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Back from Penn's Woods

This posting is a bit overdue as we arrived backed from Mr. Penn's woods a week ago today. We stayed at Cook Forest State Park. A good-sized park in the Allegheny mountains, which included an old growth forest. One morning I took a walk before the family was awake and found a large fallen tree. I know I didn't count correctly, because some of the rings were obscured, but I did count 216 of them. That places the tree as a seedling around 1792. Not bad for a plant.

Overall the trip was pleasant, the first two-and-a-half days it rained on and off--so much so that we were visiting the crappy souvenir tourist traps, but we also, out of desperation visited Punxsutawney, you know, of groundhog fame(see the last photo). A pleasant small burg with an embarrassingly tiny library.
So we hiked, fished, canoed, built fires, harassed chipmunks (which, BTW, if they would organize I think they could take over campgrounds around North America, but alas, they live up to Darwinian expectations), and took in the scenery. (See photos 1-5).

I have to say that Pennsylvania wasn't a bad place, but it isn't Michigan. I have not visited everywhere in the U.S., but I have to say that Michigan always calls me back to her. I would hope the denizens of Pennsylvania would say the same about their own region. If I had to make a list, which I don't, but I will anyway, I'd rate the states I have visited (or lived in (three semesters in MN in 87-88)) from most desirable to least:
New Mexico

Now, of course this list is subjective, but dammit, try and tell me Michigan with more coastline than any other state than Alaska and over 11,000 lakes doesn't rate as number one. Yes, Detroit ranks low in terms of fun major cities, but leave Southeast Michigan out of your calculations and tell me where that leaves you. Pride of place is countercultural in a mobile society.


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