July 14, 2021

Seven Points about Seven Points - Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

A quick housekeeping update:  Subsequent to my transition from Feedburner to Follow.It for your email subscriptions, there was a bit of difficulty with several of your email addresses.  The folks that staff the Help Desk at Follow.It were extremely courteous, professional and, well, helpful.  I believe that the glitch has been corrected, but I’ll be following up with the individuals affected to be sure that new posts are being delivered to their Inboxes.  I would ask all of you who subscribe via email to please pass along any feedback you wish and, of course, let me know if you run into any trouble on your end.  I believe all is well at this point, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Also, please note that, despite my best efforts to determine the reason, John Hinton’s blog, "On the Road of Retirement," is no longer updating.  It stopped updating before I transitioned to Follow.It, so I don’t think I lost him there, and I’ve deleted the blog and added it back but, still, no dice.  Be assured that John is actively writing; he and his wife, Sharon, are in New Mexico as I draft this post.  Last item . . . Although Bob Lowery is no longer publishing new posts on his "Satisfying Retirement" blog, you can still access a wonderful list of mostly retirement-related blogs from his site.   So, even though publication has ceased, I'm leaving "Satisfying Retirement" on my blog roll for your (and my) reading pleasure.  Now, on to today’s post . . .

According to HuntingdonCountyHistory.com, “Raystown Lake is a reservoir in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. It is the largest lake that is entirely within Pennsylvania. The original lake was built by the Simpson family of Huntingdon as a hydroelectric project. The current 8,300-acre Raystown Lake was completed in 1973 by the Army Corps of Engineers.  Raystown is around 200 feet deep in the deepest area near the dam. The lake was created primarily to control floods, provide electricity, and support recreational activities.”

Friends told us about Raystown Lake years and years ago.  They said it was our kind of place.  Unfortunately, it’s just far enough from home that it wasn’t really feasible for a weekend jaunt while we were working.  Since Alan and I escaped from the workforce, we’ve had so many other destinations on our travel list, the lake never quite worked its way into priority status.  That changed this spring when cabin fever reared its ugly head.  I was poking around trying to find the perfect spot for a quick getaway that one of us desperately needed.  (Yeah, okay, that would be me.)  I thought of Raystown Lake and Seven Points Campground, the Army Corps of Engineers facility located directly on the lake.

June 29, 2021

I Never Did Like Housekeeping

I love writing about the stunning destinations our family has visited and the countless memories we’ve made during our travels.  I do not love writing about cookies and copyrights and other legal gobbledygook.  But, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

As you may have read on other blogs that are on Google’s “Blogger” platform, Feedburner (the email subscription service that sends new blog posts to your email inbox) will no longer be operating after this month.  That means that any bloggers who used the Feedburner option will be transitioning to another platform if they want to continue to offer readers the option of receiving new posts via email.

I’ve researched a number of email subscription options and found none to be perfect.  But I’ll be transitioning before my next post goes live, keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well.

If you already subscribe to posts via email, please know that I have your email address on file and will just shift you over to the new platform.  If you link to my blog via someone else’s blog on the Blogger platform, please note that I do have a concern that my blog posts will not update properly on the other blog’s “blog roll.”  Please allow me to suggest that you subscribe via email now if you wish to remain in touch, or immediately after I transition to the new email subscription platform, if you prefer.  If you do subscribe and find that you’re not receiving new posts, please check your spam folder and then contact me at reflectionsaroundthecampfire(at)gmail(dot)com if there is, indeed, a problem.

Okay, now that we got email subscriptions out of the way, let me point out the brand new page that can be found next to “About Mary” just above this post.  Yup, “Legal Gobbledygook” is just what it sounds like – no fun at all.  But I did try to make it entertaining, and I would appreciate it if you would take a gander at it.  If you’re a fellow blogger and are aware of something that I should have included but didn’t, I’d appreciate a heads up.

Okay.  Glad all that’s done.  I never did like housekeeping.

As soon as I’ve recovered from having to write about all of this legal gobbledygook stuff, I plan to share with you our first visit to Seven Points Campground, an Army Corps of Engineers facility on Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania.  I hope you'll join us for the excursion.

“Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door.” (Marcelene Cox)

 

 

June 06, 2021

Acadia National Park - The Adventure Continues

In the summer of 2011, our family of four enjoyed our first ever visit to Acadia National Park in Maine.  At the time, our son, Ryan, was 17 and our daughter, Kyra, was 12.  (That awkward “tween” age would explain the response I received from Kyra when I asked the kids if I could post a particular photo of them in Bar Harbor – “Oh my God please no!”  That, my friends, is the reason I always ask first.)  My previous blog post covered some of Acadia’s history, the hiking trails we tackled and a bit about the carriage roads that we enjoyed biking.  This post details our experiences with water sports in the Park, our pilgrimage to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, some touristy fun around the town of Bar Harbor and a favorite tradition at The Jordan Pond House.

