trip to the Thousand Trails in Chesapeake Bay, and we lucked out with a campsite.  We are in E-6, a 30-amp full hookup site, right on the banks of the Piankatank River. IMG_7293  Continue reading

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Want to go to Florida?

On March 20th we were camping at Falling Waters State Park in Florida and experiencing some of the best weather we had had all year.  It had been a wet and somewhat cool winter in Southern California.  Wet enough to end the drought there.  We were booked for four nights at Falling Waters and then we were scheduled to start up the east coast.  The weather on the coast was not looking anything like spring and we were not ready to leave this nice warm weather.  We considered staying at Falling Waters a few more days.  Our camping neighbors were scheduled to leave the same day as us and they were in a non-reservable site.  We thought about grabbing that site for a few days when they left.  Then we wondered if we should call Thousand Trails to see if we could get in to their resort in Orlando on a 2 day notice.  It would add about 250 miles to our trip but there would be no other additional costs for camping.  We laughed at the thought, figuring there would be no vacancies, but we decided to try anyways.  I called and the lady asked if wanted 2 or 3 weeks.  We opted for 2-weeks and just like that, we were making an unplanned trip to Orlando.

I am really glad that we decided to make this last minute detour to Orlando.  Our plan for next year was to take a year off from traveling west and spend the winter in Florida.  This will allow us to leave a little later in the fall and to save some money on fuel.  We were both pleased with the Orlando Thousand Trails.  It is a huge park and we were fortunate to get a great site in the “I” section.  This area is a little more remote than some of the other sections, which is exactly what we were looking for.  The sites in this area are spacious and very level. IMG_6960 Continue reading

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Beaches, Waterfall and Spiders With Glowing Eyes

This past week we relaxed for four nights in a great Florida State Park.  We had booked 4 nights at Falling Waters State Park. IMG_6884 This is a good place to stop if you are traveling on the I-10.  The park is located in the town of Chipley and even though it is close to Interstate 10 it feels like you are out in nature.  The park is home to Florida’s “tallest waterfall”. Continue reading

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New Orleans- Green Beer and Beignets

We arrived in Louisiana yesterday for a short 2-night stay. We were not sure if we just wanted to rest between two driving days or spend the day exploring New Orleans.  John and I had been to New Orleans once before but it was a long time ago.  This morning we decided we would drive into the city and spend a few hours walking around.  One of the things we wanted to do was drive across Lake Pontchartrain on the causeway.  The bridge that crosses the lake is 24 miles long and is the longest bridge over water in the world.  It has two spans, one south and one north. The first span was completed in 1956 and the second in 1969. The spans are supported by over 9000 pilings  There is a $3 toll for cars going south but not on the return north.  This was a great way to get from our campground up near the I-12 down to the city.  Once you are on the bridge it is clear sailing for 24 miles with beautiful water views all around you. Continue reading

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Tombstone Arizona

We picked the perfect day to visit Tombstone, Arizona. It was a windy day and this only added to the ambience of the town. The wind was whipping up the old dirt Main Street and made it feel like we walking through an old western movie set. Continue reading

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