Summer Fun at Greenwood Furnace State Park

It's hard to believe it, but in just a few weeks, some of the local parks will begin to close their swimming areas. The standard timeframe is around the Labor Day holiday (the first Monday in September), but sometimes, they are gracious and give us a few weeks more than that.

My husband and I love to swim, so we are trying to make the most of these coming few weeks. It is our intent to swim everywhere, as often as possible, in as many parks as possible, until the swimming areas close. We've begun making a short list of the ones that matter most to us.

Near the top of the list is Greenwood Furnace, a state park we rediscovered just three summers ago after not going there for maybe 20 years. We also discovered a great place to eat not far from there: Couch's in McAlevy's Fort, mid-way between Whipple Dam and Greenwood Furnace. I usually order the hot turkey sandwich or hot roast beef sandwich with fries and gravy, and lots of extra cole slaw on the side.

So we came up with a grand plan for this day. We would leave first thing in the morning and arrive early at Greenwood Furnace. I would get some free time for photos, and then we'd both swim in the cool, wonderful water. We'd top it off with a hot meal at Couch's.

And so that is exactly what we did. I walked around taking pictures of the neat old graveyard with Civil War-era graves and flags, and then strolled around the park with my camera. (I didn't go so far this time as to visit one of the iron ore furnaces the park is famous for - though you may view a pic in a prior blip.) The weather was beautiful and sunny, and it was perfect for photos.

Central Pennsylvania is home to groups of "plain people," who follow old-fashioned ways. They dress and talk a little bit differently from the mainstream. They live simply. They don't have electricity in their homes or own vehicles (though they might on occasion accept a ride).

Several Amish families were enjoying a picnic at the park, and I saw them at a number of different places, doing lots of fun summer activities: the children swimming (with all their clothes ON, of course), the men fishing, the women blowing bubbles for the children to chase. I did snap a few pictures of them, including this one. (For those who are interested, I'll post links to a few other blips of the Amish at the bottom of this page.)

After our outdoor adventures, my husband and I headed for Couch's, only to discover that the place was packed. There was some sort of motorcycle event going on in Huntingdon, and this was apparently a food stop for them.

We ordered our food - hot roast beef for me, meatloaf for my husband - and sat down for what we suspected might be a rather long wait (but wasn't), and I spotted a huge bug sitting outside our window. You may see the bug in the extras. As you can see, he's already got his eclipse viewing glasses on!  ;-)

It seemed to me the bug looked wistful about my hot roast beef sandwich, and I saw his wheels parked right outside. "I too enjoy roast beef," I imagined the bug to say; "Might you share a bit with me please before I have to get back on my bike and ride?"

The soundtrack for this day is for the photo above. I wanted something old-fashioned for those who live an old-fashioned lifestyle. So here is the song: Three Dog Night, with Old-Fashioned Love Song.

P.S. Heavy thunderstorms moved through central Pennsylvania later in the afternoon, and we were fortunate we came home when we did. The storms brought down trees and closed some roads, including the road over Pine Grove Mountain that we had just traveled on. Those attempting to return home to the State College area from Whipple Dam and Greenwood Furnace at that time encountered downed trees and road closures that rerouted traffic through Huntingdon or through Belleville and back up the Seven Mountains! Wow! Lucky, lucky us.

Additional photos of the Pennsylvania Amish:
Women in Motion
Gone Fishin'
Cooling Off at Bald Eagle State Park
In Which I Ride the Rails (photo of an Amish boy on the train in the extras)

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