GIFFORD PINCHOT STATE PARK (PA)

We were only here at Gifford Pinchot State Park for three days and spent most of the first two on just our campsite. We did check out the park on the last day here and found that most of the better and larger sites were on Loop B. Our loop, Loop A, the better sites were geared more towards tent sites and much smaller (<20 foot) trailers. There are primitive sites with no hookups, electric only sites and a few full hookup sites available here, all are priced accordingly.



MONDAY

TRAVEL DAY
YEAR #2 - STOP #26

The first mile and a half of driving after leaving our campsite in Ohiopyle State Park was nearly straight down a mountain. After that it got a lot easier, 30 miles of country back roads and then it was all Interstate driving. The east/west I-76 in Pennsylvania is a toll road, I imagine it's to pay for the not one, not two, not even three, but four mile long tunnels we drove through today. It sure made the driving a lot easier, driving under the mountains instead of up and down and around them.

The first tunnel we encountered on the route east today was the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel. The cool thing about this tunnel is that it crosses under the Eastern Continental Divide. Of course when anyone mentions the continental divide in the United States everyone always first thinks about the continental divide that goes through the Rocky Mountains out west. Just so you know, there are actually 6 continental divides in North America.

The next three tunnels we passed through were the Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel, the Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel and finally the Blue Mountain Tunnel. These last two tunnels should almost be counted as one because there is only about a quarter of a mile between the two.

As a proper way to end our first day at our new campsite day we had our Pennsylvania campfire tonight, complete with a few wieners on a stick.



TUESDAY

WORK DAY FROM THE POD
0 MILES DRIVEN TODAY



WEDNESDAY

SIGHTSEEING DAY
70 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Our planned sightseeing day started out as a simple go out to breakfast and then a cave tour day, before returning home. Well we did that, except after the cave tour and before returning home we sort of had a side track tour. On the way to breakfast Tricia saw the billboards on the highway for Hershey's Chocolate World, just 10 miles ahead, I knew then we would be getting home later than planned.

My go to place for breakfast lately has been Waffle House, I just love their hash browns. I order them smothered, covered and country. That's cheese, onions and gravy for those of you who haven't been to a Waffle House yet. But Tricia wanted to go to someplace different so I surprised her with a place I found online with a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Google. The Soda Jerk Diner & Ice Cream Bar, a 50's style diner with some out of the ordinary offerings on the menu, just the kind of place Tricia likes.

We both ordered off of the daily specials menu, Tricia had a Breakfast Quesadilla and I ordered the Crabby "Old Bay" Hash and Eggs. Sorry no photos, the food was gone from the table in less than ten minutes. Just two miles away was our cave tour at Indian Echo Caverns. As usual we were on the very first tour of the day at 10:00AM. Just as we were about to enter the cave we saw two bus loads of elementary school kids pull up to have a field trip. Fortunately there is also a petting zoo near the parking lot, so that distracted them just long enough for us to make our escape. We did cross paths with them later inside the cave, when we were near the end and they were just beginning.

After the cave tour is when we decided to check out Hershey's Chocolate World before heading home. Upon entering Chocolate World you are at the entrance to The Largest Candy Store on Earth, their gift shop! They have everything Hershey on sale here, and if you thought the candy sizes at the movie theater were large, I saw a Hershey Bar that was bigger than my 10 year old laptop computer and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup that was larger than a Frisbee.

We saw people pushing around full sized grocery carts filled with chocolate treats, t-shirts, coffee mugs and dog sweaters. Everywhere you looked was that famous Hershey's logo staring back at you. We weren't immune to it's charm, we purchased a t-shirt, a couple bags of Cadbury Eggs and four souvenir tins filled with Hershey's Chocolate and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Some of these are supposedly slated to be given away as gifts, yeah right!

We also did the FREE Chocolate Factory Tour ride, similar to a Disney Kids ride. The waiting queue for the ride goes past an adult themed explanation of how chocolate is made and then when the ride starts it is more child oriented. It's still worth the time to do, even as adults, because at the end of the ride you are given a FREE sample of a mini Hershey's Chocolate Bar.

We did elect to do the 75 minute Trolley Works Tour around the town that Milton Hershey practically built. It was $16 a piece but well worth it to learn the history and philanthropy of Milton Hershey. Did you know that there is a K-12 school system for underprivileged children in this town that is completely funded by the Hershey Trust. It's not just for children from this area either, there have been students enrolled here from every one of our 50 states over the years. It's not just their education that is free! Housing and food, clothing and supervision is all included, year round, not just during the school year. Upon high school graduation each student is eligible for a $95,000 scholarship provided their grades have met the school's expectations. Currently the Hershey Trust has billions in the bank thanks to anyone who has purchased his candy. Next time you pickup a Hershey product, check the fine print on the back, it guarantees a portion of the proceeds will go into the Trust.



OUR DAY TODAY



Our day started at sunrise in the campground!
This is the entrance to Indian Echo Caverns
The stairs from the cave entrance back up to the parking lot!
Meet TOM from the petting zoo.
Meet BUTTERSCOTCH from the petting zoo.
Meet SNOWBALLM from the petting zoo.
The rest of the petting zoo participants
Welcome to Hershey Chocolate World!
After a mediocre lunch we had a delicious Hershey dessert!
Our Trolley Tour around town awaits us.
Glad we didn't have to ride around in this!
Street lights around Hershey come in two varieties, WRAPPED...
... and UNWRAPPED!
The Hershey's home called Highpoint.

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• • • 100 MILE • • •
HIKING CHALLENGE

14.5 MILES
UNDER OUR BOOTS

With the 1/2 mile at Indian Echo Caverns
it brings our annual total up to 14.5 miles.



Who will be the first to correctly guess our next location?
• • • PLEASE USE THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW TO MAKE YOUR GUESS! • • •




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4 comments:

  1. I forgot about that stash of Hersey's chocolate at home, but now I can't wait, only 5 minutes to chocolate. Hope ya,LL are having a really good trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dewey, just reading your comment got me breaking into my Hershey stash too! Three less Reese's minis are now in there.

      Delete
  2. So glad you're still blogging. I really enjoy reading about your adventures. Just got back from three months in Dom Rep. Had a great time. We're working on buying a little house and spending 1/2 the year there.

    You guys are amazing!

    Happy Trails to You! Norma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Norma!
      Glad you found the comment section of the blog and glad you made it back safe and sound from down south!
      Bet I can guess which half of the year you'll be South of the Border!

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