Monday, December 28, 2009

Green and White

Slippery Rock Creek - McConnells Mill A snowy picture of Slippery Rock Creek along the Kildoo Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Upgrade

McConnells Mill - Covered Bridge Last week I was pleasantly surprised to receive a new camera after a family dinner. Apparently a few of our relatives pooled money together for a Nikon Coolpix P90. I can't express how delighted I am with it.

This is the first post with a photo taken with the new camera. If I don't get a chance to post tomorrow, I wish everyone Happy Holidays!
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Busy, Busy

McConnells Mill This week was a very hectic though I imagine that is typical for many people this time of year. Anyway, this is a photo of one of the cliffs near Rim Road back in August. My oldest and I had a great time exploring the area that day.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Leaning Forward

Coneflower - Hells Hollow - McConnells Mill Since it is a cold frosty December, when I look over the summer photos I am struck by how green they are. I guess it is all relative but I think I will be posting more over the next few weeks.

We believe these are Tall or Green-headed Coneflowers (Rudbeckia laciniata) growing along Hell's Run. The orange flowers are Touch-me-nots with a few pale ones mixed in.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

November Sun

Eckert Falls - McConnells Mill It was not long after I took this shot that the sun dipped too low to cast its light on the falls. The days seem so short now.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eckert Bridge

Eckert Bridge - McConnells Mill Eckert Bridge was built in 1852 originally as a covered bridge. In the 1950s it was replaced with the current concrete one. Due to low traffic in the 1970s, sections of the Breakneck Bridge and Eckert Bridge Roads were closed including their overpasses.

To get to Eckert Bridge, you must follow Cheeseman Road past the Breakneck Bridge parking area and down the hill into the gorge. Note that this section of the route is not maintained in the winter and is full of potholes. The bridge lies at the bottom of the hill and is primarily used for parking.

I am not sure why I am always surprised by how many people are in this nook and cranny of McConnells Mill. Eckert Bridge is not far from Breakneck and Eckert Falls. It also provides access to the Kildoo and Slippery Rock Gorge Trails sections of which are considered part of the North Country National Scenic Trail.

More Info and Sources:
Photo of Coverd Bridge
Source - Lawrence County By Anita DeVivo, Anthony P. Walczak
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Friday, December 4, 2009

With a Touch of Green

Cheeseman Run - McConnells Mill A part of Cheeseman Run as it makes it way down the hill to Slippery Rock Creek. This area has quite a few little waterfalls like this.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gripping

McConnells Mill - Cheeseman Run An image of Cheeseman Run near Slippery Rock Creek.
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Reflection

McConnells Mill - Slippery Rock Creek I was very surprised this turned out as I had taken quite a few shots of water that did not. Slippery Rock Creek.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Shadow, A Fern

McConnells Mill - Slippery Rock Creek The sunlight on Sunday was quite remarkable. Walking along a path near Slippery Rock Creek, I could not resist snapping this photo.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cheeseman Run

McConnells Mill - Cheeseman Run A small waterfall along Cheeseman Run near Breakneck Bridge.
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Friday, November 27, 2009

Pile of Rocks

McConnells Mill - Slippery Rock Creek The white area between two rocks in the right of the photo is foam from decomposing plants. Slippery Rock Creek in McConnells Mill.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stairs Revisited

Kildoo Trail - McConnells Mill This is one of my favorite sets of stairs along the Kildoo Trail. I also snapped a photo back in July which appears very different with the green touch-me-nots and other plants.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Down Stream

McConnells Mill I should have posted this photo before my last one. The above image was taken before we arrived to the covered bridge from Kildoo Trail. Behind the bridge you can see the old mill.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yield

Covered Bridge - McConnells Mill A photo of the side of the covered bridge in McConnells Mill. The sun was beginning to rise high enough to fully immerse the gorge in sunlight. On that day, my oldest and I had starting hiking Kildoo Trail from Eckert bridge on the North Country National Scenic Trail portion. When we reached the covered bridge, we crossed the creek and headed back. The trail is a relatively short 2 mile loop and is considered 'moderate' hiking.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Slippery Rock Gorge

Slippery Rock Creek - McConnells Mill According to the DCNR Website, 140,000 years ago there was a lake to the north of Cleland Rock whose waters were bound by the edge of a continental glacier. As the glacier receded, the ice dam burst and the ensuing torrent of water carved the already existing valley 400 feet deeper. The change was so drastic that streams which normally flowed north changed direction and now flow south. It is hard to imagine such power.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Another One

Eckert Falls - McConnells Mill My oldest daughter and I visited Eckert Falls Saturday morning except this time we climbed further up the hill. We were pleasantly surprised to find another waterfall not far away.

