A Cabin in the WoodsPosted: July 26, 2010
Around noon on Friday M and I left the Bogs, setting out for Coudersport in Potter County, Pennsylvania (“God’s Country” as the welcome signs put it). We have friends who live in Scranton, Pennsylvana and we had been looking for a half-way point to meet them and spend a weekend together. The area around the towns of Coudersport and Austin fit the bill perfectly. It was a four hour drive for them and a four hour drive for us.
Our drive took us north on Pennsylvania State Route 66 through small towns and the Allegheny National Forest, to Route 6. I was surprised by how dark some of the forest looks, even on a sunny day. The trees were so thick in spots that it was difficult to see into the woods. Friday did happen to be a sunny day, but I didn’t take many photos on the drive that day. I was busy looking at and admiring the scenery, thinking we might take our time on the way home on Sunday and I’d get some photos then. I had no idea we’d be driving back through torrential rain.
PA Route 6 has a big campaign going with frequent mile markers exhorting you to “Do 6.” We were headed east on Friday. The pictures along routes 66 and 6 I’m posting were taken yesterday going west towards Ohio.
Please excuse the poor quality of the “Do 6” sign (and other photos taken during the storms). The weather didn’t make it easy to capture some of the signs and scenery on our way home.
The portion of PA Route 6 we saw lives up to the advertising. The towns were quaint and interesting. M and I would like to go back and take some walks through some of the small towns we went through. There are some beautiful buildings and houses along the way.
PA Route 6 is also an Artisan Trail that includes a variety of shops, boutiques, and galleries with local art, along with fairs and festivals throughout the year.
Our friends traveled the eastern portion of PA Route 6 and said they found it as interesting and scenic as the western portion we traveled. It might be fun to someday Do 6, all the way.
Having arrived in Coudersport around 4pm in the afternoon, we looked for Sweden Valley Cabins where we were to meet our friends and the guy with the key and directions to the cabin. MapQuest, as usual, was about 99% correct. It was, as usual, the last portion that was off. In this case it involved getting the mileage wrong instructing us to go 0.3 of a mile on East 2nd Street when we needed go about 3 miles. It’s amazing what a difference the placement of a decimal point can make.
A month or two ago M did some research online, finding and booking the cabin for us. The name of the cabin is Blue Skies Lodge. It wasn’t difficult to get to this time of year but you would need a 4-wheel drive vehicle during the winter months. The dirt and gravel road leading up to the cabin would be impossible for our car with snow and/or ice on the ground.
The cabin is, as described, “nestled on a hilltop” and relatively secluded. There are a few other cabins in the vicinity but nothing up close.
It’s a beautiful cabin in a beautiful part of the country. As I mentioned yesterday, there are none of the modern technological services we tend to take for granted (no cell phone coverage, no television reception, no internet connection) and there is no air conditioning, something else I take for granted and wish we had had since it was such a hot and humid weekend.
The “outhouse” pictured above is mostly decorative (I think it covers the well). It is full-sized but sitting there in between two big trees makes it look smaller. We did have running water and flush toilets inside.
The cabin does, in fact, have many modern conveniences, including a lovely kitchen downstairs and a bar area upstairs. There are three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
It also has bears. Lots and lots of bears decorating pretty much every area of the cabin (see the bear climbing the wall to the right in the above photo?). It’s cute. It should be noted that the woods outside contain bears too, but they are not the decorative kind. M saw a huge black bear coming towards the cabin on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) he scared it off before I could grab the camera.
I would imagine that the fans throughout the cabin normally keep things pretty cool inside. We just happened to pick an unusually hot weekend for our stay.
The woods around the cabin are lush, green, and thick with ferns. A walk through the woods and up a small hill takes you to a large meadow, some of it mowed and some of it filled with wildflowers. We must have missed a lot of the wildflowers in bloom. There were a few daisies and morning glories blooming, with the goldenrod starting to dominate.
The meadow would be a great area for stargazing at night. The full moon on Friday night and the clouds on Saturday night made it difficult for us to see anything during our visit.
There are great views of the hills/mountains from the meadow. There are also a number of mowed paths that take you through the meadow and into some of the surrounding woods.
I would like to go back sometime in the fall and explore some more. The fall foliage is probably stunning.
We took a few early morning walks during our stay. J, one of our friends, got some great photos of the mist in the meadow (I was not up and out early enough for it) and a young buck coming towards him on one of the trails.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more about our trip. I need to make myself useful for a little while and get caught up on some of the laundry and gardening.