Travel Diaries: Pennsylvania

             "The best combination a person can have is to be educated and being a wanderlust. Education gives you the ability to comprehend and traveling opens up your mind to new possibilities and perspectives". ~AR

                While COVID-19 is seeing its last leg(I wish to believe so or pray for it to be true) , I decided to start exploring my own state in the US. By far I have been traveling to different US states but never took the time to stop and think as too what is present in my own backyard. The gruesome time with self in the house(thanks for CoV-19) probably lead to this thought. While I had two trips in the recent time in Penn, I would like to focus on the most recent one i.e. to Penn's Cave and the Rothrock State forest.

                It is said the best plans are made in the last minute without extensive planning, especially when you go solo, it is a fun experience to get up one day and think of traveling to an unknown place. This is what happened on Saturday June 12,2021; that morning I got up and was determined to break the monotony of Work From Home. A quick search of places to visit yielded these two beautiful & picturesque places.I booked tickets for the Penn's cave boat ride plus wild life tour and quickly a stay for one night in State College, PA.


Jo hays Vista Point, Rothrock state forest

With great excitement, I left for my first destination,RothRock state forest.This is located in Centre, Huntingdon, and Mifflin Counties. Blame it on my laziness and the time constraint, I chose a Point which did not require any Hiking/Trekking. Wonderful experience out there, to get a overlook or a drone-view of State College in-person. I did nothing but sit there for around 20 minutes for this view Have you seen low flying planes at the level of your eyes? Well, this is the place (talking about enriching perspectives) - at your vision(eye's) level these planes seemed like 'flying cars'.After this first date with nature, I left for my stay for day 1. After resting for 2 Hours, I then explored the pennsylvania State University Campus in State College, PA. It was refreshing to see some students and cherish my own student life in the United States not-so-long-ago(3 years). This was followed by a relaxed stay and a sound sleep. I was just enjoying the new environment.

Penn's Cave

                     The second day was something I was looking forward to even more - a boat tour of America's only all-water cavern(Penn's Cave) and a wildlife tour. Talking about the Penn's cave first, this is completely inundated with water i.e. we cannot walk in the cave. A natural spring sources around 11 million gallons of water on a daily basis into the cave(filling up 3 bathtubs of water every second). Interesting fact is that this cave and the surrounding forest land is privately owned and is not state property. They have been giving boat tours for almost a whooping 136 years!(fact check). The beauty of the cave is how structures such as Garden of Gods(Colorado,USA), Leaning Tower of Pisa(Italy) as natural imitation in the caves, also featuring are carvings with a semblance to animals such as doves and elephants.  The most fascinating part there is a 'natural heart' craving where many guys have proposed to their girlfriends and also get married there. This is definitely innovative way to impress your other half(if you are looking for ideas).

                    Next was the wildlife tour(after a satiating lunch)where I got to see some 
Penn's cave wildlife tour

exquisite animals such as mountain lions, Bobcats, Silver Fox, white tailed deer(state animal of Pennsylvania) and Texas Longhorn. The tour guide was well versed with her facts and gave us a ton of information at each stop.

So, at the end of your life, what matters? million dollars in your bank or million memories touching your soul?      

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