Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Covered Bridges and Fall Foliage in Northeast PA

Last weekend DH and I decided to spend a weekend away, just the two of us, for the first time since DS was born, nearly 15 years ago.  Instead of writing a full trip report, I'll share a few snapshots of what we saw in northeastern Pennsylvania.

For our first dinner, we stopped at a place called Evans' Roadhouse.  I was a little nervous because it's across the street from Death Row Motorcycles and Tattoo Parlor, Home of the Black Death.  I kid you not. We walked into the roadhouse and the first things we saw were posters for a tattoo parlor.  Not looking for Black Death, with a wee bit of trepidation we entered the dining room.

The room was wood from floor to ceiling.  It had bars along two walls, as well as some booths and tables.  We needn't have worried:  the place was clean and the service was good.  The food was good, not great.  If you go, try the massive potato skins.  The kitchen must have started with one-pound potatoes and scooped out very little before loading them up with bacon and cheese.  The onion rings were also very good:  battered but light and crisp, just the way I like them.  The Roadhouse had character, even in the middle of the afternoon; I'm not sure I'm adventurous enough to go on a Friday or Saturday evening.

The next day we set out for Knoebel's, a family amusement park that was hosting a covered bridge festival.  We found it, but kept on driving after seeing approximately 1.2 million cars in the parking lot.  We decided to take the directions we had and find a few of the covered bridges.

Well, it turns out that whatever map program DH used doesn't do well with dirt or gravel roads.  We didn't want to go off-roading in the Elantra, but we still managed to see three covered bridges.  After that we quit, because the bridges all look about the same.

We drove to the station for a train that runs along a scenic gorge, only to find about 50 thousand cars in the parking lot.  Seems that everyone else decided to spend the weekend in northeast PA, too!

As we left Jim Thorpe, the town with the train station, we happened upon a combination fireworks store and ice cream stand.  (They were separate buildings, but very close together.  An accidental detonation at the fireworks store would surely have taken out the ice cream stand.)  New Jersey doesn't allow consumer fireworks, so that alone was a novelty.  Add in the ice cream and it was a must-stop location!

On the way home, DH wanted to see the relatively new casino in Bethlehem.  I'm not much of a gambler, but I can tell you the two things that impressed me most:  the bacon cheeseburger from Mo' Burger and the coolest toilet seat cover I've ever seen!  (Believe me, I wouldn't be talking about the ladies' room if this wasn't notable!)

Even though we didn't do any of the things we'd planned, it was still a good weekend.  DH and I got to spend the time together.  And as he pointed out, trees are everywhere.  We didn't need to get a hotel room overlooking a gorge or take a train ride to see fall foliage.  The terrain is mountainous enough that you're usually either in a valley or above one.  Despite the fog, the trees looked beautiful!


  1. Having lived in that area for some time it was nice to see and hear of your experience. My kids would have lived at knoebels when they were young and we camped near there just to take them.

    Those toilet seat covers have been in the Portland, ME airport for some time. I did a double take my first time to make sure that plastic was not just going round and round ;)

  2. glad the two of you were able to have a great weekend... despite the abundance of cars :) maybe it was people that just wanted to hang out with you?
    I love covered bridges... want to see more, as they are just beautiful to me... thanks for sharing the picture ... side note, toilet seat... yeah... we saw them before... they are pretty neat if you ask me.... all toilets in public places should have them !!

  3. I am so glad you two got away - time alone is surprising sometimes. :)

    I was going to comment on everything then I got to the toilet seat - that is absolutely brilliant - I hope they become common!!


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