On the right side of the picture above is a stone wall that appears to be a foundation for an old mill. Below is a photo in the opposite direction. The stump of the fallen tree from this photo can be seen in the background.

I am going to tag both waterfalls as Eckert Falls until I discover information otherwise.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eckert Falls

Eckert Falls - McConnells Mill On Sunday, my middle daughter and I spent a little time exploring the area around Eckert Bridge in McConnells Mill. We were surprised to find another waterfall close to the Kildoo Trail. My middle daughter enjoyed climbing around the rocks and sitting under the over hang.

From what little information I could find online, it is called 'Eckert Falls'. There is a stack of rocks at the top that appears to be either the remains of an old foundation or something else man made (not pictured). I've been debating contacting the park about some of the 'unknown' things we find. I guess I should make a list...

It is too bad most of my photos of this waterfall did not turn out as I had hoped.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh Those Trees!

McConnells Mill - Kildoo Trail I wish they would quit jumping towards the front of my camera. :)
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Warm November Day

McConnells Mill - Slippery Rock Creek My middle daughter and I took a rest in this spot while hiking along Kildoo Trail. While she munched on pretzels, I snapped a few pictures of Slippery Rock Creek. Here the water is slow moving and had a nice green tint to it.

There were a lot of individuals and groups passing through this area. My daughter had to wave and say hi to everyone. She even shouted across the creek to people. So fun.
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Hanging On

McConnells Mill - Rim Road Area I forgot how green everything was in August until we move into another season.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Covered Bridge

The Covered Bridge in McConnells Mill The covered bridge in McConnells Mill was built in 1874. In 1980, it was placed on the National Register Historic Places. Lawrence County rehabilitated the bridge in 1998 and it is currently open to traffic.

The bridge did have a close call in March 2004, when a large hemlock tree fell on the roof during a storm. Luckily, in 1957 engineers added concrete beams under the bridge which prevented it from collapsing into the creek. It was repaired the following September.

This is one of four Howe Truss bridges still standing statewide and this one located at the Mill has the longest span of them all. Most bridges in Pennsylvania use a Burr Truss. The Howe Truss was patented in 1840 by William Howe, with an extended patent in 1850. The design consists of a series of diagonal beams and uses steel rods for additional support. The Howe Truss was initially used for railroad bridges due to its strength.

Howe Truss
In the 1950s many covered bridges were being replaced by modern versions. It is fortunate that this one was not. Not far from here, Breakneck Bridge was also built in 1874 originally as a covered bridge. It was replaced in 1952 with a concrete one after a coal truck fell through the floor.

More info and sources:
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Light in Hell's Hollow

McConnells Mill - Hell's Hollow This image was taken on a September day on which my wife and I walked along Hell's Hollow Trail. It seems so long ago now.

McConnells Mill State Park.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

People, People Everywhere

McConnells Mill I have been meaning to write a post about the covered bridge in McConnells Mill for some time. You can see the bridge in this image taken on a foggy September day.

Well it turns out, this post is not about that particular day nor is it about the bridge.

A few weeks ago I decided to head over to the park to take a few fall pictures of the bridge for the post about it. I did not expect how many people would be running around taking photos of scenery. Many of them had some pretty fancy cameras compared to my simple 'point and shoot'.

In any case, I wanted to take a picture like this one to illustrate the change in the foliage.

McConnells Mill - Slippery Rock Creek
I did not notice there was someone taking a picture in my direction at the same time. You can see him in the close up to the right.

He seemed to be hanging around at that spot. I imagine he was waiting for people like me to wander off.

From there I walked around the mill intending to snap a picture of the bridge.

It didn't turn out as you can see in the below image. Not only because the left side is over exposed but I don't think you can miss the guy with the tripod. Like the previous photo, I did not see him until after the fact. He was also waiting for everyone to leave.

