View from Headache Hill

What a busy day it turned out to be! My husband and I had plans to go to my mother-in-law's to bring home the last few items we wanted, including a file cabinet, a shelving unit, and a chest of drawers. So we told her we'd be there around mid-day, and we managed to fit in a few adventures around our trip.

First was a hot and hearty breakfast at Eat'n Park in Altoona, where we both ordered the senior super griddle smile, which includes two eggs, three pieces of breakfast meat (sausage for him, bacon - crispy - for me), toast, choice of potatoes, and one side (pancakes for him, grilled stickies for me).

I had to take my stickies home for later; I was just stuffed! The service was excellent, the waitress was attentive and friendly, and the food was fabulous. I can't think of any way to improve it, so I'd have to give it a full 10. That breakfast held us through the whole day, until we got home.

We had gotten on our way a bit earlier than expected, which meant that we had time to stop at the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Before the railroad opened in March of 1834, it took 23 days to get from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh by covered wagon; after the railroad arrived, it only took 4 days. The buildings were all open, so we got to look around outside, visit the exhibits, and walk around inside the Lemon House.

From there, we drove to my mother-in-law's, and actually managed to pack all of the stuff in the car. We had my husband's Impala, which is big and roomy. The clicky sound in the dash was fixed this past Wednesday; the faulty part, a heater/air door actuator, was replaced. I hate to say it but I kind of miss the clicking sound! Maybe we should stop calling it the Clickmobile. . . .

The chest of drawers and shelving unit (which folded up quite neatly) went into the back seat. The two-drawer file cabinet went into the trunk. And we scored a couple of shovels (always useful in the PA winters) and a pair of folding chairs, which we stuffed in around the edges. I don't think we were there even an hour. We work very fast!

We left her house in good time, and my husband suggested we stop at Headache Hill, in Prince Gallitzin State Park. We used to go there a lot back in the old days. The foliage colors are starting, and you may see a photo of our view in the shot above. (In a nearby cove, on a canoe, 35 years ago, we shared our first kiss.)

All of the state parks' beaches are closed to swimming now, and we really miss it. So we decided it was time for a dip. We had brought along our swimsuits and swim fins and towels. So from there, we headed to a little pond we know up in the hills, and had a lovely chilly dip.

I'd estimate that the water temperature was somewhere around 60 degrees F, and I am one who enjoys a cold-water swim, so that was just my game. You may see a photo of the last Pennsylvania mermaid, with some additional foliage colors in the background, in the extra photo. We did spot a turtle nose or two (snappers, most likely) on the one edge of the pond, and we stayed away from them.

I was in the water swimming for 40 minutes, and finally got out when my arms and hands started to tingle. Once my skin hit the air, I did feel cold! So I quickly toweled off and put on sweat pants and a long-sleeve shirt. I sat and shivered until we started walking out; then I was fine. I hope it wasn't our last swim, but this time of year, you never know!

So that is the story of our long and adventurous day: from breakfast at Eat'n Park, to a visit to a historic railroad site, to loading up our car with stuff, to visiting Headache Hill, to what just may have been our final swim of the year. Wow! What a day!

I'm featuring colorful foliage in both of my shots for this Blip, so let's let this be our soundtrack song: Cyndi Lauper, with True Colors.

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