From the category archives:


On the Gitchee Gumee

by Jenny 25 July 2016 History

One late July or early August more than a decade ago, I saw Lake Superior for the very first time. At Whitefish Point, on Whitefish Bay. If you ever listened to Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” then you know that this ballad details the real life tragedy of a freighter that sank […]

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Sunset Cruise Surprise

by Jenny 20 July 2016 Outdoors

Here is a photo that Jonathan took during the Star Line Ferry’s Sunset Cruise under the Mackinac Bridge Monday night. This year, Jonathan and I took the 1.5 hour cruise for the third time. However, I chose this for my birthday. Mike Fornes, a local author of several books about the area, spoke over the […]

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Erie Land Light

by Jonathan 1 May 2016 History
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On a recent visit to Erie, we ventured over to the Erie Land Light. This lighthouse has a pretty interesting history. The lighthouse holds the distinction of being the first known lighthouse on the Great Lakes (shared by the Buffalo Lighthouse), and I believe the current structure is one of the oldest remaining lighthouse structures […]

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From the Archives: June 2013

by Jenny 30 March 2016 Outdoors
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In June 2013 a robin started a nest on the ledge above our front door. That evening the breeze came, and the nest fell apart. In the morning, Sisyphus re-built the nest. The evening wind blew it away again. This happened for several days. Each night the wind destroyed a partially-finished nest. Then one night […]

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This is Presque Isle

by Jenny 6 March 2016 History
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I was nine the first time that I saw a great lake. Lake Erie. We went to Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania. I pretended it was the ocean because I had never been to the ocean. On that trip, I saw a lady in a white dress run from the beach to a […]

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Tunnelview Historic Site

by Jenny 27 February 2016 History
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Jonathan wanted to see how much water the Army Corps of Engineers let out of the gates at the Conemaugh Dam after this past week’s storms. That’s why today’s adventure took us and  Jonathan’s mom, Fran, to the Conemaugh River Lake. Then we drove down the road through the park to see Bow Ridge and […]

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For the Cabin’s Logbook

by Jenny 16 February 2016 Outdoors

“This place has no WiFi and its boring.” “There’s nothing to do here. We can’t get WiFi.” “This cabin doesn’t have WiFi.” “PLEASE GET WIFI!” Last October my in-laws rented two cabins at Kooser State Park. My husband and I joined them for dinner to celebrate our nephew A.’s first birthday. After dinner my sister-in-law […]

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What I Didn’t Say About the Blizzard

by Jenny 14 February 2016 Outdoors
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My sister K. followed Rip Van Winkle. She moved from our hometown in the Allegheny Mountains to a camp in the Catskill Mountains. She stayed there for two years. On Valentine’s Day 2003 (a Friday), our Aunt Sue and I went to visit K. Sue drove. She always drives. I am the bum who sits […]

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The Mountains in My Backyard

by Jenny 7 February 2016 Outdoors
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“He’s wearing my jeans!” A woman walked up to me at the register of the menswear store where I worked and pointed to the man with her. We were right off of the Somerset exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The couple was from Florida. The man had packed absolutely no warm clothing for himself. That’s […]

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Someone Else’s Road Trip

by Jenny 26 December 2015 History

This is our Christmas card photo. Shawnee State Park in Bedford County. A Gaffron family favorite. The Pennsylvania Turnpike passes Shawnee. So does Route 30 – the Lincoln Highway. And Route 31. I used to hear the purr of late night traffic from my parents’ campsite. Did you ever travel this part of PA? The […]

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