Sunday, June 8, 2014

Back To The Mountains

We slept in a little yesterday wanting to take it easy for our anniversary but we weren’t going to simply bum around the apartment doing nothing. We made it out the door at around eleven in the morning, got in the car, and headed toward the highway. While I was certain that my wife had figured it out by the time we left, I didn’t tell her where we were going to spend our day. I wanted it to be a familiar place that we both enjoyed but somewhere that we could do something that we may have missed in previous trips. By the time we made it to the Lehigh Tunnel there was really no question as to where we were heading… we were off to Jim Thorpe to spend a nice meandering afternoon in the mountains.

Not surprisingly, being such a beautiful day, the town was packed and parking was sparse. Fortunately, we found a great metered space right next to the train tracks. After a surprisingly easy parallel parking job, we walked over to the visitor’s center, purchased our train tickets, and, with an hour and a half before the train departed, headed across the street for a very quick lunch at Molly Maguires Pub. With tasty Cajun chicken and big burger in our bellies, we walked off a little bit of our lunch before walking back to where we started. As you can tell, we didn’t really pull out our cameras…

…until we approached the train.

Over the river…

…and the tracks….

…passed the split rocks on the ridge….

…all the while watching the bikers and hikers making their way down the path.

The train runs along the Lehigh Gorge hugging the line between the mountains and the Lehigh River, with a biking/hiking path crammed in-between. About forty minutes after departing the station at Jim Thorpe, the train began slowing just passed the wimpy little waterfall.

With the train at a dead stop we sat in the cars absent of any breeze hanging out the window looking at the old slowly crumbling wood beneath the tracks…

…at least until we heard the engine making its way down the tracks to reattach at the other end and haul us back.

Moments later we were on our way again with the breeze lapping through the open windows as we turned the corner from the cool shadows of the mountain…

…to the open sun.

Before we knew it we could see Jim Thorpe in the distance on the other side of the river.

Just before pulling into the station we passed the boneyard that really makes you think about what those train cars used to look like when they were first put into service.

It was great to experience something a little different on our third trip to town but, having spent the last hour and a half sitting on the train taking pictures, it was time to really explore Broadway again, revisit places we remembered and find a few new places that have come to town over the past year including the House of Jerky.

Most places remained the same as things change slowly in the Victorian town nestled in the mountains.

Of course, I did manage to get a few flower shots in as well. Not as many as my wife and her fancy schmancy camera but I got a few.  

By this time we had walked up and down the streets and in and out of stores enough to burn off our lunch so we made our way to The Inn at Jim Thorpe’s Broadway Grille for a nice dinner.

We’ve had better and we’ve had worse but it was a pretty good experience overall. However, while the food and service may not have been spectacular, the woman at the front desk was rather impressive when she nearly got my name right when I walked up to ask her a question. We have only stayed there for one night about a year ago!

From there it was time to walk down the street, get some coffee and dessert, and just enjoy the last bit of time in town before heading back on the road. While they were only able to offer me a small sip before closing, Alice’s Pantry and Coffee House in the Douglas House Marketplace has the best coffee in town and I was told that the ice cream was the best in town as well.

The small sitting area on the side looked like it would be a nice place on those mornings when you want to hide away and relax.

Coffee in hand, we joined the crowds exiting the bars at the conclusion of the Belmont Stakes strolling down the street.

We slowly made our way toward the car and, looking at the clock tower, we knew we should get on the road soon.

Before turning the corner I had to take one more picture looking up Broadway as the night slowly fell over the town and the lights began emitting the warm and inviting slow that is simply captivating in the evening. It was a perfect end to a great day with my wife when we were able to just enjoy our anniversary and begin looking forward to the next five years.