Seeing that every good spot was taken for getting a clean shot of the bridge, I decided to make my way over to nearby Kildoo Falls.


There is actually a girl sitting on the top of the cliff! She is hard to see in the close up to the right, but trust me she is there. She looked like she was posing for someone else with a camera.

Yikes! She is so close to the edge! What is she thinking? It made me edgy and worried she would fall, so I left.

Off to Cleland Rock! I should be able to hopefully get a few good shots there. Cleland Rock At the bottom of the photo you can see the edge of Cleland Rock. I wanted to move closer to the edge (not too close) but someone was in the way. He was sitting there when I arrived, dressed in black and engrossed in writing in a journal. I waited awhile for him to move before I took the above image. Two couples came and went beforehand. They had to stand behind him to see the view. Eventually I did the same to take the hurried shot. He was not acknowledging anyone and I figured best to leave him alone.

As I said in a previous post about Cleland Rock, something unusual always happens there when I visit. On that day, it seemed to be true for the entire park.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leaves on Hell's Hollow Falls

McConnells Mill - Hell's Hollow Falls I haven't posted a photo of Hell's Hollow Falls in some time.
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

KIA

McConnells Mill - Hell's Hollow A tree carved with initials and names along the Slippery Rock Gorge Trail in Hells Hollow.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Leaves on Kildoo Run

McConnells Mill - Kildoo Run - Small Waterfall Above is a photo of Kildoo Run as it weaves through a few moss covered rocks in McConnells Mill. According to PA's foliage report, we were at our peak this past week. I did not find the report until today but at least I'll know to look for it next year.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Late in the Afternoon

McConnells Mill - Stairs down to the mill Another shot from the stairs that lead down to the mill.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Stairs to the Mill

McConnells Mill - Stairs to the Mill Since the spaces near the old mill and covered bridge were filled, we parked at the top of Slippery Rock Gorge. Pictured here is a section of the stairs which connect the Kildoo Parking area to the old mill.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Ahhh! It Snowed This Morning!

McConnells Mill - Rim Road Area And the forecast is to have 'snow showers' for the next couple of days. I still have not adjusted to the idea of fall... let alone (dare I say it) winter. Sigh.

Anyway, this photo is from August when my oldest and I went exploring in the area around Rim Road in McConnells Mill.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Foliage

McConnells Mill - Hell's Hollow Trail - Fall Another photo of the colorful trees in Hell's Hollow.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Wait... What? Wasn't Last Month August?

McConnells Mill - Hell's Hollow - Autumn I think I misplaced September. Hell's Hollow Trail in McConnells Mill, Pennsylvania.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Passing By

McConnells Mill - Kildoo Trail Mushroom On the way up to Kildoo Falls, my oldest and I passed this mushroom basking in the sun. McConnells Mill.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Heading Back to the Mill

McConnells Mill - Kildoo Trail A quick posting of Kildoo Trail as it runs next to Slippery Rock Creek. There were many wildflowers blooming along the water when this photo was taken in August.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sticks and Stones

McConnells Mill - Kildoo Run The log from the previous post is running across the top of this photo.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Little Ways to Go

McConnells Mill - Kildoo Run This photo was taken when my oldest and I walked from the Kildoo Trail up to Kildoo Falls. You can see the falls as tiny white sliver on the uppermost rock in the photo. The log is over exposed but I still like the ray of sunshine illuminating it.
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Late in the Afternoon

McConnells Mill - Slippery Rock Creek Slippery Rock Creek viewed upstream from the walkway by the Mill.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hell's Muddy Waters

McConnells Mill - Hell's Run After an onslaught of rain, Hell's Run swelled with a surge of muddy water. Normally this spot is more rock than stream. This photo was taken from the second bridge along Hell's Hollow Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Contemplation and Confluence

McConnells Mill - Hell's Hollow It was literally pouring rain five minutes before we arrived to Hell's Hollow. But as we drew near, the sun began peering from behind the clouds. It is a fitting image for the day we had.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Into The Sun

McConnells Mill - Rim Road Area There were quite a few people rock climbing here when my oldest and I returned to our car after walking around this area.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Couple

Hell's Hollow Trail We liked the pairing of the small and large tree together. A quick post today since it is getting late.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pool

Breakneck bridge area - small waterfall A tiny pool of water that my oldest and I spotted.
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