There’s a popular joke about Pennsylvania, and it goes something like this: Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh at one end, Philadelphia at the other, and Arkansas in between. Some Pennsylvanians find that joke funny, and others find it offensive. I’m sure Arkansans would have a thing or two to say about it as well. But there is a certain undeniablility to the wisecrack’s observation that my home state is wildly dissimilar when comparing its east and west border regions to its expansive central “T zone.” Economically, politically, geographically, philisophically. . . Pennsylvania has real identity issues.
I live in the central area of the Keystone State. If you were to throw a dart right at the bullseye of a PA map, you’d hit my back yard. It’s an area where I often feel out of step for a variety of reasons, but I’ve lived here for every one of my 60 years, and it’s my home. I carry the classic Pennsylvania pedigree: English, Irish, Scottish, and German. Characteristically, we Pennsylvanians–urban are rural– are a study, working class people. We’re also woodsy.
Something all Pennsylvanians share–aside from calling our state by its initials–is proximity to forests. Every region cares for a designated state forest, and those woodlands are where we hike, camp, watch birds, enjoy certain sports, share picnics, ride horses and mountain bikes–you name it!
I walk often, and my walking paths lead me and my cell phone through some lovely wooded areas where I can take photos. Since today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is “woodsy,” I thought I’d share some of them in a post.
I’m ending this post with a selection of photos taken at one of my favorite woodsy places in the world: at my family’s camp in the heart of a Pennsylvania forest. The memories made here will last a lifetime.
The beauty of Pennsylvania’s forests stretches from border to border and offers its residents some much needed opportunities to decompress. When you visit, pack some bug spray, watch out for poison ivy, and beware the snakes. But I promise your soul will thank you for the peace and solitude.