Friday, June 19, 2015

Hiking and jumping in puddles! Chapman State Park

We camped and hiked for a couple of stormy, yet very enjoyable days in Chapman State Park Pennsylvania.  

Chapman State Park is surrounded by over 500,000 acres in the Allegheny National Forest. Someone say hiking!  I live for trails! Our 10 year old Duke becomes alive in the trails. 

On our first hike, which was cut short due to the thunderstorm, we found the swing bridge on the Lowlands Trail. We had hiked just a couple of km pasts the swing bridge and the skies opened up - we were caught in a tremendous thunderstorm, Duke was glued to my side on this short hike, Buddy didn’t seem to mind.  We hiked back in the storm. When we got back, everything was so wet I had to ring out all my stuff.   I can tell you the pack I had was not water proof at all, my paper maps were all melted due to being so wet.

When the thunderstorm past, we went for a second hike through unpassable puddles, we heard a road was washed out, but, it was not a main road. So we walked through the puddles with my last pair of dry running shoes, water was past my ankles.  Forest was dripping too, so, again we were drenched, but, funny enough we didn’t mind at all. I felt like a kid jumping in puddles, nice! We took the Lowlands trail again from our camp ground, this time we were going to take it out straight out to the Forest Game Land, but, the signs reading “Hunt Carefully”, it put me off, so we turned back and crossed at the swing bridge again, took that trail till Game Lands Road, went right and caught Adams Run Trail which was rugged, hilly and very wet.  As it was late, and I didn’t have a dry map I could read any longer,  I thought I’d play it safe and turn back, retrace our step to the Game Land road then make our way to the 68 acre lake and then attempt to go around the lake. That worked, it was perfect.  We made it back, soaked again, but, very pleased at our adventure.

Next day, we were off by 6:30 am, we wanted to get an early start as they were predicting afternoon thunderstorms again. So, I had to wear very, very, very, very, wet running shoes, and socks that were dry, well, dry until I stepped onto our first trail.    Couldn’t tell a creek from a trail sometimes, but, again, it was enjoyable. We managed 15 km, first couple of kms were through puddles and hills.  The boys certainly had enough running water to drink from. We headed through the Lumber Trail aiming toward the 300 miles of snowmobile trails, those trails where on higher ground and dryer.  We circled back and walked around the 68 acre lake again and headed back to the camp.  We were wet again as it rained on and off, but, the raid doesn’t seem to bother us anymore.  

Well, as I write, this, we have only wet towels left, nothing dry, only wet socks and hiking shoes, but, it’s our last night camping, before we go visit friends in civilization, so, we’ll be just fine. I also realized that dry shoes and socks are over rated when it comes to hiking, WHO KNEW!?

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