Miscellaneous Trips Spring 2022

Here is a compilation of miscellaneous hiking and scenic trips from spring 2022. Yes, some of these are not technically in the spring, but as a student, my definition of spring is quite generous and more in line with the academic calendar than the actual seasons.

Honestly, I didn’t get as many trips in as I’d hoped. I brought a car to Pittsburgh this semester, and I managed to schedule everything so that I had no classes on Monday or Friday. Unfortunately, some combination of being busier than expected, trying to be more involved on campus, and bad luck with the weather prevented me from taking more trips. The weather really was absolutely atrocious this semester, even by Pittsburgh standards. A local news article from April 8, 2022 was titled: “Pittsburgh has seen only four sunny days so far this year.”

Sandy Hook, NJ (12/31/21)

I took Annabel to Sandy Hook, where we strolled along the beach for a bit. Perhaps the most exciting thing that happened was seeing a rather cute red fox. Some pictures are included below for your viewing pleasure.

Red fox Asian man on log on beach Beach
The red fox, yours truly on a log, and the beach. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

Although we didn’t know it at the time, she’ll be starting high school here in the fall, at MAST. I’m just a little bit jealous that I didn’t get to go to high school on the beach!

Paw Paw Tunnel, MD (1/29/22)

I went on a trip with the CMU Explorers Club to the Paw Paw Tunnel, part of the C&O canal towpath. The tunnel itself was interesting, and there was an okay view of the Potomac River. We were on the Maryland side of the Potomac and not the West Virginia side, much to the dismay of certain individuals who wanted to blast “Take Me Home, Country Roads” on the car.

Canal in brick tunnel View of snowy river
The Paw Paw Tunnel and the Potomac River. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

We had a fairly strong turnout: we had three full cars (one of which was mine).

Frankfort Mineral Springs Falls, PA (2/12/22)

Having a free Saturday, I decided to drive by myself to Raccoon Creek State Park, which, at roughly thirty miles, is probably the closest park to Pittsburgh. There’s a small but pretty waterfall there: Frankfort Mineral Springs Falls. The access trail is quite short, but the icy conditions made it somewhat treacherous. Fortunately, I made it there without incident.

Icy waterfall Icy waterfall Ice formations in cave
The cold temperatures created interesting ice formations by the waterfall. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

After seeing the waterfall, I hiked around the park for a bit, hitting about five miles in total.

Ohiopyle State Park, PA (4/2/22)

I organized a hiking trip for the ACF juniors (well, plus a senior and a sophomore). There was stronger interest than I had anticipated: ten people expressed interest, and eight people ended up going. We did seven miles, mostly on the Laurel Highlands hiking trail. There was quite a lot of climbing on the way out.

Winding river through hills
The vista overlooking the Youghiogheny River where we stopped for lunch. (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

Honestly, planning logistics for the trip was a bit of a frustrating experience, particularly because I don’t think everyone had the same expectations going into the hike. However, everyone had fun in the end, which is what matters.

Cherry Springs State Park, PA (5/10/22–5/11/22)

I organized another ACF trip, this time to go car camping and stargazing at Cherry Springs State Park. Cherry Springs has some of the darkest skies on the east coast: one can make out the Milky Way with the naked eye! We were blessed with perfectly clear skies, though it got a little chilly at night. (On the bright side, this meant that we didn’t have to worry about mosquitoes.)

Cooking food over campfire Corn with burn marks
I may have over-done it on some of the corn… (Click on any image to view at full resolution.)

The stargazing was decent at the beginning of the night, but it really turned spectacular once the moon set sometime past 3:00 am. This was my first time seeing the Milky Way, which was quite a treat. None of us had fancy cameras, so we were stuck trying to take photos with our phones.

Josh managed to get some even better pictures on his phone, an iPhone 13.

  1. Grammatically, I suppose that a copula ought to take a predicate nominative, but people would laugh at me if I used “I” rather than “me” here.↩︎