2006-04-15 / Viewpoints

Guest Editorial

Even These Gas Prices Didn't Deter The Drive
By Howard 'Mac' MacDonald

Many Americans have a love affair with their Automobile and even with the price of gas at an all time high, they still like to take that cruise. Most of us are a dying breed, the middle class, but when the sun is out we still want to have that rush we get from the open road. To blazes with the cost, lets get this bucket of bolts out of the driveway.

Those of us who live in this area have an advantage that so many of our fellow citizens in general don't have. No matter which direction we decide to venture, we have scenery that is breath taking. Say for example we pick a course that would take us East on Rt. 120.

Not to far out of Emporium we would come to Memorial Springs, a monument to the Civilian Conservation Corps, fire fighters who lost their lives in a major forest fire in Cameron County. A short distance farther east we pass the coke ovens that were used many, many years ago. When we reach the village of Cameron, we cross the West Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek, a pristine trout stream.

The road follows along the stream where during fishing season we will see many anglers trying to fill their creels. Soon one of the most wellmanicured golf courses East of the Mississippi comes into view and even if you are not a duffer, you can not help admiring its beauty. We have not yet traveled 12 miles and have passed so many beautiful sights.

Sterling Run offers us "The Little Museum," A unique building that was once the village school where the three "R's" were taught to the children of the area. The building was purchased from the Asbestos Building Company in August 1930. To visit this historic sight, I recommend you make this a trip by its self as you will want to spend a lot of time meandering through the history there.

Twisting and turning, we pass over Tunnel Hill and head into Driftwood Borough. Here during the Civil War, the Bucktail Regiment put their rafts into the cold water and floated down river into the history books of that awful war that took so many American lives.

As the highway continues East it hangs precariously on the side of the hill. We look to our right and we can see the confluence of the Bennett's Branch with the West Branch.

The hills in this area get very steep and I often refer to them as the "Pennsylvania Alps." Sinnemahoning is a quaint Hamlet that sets in a very narrow valley where several natural wonders come together.

There the First Fork joins the main stream and from the other side of the main stream, Wycoff Run comes rushing in. The bridge has a steel mesh deck that hums you a tune when you cross to visit the Quehanna wild area. We will go this way some other time, but for this Sunday drive we are headed to the Hyner Look Out.

Leaving Sinnemahoning, we pass by Jerico and continue East through Keating, Westport and soon we are in Renovo. A

town rich in Railroad history, Renovo should be explored, but that too will be for another time. At North Bend we can see the Hyner Look Out and the sky around it is filled with people hand gliding.

Following the signs that lead you up the side of a very steep hill you soon burst out into the small park that is part of the look out. There is picnic tables and rest rooms and usually a good crowd of people. There is ample parking and no matter where you park it is only a short walk to where you can enjoy on the most spectacular views in the whole U.S.A.

Looking down from this lofty perch, we can almost see all the way to Lock Haven. The highway looks like a small black line that is drawn from Renovo through the valley and crosses the river on a very impressive bridge.

We watch as the hand gliders soar like eagles and eventually land on a small green patch next to the river. The river winds its way East and from this height looks like a silver serpent that is so long that it is crawling out of sight. We marvel at the ant sized automobiles speeding along, heading either direction in their quest to reach their destination.

We watch, we look, we listen and the time flies by. The sun has passed its Zenith heading to its resting place in the West. We must leave this high cathedral, thanking God for all his wonders. It is time to head home and we will head north till we come to Route Six.

Route six, now a National Scenic Byway, will take us West from Galeton past the Lumberman's Museum, Denton Hill State Park, and back to Route 872 where we meander home.

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