We started our day with a walk around Punxsutawney town. They are fully embracing the ground hog thing. We love the Bill Murray movie. Punxsutawney Phil lives in a climate controlled environment at the corner of Barclay Square, in a man-made burrow connected to the local library. We went to visit him there where, unfortunately, he seemed extremely stressed and ran around his enclosure trying to find ways out. I understand the financial value one small animal brings to this area and I think that he deserves a larger, more natural space to exist in 364 days a year.
We went up to see Gobbler’s Knob where the ceremony is performed (and is a much more natural environment for Phil). As early as 1886, German immigrants here observed Groundhog Day and established the Punxsutawney Groundhog.
According to folklore, if the hibernating groundhog-known as Punxsutawney Phil leaves its burrow on February 2 and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. The legend is based on a
European custom predicting the length of winter by weather conditions on Candle« mas, an ancient Christian festival.
We met the inspiration for Kristen Wiig’s at the Giant Eagle. Supermarket checkout, Ligonier, PA and tried golden cape gooseberries for the first time. Never heard of them, had to try. The best I can describe them is that they taste like a cross between cherry tomatoes and a pineapple.
Laurel Ridge State Park, Forbes State Forest, Ligonier, PA. We came to this park to do the Wolf Rocks. The lady in the office said that the Spruce Flats Bog was the must do trail of the park so we decided to do that instead. The Spruce Flats Bog is a rare high elevation wetland at 2730’. It will created by early settlers harvesting the trees. The open depression that was left collects water from rain and snow and developed into a peat rich bog with unusual plants. Pennsvivania is home to three insect-eating plants…and you’ll find two of them, pitcher plants and sundew, in this bog.
The Spruce Flats observation boardwalk is only about 0.5 mile from the parking lot. There is a trail around the bog made up of Spruce Flats, Hall Springs Rd and Picnic Area Trail (guessing a total of about 2 miles) We, mistakenly as it turns out, assumed that we’d be able to observe the bog from the trail around it. Instead, it turned out to be mostly gravel path through unremarkable forest. Disappointed, we decided to do Wolf Rocks Loop (4.3 miles, 272’ elevation) as well. Wolf Rocks is an interesting outcrop of rocks with a view of the valley beyond. The rest of the trail is through the woods with rocks almost the entire way. I’ve heard hikers call Pennsylvania “Rocksylvania”before and now I see why.
We hit our 100th days on the road! It’s been amazing so far and I can’t wait to experience more amazing places. Thanks for joining us on the ride and letting us share our experiences with you! We got a cake to celebrate.