Sunday, October 26, 2008

We went to Plan B or was it Plan R by the end of the weekend

Things do not always go as planned. We had planned to go to Knoebles Amusement Park for their special haunted park night. Well, to say the least, it did not happen. We did leave Friday afternoon right at 12:30 as planned. No traffic to speak of on the Baltimore beltway and we are up to speed in no time.

The first SOB gets passed with in five minutes of being underway and things are looking good. The first stop is to be a rest area right above Harrisburg on 81 North. Rob Baker and I were planning to meet there so we can caravan together the rest of the way. The first delay was in York, Pa where a crash scene investigation was taking place. That is required when someone dies. Further North on 83 we encounter another huge backup. This time we are detoured onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Some high speed chase had taken place up ahead and they were trying to find the guy after he bailed out on the highway. The one good thing about this diversion was that I have a Pa Turnpike water decal that needs to be put on the door now. Anyway, Rob was coming up from Virginia via a different route and he too was hitting a bunch of slow spots along his way.

We ended up waiting for about fifteen minutes for Rob and Sophia to come rolling in. A quick pit stop and we are rolling North again. As we travel North the weather looks less and less promising, but the trees are brilliant and we caravan together. I do not know how many of you out there caravan, but it is a ton of fun for me. Everything looks more promising when you are following an Airstream. Time passes very quickly too.

My desire was to see a place called Centralia, Pa. When I was eight years old I read about this town. In 1962 a dump fire caught a coal seam on fire and an underground fire began. It had been burning for twelve years when I read about this man made disaster, now it has been burning for the past 46 years. There is apparently no way to exstinquish it and it is thought to be able to burn for at least two hundred and fifty more years, possibly more. Most of the residents have been bought out due to all the poison gasses and possibility of cave ins.

There is not very much evidence of the fire, except these holes emitting smoke that scatter though out the town. With in twenty five feet of any of these smoke holes there is zero vegetation. Nothing lives close to the smoke.

There are a few holdout that refuse to go. You can just see the house in the trees there. It is well kept up, but with in 500 yards of the most active part of the fire. Some people just refuse to leave.

Slowly nature is taking over. Eating up the man made structures and obscuring mans touch.

Kind of spooky to see all the empty streets.

We arrived at the campground, Lake Glory, just before 5 and got right on setting up. Zoe and the boys arrived within a half an hour of us and then it started to rain.

2 comments:

Wil said...

Frank,

My brother and I visited Centralia back in 1972. I'd completely forgotten. Thanks for the reminder and the reminiscence... :)

John said...

In addition to Centralia, another long forgotten place in PA is the forgotten turnpike. You can't drive up it, but if you have bikes, I hear it's a nice ride on long forgotten pavement up the entrance of the tunnels, also abandoned.

http://forgottenpa.blogspot.com/2007/09/ten-lonesome-miles-abandoned-pa.html

http://www.rays-hill.com/turnpike/home.htm

Another road trip perhaps?