May 27, 2021

Acadia National Park - The Lure of the Land, the Call of the Sea

I nearly choked on my morning coffee when I realized that it has been four weeks since my last blog post.  Alan and I spent most of the past month getting our ducks in a row for a couple of not-so-easy real estate transactions.  But I’m also happy to report that we managed to sneak in a short trip to Seven Points Campground, an Army Corps of Engineers facility on Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania.  (Watch for a future post on that long-awaited excursion.)  Since life finally seems to be quieting down a bit, I’m really happy to settle in at the keyboard again and share our Acadia adventures with you.  Our first visit was so full of exceptional and delightful experiences that it might take more than one post to deliver all the details. We’ll see how it goes. 

This post is dedicated to my cousin Anna who, I’m pretty sure, really, really wants to visit Maine, and to my cousins John and Janine who go there often.

Acadia National Park had been on my bucket list for years.  In actuality, it’s one of the National Parks closest to our home in the northeast United States.  Therein lies the problem.  Because Acadia is more accessible to us than the numerous Parks out west, it made sense to Alan and me to travel further when the kids were young and he could pull four weeks of vacation at a clip.  After all, it takes us at least five solid days of driving to make it from one end of the country to another.  So travel time alone often knocks off a week and a half of scheduled vacation time on our National Parks trips.  For a variety of reasons (none of which matter a bit here), we finally decided to visit Acadia National Park in the summer of 2011 when Ryan was 17 and Kyra was 12.  This exquisite Park immediately shot to the top of my favorites list.

April 29, 2021

Campfire Talk - Part 2 of 2

It seems like I’m forever collecting little tidbits of news and information that may (or may not) be of interest to others.  None are worth a full blog post but I’ve found that a “Campfire Talk” format provides a good way to share an odd assortment of items.  Please note that this post is not sponsored in any way.  I’m not affiliated with, recommending or receiving payment from any of the companies or organizations mentioned.  I’m just sharing what I consider to be interesting or useful bits of news with you – you know, the kind of stuff you might talk about around a campfire with friends, family and fellow travelers.  The photos in this post represent a recap of the National Parks trip series I so recently (and happily!) completed.

Before I begin the actual post, I’d like to add a follow up comment about Ryan and Anya’s engagement which I had previously mentioned in Part 1 of this Campfire Talk post.  We have considered Anya our “bonus kid” since early in her relationship with Ryan.  The two of them are a good fit, and Anya is sweet, polite, respectful and considerate of others.  Not only are we blessed with a great bonus kid, but Anya’s parents, Kim and Brandon, are warm, good-natured, fun loving people, too – and we all enjoy outdoor adventures.  So, Alan and I are gaining a terrific daughter-in-law and we’ll be continuing the great relationship we’ve developed over the years with Anya’s parents.  I’m telling you, people, this is a win-win situation for us, and we know that we’re extremely fortunate.  Now, on to our regularly scheduled program.    

April 19, 2021

Campfire Talk - Part 1 of 2

It seems like I’m forever collecting little tidbits of news and information that may (or may not) be of interest to others.  None are worth a full blog post but I’ve found that a “Campfire Talk” format provides a good way to share such an odd assortment of items.  Since I’ve recently been focused on completing the documentation of our second cross-country National Parks trip, and since Alan and I spent the first two and a half months of the year renovating a rental house, I have more tidbits than usual set aside to share.  Because I’m a kind and thoughtful person (under many, but not all, circumstances), I’m breaking down this edition of Campfire Talk into Part 1 and Part 2 for your reading (and my typing) pleasure.

Please note that this post is not sponsored in any way.  I’m not affiliated with or receiving payment from any of the companies or organizations mentioned.  I’m just sharing what I consider to be interesting or useful bits of news with you – you know, the kind of stuff you might talk about around a campfire with friends, family and fellow travelers.  The photos in this post represent a recap of the National Parks trip series I so recently (and happily!) completed.  Well, except for the last, very special one.

April 02, 2021

Arches National Park – Nature’s Creative Artistry on Display (National Parks Trip #2)

Wow!  It seems like it has taken me forever to document our second cross-country National Parks camping trip with travel trailer in tow, but here we are at the FINAL installment!  At the time of this trip in 2010, our son, Ryan, was 16 and our daughter, Kyra, was 11.  Reliving this epic journey by documenting it has reaffirmed my belief that these extended, month-long National Parks trips with our kids provided all of us with priceless experiences and exceptional memories that will last a lifetime.

You might recall from the prior post that our family of four was using a private RV Park in Moab as our base camp for exploring the section of Utah in which Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are located.  Sadly, none of the campgrounds in those two Parks have electric hookups.  Despite our preference for camping within the National Parks, there was no way we’d forego the electricity needed to run the air conditioner during our visit in July.  Thinking it would be a treat if the kids had a swimming pool in which to cool off, I had booked a site at the Moab KOA (link HERE).  For a couple of reasons, that turned out to be a bad idea for this family of outdoor enthusiasts.