We were halfway through our sojourn in the Poconos before Hubs comes out with the truth.
“See that hotel? That’s where my first wife and I went on our honeymoon.”
“Whaaattt? Oh, these jokes write themselves. Where’s my heart-shaped jacuzzi tub? Champagne? Why did she get all the good stuff and I’m in a camper in a rundown campground with my 11th anniversary looming in a matter of days? WHAAAAAA!”
I can’t imagine for the life of me why he waited until we’d passed it a dozen times before fessing up. It’s not like I’m fully capable of turning such things into joke fodder or a means of upping my own wifely status.
Redboxes: They Still Exist and Now I Know Why
I remember it clearly, as it was just a month or two ago and it hasn’t yet slipped through my mental sieve. I stopped at a convenience store and noticed the Redbox outside. “Redbox? Who the hell still rents movies from those things. Dinosaurs, I tell ya’!”
Cue digging foot of mouth in three…two…one. Me, that’s who! Turns out we’ve got ourselves a tiny little internet problem out here on the road. Firstly, I assumed we came equipped with unlimited hotspot on our phones—as we used to—but Verizon played a sneaky trick last time we “upgraded” and cut us down to 25 GB a month. Joe ran out of data in May and I ran out in June, and that just ain’t raight. Rude, Verizon, Rude!
Secondly, I assumed all campgrounds would have free wifi as this isn’t the dark ages, but apparently much of the U.S. is still missing that memo. Including campgrounds. Double Rude.
Others traversing the U.S. are sporting internet solutions that we haven’t yet explored—newbs and all. But I’m sure Joe will investigate more this week, and then we can slay this particular giant. Or not.
We ended up renting movies we hadn’t seen on two different nights, and I’m here to assure you that Redbox does still have a purpose on this earth after all. My bad, Redbox. Continue about your business.
Bushkill Falls Hike
We’ll be sightseeing at least a coupla’ days at each stop, but don’t expect us to showcase the obscure or out-of-the-way stuff. We’ll most likely be hitting up popular tourist activities that spark our interest or float our boat, and who doesn’t love him or herself a good waterfall?
We sojourned to Bushkill Falls during the week (advised, so much less crowded!) and it cost $15 each to partake of this particular beauty. It’s $18 on weekends.
In my humblest of opinions it was well-worth the price of admission. They’ve spent a ton of time and money adding wooden walkways and steps throughout, so you get to feel like you’re living in a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse as you traverse the terrain and trot out your own particular brand of oohs and aahs.
We picked the longest route, even though it clearly told us those who are out of shape should be moving along to one of the easier trails. I’m surprised our faces weren’t plastered on the sign as a cautionary tale: “These idjits thought they could do the two-hour tour. Don’t be them. Bwahahahaha….”
Maybe we’ll actually get a little more svelte throughout our journey thanks to all this exertion? One never knows.
There’s no shame in admitting that I had to make frequent stops when ascending the rocks and steps. As soon as this girl’s heart rate hits 140, my inner diva makes an appearance and I do declare “Imma bouta faint” or something equally awkward. Luckily for us we were surrounded by others of a similar shape and size, and there were frequent drink and “I gotta sit down before I die” breaks for most everyone.
The only animals we saw were stuffed, which is ew, but at least they don’t appear to have been killed just to display here, as the sign claims they were donated by “state and local game commissions.” Take it for what it’s worth.
Speaking of Out of Shape…I Got A Bike
This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not a good biker either. I know. Who’da thunk it?
Ever since I was a little kid I had to walk up ALL the hills. Even the little ones. Everyone says, “Don’t you shift down?” like I never thought of it or somethin’.
“Why Yes, Yes I do! But then I have to peddle MORE to go a shorter distance. How is that easier? My poor tiny leggies get too tired to go on. All I can do is end this torture and get off the bike!”
Walking is easier.
Joe lived in town and biked EVERYWHERE as a kid. He even peddled 12 miles to go work for FREE at a garage, and all I can think is Who Does That?
For whatever reason, even though he’s barely ridden in years, he hasn’t lost his bike finesse. Being the gentleman he is, however, he kindly got off and walked when I did, informing me we’d work on my lack of biking fortitude as we go. Don’t hold your breath, man!
