A Weekend in Northern PA

I spent Friday through Sunday in Sinnemahoning State Park with some of the members of my Life group from SCEFC (and two alumni). We rented a cabin (the same one we had last year). On the ride to the park we speculated on the origin of the name Sinnemahoning. Julian thought it might have been a site where filmmakers practiced their craft (cinema honing). Surprisingly it turns out the name has nothing to do with cinematography. It is derived from a Native American word for stony lick or rocky lick, which refers to a natural salt lick in the area.

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Little cabin in the woods. . .

The park is beautiful. It is in a mountainous area (mini-mountains) with many small streams present. The vegetation consists of a nice mix of hardwood trees, conifers, Ericaceous shrubs, and ferns. With no cell phone service and no Internet access the little cabin is a nice getaway. As the world was consumed with March Madness, the economy, and other things we spent a few days in tranquility. 

Last March snow was plentiful during our visit. This year only a few remnants remained. While the setting was idyllic with all the snow last year, this year we were able to do more hiking because conditions were more favorable to exploration.

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Ryan with a snow ball in March 2008 (left) and March 2009 (right) at the same location. Compelling evidence for global warming?

Friday night featured the first game of Settlers of Catan of the weekend. Adam won a contest filled with alliances and politics. I tracked the dice rolls from the game, which might appear as a future blog post. 

On Saturday afternoon we wandered along the stream and explored a few trails. Adam, Chris, Olivia, and I climbed a mountain in an attempt to locate the source of a stream.

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The stream beckons. How could you not follow this?

The stream got shy and went underground. By the time we reached the top of the mountain it was very small. We took this picture near the top of the mountain, sadly the dramatic valley behind us did not translate to film very well. Climbing to the top of a mountain is a very rewarding experience (even if it is a small mountain).

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Adam, Chris, Olivia, and me on the mountain

Saturday night was devoted to Settlers of Catan. Two variations were played. One involving fish and one involving camels. I was a spectator for both games. Ryan triumphed in the fish version, while Sarah won the camel version. Thorough Hall dominance.

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Hawmps of Catan

Sunday we packed up and headed home. I set up my camera to take a group picture before we left.

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Group picture, Sinnemahong State Park, March 2009

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