July 24th, 2006



The crack in the road is full of stuff people chucked in there to see if it would burn.

The plan for Sunday was to head over to the middle of Pennsylvania for the Mine Fire Fur Meet II to see the smoky ruins in and around Centralia. The meet was originally planned for Saturday but was moved to Sunday because of rain.

Got a bunch of geocaches on my way to Frackville. Then I met up with xydexx, rigelkitty, kody_wolf, and unclekage at the Dutch Kitchen in Frackville. I had the Baked Fresh Pork Sausage, one of their Pennsylvania Dutch specialties, which was pretty good.

After that, we went to the Pioneer Tunnel in Ashland to take the mine tour. Although I still remember a lot of it from the last time, it was good to take the tour again. It's also a good thing I brought a jacket because the temperature inside the mine was about 50°F. (Actually, it was a jacket that happened to be in the car since Spring. :) )

After finishing up at Pioneer Tunnel, we headed over to the closed section of Route 61 in Centralia to see the crack in the road that has smoke coming out of it. While there is still a bit of smoke, it's a lot less smoky than what we saw on our last trip here 3 years ago. Also, the nearby gorge area seems to be recovering nicely. Where the gorge used to be charred and bare, trees and bushes have started growing. Later on, in our wandering around, we did come across a spot with a decent amount of smoke coming out.

After that, we headed over to Knoebels Amusement Park after making a stop in Mount Carmel for gas and convenience store stuff. Knoebels seemed a little too crowded and possibly not to my liking, so I said my goodbyes, left the group, and went back down Route 42 to bag a bunch more geocaches, ending the cache run in St. Clair. Since I was still in the vicinity of Frackville, I decided to go to the Dutch Kitchen again for dinner! After all, I only come by this place once every few years it seems. Had another good PA Dutch entree. Then I drove for 2.5 hours to get back home. It was a fairly uneventful late-night drive, except for the last few miles, where I ended up following someone who might be intoxicated. He was weaving a bit, making mistakes at every turn, and going at around 10 mph. So I gave him plenty of room while preparing to stop and call emergency services should his car slide off the road. Fortunately, nothing happened, I got home safely (at about 12:30 am), and I assume he got where he wanted to be too.

The caches...Collapse )