Category Archives: Camping

10 things I learned while camping at Parker Dam

1) Clearfield, PA is a lot smaller than I thought it would be.

2) If Jeff Foxworthy ever runs low on material, a visit to Clearfield, PA would clear that up quickly.

3) Scotto’s Pizza in downtown Clearfield, PA has some decent pizza.

4) Some squirrels and chipmunks can be pretty bold when it comes to looking for handouts.

5) Getting to know your neighbors camping can lead them to believe that you automatically will watch their children.

6) Drinking coffee near a campfire is a must-have experience (even if you don’t drink coffee….or like campfires).

7) I still can’t believe there are people out there who will burn plastic and metal cans in a campfire. Smokey The Bear should go Chuck Norris on their butts.

8 ) You can hear some strange noises coming out of the woods at night. Somehow, watching too many low budget horror films that involve camping and having an active imagination doesn’t help either.

9) I was able to get my Larry The Cable Guy costume for Halloween. A flannel shirt & camo baseball cap cost $11 bucks.

10) People in Clearfield, PA will look at you weird if you try to pronounce Dubois (doo-BOYS) as it is pronounced in French (doo-BWAH). Of course, not wearing a black concert shirt in Clearfield will get you strange looks too.


I will be at Parker Dam State Park…..

   for a long weekend for camping. I will taking a brief respite from posting for several days.

5 things you should AVOID while camping

  Having recently just gotten back from a long weekend camping at Locust Lake with my family, I feel compelled to share my opinion of such “whippersnapper” behavior – if only in a curmudgeon-in-training sort of way.

1) Treating Department Of Resources Employees like maids. They have enough to do managing the National Park system rather than pick up your messes. If you break some glass, that’s fine – just pick it up.

2) Using lanterns that have a SOLAR FLARE setting, especially at night. People who enjoy camping are typically there to enjoy nature. We like sitting in the dark, looking at the stars over a campfire. We didn’t put the time and effort into all of this – just to have our retinas baked out of our skulls by some dorks with universe-ending blast of light from the neighbors’ campsite. Sharing is good, but not with this.

3) Walking through other peoples’ campsites. Camping is a friendly, social affair but boundaries are good to. Be considerate of your neighbors. If you feel compelled to overstep the line here, please remember these three words: Malaysian Tiger Trap.

4)  Burning things other than wood in your campfire. Let me save you some book learnin’ here. Throwing non-flammable man-made things into a fire will either give off harmful chemicals, taint the food you may later cook on that fire, or harm the animal life still living in that forest after you go. Leaving food will invite critters. Small critters may not be harmful, but large critters are. If you want to be lower on the food chain, go somewhere else please. Volunteer as lion bait at the closest zoo or something. Here’s another science tip. Don’t play with lighter fluid around open flames. You’re not going to impress anyone having Charles Darwin on speed dial. Even fewer will be impressed when you torch the park after uttering the phrase, “Hey guys, check this out!”

5) Leave the perfume/heavy scents at home.  If you’re that high maintenance that you can’t walk away from hair care or personal care products for a few days, camping may not be for you. The discerning camping nose avoids such aromas because it becomes a magnet for bugs and mosquitos. Save the swanky aromas for your next bar-hopping jaunt.

I’m campin’, I’m campin’, I’m cold cold lampin’

  No, kids. The Flava Flav reference is misleading. I will not be chillin’ with Public Enemy. I am actually going camping until Monday.

  I will try to think of really important things to post when I get back late on Monday. If anyone has any suggestions for topics or celebrity moments you think I should have, please post comments.

Benezette, PA : It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.

I forgot to mention that we took the family mini-van on an hour trip north of Penfield, PA to see Benezette, PA. I did not know that this area is ELK country. Every morning and every evening, people from all over gather on narrow, mountainous roads to see ELK….and lots of ’em.

Elk, for those of you who aren’t aware of them, are like deer…..on steroids. Big, ugly, with antlers…..For my Canadian readers, kinda like a Moose but one they left in the dryer a little too long.

As for the end of the world comment, I stand by it. I have been to many places in this world and this place is seriously isolated. One road in. One road out. One radio station and it plays banjo music… in paddle faster, I hear banjo music.

Parker Dam State Park Cabin Camping Weekend was a success!!

The weather was fantastic! There was no rain (unlike last year, which zapped 1 1/2 days) and the skies were clear. We did some serious hiking. Pictured above is the “scenic vista” promised for those who traverse the extra hike on the TRAIL OF THE NEW GIANTS path. At nearly 2000 feet above sea level, my whole family was able to enjoy the view here – Parker Lake – which later that day, we made it all the way over to the other side of the lake pictured.

I was away from any technology, including e-mail and my blog. I actually missed that more than television, not that I watch a lot of tv. I was so busy doing camping stuff that I didn’t even have a stray “Hey, I can’t wait to blog about….” thought at all.

I would also like to give a special shout-out to Dick Small. He did e-mail his personal favorite camping places. However, I am not entirely convinced that going to luxury hotels like the Hilton, is really considered camping…..Would “roughing it” be having a tv without a remote? Do you pay someone to put dirt, dead leaves, and pine sap in your clothes? Does eating granola from a room service cart count as ‘foraging for food’? I have never really thought of camping that way.


Cabin camping until Tuesday, Oct. 11th

Parker Dam State Park in Pennsylvania

I going camping at this State Park. It’is a family tradition that has been going on since my wife and I honeymooned here almost 10 years ago.

I will be on a technology sabbatical during my stay, limiting my operation to things like campfires, building s’mores, and hiking.

Please feel free to leave comments about your thoughts, memories, and experiences about camping.

Rock on!


p.s. See ya Tuesday!