Pocono Snake & Animal Farm
In a perfect world there would be no zoos, no roadside animal exhibits, no exploitation of animals, but support for them to live in their native habitats. We don’t live in a perfect world, alas, and sometimes BETTER has to be good enough because BEST isn’t an option. This applies primarily to wild animals who are purchased by humans with zero clue as to their needs, and who hence inevitably seek to “get rid” of them. But where can they go? They can’t go back into the wild because they’ve become unable to fend for themselves.
As such, I didn’t find myself vehemently opposed to the Pocono Snake and Animal Farm. Many of their animals are rescues, or “donated” as they called it, by people who got them and had no business having them. Most of the animal habitats ranged from adequate to good, and I truly hope these babies lives have improved from whatever dastardly conditions they previously endured.
We paid $9.50 each to get in, plus $6 for food for the animals.
Food! For the Animals!
I’ll be the first to admit this is a genius move on the part of the PSAF. We pay to get in…AND we pay for the food for their animals, too? Diabolical!
I’m a hardcore animal feeder, and my primary concern (i.e. obsession) when I visit these kinds of places is “Are the animals being fed?”
I worry and drive myself to distraction over the thought of hungry animals, even though I logically know it’s happening all over the world at any given time and there’s little I can do about it.
But I can at least help in my little corner, right?
If I see an animal I want to feed him or her. It’s really that simple, and it brings me great joy to watch them eat and know I played a part in filling their little bellies. [Assuming they aren’t chomping on a human or another animal, that is…I can’t be seeing that, oh, the trauma.]
I bottle-fed the pigs, tossed fruit and veggies to the monkeys (spoiler, they throw most of the veggies on the ground, but they love the fruit), and fed the bear. Bearbear is over 20 years old now, and they have a couple monkeys who are over 50 years old. It’s normal for animals reaching the end of their life spans to look a little worse for wear; as we age it happens to all of us—and our companion animals, too. The owners of PASF wisely posted signs about the age and condition of the oldest animals so that people like me wouldn’t lose our minds.
A few of the animals we met that day: Bearbear sits in front of the tube and catches each treat as you put it down. Timmy the capuchin jumps up and down and throws his pillow around to entertain the kids who visit. The alligator snapping turtle sits with his mouth open, wiggles his tongue, and the fish swim right in. Who knew!
Tootie Gets a New Hiding Spot
If you know feral cats, you know they have to have a hiding spot. These are hard to come by in a small camper, but Tootie was squeezing herself amongst our stash of stuff at the end of our bed whenever she felt scared. This was far from ideal, since she couldn’t turn around in the tiny space and was left with her butt hanging out. It looked downright uncomfortable. So we moved her cat tube to the end of the bed and covered it with the bottom of the comforter. Now she can slip under the blanket and up into the tube whenever she wants. She proclaimed herself satisfied with the upgrade, and now she comes out of “her office” for food, potty, treats, and some occasional mommy love.
Timothy Lake North Campground
What a dump! Oh, is that too harsh? How about this: Methinks this campground could use a teensy bit of fluffing up. We felt like we were camping in an apocalyptic ghost town, complete with skeletons of campers past and an aversion to grass cutting or any of the basic tenets of groundmanship.
The campground is run by Thousand Trails, which we’ve joined with a basic camping membership on the recommendation of a friend. We’re still debating the pros and cons of purchasing any of their various upgrades, but Timothy Lake North Campground was not a plus for their side. Oddly enough, Lake Timothy South is just a mile or two down the road, and it is clearly a much better run and cared-for campground. What up with that?
PoGo in the Poconos
Either the Poconos isn’t fond of Verizon or Verizon isn’t fond of the Poconos. Whichever the case may be, I showed two bars or nothing throughout our stay, an unfortunate circumstance which is not conducive to pokemon play. I even got tossed from a Mewtwo raid that only had four people in it, an obvious crime against PoGoLand! I was needed, dammit!
The worst violation took place at Bushkill Falls, which sported an impressive array of gyms, pokestops, and pokeman for the taking. I witnessed the bounty before me as we turned onto the property, slavered appropriately, only to freeze up and catch the distinct tinkling laughter of Verizon as they mocked my dismay. I never could get back in the game while there. Triple Rude.
We’ve landed in Massachusetts at a tres bonne campground boasting internet AND cable. Lordy, lordy, am I witnesseing a miracle? I shall regale you with our [mis]adventures from last week and this one soon. Tata for now…