Quecreek Mine Incident
In July of 2002 there was a mining accident where the Quecreek mine flooded and trapped 9 miners in a void over 240 feet underground. The entire story is very interesting and worth a read if you are interested. But the bottom line is that we just happened to be staying near where this incident occurred.
The rescue operation for this incident was quite ingenious. They first drilled a 6-inch air hole to provide oxygen to the trapped miners. The void they were trapped in was closed off by the flood waters and they would have suffocated without the air supply. Next a 30-inch hole was drilled with many complications, but eventually reached the miners and they were each hauled to the surface via a rescue capsule. After over 77 hours trapped in the mine all nine miners were rescued.
All we saw was a memorial monument, the capped actual rescue shaft and the air shaft. Apparently, there is also a museum, but it looked like someone’s house to us with the rescue shafts in their back yard… So glad the miners were safe.
Mt. Davis the highest point in PA was about 30 minutes southeast of our campground so of course we had to go. Driving thru the country we saw more Amish carriages on the road than anywhere near Lancaster. Did not visit any Amish sites in the area, but passed at least 4 carriages on the main road and several people in yards/fields in traditional dress. Guess this was the real thing, just people living life in their own way.
The highest point in PA is surprisingly low at 3,213 ft so they have an observation tower to make you a little higher.
US Hwy 30 the Lincoln Highway, was the first coast to coast US Highway. The route changes names and now has various routes, but it basically goes from New York to San Francisco. You may have seen one of our previous posts from Laramie or Cheyenne, WY last year with a Lincoln statue and mention of the first coast to coast highway well this is the same one.
More about highways, you wouldn’t think that we drive a lot. Anyway, Highway 40 here is part of the first federally funded highway. It was in the early 1800s when Thomas Jefferson was president, 100 years before the model T and other automobiles were popular. There were several roads across the Appalachian Mountains but no good ones and commerce and war were moving towards the Ohio area and further west.
What is now US Highway 40 is part of our first federally funded highway. They were having the 45th Annual National Highway Festival while we were here. We looked for a gathering, but apparently the festival is a smattering of yard sale/ flea market gatherings, which we are not really interested in. But we rode part of the highway none the less. There is a nice exhibit and history of the highway in the visitor center for Fort Necessity National Historical Park worth the stop.
Ohiopyle State Park
Pennsylvania State Parks are free and although we have not yet spent a lot of time in the parks its good to know that they are free, I believe that state parks should all be free. The weather has been so wet while we have been in PA that the couple of times we attempted to take a hike either the weather was iffy or the trails were muddy.
Ohiopyle State Park is a short drive south from Rockwood and is known as the gateway into the Laurel Highlands. The Youghiogheny (yawki-gay-nee) river runs thru it and is thought to be some of the best whitewater in PA. During our visit the water was very high (as mentioned it has been raining for days) but rafting trips were going. You can see the difference in pictures below what the Ohiopyle Falls usually looks like vs while we were there.
The river takes a nice horseshoe turn and creates a peninsula with walking trails, but as you can see the river was almost in the trail and there were puddles galore so did not go as far as planned. Not into slipping and sliding…
But there are a couple of beautiful water falls not far from parking areas to enjoy. Cucumber Falls.
And the Slide – this is supposed to be a natural water slide that people play in in warm weather, but with the high water looks more like a suicide slide…
And of course our favorite tree monster.
Nice visit in southwestern PA. Peace and Love.